Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Isocrates: Quintilian


(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 ?
Often called the "father of liberal education," (7) Isocrates represented a pedagogical via media that criticized the unending speculative disputations of the philosophers as well as the moral coarseness and excessive concern with style found in some orators.
As opposed to Plato's ideally conceived moral and political-educational program, Isocrates (436-338 BC), a philosopher and one of the ten best orators in antiquity, offered much shorter and simpler program of school education.
The pan-Hellenic peace advocated in this Aristophanic hypotext, and later advocated by Isocrates, would remain a pipe-dream, however, as witness the examples of Aigospotamoi, Leuktra and the Sacred Wars preceding this passage: in the eighty years between the performance of Lysistrata and this fictional conversation, first Spartan, then Theban and then Makedonian striving for hegemony would undermine any attempt at Hellenic unity.
Moreover, there are examples which show that the constructions are used in contexts very similar to those with [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] etui: in (13) and (14) Isocrates uses both finite verbs with [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], followed by a consecutive clause.
17) To my knowledge its only other appearance with the same sense is at Isocrates, Antidosis (Or.
However, MacIntyre (1988) considers Isocrates as the focus of fourth century Athenian moral and political discussions, and asserts that academic traditions obscure his significance.
137) A point confirmed by Isocrates in a passage in Against Callimachus (46): 'Since, converging towards the same, we have mutually given each other the marks of confidence, we politicise with so much beauty and so much community that it is as if no evil ever struck us.
Please kindly forward this to anyone who can help the Evano family on 529 Isocrates St.
In antiquity, the constitutive role of rhetoric was suggested indirectly by Isocrates, a leading rhetorician.
Isocrates, in one his forensic speeches, pleads for the jury "to give a just verdict, and prove yourselves to be for me such judges as you would want to have for yourselves.
According to Father Onyewuenyi, "that the Egyptian System originated the legal system or jurisprudence is clearly attested to by the early Greek philosopher and historian Isocrates whom Martin Bernal describes as the "outstanding spokesman of Panhellenism and Greek cultural pride.
The work ends with Rosello's translations of two orations of Isocrates to Nicocles, the King of Cyprus.