1. Athen. 509 b: διὸ καὶ Ἔφιππος ὁ κωμῳδιοποιὸς ἐν Ναυάγῳ Πλάτωνά τε αὐτὸν καὶ τῶν γνωρίμων τινὰς κεκωμῴδηκεν ὡς καὶ ἐπʼ ἀργυρίῳ συκοφαντοῦντας... λέγει δʼ οὕτως·
ἔπειτʼ ἀναστὰς εὔστοχος νεανίας
τῶν ἐξ Ἀκαδημίας τις ὑπὸ Πλάτωνα καὶ
πληγεὶς ἀνάγκῃ, ληψολιγομίσθῳ τέχνῃ
συνών τις, oὐκ ἄσκεπτα δυνάμενος λέγειν, 5
εὖ μὲν μαχαίρᾳ ξύστʼ ἔχων τριχώματα,
εὖ δʼ ὑποκαθιεὶς ἄτομα πώγωνος βάθη,
εὖ δ ἐν πεδίλῳ πόδα τιθεὶς ὑπόξυλον
κνήμης ἱμάντων ἰσομέτροις ἑλίγμασιν,
ὄγκῳ τε χλανίδος εὖ τεθωρακισμένος, 10
σχῆμʼ ἀξιόχρεων ἐπικαθεὶς βακτηρίᾳ
ἀλλότριον, οὐκ οἰκεῖον, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ,
ἔλεξεν· ἄνδρες τῆς Ἀθηναίων χθονός
1 ἐπεὶ καταστὰς 4 λιψιγομίσθω 8 πόδα[ πολλὰ ὑπὸ ξυρόν
Iam primum εὔστοχος ad rhetoricen pertinet (ut de Diogene Diog. Laert. VI 2, 8 (74) εὐστοχώτατος ἐν ταῖς ἀπαντήσεσι τῶν λόγων) nec σχῆμα (11) sine acumine dictum, oratoris publici apparatus festive describitur. Ac sicut cum Thrasymacho Bryson copulatur, ita cum Isocrate in Platonis epistula 13, 360 C: ἔτι δὲ καὶ τῶν Ἰσοκράτους μαθητῶν τῳ ξυγγέγονεν καὶ Πολυξένῳ τῶν Βρύσωνός τινι ἑταίρων. Bergkio ne credas, qui alium Thrasymachum intellegi voluit atque celeberrimum sophistam.
2. Aristot. rhet. 1405 b 6: κάλλος δὲ ὀνόματος τὸ μὲν ὥσπερ Λικύμνιος λέγει, ἐν τοῖς ψόφοις ἢ τῷ σημαινομένῳ καὶ αἶσχος δὲ ὥσαύτως. ἔτι δὲ τρίτον, ὃ λύει τὸν σοφιστικὸν λόγον. οὐ γὰρ ὡς ἔφη Βρύσων οὐθένα αἰσχρολογεῖν, εἴπερ τὸ αὐτὸ σημαίνει τόδε
5 ἀντὶ τοῦ τόδε εἰπεῖν· τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν ψεῦδος. ἔστιν γὰρ ἄλλο ἄλλου κυριώτερον.
5 ἀντὶ τοῦδε εἰπεῖν A
Bryson igitur Prodici synonymorum distinctiones impugnaverat et rem non meliorem fieri docuerat, si tectius appellaretur, quo in iudicio Stoicos secutos esse inter alia Ciceronis ad Paetum epistola lepidissime exponit (fam. 9, 22). Ea res quantopere ad rhetoricen pertineat, docebit etiam Quint. inst. 8, 3, 15 sq., qui ibd. 39 dicit. ‘quod viderint, qui non putant esse vitanda, quia nec sit vox ulla natura turpis et, si qua est rei deformitas, alia quoque appellatione quacumque ad intellectum eundem nihilo minus perveniat.’ Balbutiunt scholia anonyma ad Aristotelis locum. Rectius Stephanus p. 315, 2 R. Aristoteles enim, cum dicit τὸ αὐτὸ σημαίνει τόδε ἀντὶ τοῦ τόδε εἰπεῖν, pronomine utitur, ubi certum nomen pro verecundia ponere nolebat, id quod Cicero l. l. minime facit, etsi ipse quoque verecundum se esse profitetur. Idem loquendi modus apud Isaeum fr. X 2 S.:
εἰσφορὰς λογίζῃ πόσας; τόσας, κατὰ πόσον ἀργύριον εἰσενηνεγμένας; κατὰ τόσον καὶ τόσον. κατὰ ποῖα ψηφίσματα; ταυτί. ταύτας εἰλήφασι τίνες; οἵδε.
1. Athenaeus: Therefore, the comedian Ephippus, too, in his Shipwrecked portrayed Plato himself and other famous people as starting frivolous prosecutions for money […], and writes the following:
‘After that, a well-aiming young man, one of those who learn in the Academia under Plato and pick up the crumbs left by Bryson and Thrasymachus, plagued by necessity, since he had some profession that makes little money, capable of saying things not without investigation, his hair well cropped with a knife, his beard falling down uncut, his feet well couched in sandals with wooden soles, with the leather straps around his legs winding evenly, well armored by the bulk of his garment, a walking cane giving him a dignified appearance, though, I think, not his normal one, spoke: O men of the Athenian land…’
First of all, ‘well-aiming’ refers to rhetorical prowess (as in Diog. Laert. 6.2.8 , on Diogenes: ‘he was the best-aiming in the confrontations of words’); besides, ‘appearance’ is no unwitty saying, as it aptly describes the manner of clothing of a public speaker. And as Bryson is here paired with Thrasymachus, so he is with Isocrates in Plato Letters 13, 360 C: ‘He further congregated both with one of Isocrates’ disciples and with Polyxenos, one of Bryson’s companions.’ Do not agree with Bergk, who thought that a different Thrasymachus from the very famous sophist is meant.
2. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1405b6: The beauty of a word consists, as Licymnius says, in its sound or sense, and its ugliness in the same. There is a third condition, which refutes the sophistical argument; for it is not the case, as Bryson said, that no one ever uses foul language, if the meaning is the same whether this or that word is used; this is false; for one word is more proper than another.
Bryson thus criticized Prodicus’ synonym distinctions and taught that the substance did not become better if named with a more prudent word. That the Stoics followed him herein is shown, among other things, by Cicero’s letter to Paetus (fam. 9.22). One can see how closely this matter pertains to rhetoric also from Quint. 8.3.15 f., who ibid. 39 writes: ‘… This fact should be considered by those who deny that such words ought to be avoided alleging that no word is vulgar by nature and that, if anything has any level of ugliness, any different designation will nonetheless lead to the same understanding.’ The anonymous Scholia on the Aristotelian passage are just babbling. More correctly Stephanus p. 315, 2 R. For Aristotle, when writing ‘the meaning is the same whether this or that word is used,’ he uses a pronoun in order to avoid, out of shame, inserting the word itself, which Cicero ibid. does not do at all although he claims to be himself bashful. The same way of speaking in Isaeus frag. 10.2 S.: ‘How many acquisitions do you count? This many. Brought in for how much money? For this and that much. According to which decrees? These ones. Who took them? These people.’