Isocrates a rhetorical artist
IT has been seen that the end which Isokrates set before himself in all his work was practical, and practical in a high way. His teaching aimed at forming good citizens, not only of Athens, but of Greece. His writings aimed at showing how literary skill might be applied to the treatment of really political subjects. But, except during those few
years of his earlier life in which he wrote for the law-courts, he had nothing to do with practical oratory. Want of nerve and of voice hindered him from coming forward in the ekklesia. With the exception of the six forensic speeches, all his extant compositions were meant to be read, not to be spoken. Considered in regard to subject-matter, he is a publicist. Considered in regard to form, he is a stylist. And his distinction as a stylist is this, that he was the first Greek who gave a really artistic
than an artist in rhetorical prose.
finish to literary rhetorical prose.