previous next


To his Companions: a Complaint of Slanders. [Or. VIII.]

A friend addresses friends who have wronged him—states his grievances—and formally renounces their acquaintance.
Analysis.

The opportunity is favourable for approaching this painful but unavoidable subject. He has before him both those whom he wishes to accuse and those whom he wishes to witness the accusation (§§ 1—2). His so-called friends have spoken of him as having thrust his society upon them (§§ 3—8). They have also persuaded him to buy an unsound horse, and have since taken part with the seller (§§ 9—13). Lastly, they have charged him with inciting others to slander them (§§ 14—17). For all these reasons he renounces their friendship. He will be safe now—for they attack only their friends (§§ 18—20).

It is scarcely worth while to inquire how this curiously absurd composition first came among the works of Lysias. As it is too uniformly dreary to be mistaken for a joke, not even a grammarian's conception of his sportive style can explain the imputation. The person who could thus take leave of his friends is certainly hard to imagine; but it is perhaps equally difficult—notwithstanding the amplitude of fatuity conventionally supposed in ‘the late sophist’—to fancy any one taking such a subject for an exercise1.

1 Benseler—a very close observer of the style of Lysias—points out that in this Eighth Oration there are hardly any examples of hiatus, and that such as do occur can easily be removed — e.g. in § 7 by reading εὐνοοῦντες for εὖνοι ὄντες. Here, then—in this marked avoidance of hiatus—we have at least one definite mark of a postLysian style (Bens. de hiatu, pp. 182 f.). In § 17, again, one may recognise very distinctly the ring of the scholastic rhetoric— ᾤμην γὰρ ἀπόθετος ὑμῖν εἶναι φίλος, κ.τ.λ. Some phrases in §§ 2, 14 again— ἐναντίον τῆς ἐλπίδος δὲ τοσοῦτον ὑπερεῖδε τὸ δἰ ἐμέ—are not like the Attic of Lysias.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: