The Ancient Library

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lost, with the exception of the criticism by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The language of Isocrates is the most refined Attic, and thus forms a great contrast to the pure and natural simplicity of Lysias, as well as the sublime power of Demosthenes. His artificial style is more elegant than graceful, and more ostentatious than pleasing ; the carefully-rounded pe­riods, the frequent application of figurative expressions, are features which remind us of the Sophists ; and although his sentences flow very melodiously, yet they become wearisome "and monotonous by the perpet­ual recurrence of the same over-refined periods, which are not relieved by being interspersed with shorter and easier sentences. In saying this, however, we must remember that Isocrates wrote his orations to be read, and not with a view to their recitation before the public. The immense care which he bestowed on. the composition of his orations, and the time he spent in working them out and polishing them, may be inferred from the statement that he was engaged for a period often, and, according to others, of fifteen years, upon his Panegyric oration.1 It is owing to this very care and labor that, in the arrangement and treatment of his subject, Isocrates is far superior to Lysias and other orators of the time, and that the number of orations which he wrote is comparatively small.

The politics of Isocrates were conciliatory. He was a friend of peace : he repeatedly exhorted the Greeks to concord among themselves, and to turn their arms against their common enemy, the Persians. He ad­dressed Philip of Macedon in a similar strain after his peace with Athens, B.C. 346, exhorting him to reconcile the states of Greece, and to unite them against Persia. Though no violent partisan, he proved, however. a warm-hearted patriot ; for, on receiving the news of the battle of Chse-ronea, he refused to take food for several days, and thus closed his long and honorable career at the age of ninety-eight, B.C. 338.

There were in antiquity sixty orations which went by the name of Isocrates, but Caecilius, a rhetorician of the time of Augustus, recognized only twenty-eight of them as genuine,2 and of these only twenty-one have come down to us. Eight of them were written for judicial purposes in civil cases, and intended to serve as models for this species of oratory. All the others are political discourses, or show-speeches, intended to be read by a large public ; they are particularly characterized by the ethical element, on which his political views are based. Of these, the most re­markable is the discourse entitled TLwr)yvpiK6s, Panegyricus, or " Pane­gyrical Oration," that is, a discourse intended to be pronounced before the assembled people. It was published (though not with a view of be­ing delivered) about B.C. 379, in the time of the Lacedaemonian ascend­ency, and in it he exhorts the Lacedaemonians and Athenians to vie with each other in a noble emulation, and to unite their forces in an expedi­tion against Asia. He descants eloquently on the merits and glories of the Athenian commonwealth, on the services it had rendered to Greece, and on its high intellectual cultivation; while he defends it from the charges, urged by its enemies, of tyranny by sea, and of oppression to-ward its colonies. In the 'ApcoTnyymKfo, Areopagiticus^ one of the best

QuintU., x., 4, 4. 2 Pint., I. c., p. 838 ; Phot., Cod., 260.

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