Period from 250 to 150 B.C. obscure.
From 250 to 150 B.C. the history of Greek oratory is as obscure as the names which represent it. But, as appears from the sequel, such general
tendencies as those represented by Timaeos on the one hand, and by Kallisthenes or Hegesias on the other, had been gaining ground. ‘There are,’ says Cicero,
Cicero on the two kinds of Asianism.
‘two kinds of the Asiatic style. One is aphoristic, pointed, with turns of thought which have less weight or moral dignity than neatness and elegance. ... The other kind is not studded with such points; rather it rushes with an impetuous stream, and this is the manner now universal in Asia (50 B. C.). But it is not merely fluent; its language is also ornate and polished. This was the style used by Aeschylos of Knidos and by my contemporary, Aeschines of Miletos. They were distinguished by rushing eloquence, not by epigrammatic turns of thought.’ (Brut. § 325
The first of these two manners, the epigrammatic, was represented, according to Cicero, by the brothers Hierokles and Menekles of Alabanda, about 120 B.C. The second manner, that of ornate declamation, is represented by Aeschylos of Knidos and Aeschines of Miletos, about 80 B.C. It may be observed that
Why one was earlier, the other later.
the full development of the declamatory manner naturally came later than the other; for it was the last result of those declamatory exercises on which Asianism was founded1
. In the progress of the decadence Hegesias was to Aeschylos of Knidos much what Antiphon was to Demosthenes.