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tion legal at Athens; and there seems to be the ghost of some scandal as to his connection with an hetæra, called by the Pseudo-Demosthenes (c. Neæram, 1351) Metaneira, and by Athenæus Lagis.30 On the strength of a passage in one of his speeches (de pecun. Arist. § 19) he has been credited with a joint mission to Dionysius of Syracuse, but his name has probably no right to appear in the text. not doubt, however, that he must have been somewhat more than a mere spectator of the events which from 394 B.C. to the time of his death gradually raised Athens from her degradation to something like her old power on the seas. Nor, while engaged in the calling of a speech-writer, does he seem to have forsaken the philosophical studies and friendships of earlier times, for he is said to have composed a defence of Socrates. That his earlier writings had attracted great attention is shown by Plato, who puts into the mouth of Phædrus the description of him as δεινότατος των νυν γράφειν, while lamenting his turning from the lofty pursuit of philosophy to that of the professional speech-writer: in which passage Plato no doubt puts into the mouth of a contemporary the criticism of a later date.

$ 2.-WORKS.

The Pseudo-Plutarch mentions three classes of writings left by Lysias :

(1.) Public speeches, i.e. speeches delivered before the ecclesia. Of these he mentions two—(1) A defence of his citizenship against the decree of Archinus. (2) A speech against the Thirty, by which he seems

30 Athenous, avii, 592 1.

to mean the kar' 'Epatoo Devolls. The short time during which Lysias enjoyed a full citizenship accounts for the small number of these speeches.

(2.) Speeches in private causes. It was in these that Lysias enjoyed the greatest success and reputation, having only twice, it is said, lost a case. It is not possible to decide even approximately the number of these. Probably many of those which he composed survived their delivery a very short time. When in subsequent times collections were made of his speeches, many were attributed to him which he did not compose.

As we have seen, of the 425 assigned to him, more than half were rejected by Dionysius. Of this half only thirty-four have survived to our time, and of them no inconsiderable proportion are ousted from their place of honour by modern criticism.

(3.) Besides these he composed rhetorical treatises, public addresses, letters, panegyrics, funeral orations, erotics. A specimen of a funeral speech appears as Or. ii. in editions of his works, but its genuineness is denied. Of erotics, the speech in the Phædrus (Plato, Phædr. 230-236) may perhaps be a genuine production of his, or a close imitation of some of his compositions.


There are two points of view from which we may regard a writer's style, the historical and the critical.

As to the first, the interest attaching to the writings of Lysias arises from the consideration of the place he holds in the development of Attic prose. The treatises of the old philosophers, the history of Herodotus, though read and admired at Athens, were in a foreign dialect. Thucydides, with all his splendour, betrays the awkwardness of a man using a tool not yet thoroughly adapted to the work it is to do. But Attic life had developed with marvellous rapidity in the fourth century B.C., and with this enlarged life came constant and pressing needs for the artistic and trained use of language. Every day brought some occasion for clear or persuasive statements. The demand created the supply. What Lysias did hundreds did also. Composition ceased to be an affair for the few ; it was the daily need of the many. It is in such circumstances that really great work is produced ; and from the multitude of mediocre or passable workmen the genius will surely emerge. The peculiar needs of the time irresistibly moulded the language used. The audience to be persuaded was a mixed one. Before all things, a man to be successful must be intelligible to persons of ordinary intelligence. If he indulged in long digressions he would weary. If he used high-flown language he would be laughed at. If he contradicted himself, if he told his story ill, if he confused names and dates and facts, he would miss the objects of his speechpersuasion and conviction. The audience, however, which he addressed, though a mixed one, had been long accustomed to listen to the oratory of the Tragedians; they had learnt to admire the gorgeous word-painting of Æschylus, the pure taste of Sophocles, the simplicity and pathos of Euripides. They would, therefore, be easily disgusted at language too bald, at a style showing lack of ear for rhythm or culture, at dulness and absence of emotion.

The critical view of Lysias' style will show now far he answered to these demands.

We may notice, then, that he conspicuously tells a story well. His facts are well arranged, their connection clearly shown, and their significance not left doubtful. The language in which he tells it is simple without being vulgar, and clear without being inartistic. The meaning is generally to be caught at a glance. Very rarely in him are found long or involved sentences, words used in a recondite sense, or words employed at all not in common use among all educated persons of his time. And though his object is nearly always to tell a simple story simply, he is saved from being dull,-first by his dramatic faculty, by which he managed to adapt the speech which he wrote to the character of the person who delivered it, of which the speeches "for Mantitheus" and "for the Cripple” are good instances; and secondly, by his power of occasionally rising above the placid stream of his narrative or argument to real passion. Of this his denunciations of the Thirty in the Eratosthenes may serve as one instance, and the account of the interview of the mother of the orphans with her father, in the last speech in this edition, as another and very striking one.

Among ancient writers on oratory a very high place has always been assigned to Lysias. The qualities which they admired in him were his simplicity and purity of style, his power of clear statement, and freedom from superfluous ornamentation. Cicero calls him disertissimus, and selects as his

distinctive merit subtilitas. He is subCicero, B.C. 104-43.

tilis, elegans, prope orator perfectus, Demosthenes being the standard of absolute perfection. And though he attained to such refinement of style and such subtilty and almost cunning in seeing and stating his points, he had also nervous strength and


force (lacerti). He is venustissimus and politissimus, though generally not amplus or grandis. This, however, was from deliberate purpose, as the causes he usually pleaded required the former qualities rather than the latter. 31

Dionysius has left us an elaborate criticism of Lysias' style. He selects as his points Dionysius of Haliof praise : (1) his lucidity and the carnassus, purity of his Attic ;32 (2) the homeli-A.D. 18. ness and simplicity of his language, while he yet contrives to dignify his subject. This he contrasts with the vulgarity and extravagance (φορτικής και útépoykov katao kEvýv) of Gorgias ;33 (3) his clearness of statement as well as language ;34 (4) his condensed and terse style ; 35 (5) his graphic power—the power, that is, of conveying clear ideas to others ;36 (6) his dramatic faculty (Bomolta), or power of suiting words and sentiments to the individuals for whom the speeches are composed ; 37 (7) his power of adapting his style to the subject and the hearers, and to the necessities of the case, adopting, for instance, quite different styles for the law court, the ecclesia, and the national assembly (Travý yupis). Thus, too, in the various parts of a speech he varies his style. In the exordium it is quiet and didactic (ka0OTNKvia

31 Cicero de Orat. 118; ib. 316; Brut. 17; ib. 31; Orat. 15; ib. 16; de opt. gen. Or. 3.

32 Vit. Lys., καθαρός ην ερμηνείας και της Αττικής γλώττης άριστος κανών. .

33 ib. διά των κυρίων τε και κοινών και εν μέσω κειμένων ονομάτων κτλ. 34 ib. σαφήνεια .

ου μόνον εν τοις ονόμασι αλλά και εν τοις πράγμασι. . 35 ib. ή συστρέφουσα τα νοήματα και στρογγύλως εκφέρουσα λέξις. 36 ib. δύναμίς τις υπό τας αισθήσεις άγουσα τα λεγόμενα.

87 ib. τα προσήκοντα εκάστους αποδούναι πάθη τε και έργα. For examples of this see especially Orations viii. and xiii.

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