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for, in the first place, we all know that the empire of the Persians attained its great magnitude, not because of the intelligence of the population, but because they more than other peoples respect the royal office; secondly, that Dionysius,Dionysius, the elder, became tyrant of Syracuse in 406 B.C. the tyrant, taking charge of Sicily when the rest of it had been devastated by war and when his own country, Syracuse, was in a state of siege, not only delivered it from the dangers which then threatened, but also made it the greatest of Hellenic states;
It was because we had these objections, and others besides, to oligarchies that we established the same polityA democratic government. Cf. Isoc. 12.54 ff. in the other states as in Athens itself—a polity which I see no need to extol at greater length, since I can tell the truth about it in a word: They continued to live under this regime for seventy years,A round number. So Lys. 2.55. Demosthenes reckons the period of supremacy more accurately at 73 years, 477-404. In Isoc. 12.56 Isocrates reckons it at 65 years—roughly from the Confederacy of Delos to the Athenian disaster in Sicily, which was really the beginning of the end of the Athenian supremacy. and, during this time, they experienced no tyrannies, they were free from the domination of the barbarians, they were untroubled by internal factions, and they were at peace with all the wor
they sacked and razed the city of Mantinea,In 383 B.C. Cf. Isoc. 8.100; Xen. Hell. 5.2.7. after peace had been concluded; they seized the CadmeaIn the same year. See Xen. Hell. 5.2.25. The Cadmea was the citidel of Thebes. in Thebes; and nowThis helps in dating the Panegyricus. they are laying siege to Olynthus and Phlius:The siege of Olynthus was begun in 382 B.C. See Xen. Hell. 5.2.11. The siege of Phlius was begun in 380 B.C. See Xen. Hell. 5.2.8. on the other hand, they are assisting Amyntas, king of the Macedonians,Amyntas, the father of Philip, was aided by the Spartans against Olynthus 383 B.C. See Isoc. 6.46 and Isoc. 5.106. and Dionysius,For the sympathy between Sparta and Dionysius see Isoc. 8.99, Isoc. 6.63. the tyrant of Sicily, and the barbarian king who rules over Asia,By the Peace of Antalcidas. to extend their dominions far and wide.
But perhaps many might even laugh at my simplicity if I should lament the misfortunes of individual men, in times like these, when Italy has been laid waste,By Dionysius I. See Dio. Sic. 14.106 ff. when Sicily has been enslaved,The Sicilian cities, Selinius, Agrigentum, and Himera, were surrendered to the Carthaginians by Dionysius. See Dio. Sic. 13.114. when such mighty cities have been given over to the barbarians,By the Treaty of Antalcidas. and when the remaining portions of the Hellenic race are in the gravest peril.
Again, there is the case of DionysiusDionysius, the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse, 406-367 B.C.（for I desire you to be convinced by many instances that the course of action to which I am urging you is an easy one）. He was a person of small account among the Syracusans in birth,See Dio. Sic. 13.96. in reputation, and in all other respects;Yet Isocrates once wrote to him a most respectful letter （ Isoc. Letter 1）. yet, being inspired by a mad and unreasoning passion for monarchy, and having the hardihood to do anything which advanced him to this goal, he made himself master of Syracuse, conquered all the states in Sicily which were of Hellenic origin, and surrounded himself with a power on both land and seaA navy of three hundred and ten ships, Dio. Sic. 14.42, and an army of a hundred thousand men more or less, Dio. Sic. 2.5. greater than any man before his time had pos
And do not be surprised （as I said in my letter to Dionysius after he had made himself master of Sicily） that I, who am not a general nor a public orator nor in any other position of authority, have expressed myself to you more boldly than the others. The fact is that nature has placed me more at a disadvantage than any of my fellow-citizens for a public career:Isocrates dwells on his disabilities repeatedly. Cf. Isoc. Letter 1.9; Isoc. Letter 8.7; and Isoc. 12.9-10. See General Introd. p. xix. I was not given a strong enough voice nor sufficient assurance to enable me to deal with the mob, to take abuse, and bandy words with the men who haunt the rostr
For I declare that we must send our parents and our wives and children and the mass of the people away from Sparta, some to Sicily, some to Cyrene, others to the mainland of Asia,Greek emigration from the home country was commonly towards the far west （Sicily）, the east （coast of Asia Minor）, or the south （Cyrene）. Moreover, Dionysius the tyrant of Syracuse and the “dynasts” in Asia were friendly to the Spartans （see § 63）, and Cyrene was a Spartan settlement （see Isoc. 5.5）. where the inhabitads the far west （Sicily）, the east （coast of Asia Minor）, or the south （Cyrene）. Moreover, Dionysius the tyrant of Syracuse and the “dynasts” in Asia were friendly to the Spartans （see § 63）, and Cyrene was a Spartan settlement （see Isoc. 5.5）. where the inhabitants will all gladly welcome them with gifts of ample lands and of the other means of livelihood as well, partly in gratitude for favors which they have received and partly in expectation