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Isaeus

Translated with an introduction by Michael Edwards

Publication Year: 2007

This is the eleventh volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece. This series presents all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries BC in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today’s undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public. Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, law and legal procedure, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have recently been attracting particular interest: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few. The orator Isaeus lived during the fourth century BC and was said to be the teacher of Demosthenes, Athens’ most famous orator. Of the fifty or more speeches he is believed to have written, eleven survive in whole, one as a large fragment, and others as smaller fragments. This volume presents all the surviving works of Isaeus. The speeches mainly deal with inheritances and are a vital source of information regarding Greek law in this important area. In addition to translating the speeches, Michael Edwards provides a general introduction to Isaeus and Athenian inheritance law, as well as specific introductions and notes for each speech.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

SERIES EDITOR’S PREFACE

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pp. ix-x

TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE

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pp. xi-xii

SERIES INTRODUCTION: Greek Oratory

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pp. xiii-xxxiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

One of the very few facts we know about Isaeus is that he was a professional speechwriter (logographos). The man behind the speeches, however, is almost entirely obscure. His name does not appear in the historical record until the critical essay written about him in the late first century BCE by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Dionysius himself already had little or no reliable information about his...

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1. ON THE ESTATE OF CLEONYMUS

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pp. 13-26

Cleonymus,1 son of Polyarchus, died childless, leaving his estate in a will to some relatives whose precise number and relationship to him cannot be determined.2 Th e validity of the will was challenged in a rival inheritance claim (diadikasia) made by Cleonymus’ nephews, one of whom delivered the present speech. It is a possible, but by no means necessary, inference from remarks made by the speaker...

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2. ON THE ESTATE OF MENECLES

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pp. 27-41

In Athenian law, a direct male heir had the right of automatic succession to an estate without the verdict of a court.1 If anybody made a rival claim (diadikasia) to the Archon, the direct heir could block it by the process of declaration (diamartyria), in which he presented a witness (martys) that the estate was not actionable because there were...

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3. ON THE ESTATE OF PYRRHUS

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pp. 42-65

This speech was delivered at another trial for false witness.1 Pyrrhus adopted by will his nephew Endius, a son of his sister (3.1, 56). After Pyrrhus’ death, Endius inherited without opposition and held the estate for over twenty years. Since he had no children, however, within two days of his death, rival claimants to Pyrrhus’ estate came forward....

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4. ON THE ESTATE OF NICOSTRATUS: SUPPLEMENTARY SPEECH

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pp. 66-75

Nicostratus died while serving abroad as a mercenary, after being away from Athens for eleven years. He left an estate of two talents, which was claimed by a number of people. All of them eventually desisted, with the exception of the brothers Hagnon1 and Hagnotheus, whose claim was challenged by Chariades. Chariades alleged that he had served as a mercenary with Nicostratus and was his business...

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5. ON THE ESTATE OF DICAEOGENES

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pp. 76-94

Dicaeogenes II, the son of Menexenus I, was killed in a sea battle off Cnidus, probably in 411.1 The wealth and prominence of his family are reflected in his service as the commander of the Paralus, one of the state triremes (5.6), but he had no sons or brothers to inherit his large estate. He did, however, have four sisters, all of whom were married and stood to share the estate, but Proxenus, a descendant....

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6. ON THE ESTATE OF PHILOCTEMON

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pp. 95-114

Euctemon of Cephisia, a wealthy landowner, had three sons, Philoctemon, Ergamenes, and Hegemon, and two daughters. Th e daughters were both married with children, but none of the sons had any off spring, and all three predeceased their father. Philoctemon was the last to survive, and before his death in action off Chios (6.27), probably during the 370s, he allegedly made a will in which he adopted...

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7. ON THE ESTATE OF APOLLODORUS

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pp. 115-128

Th e brothers Eupolis, Mneson, and Th rasyllus I jointly inherited a large estate from their father, who was probably named Apollodorus.1 Mneson died childless, and Th rasyllus died on the Sicilian expedition of 415– 413, leaving a son, Apollodorus II, who was a minor and therefore came under the guardianship of his uncle, Eupolis. According to the speaker, Eupolis misappropriated the whole of Mneson’s estate...

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8. ON THE ESTATE OF CIRON

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pp. 129-146

Ciron died at an advanced age (8.37), leaving a daughter but no son. The daughter (according to the speaker) was the child of his first marriage to his first cousin, the daughter of his mother’s sister. This wife died after four years (8.7); their daughter was married first and without issue to Nausimenes of Cholargus, and after his death she was married to an unnamed husband (also deceased)...

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9. ON THE ESTATE OF ASTYPHILUS

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pp. 147-160

Astyphilus, the son of Euthycrates, died during military service at Mytilene on Lesbos. His estate was seized by his first cousin Cleon, who produced a will that had been deposited with Hierocles, Astyphilus’ maternal uncle, and in which Cleon’s son, who may have been called Myronides (see below), was adopted by Astyphilus as his own son (9.5). Astyphilus’ mother, however, after the death of her...

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10. AGAINST XENAENETUS ON THE ESTATE OF ARISTARCHUS

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pp. 161-171

Aristarchus I, the brother of Aristomenes, had two sons, Cyronides and Demochares, and two daughters. Cyronides was adopted as the son of his maternal grandfather Xenaenetus I and so passed out of the family, leaving Demochares as heir (10.4). When Aristarchus I died, Aristomenes became the children’s guardian, but Demochares died when still a minor along with one of his sisters; hence (the...

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11. ON THE ESTATE OF HAGNIAS

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pp. 172-193

The suit in which this speech was delivered is one of the few examples in the Attic orators in which we have a speech from the opposing side, though in this instance Demosthenes 43, Against Macartatus, was delivered in a subsequent action. It is also one of the relatively rare occasions on which we know the outcome of the trial: Isaeus’ client, Theopompus, won the case. The survival of the two speeches...

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12. ON BEHALF OF EUPHILETUS

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pp. 194-198

This speech is, strictly speaking, a fragment, since it is preserved by Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his essay on Isaeus (Isaeus 17). It further differs from the preceding speeches in that its subject matter is civic rights; together with some other fragments, this indicates that Isaeus did not restrict himself solely to matters of inheritance....

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LOST SPEECHES AND FRAGMENTS

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pp. 199-210

We have evidence for over forty lost speeches of Isaeus. Fragments of some survive in quotations by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and other shorter sentences, single words, and simple titles are preserved in later lexicographers. I give here translations of the fragments and sentences, following the numbering of Thalheim’s Teubner...

APPENDIX

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pp. 211-216

INDEX

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pp. 217-230


E-ISBN-13: 9780292794849
E-ISBN-10: 0292794843
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292716452
Print-ISBN-10: 0292716451

Page Count: 263
Illustrations: 11 figures
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: The Oratory of Classical Greece

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Speeches, addresses, etc., Greek -- Translations into English.
  • Isaeus, ca. 420-ca. 350 B.C. -- Translations into English.
  • Forensic orations -- Greece -- Athens.
  • Inheritance and succession -- Greece -- Athens -- Sources.
  • Inheritance and succession (Greek law) -- Sources.
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