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Headword: Λυσίας
Adler number: lambda,858
Translated headword: Lysias
Vetting Status: high
[Lysias,] son of Kephalos; a Syracusan, an orator, pupil of T[e]isias and of Nikias,[1] one of the 10 orators [sc. selected as the best] with Demosthenes.[2] He was born in Athens, after Kephalos had migrated there [sc. from Sicily]. At the age of 15 he moved to Thourioi with two [of his] brothers, intending to participate in the colony;[3] but after he had been expelled from there for pro-Athenian views he returned to Athens, aged 47.[4] His authentic speeches are said to be more than 300, besides which others are of disputed authorship.[5] In the purity of his language he had no peer except Isocrates.[6] He also wrote rhetorical handbooks and public addresses, together with encomia and funeral speeches and 7 letters, one of them on a matter of business, the rest love-letters -- five of them to young men.
Greek Original:
Λυσίας, Κεφάλου, Συρακούσιος, ῥήτωρ, μαθητὴς Τισίου καὶ Νικίου, εἷς τῶν μετὰ Δημοσθένους ι# ῥητόρων. ἐτέχθη δ' ἐν Ἀθήναις, μετοικήσαντος τοῦ Κεφάλου ἐκεῖσε. γεγονὼς δὲ ἐτῶν ιε# εἰς Θουρίους ᾤχετο σὺν ἀδελφοῖς δύο, κοινωνήσων τῆς ἀποικίας. εἶτα ἐκπεσὼν ἐκεῖθεν ἐπ' Ἀττικισμῷ ἐπανῆλθεν εἰς Ἀθήνας, ἄγων ἔτος μζ#. λόγοι δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγονται εἶναι γνήσιοι ὑπὲρ τοὺς τ#: καὶ ἕτεροι πρὸς τούτοις ἀμφιδοξούμενοι. τῷ δὲ καθαρῷ τῆς φράσεως οὐδένα ἔσχε μιμητὴν πλὴν Ἰσοκράτους. ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ τέχνας ῥητορικὰς καὶ δημηγορίας, ἐγκώμιά τε καὶ ἐπιταφίους καὶ ἐπιστολὰς ζ#, μίαν μὲν πραγματικὴν, τὰς δὲ λοιπὰς ἐρωτικάς: ὧν αἱ πέντε πρὸς μειράκια.
C5/4 BCE. (Probably died c.380, but the birth-date of 459/8 as given here and elsewhere is problematic and should probably be brought down to 445-436: see J.K. Davies, Athenian Propertied Families 600-300 BC (Oxford 1971) 587-9). See generally OCD(4) s.v.
[1] Only the first of these names is known (iota 652, etc.); the second may well be textually corrupt.
[2] For the hellenistic "Canon" of the best Ten Attic Orators see OCD(4) s.v. Attic Orators.
[3] See generally theta 418. The phrase "with two brothers" garbles its source ([Plutarch], Lives of the Ten Orators 835D): L. had three brothers in all, one of whom accompanied him.
[4] A number calculated from the the 459/8 birth-date, on which see above; it nevertheless allows us to place this episode in c.412.
[5] The figures in [Plutarch], Lives of the Ten Orators 836A, are 425 in all, 233 reckoned genuine.
[6] See generally iota 652.
Keywords: biography; chronology; gender and sexuality; geography; history; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 12 September 2001@10:16:10.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, status) on 25 November 2003@00:27:58.
David Whitehead (completed n.2; added a keyword; cosmetics) on 25 November 2003@02:58:56.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks) on 6 April 2009@06:19:31.
David Whitehead on 24 April 2013@06:05:23.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@03:58:33.


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