LYSIAS’ SELECTED SPEECHES (edição bilíngüe) (Greek Series for Colleges and Schools) – Eds. Weir Smyth & Darwin Adams, 1905.


hoplita: soldado grego de infantaria, com pesada armadura equipada

meteco: ver “metecs” 3 parágrafos abaixo e também “metics”


In Lysias we have the first really successful application of rhetorical theory to practical speech. The more vehement and showy style of Demosthenes, imitated by Cicero, and through him passed on to the modern world, long dominated English oratory.”


Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

It is an attack upon Eratosthenes (probably from the autumn of 403 BC), one of the Thirty, and involves the discussion of the whole administration of that body, and to some extent of that of the 400, the oligarchy of 411 BC.

Early in the administration of the Thirty Eratosthenes had set forth with others of their number to arrest certain rich metecs [estrangeiros domiciliados em Atenas, caso da família de Lísias]. It fell to him to seize Polemarchus, Lysias’s brother, who was immediately put to death. When, after the battle at Munychia (Spring, 403), most of the Thirty retired to Eleusis, Eratosthenes, with one other of their number, remained in Athens, though not as a member of the new governing board of Ten. In the final amnesty between the 2 parties it was provided that any one of the Thirty who was willing to risk a judicial examination of his conduct as a member of the late administration might remain in the city. Otherwise all were obliged to settle at Eleusis or remain permanently in exile. Eratosthenes, believing himself to be less compromised than the others of the Thirty, ventured to remain and submit to his <accounting>.”

The more moderate democrats, notably Thrasybulus, the hero of the Return, were totally opposed to any attempt to strike back at the city party. (…) The task then which Lysias undertook was difficult. He had to convince the jury that the one man of the Thirty who was commonly believed least responsible for their crimes was so guilty that he was not to be forgiven, at a time when the watchword of the leaders of both parties was <Forgive and forget>.” “The real question of the day was as to the power of the democracy to regain the confidence and support of the great conservative middle class, men who had formerly been represented by Theramenes, and later by Eratosthenes. If these men could be convinced that the restored democracy would use its power moderately, foregoing revenge for the past, turning its back upon the demagogue and the political blackmailer, there was hope for the future.”

No one could blame the Sicilian Lysias for seeking his personal revenge [hehehe] (…) It is this larger political aspect of the case which gives to the speech against Eratosthenes its historical interest. (…) To distinguish between those of the Thirty who had sought to establish personal tyranny and those who had honestly striven for a reformed, conservative democracy was of first importance.”


1. EXÓRDIO. Apresentação do caso.

2. NARRATIVA. Contextualização da procedência de Lísias e do crime dos Trinta contra esta família.

3. DIGRESSÃO. Denúncia formal do réu.



A. Argumentos imediatos.

i. Eratóstenes agiu de forma contraditória.

ii. Por que a tese de que Eratóstenes foi compelido ao ato é sem base.

iii. O caso pode gerar precedentes perigosos para cidadãos e estrangeiros de Atenas.

iv. É contraditório executar os generais de Arginusa e perdoar os Trinta Tiranos.

v. Reiteração.

B. Argumentos sobre a biografia de Eratóstenes. O passado reputado de Eratóstenes não entraria em jogo na acusação presente.

i. A conduta de Eratóstenes no período dos 400.

ii. A conduta de Eratóstenes no estabelecimento do governo dos Trinta.

iii. A conduta de Eratóstenes enquanto um dos Trinta.

iv. A conduta de Eratóstenes no período dos Dez.

C. Argumento-réplica sobre Eratóstenes ser amigo e apoiador de Teramenes. Ataque à carreira de Teramenes.

i. A conduta de Teramenes e suas conexões com os 400.

ii. A conduta de Teramenes depois do governo dos 400.

iii. A conduta de Teramenes na negociação da paz.

iv. A conduta de Teramenes quando do estabelecimento dos 30.

v. Conclusão: A amizade com Teramenes não é suficiente como prova de lealdade.

D. Conclusões gerais.


A. A pior pena existente ainda seria exígua perante o montante de crimes cometidos.

B. Ataque ao advogado do réu.

C. O perdão seria equivalente a aprovar a conduta dos réus.

D. Apelo aos partidos (júri).

i. Aos aristocratas

ii. Aos democratas

E. Conclusão: Sumário dos crimes; apelo ao júri para executar a vingança dos mortos.

The speaker can pass at once to the narrative of the conduct upon which he bases his attack. And here Lysias is at his best. In the simplest language he describes the life of his own family and their sufferings (…) the sentences become very short, significant details of the story follow rapidly, and the hearer is made to see the events as if passing before his eyes.”

The term digression applies to this section only as an interruption of the strictly logical order, which would require the presentation of the arguments before the attempt to move the feelings of the jury by denunciation.”



In the review of Eratosthenes’s conduct as one of the Thirty (§§48-52), Lysias can bring no specific charge beyond that of the arrest of Polemarchus. He tries to forestall the plea of Eratosthenes that he actively opposed certain of the crimes of the Thirty by the shrewd claim that this would only prove that he could safely have opposed them all. He finally (§§53-61) tries to give the impression that Eratosthenes was connected with the bad administration of the Board of Ten, a charge that seems to be entirely without foundation.

To a jury already prejudiced by the affecting narrative of the arrest, and hurried on from one point to another, this whole attack was convincing; but the modern reader finds little of real proof, and an abundance of sophistry.”


Lysias comes now to the refutation of the main argument of the defense, that Eratosthenes was a member of that honorable minority among the Thirty who opposed the crimes of Critias’ faction, and whose leader, Theramenes, lost his life in the attempt to bring the administration to an honest course.

Whatever we may think of the real motives of Theramenes, there can be no question that at the time of this trial the people were already coming to think of him as a martyr for popular rights. All knew Eratosthenes was his friend and supporter. Lysias saw therefore that he must blacken the character of Theramenes. He accordingly turns to a rapid review of his career. In a few clear-cut sentences he pictures Theramenes at each crisis, always the same shrewd, self-seeking, unscrupulous man, always pretending to serve the state, always ready to shift to the popular side, always serving his own interests.

The attack is a masterpiece. There is no intemperate language, no hurling of epithets. <He accuses by narrating. The dramatically troubled time from 411 to 403 rises before us in impressive pictures. At every turn Theramenes appears as the evil genius of the Athenians. His wicked egoism stands out in every fact.> Bruns, Das literarische Porträt der Griechen, p. 493.

