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Andokides not an artist

ANDOKIDES differs in one important respect from all the other Attic orators of the canon. He is not an artist. Each of the rest represents some theory, more or less definite, of eloquence as an art; and is distinguished, not merely by a faculty, but by certain technical merits, the result of labour directed to certain points in accordance with that theory. Among these experts Andokides is an amateur. In the course of an eventful life he spoke with ability and success on some occasions of great moment and great difficulty. But he brought to these efforts the minimum of rhetorical training. He relied almost wholly on his native wit and on a rough, but shrewd, knowledge of men.

This accounts for the comparatively slight attention paid to Andokides by the ancient rhetoricians and critics. Dionysios mentions him only twice; once, where he remarks that Thucydides used a peculiar dialect, which is not employed by ‘Andokides, Antiphon, or Lysias1;’ again, where he says that Lysias is the standard for contemporary Attic, ‘as may be judged from the speeches of Andokides, Kritias and many others2.’ Both these notices recognise Andokides as an authority for the idiom of his own day; and it is evident that he had a philological interest for the critic. On the other hand it is clear that Dionysios discovered in him no striking power; for Andokides does not occur in his long list of men foremost in the various departments of oratory3. Quintilian names him only in one slighting allusion. Who, he asks, is to be our model of Attic eloquence? ‘Let it be Lysias; for his is the style in which the lovers of ‘Atticism’ delight. At this rate we shall not be sent back all the way to Andokides and Kokkos4

1 Dionys. de Thuc. c. 51.

2 de Lys. c. 2.

3 de Isaeo cc. 19 ff.

4 Quint. XII. 10. § 21. “Nam quis erit hic Atticus? Sit Lysias; hunc enim amplectuntur amatores istius nominis modum. Non igitur iam usque ad Coccum et Andocidem remittemur.”.’ It has been thought that Quintilian refers to the Kokkos mentioned by Suidas as a pupil of Isokrates; but, however this may be, the context is enough to show that he means to mark, not the antiquity, but the inferiority (in his view) of the two men. When Herodes Atticus was told by his Greek admirers that he deserved to be numbered with the Attic Ten, he turned off the compliment, with an adroitness which his biographer commends, by saying—‘At all events I am better than Andokides4.’ More definite censure is expressed in the compact criticism of Hermogenes:— ‘Andokides aims at being a political orator, but does not quite achieve it. His figures want clear articulation; his arrangement is not lucid; he constantly tacks on clause to clause, or amplifies in an irregular fashion, using parentheses to the loss of a distinct order. On these accounts he has seemed to some a frivolous and generally obscure speaker. Of finish and ornament his share is small; he is equally deficient in fiery earnestness. Again, he has little, or rather very little, of that oratorical power which is shown in method; general oratorical power he has almost none5.’

The phrase ‘political oratory’ as used by Hermogenes has two senses, a larger and a narrower. In the larger sense it denotes all public speaking as opposed to scholastic declamation, and comprises the deliberative, the forensic, the panegyric styles. In the narrower sense it denotes practical oratory, deliberative or forensic, as opposed not only to scholastic declamation but also to that species of panegyric speaking in which no definite political question is discussed6. Here, the narrower sense is intended. When Hermogenes says that Andokides does not succeed in being a ‘political’ speaker, he means that Andokides does not exhibit—for instance, in the speech On his Return and in the speech On the Peace—the characteristic excellences of deliberative speaking; nor—for instance in the speech On the Mysteries—the characteristic excellences of forensic speaking. What Hermogenes took these excellences to be, he explains at length in another place; the chief of them are these three;—clearness; the stamp of truth; fiery earnestness7.

