Third period of his School, 351—338 B C.
The speech On the Antidosis
(353) would have been a fitting farewell to a long and prosperous career. During the last thirteen years of his life (351—338) the foremost interest of Isokrates cannot have been in his work as a teacher. Philip of Macedon was coming to his full power; and in the Philippos
(346) Isokrates already hails the destined restorer of Greece. But to the end of his life Isokrates continued to teach. The Panathenaikos
was begun in 342. It was about half-finished when he was attacked by a disease against which—when he finished the discourse in 339—he had been fighting for three years1
. But he was still working hard every day. He speaks of himself, in another place2
, as revising it with some young pupils. He was then ninety-seven.
The importance of his school for Athens and for
Greece can best be judged from the series of men whom it helped to form. Hermippos of Smyrna wrote a book on the ‘Disciples of Isokrates’;3
and the monograph of a modern scholar has brought together forty-one of these4
. In the speech On the
it is part of the imaginary accuser's indictment that the pupils of Isokrates have been not only private persons but statesmen, generals, kings5
. Cicero describes the school of Isokrates as that in which the eloquence of all Greece was trained and perfected (Brut. 32
: Orator § 40.
). Its disciples were the foremost speakers or writers of their time—brilliant, as he says elsewhere, ‘either in battle or in pageant’.6
According to Dionysios, Isokrates was the most illustrious teacher of his day; he educated the best youths of his own city and of all Greece—distinguished, some as politicians, some as advocates, some as historians; and made his school the true image of Athens7
. Among the statesmen are Timotheos, the orator Leôdamas of Acharnae, Lykurgos and
Representative pupils of Isocrates.
Hypereides. Among the philosophers or rhetoricians are Isaeos, Isokrates of Apollonia, successor of his master in the school, and Speusippos, successor of his uncle Plato in the Academy. History is represented by Ephoros and Theopompos.
But it was not only or most directly through the statesmen, speakers and writers whom he
His influence as a political writer.
trained that Isokrates was related to the public interests of his day. His own political writings, read throughout Greece, gave him greater influence upon popular opinion than belonged to any other literary man of the time; and he used this influence principally to enforce one idea.