(…) but is this picture of Theramenes true to the facts? In his narrative Lysias selects those acts only upon which he can put a bad construction. He fails to tell us what appears so clearly in the narrative of Thucydides, and in the defense put into the mouth of Theramenes by Xenophon in his answer to Critias before the Senate, that his opposition to the extreme faction of the 400 was, whatever may have been his motive, an efficient cause of their overthrow, at a time when there was reason to fear that they were on the point of betraying the city to the Peloponnesians. (…) He misrepresents Theramenes’ responsibility for the hard terms of the Peace, and he ignores the fact that the final opposition to Critias which cost him his life was in every particular what would have been demanded of the most patriotic citizen. (…) Thucydides’ praise of the administration after the 400 is rather a praise of the form of government than of its leader.”

In the next generation opinions were sharply divided as to the character of Theramenes. Aristotle, to whom he stood as the representative of the ideal government by the upper class, places him among the great men of Athens.” “The best of the statesmen at Athens, after those of early times, seem to have been Nicias, Thucydides, and Theramenes. As to Nicias and Th., nearly every one agrees that they were not merely men of birth and character, but also statesmen, and that they acted in all their public life in a manner worthy of their ancestry. On the merits of Theramenes opinion is divided, because it so happened that in his time public affairs were in a very stormy state. But those who give their opinion deliberately find him not, as his critics falsely assert, overthrowing every kind of constitution, but supporting every kind so long as it did not transgress the laws; thus showing that he was able, as every good citizen, to live under any form of constitution, while he refused to countenance illegality and was its constant enemy. (Kenyon’s trans.) “Para um resumo das discussões modernas sobre o caráter de Teramenes, ver Busolt, História Grega, III. ii. 1463 [original em alemão].”

By a phrase here, a single invidious word there, he shrewdly colors the medium through which we see the events. Every statement is so turned as to become an argument. (…) even antitheses are only sparingly used.”

The study of the style of this speech is especially interesting because it is the only extant speech which Lysias wrote for his own delivery, and one of the first in his career as a practical speech writer. In preparing each of his other speeches he had to adapt the speech to the man who was to deliver it; in this he was free to follow his judgement of what a speech should be.”

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At first, indeed, they behaved with moderation towards the citizens and pretended to administer the state according to the ancient constitution … and they destroyed the professional accusers and those mischievous and evil-minded persons who, to the great detriment of the democracy, had attached themselves to it in order to curry favor with it. With all of this the city was much pleased, and thought the Thirty did it with the best of motives. But so soon as they had got a firmer hold on the city, they spared no class of citizens, but put to death any persons who were eminent for wealth or birth or character” Arist. “Xenophon gives similar testimony” “The Tholus, a building near the senate-house, was the headquarters and dining-hall of the Prytanes. It was thus the natural center of the administration of the Thirty, who used the subservient Senate to give a form of legality to their own acts.”

when the Thirty took control they found the treasury exhausted by the expenses of the Peloponnesian War. They had not only to provide for the ordinary expenses of the government but to pay their Spartan garrison on the Acropolis. Xenophon says that the despoiling of the metics [a família de Lísias inclusa] was to meet the latter expense.”

This entrance into Lysias’ house was, in spirit, a violation of the principle that a man’s house is his sanctuary, a principle as jealously maintained in Athens as in modern states.”

Gardner, The Greek House, in: Journal of Hellenic Studies, 21 (1901), 293ss.

Gardner & Jevons, Greek Antiquities

One of the most common charges against them is that they condemned citizens to death without a trial, whereas the right of every citizen to trial with full opportunity for defense was one of the fundamental principles of the democracy. This right was extended to metics also.”

the doubling of words merely for rhetorical effect is as rare in the simple style of Lysias as it is common in the rhetorical style of Demosthenes” (vide anexo ao fim)

the ceremonial impurity of a murderer was so great that the accused was, after indictment, forbidden entrance to the sanctuaries or the Agora while awaiting trial. The trial itself was held in the open air, in order, as Antiphon (5:11) tells us, <that the jurors might not come into the same inclosure with those whose hands were defiled, nor the prosecutor come under the same roof with the murderer.>

whom in the world WILL you punish? KAÍ is used as an emphatic particle in questions, implying the inability of the speaker to answer his own question, or his impatience at the circumstances that raise the question. Its only English equivalent is a peculiar emphasis.” “In English we prefer the indefinite expression of place, in the world.”

We infer that some of the states friendly to Athens had made formal proclamation excluding members of the late oligarchy from taking refuge with them. While Eleusis had been set apart as an asylum for the Thirty and their supporters, it is not unlikely that some, fearing that the democracy would not keep its promise of immunity, sought refuge in other states.”

In the summer of 406 the Athenian fleet under Conon was shut up in the harbor of Mytilene by the Lacedaemonians [Spartans]. Desperate efforts were made for their rescue; a new fleet was hastily equipped and manned by a general call to arms. Seldom had an expedition enlisted so many citizens of every class. The new fleet met the enemy off the Arginusae islands, and, in the greatest naval battle ever fought between Greek fleets, won a glorious victory. The generals, wishing to push on in pursuit of the enemy, detailed 47 ships under subordinate officers to rescue the Athenian wounded from the wreckage. A sudden storm made both pursuit and rescue impossible, and more than 4,000 men, probably half of them Athenian citizens, were lost. The blow fell upon so many homes in Athens that public indignation against the generals passed all bounds, and the generals were condemned to death. Not only was the sentence in itself unjust, but it was carried by a vote against the accused in a body, in violation of the law’s guaranty of a separate vote upon the case of every accused citizen. A reaction in feeling followed, a part of the general reaction against the abuses of the democracy. That the popular repentance was not as general or as permanent as it ought to have been is clear from the fact that now, 3 years after the event, Lysias dares appeal to this precedent as ground for righteous severity in the present case; he is evidently not afraid that it will be a warning to them to beware of overseverity when acting under passion. Yet he shows his consciousness that he is on dangerous ground, for he takes pains to state the defense of the generals and the ground on which it was overruled.”

an exaggeration, as it is in §83, where he says that the death of these men and that of their children would not be sufficient punishment for them. No one ever seriously proposed at Athens to put sons to death for their fathers’ crimes, but lesser penalties were put upon them; loss of civil rights was often visited upon the sons of a man condemned, and the common penalty of death and confiscation of property brought heavy suffering to the family (so in the case of the family for which Lysias pleads in Speech XIX). Yet even here the treatment was not inhuman; Demosthenes (27:65) says, Even when you condemn any one, you do not take away everything, but you are merciful to wife or children, and leave some part for them.

For the seizure of the arms of all citizens outside the 3,000 supporters of the Thirty, see Xen. Hell., 2. 3. 20. (…) The seizure of these arms, which many of the citizens had carried through all the years of the Peloponnesian War, was one the most outrageous acts of the Thirty.”

the accused had opportunity for defense before the Senate, and, in the more serious cases, before the Ecclesia or a law court which had final jurisdiction. Under the Thirty the accused lost these privileges of defense.”