The first and general remark of Hermogenes upon Andokides implies, then, that he is wanting in these qualities. The special remarks which follow develop it. They refer partly to his arrangement of subject-matter, partly to his style of diction. He is said to have little ‘power’ (or ‘cleverness’) ‘of method’; that is, little tact in seeing where, and how, each topic should be brought in8; he ‘amplifies9’ unnecessarily, by detailing circumstances unnecessary for his point; he obscures the order of his ideas by frequent parentheses, or by adding, as an afterthought, something which ought to have come earlier. As regards diction, in the first place his ‘figures’ are said to be ‘wanting in clear articulation’ (ἀδιάρθρωτα). Hermogenes elsewhere10 enumerates thirteen ‘figures’ of rhetoric, which are either certain fixed modes of framing sentences, such as the antithesis and the period; or (in the phrase of Caecilius) ‘figures of thought,’ such as irony and dilemma11. Hermogenes means that Andokides does not use ‘figures’ of either sort with precision; he does not work them out to an incisive distinctness; he leaves them ‘inarticulate’—still in the rough, and with their outlines dull. Again Andokides has little ‘finish’ (ἐπιμέλεια)—a term by which his critic means refinement and smoothness in composition12. Lastly, Andokides is said to be wanting in ‘fiery earnestness.’ The word γοργότης, which we have attempted thus to paraphrase, plays a very important point in the rhetorical terminology of Hermogenes: it describes one of the three cardinal excellences of ‘political’ oratory13. Perhaps no simple English equivalent can be found for it. But Hermogenes has explained clearly what he means by it. He means earnest feeling, especially indignation, uttered in terse, intense, sometimes abrupt language. It is to a strong and noble emotion what ‘keenness’ (ὀξύτης) and ‘tartness’ (δριμύτης) are to a lower kind of eagerness. The lofty invectives of Demosthenes against Philip supply Hermogenes with his best examples of it14.

We have now seen the worst that can be said of Andokides from the point of view of the technical Rhetoric; and it must be allowed that, from that point of view, the condemnation is tolerably complete. Now the canon of the Ten Attic Orators was probably drawn up at the time when scholastic rhetoric was most flourishing, and when, therefore, the standard of criticism used by Hermogenes and Herodes was the common one. It may seem surprising, then, that Andokides was numbered in the decad at all. Kritias, his contemporary, whom so many ancient writers praise highly, might be supposed to have had stronger claims; and the fact that the memory of Kritias as a statesman was hateful, is not enough in itself to explain his exclusion from a literary group15. Probably one reason, at least, for the preference given to Andokides was the great interest of the subjects upon which he spoke. The speech on the Mysteries, supplying, as it does, the picturesque details of a memorable event, had an intrinsic value quite apart from its merits as a composition. The speech On the Peace with Lacedaemon, again, gives a clear picture of a crisis in the Corinthian War; and is an illustration, almost unique in its way, of Athenian history at the time just after the rebuilding of the walls by Konon, when, for the first time since Aegospotami, Athenian visions of empire were beginning to revive. As Lykurgos seems to have owed his place among the Ten chiefly to his prominence as a patriot, so Andokides may have been recommended partly by his worth as an indirect historian. Again, Dionysios, as we have seen, recognised at least the philological value of Andokides. It is further possible that even rhetoricians of the schools may have found him interesting as an example of merely natural eloquence coming between two opposite styles of art; between the formal grandeur of Antiphon and the studied ease of Lysias.

5 Philostratos, Vit. Her. Att. II. 1. § 14, p. 564 ed. Kayser. βοώσης δὲ ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν τῆς Ἑλλάδος καὶ καλούσης αὐτὸν ἕνα τῶν δέκα, οὐχ ἡττήθη τοῦ ἐπαἱνου, μεγάλου δοκοῦντος, ἀλλ᾽ ἀστειότατα πρὸς τοὺς ἐπαινέσαντας, Ἀνδοκίδου μὲν, ἔφη, βελτίων εἰμί.

6 Hermog. περὶ ἰδεῶν B. c. XI. (vol. II. p. 416 Spengel Rhet. Gr.):— δὲ Ἀνδοκίδης πολιτικὸς μὲν εἶναι προαιρεῖται, οὐ μὴν πάνυ γε ἐπιτυγχάνει τούτου: ἀδιάρθρωτος γάρ ἐστιν ἐν τοῖς σχήμασι καὶ ἀδιευκρίνητος καὶ τὰ πολλὰ ἐπισυνάπτει τε καὶ περιβάλλει ἀτάκτως διὰ τὸ ταῖς ἐπεμβολαῖς χωρὶς εὐκρινείας χρῆσθαι, ὅθεν ἔδοξέ τισι φλύαρος καὶ ἄλλως ἀσαφὴς εἶναι: ἐπιμελείας δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ κόσμου πάνυ βραχὺ μέτεστι, γοργότητός τε ὡσαύτως. καὶ μέντοι καὶ τῆς κατὰ μέθοδον δεινότητος ὀλίγον ἀλλὰ καὶ σφόδρα ὀλίγον ἔχει, τῆς δ᾽ ἄλλης σχεδὸν οὐδ᾽ ὅλως.

