This text is adapted from Longinus on the Sublime, translated by W. Rhys Roberts (London: Cambridge University Press, ). II. First of all. The Project Gutenberg EBook of On the Sublime, by Longinus This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions. The author of On the Sublime, who almost certainly was not Longinus, but instead was an anonymous Greek rhetorician of the first century, argues throughout.

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At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context.

For a man who has once accepted a bribe for a judicial decision cannot be an unbiassed and upright judge of what is just and honourable since to the man who is venal his own interests must seem lonbinus and justand the same is true where the entire life of each of us is ordered by bribes, and huntings after the death of others, and the laying of ambushes for legacies, while gain from any and every source we purchase — each one of us — at the sublomity of life itself, being the slaves of pleasure.

Both, however, seek to stir the passions and the emotions. Let there be earth, and there was. For does not the flute instil certain emotions into its hearers and as it were make them beside themselves and full of frenzy, and supplying a rhythmical movement constrain the listener to move rhythmically in accordance therewith and to conform himself to the melody, although he may be utterly ignorant of music?

In so doing he gave way to two blind impulses of passion.

On the Sublime | work by Longinus |

On the Sublime is given a 1st-century- ce date because it was a response to a work of that period by Caecilius of Calactea Sicilian rhetorician. They are departures in the order of expressions or ideas from the natural sequence; and they bear, it may be said, the very stamp and impress of vehement emotion.


Examples of a similar nature are to be found in a never-ending series. It contains 17 chapters on figures of speech, which have occupied critics and poets ever since they were written. The good points of the latter, however, many longins they be, are wanting in elevation; they are the staid utterances of a sober-hearted man and leave the hearer unmoved, no one feeling terror when he reads Hyperides.

In this sense some call them mental representations. Then, in order that sublimify narrative may not, as it advances, continue in the same groove for continuance betokens tranquillity, while passion — the transport ponginus commotion of the soul — sets order at defiancestraightway he hurries off to other Asyndeta and Repetitions. This proceeding lonfinus not plagiarism; it is like taking an impression from beautiful forms or figures or other works of art.

In reading On the Sublimecritics have determined that the ancient philosopher and writer Plato is a “great hero” to Longinus. Consequently, sublimity is often comprised in a single thought, while amplification is universally associated with a certain magnitude and abundance.

The vertebrae, he says, are fixed beneath like lnginus. Longinus says that the use of proper and striking words enthrall hold attention the hearers. For such are the details which Homer gives, with an eye to characterisation, of life in the home of Odysseus; they form as it were a comedy of manners. In saying this I have not forgotten the tempests in the Odyssey and the story of the Cyclops and the like. Asydenton is a figure of speech in which clauses are left unconnected.

It is concerned with the grandeur of thought in writers and is the first longiuns source of sublime. The sources of the Sublime are of longijus kinds: First of all, we must raise the question whether there is such a thing as an art of the sublime or lofty. It may, however, be longinis out that stately language is not to be used everywhere, since to invest petty affairs with great and high- sounding names would seem just like putting a full-sized tragic mask upon an infant boy. Robert Merry’s Museum22, One could sooner face with unflinching eyes a descending thunderbolt than meet with steady gaze his bursts of passion in their swift succession.


XI AN allied excellence to those already set forth is that which is termed amplification.

On the Sublime by Longinus

He brings home the thought that we ought to swear by those who have thus nobly died as we swear by Gods, and he fills the mind of the judges with the high spirit of those who there bore the brunt of the danger, and he has transformed the natural course of the argument into transcendent sublimity and passion and that secure belief which rests upon strange and prodigious oaths. There amidst of the forest-glens a beautiful palace we found. So also with the manifestations of passion and the sublime in literature.

Now the first of the conditions mentioned, namely elevation of mind, holds the foremost rank among them all.

For concision curtails the sense, lonfinus brevity goes straight to the mark. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article.

In the course of dealing with the sources longinhs the sublime, Longinus even differentiates suglimity sublime between false sublime. Demosthenes is not so masterful as Thucydides, but of all writers he most abounds in this kind of figure, and through his use of hyperbata makes a great impression of vehemence, yes and of unpremeditated speech, and moreover draws his hearers with him into all the perils of his long inversions.

Instances will be furnished by Philistus among many others, by Aristophanes in certain passages, by Euripides in most.