They deposed the Thirty, and they elected ten citizens, with full power, to put a stop to the war. [proto-cesarianos] Arist.

Eratosthenes was not one of the new board. The fact that he dared to remain in the city is a strong argument in his favor, which Lysias tries to counteract by throwing upon him the odium of connection with Phidon.”

There was a large conservative element in the city who were dismayed at seeing the radicals with Critias in control; they now took the lead, but were again disappointed in that the new board of Ten fell under sympathy with the Thirty at Eleusis, actively cooperated with them and continued their war policy. It was an instance, not infrequent in modern times, of the better element in a city rising up under a sudden impulse and apparently overthrowing a political machine, only to find the machine still in control after the excitement was over.”

Antiphon was the moving spirit in planning the revolution of 411; Pisander was the most prominent man in its execution; Phrynichus the most daring; and Theramenes, the son of Hagnon, was a prime mover in the abolition of the democracy, a man not without ability as a speaker and thinker.” Thucyd., 8:68

Sophocles, when asked by Pisander whether he, like the other probouloi, approved of the establishment of the 400, said, <Yes.> <But what? Did that not seem to you a bad business?> <Yes,> said he, <for there was nothing better to do.> Arist., Retórica

the people had been persuaded to accept the new form of government in the hope of ending the war through Alcibiades with Persian support; this hope had now failed”

After the deposition of the 400, Antiphon and Archeptolemus were put to death on the charge of having plotted with others of the oligarchs to betray the city to Sparta. Theramenes was at the head of the government, under a moderate constitution, from September 411 to about July 410.”

The English, and usually the Greek, more logically uses for, as giving the grounds for the general statement.”

Xenophon says that the Spartans had already announced the destruction of 10 stadia [2km] of the Long Walls as a condition of peace, and that what Theramenes offered to do was to find out from Lysander whether this was intended as a preliminary to the enslavement of the city, or only as a means of guaranteeing their faithful obedience to the other terms of peace. After remaining 3 months with Lysander he returned to Athens with the report that Lysander had no power in the matter, and that it must be determined by the government at Sparta.” “Ordinarily the Areopagus had no jurisdiction in political or military affairs, but this crisis was so extreme, involving the very existence of the city, that extraordinary action by the Areopagus is not unlikely.” “on the first mission, that to Lysander, Theramenes went alone, but had no authority to negotiate; on the second, he had authority, but it was shared with 9 fellow-ambassadors. Lysias purposely represents it as resting entirely with him.”

Os atenienses levaram meses para destruir as muralhas externas, cumprindo as condições da paz com Esparta. Tal qual a construção de um bom estádio candango, a demolição desses estádios de muro na Antiguidade estourou o prazo que havia sido fixado!…

Dracontides doubtless presented the general plan, and the Thirty were chosen to draft a constitution which should carry it out in detail.”

for the change of this word from an originally good meaning // cp. [compare] the history of English simple and silly.” RUDE SIMPLÓRIO SIMPLES HUMILDE SEM-PECADO IMBECIL DISTORCIDO ABSURDO DESORIENTADO TONTO TOLO AHHHH



adj. -li•er, -li•est, adj.

1. weak-minded or lacking good sense; stupid or foolish.

2. absurd; ridiculous; nonsensical.

3. stunned; dazed: He knocked me silly.

4. Archaic. rustic; plain; homely.

5. Archaic. weak; helpless.

6. Obs. lowly in rank or state; humble.


7. Informal. a silly or foolish person.

(1375–1425; Middle English sely, orig., blessed, happy, guileless, Old English gesaelig happy, derivative of sael happiness; c. Dutch zalig, German selig)

silli•ly, adv.

silli•ness, n.”

It was the plan of Sparta and her Athenian supporters to see to it that the fleet should never be restored. This was the more acceptable to the Thirty as the fleet had always been the center of democratic power. We are not surprised, then, to read in Isocrates (7:66) that the dockyards, which had cost not less than 1000 t., were sold by the Thirty for 3 t. to be broken up. But apparently the work was not completed, for 4 years after the Thirty Lysias (30:22) speaks of the dockyards as then falling into decay.”

PATERfação da MAEteria

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Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

The charge was brought against Mantitheus that he had been a member of the cavalry which had supported the Thirty, and that he was therefore not a fit candidate for the office of senator.”

Before the Peloponnesian War Athens had made very little use of cavalry, but from the beginning of that war to the close of the next century a force of a thousand horsemen was maintained.”

An enrolment which thus offered opportunity for display in time of peace, and a less dangerous and less irksome form of service in war, attracted the more ambitious and proud young men of the aristocracy.”

Xenophon gives a striking testimony to the hatred of the democracy toward the cavalry corps in his statement that when, 4 years after the Return, the Spartans called upon Athens to furnish cavalry to help in the campaign in Asia Minor, the Athenians sent them 300 of those who had served as cavalrymen under the Thirty <thinking it a good thing for the Demos if they should go abroad and die there> (Hell. 3.I.4), a statement which betrays Xenophon’s own feeling toward the people.”

It must have seemed to many of the returned exiles that the men who had so actively supported the lost cause ought to be more than content with permission to live retired lives as private citizens, and that for them to come forward now, seeking public office or any political influence whatever, was the height of presumption”

Aristotle gives the following description of the examination of candidates for the archonship, which probably did not differ materially from the examination for the senatorship, with the exception of the demand on taxes below: <When they are examined, they are asked, first, ‘Who is your father, and of what demo? Who is your father’s father? Who is your mother? Who is your mother’s father, and of what demo?’ Then the candidate is asked whether he has an ancestral Apollo and a household Zeus, and where their sanctuaries are; next, if he possesses a family tomb, and where; then, if he treats his parents well, and pays his taxes, and has served on the required military expeditions.>

He had, in short, to write the speech which the young man would himself have written if he had possessed Lysias’ knowledge of law and politics, and Lysias’ training in argumentation.”

Lysias knew the Athenian audience too well to suppose that plausible proof or valid proof would carry the case.”

This omission of the usual appeal to the feelings of the hearers is quite in keeping with the confident tone of the whole speech. The omission of the peroration is also wise from the rhetorical point of view. Throughout the speech Lysias has repressed everything that could suggest artificial or studied speech; it is in keeping with this that he omits that part of the plea in which rhetorical art was usually most displayed.”

No speech of Lysias offered a better opportunity for his peculiar skill in fitting the speech to the man”

* * *

the Athenians did not venture to make universal their general principle of appointment to office by lot. The lot applied to officials whose work did not absolutely demand political or military experience or technical knowledge.”

30 mines was an average sum in a family of moderate means.”

The son of Alcibiades was alleged to have lost his property at dice.”

