Publication Year: 2000
Published by: University of Texas Press
Series: The Oratory of Classical Greece
THE WORKS OF ISOCRATES
pp. vii- viii
This is the seventh volume in The Oratory of Classical Greece. The aim of the series is to make available primarily for those who do not read Greek up-to-date, accurate, and readable translations with introductions and...
pp. xi- xxix
From as early as Homer (and undoubtedly much earlier) the Greeks placed a high value on effective speaking. Even Achilles, whose greatness was primarily established on the battlefield, was brought up to be “a speaker of words...
INTRODUCTION TO ISOCRATES
Isocrates (436 –338) differs from the other Attic Orators in that his reputation was not based on speeches that he delivered in the courts or the Assembly, or wrote for others to deliver, but rather on “speeches” (logoi ) that were intended to be circulated in writing and read by others. This is important...
INTRODUCTION TO ISOCRATES, VOLUME II
This volume contains the six discourses of Isocrates not treated in Isocrates I of this series, and all the letters. If the second section of Isocrates I shows Isocrates as a teacher,1 then we could say that the discourses in this volume demonstrate how Isocrates uses his ideas on education and...
The Greeks often gathered for public celebration in their own cities, but they also celebrated (though less often) at panhellenic gatherings, which were called...
5. TO PHILIP
This discourse was written in 346 when Isocrates was 90 years old. Athens and Macedon had been involved in hostilities for some years prior to this and had just concluded a peace treaty, the so-called Peace of Philocrates, in which the famous orators Demosthenes and Aeschines were
This discourse is written in the voice of Archidamus, the 24-yearold son of Agesilaus, one of the two Spartan kings. Its dramatic date of 366 is a dark time in Spartan history. Sparta’s hopes for hegemony were dashed at the battle of Leuctra in 371, where it was defeated by Thebes and...
8. ON THE PEACE
This discourse presents Isocrates’ ideas about how Athens should handle its affairs in light of the so-called Social War.1 The allies of Athens rebelled against its heavy-handed leadership in 357, and the war continued until 355, when Athens granted many concessions to the allies about their...
This discourse takes the form of a speech delivered by a Plataean official before the Assembly at Athens. Plataea is a city about 40 miles northwest of Athens in Boeotia. It has a storied history, most famously as the location of the battle against the Persians in 479 that insured Greek victory at the end of the Persian Wars. The present speech concerns the relationship...
This discourse takes the form of a speech delivered by a Plataean official before the Assembly at Athens. Plataea is a city about 40 miles northwest of Athens in Boeotia. It has a storied history, most famously as the location of the battle against the Persians in 479 that insured Greek victory...
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE LETTERS
In this translation, the letters are set out in their traditional order, with those pertaining to Philip and his house first (1–5), then those addressed to other persons ...
EPISTLE 1. TO DIONYSIUS
Epistle 1 is addressed to Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, in the best manuscripts. In other manuscripts, the addressee is Lycophron or Philip, but a reference in To Philip (5.81) confirms Dionysius as the recipient...
EPISTLE 2. TO PHILIP 1
Isocrates writes to Philip to chide him for being careless in battle and not taking his leadership role seriously enough. Isocrates uses the opportunity to call on Philip to lead the Greeks against Persia, repeating a theme that is popular in his works. Isocrates was an advocate of Philip of Macedon...
EPISTLE 3. TO PHILIP 2
This is the last work Isocrates wrote. After Philip had defeated the joint Greek forces in the battle of Chaeronea in 338, Isocrates wrote a final time to ask him to lead the now (forcibly) unified Greeks against Persia. Thus, he...
EPISTLE 4. TO ANTIPATER
This letter is quite different from the first three. It serves as a professional letter of introduction from Isocrates to Antipater, a regent of Philip, on behalf of a student, Diodotus and his son (who are otherwise unknown). Its authenticity has been doubted because of its different tone, but this...
EPISTLE 5. TO ALEXANDER
This letter is of great interest because it may represent Isocrates’ thoughts on the education Alexander received after Philip had brought Aristotle to Macedon to be Alexander’s tutor. If...
EPISTLE 6. TO THE CHILDREN OF JASON
Jason ruled Pherae in Thessaly with great skill and intrigue until his assassination in 370. After a long and difficult period of tyrannical rule by their relatives, the children of Jason found themselves in authority in 359. Isocrates...
EPISTLE 7. TO TIMOTHEUS
This letter serves two purposes. It first commends Timotheus, the new tyrant at Heraclea, on the benevolent rule he displays. This is particularly important to Isocrates because Clearchus, Timotheus’ father, had been a pupil of Isocrates (as well as of Plato) and showed great promise. The temptations...
EPISTLE 8. TO THE RULERS OF THE MYTILENEANS
Isocrates writes this letter to the new members of an oligarchic government in the city of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. He writes at the urging of his grandchildren. The democracy in the Lesbian city of Mytilene had been overthrown and replaced by an oligarchy in 351 or 350. Since...
EPISTLE 9. TO ARCHIDAMUS
Isocrates wrote this letter in 356, when he was 80 years old, as he says in section 16. Archidamus had recently succeeded his father as one of the two kings of Sparta. Isocrates covers three of his favorite topics: the superiority of his own type of discourse over mere epideictic, how a monarch should...
pp. 291- 302