392 B.C. Beginning of his career as (1) an educator, (2) a publicist.
It was about the year 392 that this choice was finally made. He opened a school at Athens near the Lykeion1
; and thenceforth his social function
was twofold. He was first of all an educator; next, not for his pupils only but the whole Greek public, he was a political essayist.
The discourse Against the Sophists is the manifesto which he put forth (about 391) at the beginning of his professional life, as the speech on the
The Discourse ‘Against the Sophists.’
Antidosis is the apologia in which about forty years later he reviewed it. In this first pamphlet he negatively defines his view of culture by protesting against three classes of ‘sophists’; (1) the Eristics, by whom he seems to mean the minor Sokratics—the reference to Plato is not certain here, as in the Helenae Encomium
—especially Eukleides and the Megarics: (2) the ordinary professors of deliberative and forensic speaking, whom he censures chiefly for the imposture (ἀλαζόνεια
) of ascribing a boundless and infallible efficacy to a technical method; (3) the earlier writers of ‘Arts,’ of whom he complains, as Aristotle complained afterwards, that they confined themselves to the least worthy, the forensic, branch of Rhetoric.