Thrasybulus was at first the idol of the people under the restored democracy; but his moderate and conservative policy, sternly opposed to every violation of the amnesty and every indulgence of revenge, grew vexatious to the more radical element. (…) The defeat of the expedition to Corinth in 394 was a blow to his reputation. (…) in the full tide of enthusiasm for the new navy and its commander Conon the people forgot their allegiance to Thrasybulus.”

the Homeric custom of wearing the hair long prevailed always at Sparta, but at Athens from about the time of the Persian Wars only boys wore long hair. When they became of age their hair was cut as a sign of their entering into manhood, and from that time on they wore hair about as short as modern custom prescribes; only the athletes made a point of wearing it close-cut. But there was a certain aristocratic set of young Spartomaniacs who affected Spartan appearance along with their pro-Spartan sentiments, and who were proud of wearing long hair, to the disgust of their fellow-citizens. These were the men who largely made up the cavalry corps.”

SPEECH XIX. ON THE STATE OF ARISTOPHANES [um homônimo do comediante, ao que tudo indica]

Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

O reclamante da fala é supostamente o filho deste Aristófanes (mas o comentário diz que pode ter sido seu cunhado), morto sem julgamento e espoliado por Atenas, em busca da devolução de seus bens familiares ou de parte deles.

The events which led to this speech were connected with two dangerous tendencies in the political life of the 4th century, the enrichment of naval commanders through their office, and the hasty and unreasonable punishment of public officers in response to a fickle public sentiment.”

The city was attempting to take her old place in international affairs, with no sufficient revenue; the people saw in each new confiscation relief for the treasury.”

The case of Nicophemus and Aristophanes is but one among many between 388-386, when these prosecutions were at their height.”

Lísias defendia vários casos de ambos os lados: como promotor de Atenas, acusando a corrupção de homens da marinha e pedindo sua execução e confisco de suas riquezas; e neste, como advogado contra o Tribunal.

Speech against Epicrates: “In my opinion, Athenians, if you should put these men to death without giving them trial or opportunity of defense, they could not be said to have perished <without trial>, but rather to have received the justice that is their due.”

Speech againt Ergocles: “Why should you spare men when you see the fleets that they commanded scattering and going to pieces for lack of funds, and these men, who set sail poor and needy, so quickly become the richest of all the citizens?”

No other proem of Lysias is so long or developed in such detail. The reason is to be found in the fact that the speaker is addressing a jury who are thoroughly prejudiced against his case. Nicophemus and Aristophanes are believed to have been guilty of the gravest crimes, and now the defendant is believed to be concealing their property to the damage of the state. The prosecution have said everything possible to intensify this feeling.

The proem falls into two parts, one general, the other based on the facts peculiar to this case. It is surprising to find that for the first part Lysias has taken a ready-made proem from some book on rhetoric, and used it with slight changes. We discover this fact by comparing §§1-6 with the proem of Andocides’ speech On the Mysteries, delivered 12 years earlier, and the proem of Isocrates’ speech XV, published 34 years after that of Lysias. Andocides has divided the section, inserting a passage applicable to his peculiar case, but the 2 parts agree closely with Lysias’ proem. Isocrates had used a small part of the same material, but much more freely, changing the order and the phraseology, and amplifying the selected parts to fit his own style.” “Blass, arguing from certain phrases of Andocides, attributes the original proem to Antiphon.” “It was possible to compose them in such general terms that any one of them would fit a large class of cases. We hear of such collections by Thrasymachus, Antiphon, and Critias, and the mss. of Demosthenes have preserved to us a large collection of proems of his composition, 5 of which we find actually used in extant speeches of his.”

This adaptation of the language to the personality of the speaker (ethos) is perfected by delicate touches here and there.”

And here lies much of the power of Lysias. We often feel that his arguments are inconclusive; he fails to appeal strongly to the passions; in a case like this, where strong appeal might be made to our pity for the widow and little children, he seems cold. But the personality of the speaker and his friends is so real and their charm so irresistible, that at the close we find ourselves on their side.”

* * *

OS 3 FEDROS DA ATENAS SOCRÁTICA: “the Pheaedrus whom we know through Plato as a young friend of Socrates (Banquete), one of the group who listened to the Sophist Hippias (Protágoras), and the friend and enthusiastic admirer of Lysias, delicately portrayed in Plato’s Phaedrus. It was not strange that when the proposition was made to confiscate the property of Aristophanes, his widow (a de Fedro) turned for help to the friend of her first husband, now at the height of his fame as an advocate, nor that when the present suit against her father’s estate came on Lysias again wrote the defense.”

we have 65 acres at about $70 an acre. This is the only passage in Greek authors which, by giving both the contents and the price of land, enables us to reckon land value. As we know neither the situation nor the nature of this land, even this information is of little worth.”

This avoidance of the common oaths of everyday impassioned speech is as fitting to the calm and simple style of Lysias as is their constant use to the vehement style of Demosthenes.”

of the 15 t. expended in the 4 or 5 years in question, the speaker has reckoned 5 t. for house and land, and 10 t. for the various public services; of this sum 2.83 t. was for ordinary liturgies of a rich citizen (service as choragus and trierarch) and for direct war taxes – an average of a little less than half a talent a year. A still more important source of information as to the public services of rich Athenian citizens is the account which Lysias gives in XXI of the public expenditures of his client for the 1st seven years after he attained his majority; the items are as follows:

1st year.

Choragus (tragic chorus) 3000 dracmae

Choragus (men’s chorus) 2000 dr.

2nd year.

Choragus (Pyrrhic) 800

Choragus (men’s chorus) 5000

3rd year.

Choragus (cyclic chorus) 300

7th year.

Gymnasiarch 1200

Choragus (boys’ chorus) 1500

Trierarch, 7 years 6 talents

War tax 3000 dr.

War tax 4000

TOTAL 9 t. 2800+ dr.

This gives an average contribution of about 1.325 t. a year. But these years were the final years of the Peloponnesian War, when public burdens were extraordinarily heavy; the same man gives smaller sums for the time immediately following. Moreover, the speaker says that the law would have required of him less than ¼ this amount. Unfortunately we have neither in this case nor in that of Aristophanes any knowledge of the total property or income from which these contributions were made, so that we have no sufficient basis for comparison with modern times. We lack the same data in the case of the speaker’s father, whose services of this kind amounted to 9 t. 2000 dr. in a period of 50 years [0.18 t./ano]. We only know that at his death the estate amounted to between 4 and 5 talents”

Callias the 2nd was reputed to be the richest Athenian of his time. Hipponicus the 3rd inherited this wealth. He had 600 slaves let out in the mines; ha gave his daughter, on her marriage to Alcibiades, the unheard-of dowry of 10 talents. His son, the Callias of our text, finally dissipated the family wealth. He affected the new learning, and we have in Plato’s Protagoras (VI-ff.) a humorous description of his house infested by foreign sophists. His lavish expenditures upon flatterers and prostitutes still further wasted his property, and he died in actual want.”

