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[188] And you must not depart to your homes as men who have merely listened to an oration; nay, those among you who are men of action must exhort one another to try to reconcile our city with Lacedaemon; and those among you who make claims to eloquence must stop composing orations on “deposits,”1 or on the other trivial themes2 which now engage your efforts, and center your rivalry on this subject and study how you may surpass me in speaking on the same question,

1 The translation is influenced by Professor Bonner's note on τὴν παρακαταθήκην in Classical Philology, xv. p. 385. He argues convincingly that τὴν παρακαταθήκην is not a particular deposit but that the article is “generic, not specific.” Deposits entrusted by one man with another were rather common transactions before the days of banks and caused frequent lawsuits. Hence “the deposit theme” became a hackneyed exercise in the schools of rhetoric. It is, in the opinion of Isocrates, too commonplace and trivial for serious oratory.

2 “Humble bees and salt” are mentioned in Isoc. 10.12 as subjects on which speakers show off their powers to the neglect of worthy themes. In general, he seems here to be thinking of such rhetorical tours de force as Lucian caricatures in his Encomium on the House Fly.

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Lacedaemon (Greece) (1)

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.1.1
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Isocrates, Helen, 12
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