The Ancient Library
 

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ROMAN PERIOD. 478

, on the troubles to which men expose themselves by deserting the path of nature, and on the difficulties which a sovereign has to encounter; essays on slavery and freedom; on the means of attaining eminence as an orator; political discourses, addressed to various towns; on subjects of ethics and practical philosophy; and, lastly, orations on mythical sub­jects, and epideictic or show-speeches. Besides these eighty orations, we have fragments of fifteen others. There are extant also five letters under the name of Dion, and addressed to one Rufus. They are pub­lished in Boissonade's Marini Vit. Prod., p. 85, segq., and some critics are inclined to consider them as productions of Dion Chrysostom.

All the extant orations of Dion Chrysostom are distinguished for their refined and elegant style. The author most successfully imitated the classic writers of Greece, such as Plato, Demosthenes, Hyperides, and JEschines. His ardent study of those models, combined with his own eminent talents, his firm and pleasing voice, and his skill in extempore speaking, raised him at once above all contemporary rhetoricians and sophists. His style is throughout clear, and, generally speaking, free from artificial embellishment, though he is not always able to escape from the influence of the Asiatic school of rhetoric. His sentences are often interrupted by the insertion of parenthetical clauses, and his procemia are frequently too long in proportion to the other parts of his discourses. Still, as Niebuhr remarks, he was an author of uncommon talent, and it is much to be regretted that he belonged to the rhetoricians of this unfortunate age.

Passing over the editions of separate orations of Dion Chrysostomus, we mention only those which contain all of them. The first was edited by Paravisinus, at Milan, 1476, 4to, and was followed by that of Aldus Manutius, Venice, 1551, 8vo. The next edition of importance is that of Morel, Paris, 1601, which was reprinted in 1623, with a Latin translation of Naogeorgius, and notes by Morel. A very good critical edition is that of Reiske, Leipzig, 1784, 2 vols. 8vo. The best edition, however, is that of Empe-rius, Brunswick, 1844, 8vo.

III. polemon (rioAe^ftji/),1 a highly celebrated sophist and rhetorician, who flourished under Trajan, Hadrian, and the first Antoninus, and was in high favor with the two former emperors.2 He is placed at the six­teenth year of Hadrian, A.D. 133, by Eusebius. He was born of a con­sular family at Laodicea, but spent the greater part of his life at Smyrna. His most celebrated disciple was Aristides. Among his imitators in sub­sequent times was Gregory Nazianzen. His style of oratory was im­posing rather than pleasing, and his character was haughty and reserved. During the latter part of his life he was so tortured by the gout, that he resolved to put an end to his existence. He had himself shut up in the tomb of his ancestors, at Laodicea, where he died of hunger, at the age of sixty-five. The only extant works of Polemon are the funeral orations for Cynaegirus and Callimachus, generals who fell at Marathon, which are supposed to be pronounced by their fathers, each extolling his own son above the other. Philostratus mentions several others of his rhetorical compositions, the subjects of which are chiefly taken from Athenian his­tory, and an oration which he pronounced, by command of Hadrian, at the dedication of the temple of Jupiter Olympius at Athens, in A.D. 135,

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Philosir.y Vit. Sophist.> iL, 25, p, 530, seqq.

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