Aristophanes’ attack on Socrates in the Clouds gains much of its force in the picture of the son, corrupted and made impudent by his new learning, contradicting and correcting his old father.”

the minimum of property which subjected a citizen to the liturgies was 3 t.”


Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

This speech was written for a senator who was leading the prosecution of certain retail grain dealers, on the charge that, by buying up a larger stock of grain than the law permitted, they had injured the importers, and raised the price of grain to the consumers. It was probably delivered early in 386.

The successful expedition of Thrasybulus in 389-8 had brought the Hellespont under Athenian control, and thus secured the safety of the grain trade, which had been harassed by hostile fleets. But his death and the transfer of the command into less competent hands made the control of the Hellespont insecure again. At the same time the Spartans, having dislodged the Athenians from Aegina, were able constantly to endanger the grain ships at the home end of the route. The result was a period of unusual disturbance in the grain trade in the winter of 388-7.”

the dealers were forbidden by law to store up more than 1/3 of any cargo; 2/3 had to be thrown upon the market immediately. If then, a sufficient combination could be made among the retail dealers, they could hold the price down effectively.”

instead of passing the grain on to the consumers at a fair profit, the retailers used the low price to increase the stock of grain in their own storerooms, and put the retail price up according to the war rumors of the hour.”

The Senate had final jurisdiction only in case of penalties not greater than a fine of 500 dracmas (Demosthenes 47); in all other judicial cases their findings had to be passed on to a law court for final action.” Aristotle

Only one senator pressed the case against the dealers. The threatening of suits against rich men had become so common on the part of professional blackmailers that reputable men were loath to have anything to do with a case like this. The Senate found the charges sustained, and sent the case to a court under the presidency of the Thesmothetae.

The senator who had become so prominent in the prosecution felt obliged to carry the case through – otherwise he would have been believed to have been bought by the <ring of dealers>. He accordingly employed Lysias to prepare a speech for him to deliver in court. A study of this case involves a knowledge of the Athenian laws relating to commerce.

The small area of the Attic territory in proportion to population, and the poor adaptedness of the soil to grain production as compared with that of olives and figs, left the people largely dependent upon foreign sources for their grain. More than half of the supply came from foreign ports; the greater part from the Hellespont and the Euxine.”

to prevent the accumulation of grains in the retailers’ storerooms, and their consequent control of prices, it was provided by law, under penalty of death, that no retailer should buy more than 50 baskets at a time (but as to how much the standard grain basket held we have no knowledge).” “The whole retail grain trade was supervised by a board of Grain Commissioners; of their appointment and duties we learn as follows from Aristotle:

There were formerly ten, appointed by lot, 5 for the Piraeus, and 5 for the city, but now there are 20 for the city and 15 for the Piraeus.

Thus, the government followed the grain at every step from its reception in the Piraeus to the home of the consumer.” “At the first meeting of the Ecclesia in every prytany a part of the routine business was the consideration of the grain supply.”

The issue was so simple, the case so prejudiced in favor of the prosecution by the preliminary action of the Senate, and the odium of the act so certain, that Lysias was content to present every fact of the prosecution with the utmost simplicity and brevity.”

* * *

it is uncertain whether this was the Anytus who shared in the prosecution of Socrates. That Anytus, a rich tanner, was a leading democrat, associated with Thrasybulus in the Return. [But] this activity in protecting the poor man’s food supply would be quite in keeping with his democratic rôle.”

Neste tipo de caso (economia alimentar), metecos podiam integrar o júri.


Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

Lysias wrote this speech in support of the plea of a crippled artisan for the retention of his name on the list of disabled paupers who received a dole of an obol a day from the public treasury.” “An allowance of 2 obols/day from the treasury was all that saved many people from starvation during the last third of the Peloponnesian War.”

A system of military pensions for men who had been disabled and for the sons and dependent parents of men who had died goes back to the time of Solon and Pisistratus: the soldiers’ pension under Pisistratus, after the example of Solon in the case of a single disabled veteran (Heraclides, cited by Plutarch) support and education of sons, introduced by Solon (Diogenes Laert.). The pension of dependent parents (Plato, Menexeno) presumably goes back to the same time.”

It is to be remembered that the jury pay, available to all who cared to sit in court, and the pay for sitting in the Ecclesia offered no small relief to the poor citizens.”

The ascription of the speech to Lysias seems to have been questioned in antiquity, and has recently been vigorously attacked by Bruns. The first objection raised by Bruns is that the tone and extent of the attack on the complainant are at variance with Lysias’ uniform calmness and restraint in attack; Lysias’ defendants confine their attacks on the prosecutors to their acts in the case itself, and are far from giving a general characterization of the men; the extent of the attack is always well proportioned to the gravity of the case. But in our speech we have a bitter and scornful attack on the whole character of the opponent, and it is as vehement as though the issue were some great thing – not an obol a day. Bruns sees a 2nd violation of the Lysian manner in the failure of the defendant to press the real points at issue –his physical disability and his poverty – and the comical pose in which he is made to give, instead of argument, a picture of himself.”

We may suppose that the complainant had called attention to the horseback riding, something that only the richer citizens could afford, as indicating that the cripple had rich friends who could and would support him; the cripple pretends that the argument was that he was physically sound enough to jump unto a horse and ride it!”

The parody on the common pleas of the day is carried out in the absurd appeal based on the past life of the speaker: he has been no sycophant; he, the cripple, has not been violent; he, the pauper, refrained from sharing in the government of the aristocratic Thirty!”


Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

This speech was written for a citizen who had been one of the 3,000 admitted by the Thirty to a nominal share in their government. The speaker has now, under the restored democracy, been chosen (by vote or lot) to some office.”

his eligibility is challenged on the ground that he was a supporter of the Thirty. The complainants have brought no charge of specific acts, basing their attack upon the principle that former members of the oligarchical party cannot be trusted in office under the democracy. The defense must attack this principle, and it is this fact which raises the speech above the plane of personal questions, and makes it one of the most interesting documents in the history of the period immediately after the Return.

The oath of amnesty provided for the exclusion from the city of certain specified leaders of the oligarchy; to all other citizens it guaranteed oblivion of the past. Under any fair interpretation of this agreement the former supporters of the Thirty, even senators, office holders and soldiers under them, were perfectly eligible to office under the restored democracy. But to keep their pledges in the full spirit of them proved to be a severe test of the self-control of the party of the Return.

The wiser democratic leaders fully recognized the critical nature of the situation. An attempt by one of the returned exiles to violate the agreement and take vengeance on one of the city party was met by the summary seizure of the complainant and his execution by the Senate without trial (Aristotle). This made it clear that there was to be no policy of bloody reprisals; but the feeling of hostility remained.

