Cicero calls his style "copious and polished," Quintilian, "sweet, pure and flowing"; Longinus says he was "the most Homeric of historians"; Dionysius, his countryman, prefers him to Thucydides, and regards him as combining in an extraordinary degree the excellences of sublimity, beauty and the true historical method of composition.
The end is told in words of simple sublimity: "And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings ii.
The magnificent piece in praise of winter, the solemn and beautiful cadences of "Departure," and the homely but elevated pathos of "The Toys," are in their various manners unsurpassed in English poetry for sublimity of thought and perfection of expression.
They are written in the Doric dialect, with epic licences; the metre is dactylico-trochaic. Brief as they are, they show us what Longinus meant by calling Stesichorus "most like Homer"; they are full of epic grandeur, and have a stately sublimity that reminds us of Pindar.
With the Persian religion of light and the Egyptian of enigmas we pass to those faiths where Godhead takes the form of a spiritual individuality, to the Hebrew religion (of sublimity), the Greek (of beauty) and the Roman (of adaptation).
From the sublimity of Thucydides, and Xenophon's straightforward story, history passed with Theopompus and Ephorus into the field of rhetoric. A revival of the scientific instinct of investigation is discernable in Timaeus the Sicilian, at the end of the 4th century, but his attack upon his predecessors was the text of a more crushing attack upon himself by Polybius, who declares him lacking in critical insight and biased by passion.
And as a poet Lull takes a prominent position in the history of Catalan literature; such pieces as El Desconort (1295) and Lo Cant de Ramon (1299) combine in a rare degree simple beauty of expression with sublimity of thought and impassioned sincerity.
In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat-Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions.