- Purchase/rental options available:
American Journal of Philology 121.2 (2000) 320-324
[Access article in PDF]
David Lewis's death in 1994 deprived the world of scholarship of one of the leading ancient historians of our time. His books include a revision of Pickard-Cambridge, The Dramatic Festivals of Athens (with John Gould, 1968), A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth Century B.C. (with Russell Meiggs, 1969; 2d ed. 1984), Sparta and Persia (1977), Inscriptiones Graecae I3 (editor-in-chief), fasc. 1 (1981), fasc. 2 (1993), and Cambridge Ancient [End Page 320] History, 2d ed. (co-editor), IV (1988), V (1992), VI (1994). Many of his most original ideas are to be found in his articles and reviews, however, and so the Cambridge University Press planned, before his death, a book of his short papers.
The volume under review presents a total of thirty-eight papers, four previously unpublished, ranging from the 1950s to 1993. The general contents, notes, and final editing by P.J. Rhodes were discussed with Lewis; some of the notes simply give references, but there is representation of Lewis's words in the longer ones. His passion for precision, reconciling the testimony of inscriptions with the literary references, shows him to care, like Thucydides, for "exact knowledge."
The four previously unpublished papers perhaps deserve summary. "On the Dating of Demosthenes' Speeches," read to the Oxford Philological Society in 1970, evaluates critically the testimony of Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The dates for Orations 22 (Against Androtion) and 24 (Against Timokrates) given in Ad Amm., relied upon by scholars for Demosthenes' career (e.g., Cawkwell, Sealey), are shown to be unlikely. The dates from Dionysius would be 355/4 for 22 and 353/2 for 24. More likely, however, are 358/7 or 357/6 for 22 and 354/3 for 24. Lewis patiently assesses the evidence of inscriptions for Androtion's career and for the documents cited in Oration 24, which he does not believe to be forgeries. He shows reasons for not putting confidence in the dates of Dionysius. Principally, this involves an analysis of Deinarchos, where his statements can be checked. Dionysius cannot be checked on his Demosthenes, but Lewis argues that his statements cannot be accepted outright. The analysis of Deinarchos is new, but part of Lewis's view there is anticipated in his "Notes on Attic Inscriptions," ABSA 49 (1954) 32, 39-49. Rhodes cites a text from the Agora excavations, soon to be published by John Camp and M.B. Richardson, which will support the date 354/3 for Oration 24.
In "The Financial Offices of Eubulus and Lycurgus" (written ca. 1957) Lewis addresses two questions: "When did Eubulus hold the office of treasurer of the theoric fund (), and, with it, control of Athenian finances?" and "When was Lycurgus officially made controller of Athenian finances?" Generally held opinions would be in the 350s and 340s for Eubulus, with specific dates variously suggested, in relation to Demosthenes' speeches. For Lycurgus, either 342-330 or 338-326 is the tenure previously accepted. The decree honoring Lycurgus in [Plut.] Vit. X Or. has Lycurgus serve as treasurer of the public finance for three penteterids. Lewis argues that specific evidence is lacking for Eubulus, but that his moral authority in the reorganization of finances is likely in the 350s and 340s. He examines closely Aeschines 3.25 in assessing Eubulus' authority and argues that the office of controller of the public finance was created in 336, its term defined by the law of Hegemon: hence the period 336-324 should be understood for Lycurgus' tenure.
"Aristophanes and Politics" was delivered to the Oxford Branch of the [End Page 321] Classical Association in 1957 and had been given earlier in France. Lewis seeks a position that is not so minimalist as that of Gomme (in CR 1938), who had argued that Aristophanes is a dramatist, seeking...