Then, less than 3 years after the Return, came the attempt of the survivors of the Thirty, settled at Eleusis, to organize an attack by force. The prompt march of the citizen forces, together with their treacherous seizure of the oligarchical leaders, soon put down the movement. But now more than ever it seemed to the democratic masses intolerable that members of the city party should have equal privileges with themselves. Their spokesmen began to say that the aristocrats might consider the people generous indeed in allowing their former enemies to vote in the Ecclesia and to sit on juries; that to ask for more than this was an impertinence (Lys. 26. 2, 3).

Those who had been conspicuous supporters of the Thirty, or personally connected with their crimes of bloodshed and robbery, naturally refrained from thrusting themselves into prominence; indeed, few of these had probably remained in the city. But the first test came when men whose support of the Thirty had been only passive, and against whose personal character no charge could be raised, ventured to become candidates for office.”

This speech was written by Lysias for one of the first cases of this sort – it may have been the very first. The issue was vital. If a man like the speaker, of proved ability and personal character, untainted by crime under all the opportunities offered during the rule of the Thirty, was now to be excluded from office, the reconciliation must soon break down.”

The speech cannot be placed much later than 400, for the speaker, with all his pleas based on his good conduct before and during the rule of the Thirty, says nothing of his conduct since the Return (October, 394), nor does he cite cases of other men of his party holding office. Moreover, his warnings show that there are fugitives of the oligarchical party who still hope for a reaction and a counter blow against the democracy, and are not yet sure what will be the treatment of the former supporters of the Thirty, while he speaks simultaneously of the democracy not as established, but as in process of being established. ”

The sentences are long and dignified. Only after the proem is well under way is there any touch of artificial rhetoric.”

The argument is surprising; in the most blunt way he asserts that men follow self-interest in their attitude toward one form of government or another. He gives the jury to understand that he remained in the city under the Thirty because it was for his personal safety and for the safety of his property that he do so (…) he frankly tells the jury to assume that he acts from an enlightened self-interest” “The cool frankness with which he waives aside all claim of sentimental patriotism (…) must have been refreshing to a jury weary of hearing pious protestations of loyalty and sacrifice for the sacred democracy.”

he makes the keen plea that a man who kept his hands clean in times when there was every encouragement to wrong-doing can be counted on to be a law-abiding citizen under the present settled government.”

The tone of the attack is severe and earnest, but always dignified. There is no display of personal passion. The speaker stands above petty recriminations, and in a most convincing way exposes the conduct of a group of small politicians who were coming to the front on false claims of service in the late civil war, and who were destined to succeed before long in discrediting and thrusting aside the great patriots of the Return.”

The coolness with which the client explained all political attachments on the ground of personal interest had its effect upon Lysias, and he counted upon its having its effect upon others.(*)” Bruns, Literarisches Porträt

(*) “The speech for Mantitheus (XVI) offers a marked contrast in this respect. The young cavalryman is full of talk of his own achievements.”

The style is noticeably more rhetorical than is usual with Lysias.”

* * *

blackmail by the threat of bringing innocent men before the courts on trumped-up charges was the regular work of the <sycophants>. (…) Xenophon tells how, by advice of Socrates, Crito finally supported a lawyer of his own to silence these fellows by counterattacks (Mem. 2. 9.). (…) verdicts are more a matter of chance than of justice, and that it is wise by paying a small sum to be freed from great accusations and the possibility of great pecuniary losses (Isoc. 18. 9-ss.).”

from these words, it is probable that Epigenes, Demophanes and Clisthenes were the complainants in this case.”

Every Athenian official was required every prytany (35 days) to submit an account of his receipts and expenditures to a board of 10 auditors, selected by a lot from the Senate. At the close of his term of office he was also required to present complete accounts to another board”

SPEECH XXXII. THE SPEECH AGAINST DIOGITON (fragmentos) ou: O caso do avô (e tio-avô) escroque

Introdução e Considerações sobre o Discurso

On the death of Diodotus, Diogiton, his brother, became the guardian of his widowed daughter and her 3 children. For a time he concealed from them the fact of Diodotus’ death, and under the pretext that certain documents were needed for conducting his brother’s business, he obtained from his daughter the sealed package of papers that had been left with her. After the death of Diodotus became known, the widow turned over to Diogiton, her father [ou seja, sobrinha que casara com o tio], whatever property was in her possession, to be administered for the family.

Diogiton arranged a second marriage for her with one Hegemon, but gave 1/6 less dowry than the will prescribed. In due time he arranged a marriage for his granddaughter also; there is no claim that he gave with her less than the dowry required by the will.

For 8 years Diogiton supported the boys from the income of the estate, but when the elder came of age, he called them to him and told them that their father had left for them only 2840 dr. (the sum her daughter returned him before), and that this had all been expended for their support; that already he had himself paid out much for them, and that the elder must now take care of himself.” “The elder son was the plaintiff, and his brother-in-law the one delivering this speech prepared by Lysias.”

The mother [of the plaintiff; and daughter of the accused] had documentary proof of Diogiton having received one sum of 7 t. 4000 dr. and Diogiton now acknowledge in his sworn answer that he had received that sum, but he submitted detailed accounts purporting to show that it had all been used for the family [wise scoundrel!].” “The trial can be put in 402-1 or very soon thereafter.”

Dionysius of Halicarnassus¹ [quem proporcionou o manuscrito hoje conhecido, cerca de 400 anos depois, um orador romano, discípulo genuíno de Lísias, portanto] says that in the cause of a suit against members of one’s own family the rhetoricians are agreed that the plaintiff must above all things else guard against prejudice on the part of the jury in the suspicion that he is following an unworthy and litigious course. The plaintiff must show that the wrongs which he is attacking are unendurable; that he is pleading in behalf of other members of the family nearer to him and dependent upon him for securing redress; that it would be wicked for him to refuse his aid. He must show further that he has made every attempt to settle the case out of court.”

¹ D.H., On the ancient orators

The language of the proem, like that of Lysias’s proems in general, is for the most part periodic. A larger group of thoughts than is usual with Lysias is brought together under a single sentence structure from §1 up to §3. The impression is one of dignity and earnestness. There is no rhetorical embellishment either in grouping of cola or in play on words or phrases.”

In this narrative there is a stroke of genius that places it, maybe, above all the others from Lysias. This is the introduction of the mother’s plea in her own words. The mother could not plead in court, but by picturing the scene in the family council Lysias carries the jurors in imagination to that room where a woman pleads with her father, protesting against the unnatural greed that has robbed his own grandsons, and begging him to do simple justice to her children. As the jurors heard how the hearers of that plea arose and left the room, silent and in tears, there was little need for argument.” “The result was a work of art perfect in the concealment of art.”