7 For the larger sense, see περὶ ἰδεῶν B. c. X. περὶ τοῦ πολιτικοῦ λόγου: in which chapter he says, τούτου δὲ τοῦ λόγου τοῦ πολιτικοῦ μέν ἐστι συμβουλευτικὸς δὲ δικανικὸς δὲ πανηγυρικός. For the narrower sense, see c. XI. περὶ τοῦ ἁπλῶς πολιτικοῦ λόγου: and c. XII. περὶ τοῦ ἁπλῶς πανηγυρικοῦ. It is in the narrower sense—that is, as including deliberative and forensic speaking only, and excluding all epideiktic speaking, on whatever subject—that πολιτικὸς λόγος is generally used: see e.g. the Πητορικὴ πρὸς Ἀλέξανδρον, c. I. (Spengel), δύο γένη τῶν πολιτικῶν εἰσὶ λόγων, τὸ μὲν δημηγορικὸν τὸ δὲ δικανικόν. Cf. Isok. κατὰ σοφ. § 19.

8 See περὶ ἰδ. B. c. X. passim: esp. ad init. φημὶ τοίνυν δεῖν ἐν τῷ τοιούτῳ λόγῳ πλεονάζειν μὲν ἀεὶ τόν τε τὴν σαφήνειαν ποιοῦντα τύπον καὶ τὸν ἠθικόν τε καὶ ἀληθῆ καὶ μετὰ τούτους τὸν γοργόν.

9 The distinction drawn by Hermogenes in his criticism upon Andokides between κατὰ μέθοδον δεινότης and what he calls ἄλλη δεινότης is explained by his own writings. His treatise Περὶ μεθόδου δεινότητος discusses the proper occasion (καιρὸς ἴδιος c. I.) for using the various figures and arts of rhetoric. It is a treatise upon Rhetorical Tact. By ἄλλη δεινότης he means simply what he speaks of in περὶ ἰδ. B. c. XI., περὶ δεινότητος:—oratorical power in the largest and most general sense, including all particular excellences whatsoever.

10 περιβάλλει. Hermogenes uses the terms περιβολή, περιβάλλξιν in a special technical sense, for which it is difficult to find any precise English equivalent. ‘Amplification’ perhaps comes nearest. There are two sorts of περιβολή: (1) κατ᾽ ἔννοιαν—when some special statement is prefaced by a general statement: e.g. πονηρὸν συκαφάντης ἀεί: τοῦτο δὲ καὶ φύσει κίναδος τἀνθρώπιόν ἐστι: (2) κατὰ λέξιν, when a fact is related with all its attendant circumstances: e.g. ὑπεσχόμην χορηγήσειν: πότε; τρίτον ἔτος τουτί: ποῦ; ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ. διὰ τί; οὐ καθεστηκότος χορηγοῦ, κ.τ.λ. See Herm. περὶ ἰδ. A. c. XI.

11 Hermog. περὶ εὑρέσεων Δ.— Ch. I. is περὶ λόγου σχημάτων in genera: cc. II.—XIV. discuss the several σχήματα.

12 See supra, p. 29.

13 See the chapter περὶ ἐπιμελείας καὶ κάλλους, Hermog. περὶ ἰδ. A. c. XII, where he opposes κάλλος τι καὶ εὐρυθμία to τὸ ἀμελὲς καὶ ἄρρυθμον: and observes, πλεῖον δέ τι τῆς ἐπιμελείας καὶ τοῦ κάλλους ἔχουσιν αἱ μικραὶ τῶν λέξεων καὶ δἰ ὀλίγων συγκείμεναι συλλαβῶν: οἷον, περὶ τοῦ πῶς ἀκούειν ὑμᾶς ἐμοῦ δεῖ (from Dem. de Coron. § 2). So the use of short, simple words may be a mark of ἐπιμέλεια—showing how the notion of refinement comes into it.

14 περὶ ἰδ. B. c. X. ad init.

15 See the chapter περὶ γοργότητος (περὶ ἰδ. B. c. I.). He there says that γοργότης is the opposite of slackness and languor (τὸ ἀνειμένον καὶ ὕπτιον):—that it usually expresses itself in the trenchant style (διὰ τοῦ τμητικοῦ γίνεταιτύπου). He cites as examples of γοργότης the opening of the Third Philippic: also de Coron. § 10, ἔστι τοίνυν οὗτος πρῶτος: κ.τ.λ., and several other passages from the same speech; de falsa Legat. § 24, τί γὰρ καὶ βουλόμενοι κ.τ.λ.

16 K. O. Müller says (Hist. Gr. Lit. c. XXXIII. Vol. II. p. 115 n., ed. Donaldson) ‘It is surprising that Kritias was not rather enrolled among the Ten; but perhaps his having been one of the Thirty stood in his way.’

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