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The state of the text

TWENTY-ONE Speeches or Discourses, and nine Letters, are extant under the name of Isokrates. All these are probably genuine1. Nor is any lost work, except the ‘Art of Rhetoric,’ known from a definite citation2. Suidas speaks of thirty-two discourses3. In the Plutarchic Life, the number given is sixty,—of which only twenty-eight were allowed as genuine by Caecilius and only twenty-five by Dionysios4. Photios knew only twenty-one5. Dionysios, the strictest, may be taken as also the best canon. If it may be assumed that his collection included ours, we have all but four of those compositions which he thought genuine.

The text of our collection is tolerably perfect.

The only gaps of any importance are at the end of Oration XIII (Against the Sophists); at the beginning of Oration XVI (‘De Bigis’); and probably at the end of Letters I, VI and IX6.

1 As to the questions raised in the cases of Or. XVII, XVIII, XXI, see below.

2 These, indeed, have been supposed to be lost:—(1) An ἐπιτάφιος Γρύλλου [Gryllos, Xenophon's son] was written, according to Hermippos ap. Diog. L. II. 55, by Isokrates; but this probably refers to Isokrates of Apollonia: see Sauppe O. A. II. 227. The same explanation applies to the case of (2) a Μαυσώλου ἐγκώμιον ascribed to our Isokrates in the Plutarchic Life, which Jerome Wolf follows (p. 684, ed. of 1570). Suidas expressly ascribes this ἐγκώμιον to the Apolloniate. (3) From Arist. Rh. II. 19 it has been quite needlessly assumed—as by Benseler de Hiatu p. 56—that there was a λόγος πρὸς Εὔθυνον distinct from the extant πρὸς Εὐθύνουν [Or. XXI]. But see Sauppe O. A. II. 227. (4) From the Philippos [Or. IV] § 81, Wolf, l. c., assumes a lost ‘oratio ad Dionysium.’ But the allusion—even if it does not refer to the first of the extant epistles—evidently does not warrant any definite inference. As regards the ‘Art of Rhetoric,’ see below.

3 S.V. Ἰσοκράτης.

4 [Plut.] vit. Isocr. § 20.

5 Phot. cod. 159, οὕτω μὲν καὶ τοσούτους ἔγνωμεν Ἰσοκράτους λόγους, ἕνα καὶ εἴκοσιν ὄντας. In 260,— φέρονται δὲ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀριθμὸν ξ́ (60), &c.—The statement is simply a transcription from the Plutarchic Life

6 In the case of each of the three Letters, another explanation is possible—that they are merely prefaces, προπεμπτικά, to essays or pamphlets sent along with them or after them.

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