The examination of the alleged expenditures is sharp and clear. The overcharge seems written on the face of every item, and the series culminates in a case of the most shameless fraud. (…) Out of an accounting of 8 years Lysias selects a very few typical items, makes the most of them in a brief, cutting comment, and then passes on before the hearers are wearied with the discussion of details.”

The word play, a turn of speech rare in Lysias, but a favorite among rhetoricians, is fitted to the sarcastic tone” “The personification, a figure equally rare in Lysias, is in the same sarcastic tone”

GRAU ZERO DA ESCRITURA: “The speaker might be any Athenian gentleman; we get no impression of his age or temperament or character.”

We have certainly a personal portrait of Diogiton, and this by the simplest recital of his words and conduct. There is no piling up of opprobrious epithets. By his own conduct greed is shown to have been the one principle of his life, from the time when he married his daughter to his brother to keep hold of his increasing property, to the day when, with hollow professions of regret and with shameless lies, he turned his grandsons out of doors.”

* * *

for the seclusion of Athenian women see Becker, Charicles (Eng. trans.)

a man of ordinary standing was expected to have a slave attendant as he went about his business. Even the schoolboy had his.” Na democracia grega, os mais liberais, como Aristófanes em suas comédias, lutavam não pela extinção da escravidão, o que seria um preconceito ocidental anacrônico, mas pela equanimidade na distribuição dos escravos entre os mais ricos e a classe média!

The Athenian tombs and monuments were among the finest products of Greek art. There was a tendency to extravagant outlay, but in most artistic form. The expense was great as compared with the expenditure of the living. We know of sums ranging from 3 minae to 2 talents. For full description and illustration see Percy Gardner’s Sculptured Tombs of Hellas.”

The statement that the boys would have been as rich as any boys in the city (having about 12 t. after the payment of expenses for the 8 years and of dowries for mother and sister) seems reasonable from what we know of Athenian fortunes. (…) The fabulously rich men of the older generation, Nicias and Callias, were popularly supposed to have had fortunes of 100 and 200 talents. But a man who had 8 to 10 talents at the close of the Peloponnesian War was a rich man. (…) It was only after Alexander’s conquests had brought Oriental ideas of luxury and the means to grow rich by conquest and by trade on a large scale that the Greek family needed very much money to be <rich> [, life in old Athens being pretty simple and costless].”


Should citizenship with full political rights be open to all Athenian as before the oligarchical revolution, or should it be restricted according to the understanding with Sparta the year before in connection with the surrender?”

Usener holds that the assembly for which the speech of Lysias was written included only the men of the upper classes. (…) Wilamowitz finds confirmation of Usener’s view in the statement of Aristotle that under the amnesty the former officials of the city party were to give their accounting before the citizens whose names were on the assessor’s lists, i.e. the men of the upper classes (…) In our speech of Lysias the appeal is certainly to the property holders, but that is natural in any case (…) For the position against Usener, see Blass; Meyer, Forshungen zur alten Geschichte, II

It might well be presumed that the restoration of the democratic constitution would be considered an affront to Sparta, and it is possible that the Spartans had made definite statements to this effect. (…) Who could guarantee the loyalty of the Demos to the terms of the amnesty, when once demagogue and sycophant should resume their trade?”

Since the amendment of Pericles in 451-0, those who could not show pure Athenian descent through both parents had been by law excluded from citizenship.” “These citizens had married foreign wives, and now many of them with their families were returning to Athens, bringing with them the question of admitting their half-Athenian sons to citizenship.”

This speech of Lysias is of especial interest as being his earliest extant speech, and perhaps the first he wrote for a client. It is, moreover, the only extant speech of his composed for delivery before the Ecclesia. We owe its preservation to Dionysius of Hal., who incorporated it in his treatise on Lysias (op. cit.)” Neither of the 2 other speeches preserved by Dionysius is given in full, and it is probable that he took this part from the beginning of a longer speech.”

The plan of this part is simple: to appeal to the great middle class, men who have shared in the exile and the Return, and to convince them that the loss of the support of the non-landholding citizens will be more dangerous to the restored democracy than the chance of offending Sparta by failing to meet her wishes as to the revision of the constitution. The event proved the soundness of the argument. Sparta did not interfere, and the democracy was soon called upon to take up arms again against the oligarchs at Eleusis.”

The brevity is like Lysias, but not the obscurity. (…) The tricks of the current rhetoric are conspicuous – repeated antithesis and balance of cola, the rhyming of successive cola, and play on the sound of words. We may see in these features evidence of immaturity in practical oratory.” “How soon and how thoroughly Lysias corrected both faults, we see in the speech against Diogiton (written a year or 2 later) and that for Mantitheus (some 10 years later).”

* * *

Much property had been confiscated by the 30, much abandoned in the flight of the owners. The restored Demos put the owners back into possession, and made no attempt at a distribution of land among themselves.”

The event showed that the Spartan insistence upon dictating in the internal affairs of Athens had been due to the personal influence of Lysander. With his fall from power this policy was abandoned, and the restored Athenian democracy was left undisturbed.”

In 418 Argos was forced into alliance with Sparta, and an oligarchical government was set up. But in the next year a successful democratic reaction carried the state over to the Athenian alliance, and with more or less of vigor it supported Athens throughout the war. Mantinea, which had joined Argos against Sparta, was like forced by the events of 418 to return to the Spartan alliance, and remained nominally under Sparta’s lead throughout the war. But she maintained her democratic constitution, and gave only indifferent support to the Spartans.”

If the Spartans conquer, they know that they will not succeed in enslaving the Argives and Mantineans, for both people always rise up again after their defeats, as stubborn as ever. It is not worthwhile, then, for the Spartans to risk serious losses of their own for the slight gain of an incomplete subjugation of their neighbors.”

* * *


The following account is in general based on Lipsius’s revision of Meier & Schömann, Der Attische Process, and his revision of Schömann, Griechische Alterthümer. The conditions described are those of the early part of the 4th century, the time of Lysias’ professional activity.”

The ancient court of Areopagus, composed of the ex-archons, sitting under the presidency of the religious head of the state, had sole jurisdiction in cases of premeditated homicide and arson.”

Any citizen over 30 years of age, who was possessed of full civic rights, was eligible for jury service. (…) In the time of Lysias there was not such a pressure of legal business as in the Periclean period, when the Athenian courts were crowded with cases from the league cities (…) the service might become the regular employment of men who were quite content with small payment for light work, and of old men whose days of physical labor were over. From the time of Pericles the pay of the juryman was an obol for each day of actual service, until Cleon raised it to 3 obols, about the wages of an unskilled laborer.”

It was not customary to arrest the accused and confine him while awaiting trial, except in a special class of crimes, prosecuted by special and more summary procedures; even then the defendant was released if he could furnish sufficient security for his appearance in court.”

