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Sur la distinction établie par Aristide Quintilien


The distinction by Aristides Quintilianus (i, 18) between συµπλέκοντες and χωρίζοντες
rhythmicians, does not draw a contrast between two rhythmical doctrines or between
rhythmicians and metricians, but between the defenders of two methods of classifying
rhythms according to two different rhythmical traditions. It is both exact and fruitful :
it not only throws light on the lost part of Aristoxenus’ ῾Ρυθµικὰ στοιχεῖα (one of the
main χωρίζοντες) and on the sources of Aristides Quintilianus’ rhythmical theory, but
also enables us to classify almost mechanically all ancient testimonies about Greek
and Roman rhythmics. Neither of these two traditions is homogeneous: among the
χωρίζοντες, there are the canonicians (the mere arithmeticians), empiricists like
Aristoxenus and the disciples of the dogmatic physician Herophilus; and, among the
συµπλέκοντες, there are philosophers, rhetors, musicians and metricians. Finally, the
orchestic tradition falls outside the dichotomy between χωρίζοντες and συµπλέκοντες