Lysias


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Lysias

(lĭs`ēəs), c.459–c.380 B.C., Attic orator; son of Cephalus, a Syracusan. After the capture (404 B.C.) of Athens by the Spartans, the Thirty Tyrants caused the arrest of Lysias and his brother Polemarchus, who was put to death. Lysias escaped to Megara, from which he returned when the tyrants were expelled (403 B.C.). He prosecuted Eratosthenes for his brother's death, and his oration against Eratosthenes is a model of Greek oratory. The tyrants had deprived him of his wealth, and he adopted the profession of writing speeches for litigants. Only 34 of his orations are extant. The clarity and elegance of his style place him among the very finest Greek orators and prose writers.

Lysias

 

Born 459 B.C.; died 380 B.C. Athenian professional speech writer; supporter of the slaveholders’ democracy.

Lysias wrote speeches for litigants on order. A wealthy alien, he lived in Athens from 412. During the rule of the Thirty Tyrants from 404 to 403, the property of the Lysias family was confiscated and his brother was executed. Lysias himself fled to Megara; he returned to Athens after the restoration of democratic government in 403. Tradition ascribes to Lysias more than 200 speeches and places him among the ten best orators of antiquity. Some 40 speeches have survived in more or less complete form. They are a rich, colorful, and often unique source for questions of the political and socioeconomic history of Athens, as well as the history of its foreign policy and everyday life. His most famous speech was directed against Eratosthenes, who was guilty of the death of Lysias’ brother. This is the only speech that Lysias delivered personally in court. He was a perfect master of the art of individualized speeches to suit the “customer.” His speeches were written in a pure, precise, and rhythmic language that was typical of the best models of Attic prose.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Rechi. Translation and commentary by S. I. Sobolevskii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.

REFERENCES

Pozdeeva, I. “Politicheskie protsessy ν Afinakh ν 403–400 gg. do n.e. (po recham Lisiia).” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1961, no. 4.
Ferckel, F. Lysias und A then. Würzburg, 1937.
I. V. POZDEEVA

Lysias

?450--?380 bc, Athenian orator
References in periodicals archive ?
Because "if Lysias or anybody else ever did or ever does write--privately or for the public, in the course of proposing some law--a political document which he believes to embody clear knowledge of lasting importance, then this writer deserves reproach, whether anyone says so or not.
Although there is some independent information related to the legal and regulatory environment with respect to grain in Athens, the only source of knowledge for this particular set of events is a contemporaneous speech that Lysias, a Greek orator, wrote for an unnamed prosecutor who presented opening arguments in the trial.
The middle way, moreover, is not harmless or impotent but, as Weaver warned: "To recur here to the original situation in the dialogue, we recall that the eloquent Lysias, posing as a non-lover, had concealed designs upon Phaedrus, so that his fine speech was really a sheep's clothing.
The texts in reference to which I will try to tackle this question is the proem of Speech 12 by Lysias entitled Against Eratosthenes, (2) a very authoritative piece of oratory that has attracted critical admiration for over two thousand years; and its commentary by Usher, (3) a much respected piece of scholarship that always finds its way to the reading lists of students of Greek Oratory throughout the world.
by performing the prescribed sacrifices," wrote Athens orator Lysias, defending the practice.
The most famous example of this is the rhetorician Lysias in fifth-century B.
8]) to Marcus together with essays by Lysias and Plato.
74) Apparently, the only women who ever bore this name before our Antheia are the eponymous girl of the Homeric city, an obscure figure that Pausanias mentions no more than once, and a courtesan recorded by Lysias (hers is likely to be a nom de guerre).
This volume presents both extracts and full speeches (in the original Greek) from the first five of the ancient canon of Attic orators: Antiphon, Andocides, Lysias, Isocrates, and Isaeus.
Part five, which is on Oratory, consists of essays on Antiphon, Andocides, Lysias, Isocrates, Demosthenes and Aeschines.
Table 4: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] with present participle in Plato, Lysias, Thucydides, Xenophon and Isocrates Author Total Activity Accomplishment Achievement State Plato 83 5 % 2 % 1 % 92 % Lysias 26 15 % 0 % 0 % 85 % Thucydides 69 13 % 3 % 9 % 75 % Xenophon 133 18 % 5 % 3 % 74 % Isocrates 118 21% 2 % 6 % 71 % Table 5: Syntactic contiguity of frequently occurring constructions Construction Total Zero distance [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE 87 88 % IN ASCII] + part.
Phillips concludes by analyzing changes in homicide laws under the Thirty Tyrants and information unearthed from Lysias about playing by the rules and dealing with cyclical vengeance.