Many cases involved the testimony of slaves. This evidence was held valid only when given under torture, on the supposition that the desire for release from the torture on the one side would counterbalance the natural desire of the slave to testify according to his master’s orders on the other. (…) The torture was conducted by the litigants themselves or by men agreed upon by them, or in some cases by public slaves. The point to which the torture should be carried was previously agreed upon by the litigants.”

The court room had wooden seats for the jurors, provision for listeners outside the railing which shut in the jurors’ seats, and 4 platforms.”

The law required every man to deliver his plea in person. If he had not the ability to compose a speech for himself, he could employ a professional speech writer to write it for him; he then committed the speech to memory and delivered it as his own.”

No opportunity for speeches in rebuttal was given except in the case of certain private suits.”

At the close of the speeches there was no exposition of the law by the presiding magistrate, nor was there any opportunity for the jurymen to consult one with another, but the herald of the court called upon them to come forward to the platform immediately and deposit their votes.”

the secrecy of the vote was fully protected.”

Imprisonment was not used as a penalty, but only (…) until the execution of a man condemned to death.”

When one of these professional haranguers, trained in the plausible rhetorical art, popular with the masses, and skilled in moving their emotions, threatened a quiet, law-abiding, wealthy citizen with a lawsuit, the citizen might well think twice before deciding to trust to the protection of the courts; to buy off the prosecutor was the simpler and safer way.”


The Greek rhetoricians, beginning probably with Antisthenes, a contemporary of Lysias, distinguished 3 great types of prose composition.” “They found in Thucydides the perfection of the grand style.” “Lysias was the representative of the plain style.” “Isocrates was the representative of the third style, the intermediate type. His style showed a union of the best qualities of the other two.”

So long as Thucydides, Lysias and Isocrates were the greatest of prose writers these 3 <styles> served the purpose of classification; but when the critics were confronted with the problem of defining and classifying the oratory of Demosthenes, they saw the inadequacy of the old formulae. (…) If he were placed with Isocrates as a representative of the intermediate style, the term would become so inclusive as to break down by its vagueness, and he could certainly be placed with neither of the extremes. The critics solved this problem of classification in two ways: some, like Demetrius, added a 4th style, the powerful style. This new <style> was a recognition of the fact that the real characteristic of Demosthenes’ oratory was not any mingling of grand and simple language, but a great power which moved men. Other critics, like Dionysius, made no attempt to remodel the old system, or to find a place for Dem. within it. They preferred rather to treat the style of Dem. as something outside and above the 3 older types: a style which gathered up into itself the virtues of all, and so was superior to all, a power of which the 3 became the instruments. [same shit!]”

Aristotle in the next generation gives in his Rhetoric (3.9) a discussion of the periodic style, which probably represents the developed theory of Thrasymachus,¹ and which has remained the fundamental exposition of periodic theory for both ancient and modern times. Aristotle calls the running style the strung style. The separate thoughts are strung along one after another like beads; the first gives no suggestion that the 2nd is coming, not the 2nd that a 3rd is to follow; the series may stop at any point, or it may go on indefinitely.

¹ (…) Here, as in almost all matters of rhetoric, we must distinguish between the forms which the practical speakers instinctively shaped for themselves, and the names and theories which the rhetoricians afterward applied to them. The testimony as to Thrasymachus is that of Suidas and of Theophrastus, cited by Dionysius. (…)”

Roberts’s edition (Demetrius on Style, Cambridge, 1902), with its admirable translation, commentary and glossary of technical terms, makes this treatise available as the best starting point for the study of the theory of Greek prose style.”

O período não é a unidade mínima. Dentro do estilo periódico, um período se subdivide em colas.

Lysias, even in his plainest style, followed the custom of his time, and made frequent use of antithetic periods.”

In the English we lose much of the periodic effect in losing the similarity of sound at the beginning and end of the cola, which in the Greek added to the unity produced by the parallelism of thought and construction, and by the uniform length of the cola.”

Spencer, Philosophy of Style

Aristotle holds that there are periods composed of a single colon (3.9.5). (…) He probably had in mind the case of a single colon of considerable length, based on sensus suspensio of words.”

If I have attained to any clearness of style, I think it is partly due to my having had to lecture 20 years as a professor at Harvard. It was always present to my consciousness that whatever I said must be understood at once by my hearers or never. Out of this, I, almost without knowing it, formulated the rule that every sentence must be clear in itself and never too long to be carried, without risk of losing its balance, on a single breath of the speaker.” James Russell Lowell

Aristotle’s theory of the ‘period’ was faulty in that it restricted it to the 2 types of the antithetic and the parallel structure. But the modern rhetoricians have gone to the other extreme in making the sensus suspensio the only basis of the period. From that error it has resulted that they speak of a period as being always a full sentence. (…) We should obtain a better theory of the rhetorical period by returning to the sound doctrine of Demetrius, modifying it only by removing the restriction of 4 cola. We should then treat the period as something quite independent of the sentence (though often coinciding with it)”

The fondness for antithesis, already marked in the earlier literature, reached its height in the rhetorical work of Gorgias and his pupils. As compared with them, Lysias is moderate in its use.”

As rhyme was not an ordinary feature of Greek poetry, its use in prose did not seem to the Greek hearer as incongruous as it does to us.”


While Solon’s other units of measure came into universal use in Athens, his linear foot failed to displace, for common purposes, the old Aeginetan foot of 330mm; but this old foot was reduced, probably to correspond to the reduction in the Solonian foot, giving the common working foot of about 328mm. Attic coinage was based on the talent, the weight of a cubic foot of water (or wine). The unit of coinage was the drachma, a coin of pure silver, weighing 1/6000 of a talent, and equal to 4.32 grams, or 66.667 + grains Troy. The modern bullion value of the drachma would be, for the period 1899-1903, $0.08+, and its value in US coined silver would be $0.1795+.”

1 obol = 3 20th century cents

6 obols = 1 drachma

100 drachmas = 1 mina ($18)

60 minas = 1 talento ($1080)

The standard silver dollar contains 371.25g of fine silver. Our silver <quarter> (our coin nearest to the drachma) contains only 347.22g of fine silver per dollar, but as our concern is chiefly with considerable sums of drachmas, the value is better taken on the dollar standard.”

The daric, a coin of pure gold, passed in Athens as equal to 20 drachmas (~$4).”

In the time of Lysias, a drachma would pay a day’s wages of a carpenter, or stone cutter, or superintendent of building operations.” = R$30 (ou seja: de 3 cents para 10 dólares em ~100 anos!)… 30.000% de inflação.

The average day’s wages in the US in 1900 for men corresponding to the Athenian 1-drachma workmen were: for carpenters, $2,63; to stone cutters, $3,45; brick layers, $3,84; stone setters, $3,82. US Bureau of Labor, Bulletin N. 53, July, 1904.”

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