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(īsŏk`rətēz), 436–338 B.C., one of the Ten Attic Orators. He was a pupil of Socrates and of the Sophists. Perhaps the greatest teacher in Greek history, he taught every younger orator of his time. He did not deliver his speeches, but either wrote for litigants (six such speeches survive) or wrote discourses to be read (15 of which remain) dealing mainly with politics and education. Panegyricus (in which he urges Hellenic unity against Persia) is his most celebrated oration. Isocrates committed suicide (according to tradition) after the defeat of Athens by Philip II of Macedon at Chaeronea.



Born 436 b.c. in Athens; died there in 338 b.c. Ancient Greek publicist.

A student of the sophists and influenced by Socrates, Isocrates was the author of political pamphlets written in the form of speeches. He consistently upheld the interests of the upper class of slaveholding society. In his first and most important publicistic work, the Panegyricus (380), he urged the Greeks to unite politically for a joint military campaign against the East. Isocrates regarded a Panhellenic war against the Persians as a means of overcoming the political fragmentation of Hellas and solving social problems, including poverty. In his subsequent works he argued the advantages of a monarchy over a republic (known as the speeches to the citizens of Cyprus) and criticized democracy as a form of government, in particular condemning the foreign policy of Theban democracy (the speeches Plataicus and Archidamus) and the policies of Athens (On the Peace and Areopagiticus). In his last years Isocrates appealed to the Macedonian king Philip II to unify Hellas and lead the Greeks against the Persians. His extant works consisting of 21 speeches and nine letters, of which some are thought to be spurious, are a valuable source for studying the sociopolitical history and culture of Greece in the fourth century B.C.


Discours, 4 vols. Paris, 1928–62.
In Russian translation:
Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1965, nos. 3, 4; 1966, nos. 1–4; 1967, nos. 1, 3–4; 1968, nos. 1-; 1969, nos. 1–2.


Borukhovich, V. G., and E.D. Frolov. “Publitsisticheskaia deiatel’nost’ Isokrata.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1969, no. 2.
Blass, F. Die attische Beredsamkeit, 2nd ed., part 2. Leipzig, 1892.
Cloché, P. Isocrate et son temps. Paris, 1963.



436--338 bc, Athenian rhetorician and teacher
References in periodicals archive ?
Esta Atenas, cuya descripcion se encuadra en el genero del panegirico empleado por Isocrates en sus propios discursos, probablemente constituia una respuesta consciente a aquellos que, como Isocrates, pretendian resucitar el pasado imperialista de Atenas (48).
29) Jaeger also points out the compliment which Plato pays Isocrates in passages of Laws.
14) Working from the dialogue's conclusion in which Socrates identifies Isocrates as his beloved, Goggin and Long explore the possibility that he "symbolize[s] the potential for a reformed rhetoric" (301).
This angle of approach tracks generally with the recent surge of communication scholarship on Isocrates (Haskins, 2007; T.
Isocrates es el primer autor en aludir a la reforma del Areopago, que seria asi una invencion del s.
Like Isocrates before him, this author expresses amazement at the unusual--or so perceived--behavior of the Athenians.
In his eulogy of Helen, Isocrates, a close reader of Euripides, repeats this argument and adds that it was thanks to Helen that the Greeks had united for the first time and created a common army against the barbarians, with the result that Europe defeated Asia (Isoc.
Isocrates cites Protagoras, Gorgias and Zeno by name as the unsurpassable masters of "self-contradictory" discourses before he goes on, with a wink, to defend a mythical figure whose guilt was almost universally assumed.
Isocrates aludia a los santuarios comunes de todos los griegos (Panegirico, 180) y Demostenes hablaba de los juegos piticos como <<la competicion comun a todos los griegos>> (III Filipica, 32).
Like Plato, Isocrates and Aristophanes commented on the theater.
16) La voz de Platon no es la unica que se alza, desde la politica, critica de la Atenas imperialista: Isocrates protesta en Sobre la Paz que los atenienses estan locos: elogian las obras de sus antecesores pero actuan en sentido contrario.
Highlights persuasive appeals of Aspasia, Socrates, Isocrates, and Aristotle as tools for writing center administrators to use when addressing the challenges of writing center work.