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Diction.

As regards diction, the resemblance is close. Isaeos, emulous of that persuasive ‘plainness’ (ἀφέλεια) in which Lysias was so consummate an artist, takes the first step towards attaining it by imitating Lysias in the correctness, the conciseness, the simplicity of his language. When some errors of the manuscripts have been amended1, few blemishes remain discernible in the purity both of grammar and of idiom with which Isaeos writes Attic2. The true exceptions to his conciseness are equally rare3; and, if anyone would see how remote is Isaeos from a really inartistic diffuseness, he need only compare the oration On the Estate of Hagnias with two speeches, one of them concerning the same inheritance, which have wrongly been ascribed to Demosthenes—the speech Against Makartatos and the speech Against Olympiodoros4. In the combination of brevity with clearness, Isaeos stands, indeed, next to Lysias. In the avoidance of rare or poetical expressions, of tropes, of novel compounds, or of phrases akin to comedy, the nearest rival of Lysias is Isokrates; but Isaeos follows at no long interval5. Lastly, the diction of Isaeos, like that of Lysias, has vividness—ἐνάργεια—aptitude for ‘bringing under the senses what is narrated’6. It is when we turn from diction to composition, from the choice of words to the way of putting them together, that the marked unlikeness begins.

1 I. § 1, βοηθεῖν τε τῷ πατρὶ τῷ ποιησαμένῳ με καὶ ἐμαυτῷ, where we should probably read βοηθεῖν τῷ τε. and so in VIII, § 1, οὗτυί τε τοῦ κλήρου λαγχάνουσιν ὡς ἐγγυτάτω γένους ὄντες, ἡμᾶς τε ὑβρίζουσιν. Similarly, in I. § 48, a false reading is καὶ νῦν μὲν ἐβούλετο ἡμᾶς, instead of καὶ νῦν ἐβ. ἡμᾶς μέν: in II. § 26, μὲν αὑτῷ for αὑτῷ μέν: in VI. § 18, Εὐκτήμων μὲν γὰρ ἐβίω ἔτη for . γὰρ ἐβίω μὲν ἔτη, κ.τ.λ.—In VI. § 10, ἐπειδὴ δὲ προδιαμεμαρτύρηκεν ὡς υἱὸν εἶναι γνήσιον Εὐκτήμονος τοῦτον, Blass (Att. Ber. II. 469) would read for ὡς υἱὸν εἶναι γνήσιον Ε. τοῦτον, υἱοὺς εἶναι γνησίουςτούσδε. In XI. § 10, ἡμεῖς δέ, ἐγὼ καὶ Στράτιος καὶ Στρατοκλῆςπαρεσκευάζοντο, the 1st pers. plur. is no bold change.Priscian XVIII. c. 25 says:—Attici ὅταν ἔλθῃ de futuro dicunt. Isaeus etiam de praeterito: ὅταν ἔλθῃ, εἰώθει παρ᾽ ἐκείνῳ κατάγεσθαι. Et iterum: ὅταν ἔλθω, παρ᾽ ἐκείνῳ κατηγόμην. Antiquiores tamen ὅτε ἔλθοι de praeterito dicunt. These impossible solecisms must have been mere blunders of the copyist for ὅτε ἔλθοι, ὅτε ἔλθοιμι.

2 One or two instances of incorrectness or inelegance may be noticed. (1) VII. § 36, ἐγὼ τοίνυν ἕν γε τῶν ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου δοκιμασθέντων πεποίηκα: ‘I have done one at least of the things about which he had satisfied himself’—i. e., which he felt sure that I would do [the speaker had been saying that he had been approved by his actions, δεδοκιμασμένος, to the testator, as likely to do public services]. where we should have expected πιστευθέντων. (2) VIII. § 6, λόγων ἀκοῇ καὶ μαρτύρων—objective and subjective genitives harshly joined. (3) I. § 41, διαθήκας... ἀψευδεῖς ἀπέφηναν, καὶ οἱ μὲν τὸ παράπαν οὐ γενομένας, ἐνίων δ᾽ οὐκ ὀρθῶς βεβουλευμένων. (4) III. § 35, οὐ χαλεπὸν γνῶναι ὅτι φαίνεται περιφανῶς, κ.τ λ.

3 The clumsy wordiness of a few passages seems to come from the wish of ἀφέλεια: e.g. II. § 38, Βούλομαι ὑμῖν καὶ αὐτους τούτους μάρτυρας παρασχέσθαι, καὶ ἐμοὶ μαρτυροῦντας ἔργῳ καὶ οὐ λόγῳ, ἐξ ὧν ἔπραξαν αὐτοί, ὅτι ἐγὼ τἀληθῆ λέγω, cf. ib. § 18: VII. § 14, Ἀπολλοδώρῳ γὰρ ἦν υἱός, ὃν ἐκεῖνος καὶ ἤσκει καὶ δἰ ἐπιμελείας εἶχεν, ὥσπερ καὶ προσῆκον ἦν. On the other hand, Isaeos never repeats himself, as Lysias sometimes does, through the desire of parallelism.

4 XLIII. πρὸς Μακάρτατον: XLVIII. κατὰ Ὀλυμπιοδώρου βλάβης. See Schäfer, Dem. u. seine Zeit, III. Append. 5, 6, pp. 229—241: who thinks that they are by the same hand. The Hagnias of Isaeos and the Makartatos have to do with the same inheritance. Isaeos begins (XI. § 8) ‘Hagnias, Eubulides, Stratios (uncle of Hagnias), and myself, are sons of cousins’:—the pseudo-Demosthenes goes through the entire stemma of the Buselidae (§§ 19—21). Cf. Blass, II. 470.

5 A few exceptions may be noticed:—1. Rare or poetical expressions σχέτλιος (XI § 5), ἀναίνεσθαι (II. § 25), ἐν Ἅιδου (II. § 45): ἀποσυλᾶν (V. § 30): λυμαίνεσθαι (VI. 18). —2. Tropes: καταφυγὴ τῆς ἐρημίας καὶ παραψυχὴ τοῦ βίου, said of Adoption (II. § 13): βραβευτάς in sense of δικαστάς (IX. § 35) μαρτύρια, = μνημεῖα ἀρετῆς, V. § 41: δοκιμασία in general sense of ‘test’, VII. § 34, and so βάσανος, IX. § 29: παρανοίας αἱρεῖν, to convict (the dead) of folly, ib. § 36: ἵνα αὐτῶν ἐκκόψαιμι ταύτην τὴν ἱεροσυλίαν, ‘that I might radically frustrate this their sacrilege’ (i.e. this attempt to rob the dead, VIII. § 39): παρακαταθέμενος ὑμῖν, ‘deposited in your memories’ (XI § 32). 3. Novel compounds: καθιπποτρόφηκας, κατεζευγοτρόφηκας (V § 43): ὑποπαρωθῶν (VIII. § 38): καταπεπαιδεραστηκέναι (X. § 25)—4. Phrases akin to Comedy: ἐπὶ τὰ Νικοστράτου ᾁξαντες (IV. § 10): ἐν τοῖς λιθουργείοις κυλινδεῖται (VI. § 44): ὑποπεπτωκότες τῇ ἀνθρώπῳ, of legacy-hunters (VI. § 29): οὐκ ἐτόλμησε γρῦξαι (VIII § 27).

6 Vol. I. p. 172.

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