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Lysias at Thurii.

At the age of fifteen1—his father, according to one account, being dead2—Lysias went to Thurii, accompanied certainly by his eldest brother Polemarchos; perhaps also by Euthydêmos3. At Thurii, where he passed his youth and early manhood, he is said to have studied rhetoric under Tisias4 of Syracuse, himself the pupil of Korax, reputed founder of the art. If, as is likely, Tisias was born about 485 B. C. and did not go to Athens till about 418, there is nothing impossible in this account. At any rate it is probable that Lysias had lessons from some teacher of the Sicilian school, a school the trammels of which his maturer genius so thoroughly shook off. The overthrow of the Athenian arms in Sicily brought into power an anti-Athenian faction at Thurii. Lysias and his brother, with three hundred persons accused of ‘Atticising5,’ were driven out, and fled to Athens in 412 B. C.6. A tradition, idle, indeed, but picturesque, connected the Athenian disaster in Sicily with the last days of Lysias in southern Italy. To him was ascribed a speech, possessed by the ancients, in which the captive general Nikias implored the mercy of his Sicilian conquerors7.

1 Dionys. Lys. 1.

2 [Plut.] Vit. Lys.

3 Dionysios (l. c.) says σὺν ἀδελφοῖς δυσί: the pseudo-Plut. mentions Polemarchos only.

4 The pseudo-Plut. says παιδευόμενος παρὰ Τισίᾳ καὶ Νικίᾳ τοῖς Συρακουσίοις. Blass thinks that the name of the unknown Nikias arose out of Τισίᾳ by a dittography.

5 Ἀττικισμὸν ἐγκληθεῖσι, Dionys. Lys. 1.

6 Dionysios and the pseudoPlut. both mark the date by the archonship of Kallias.

7 See the short fragment of this speech ὑπὲρ Νικίου in Sauppe O. A. II. p. 199. Dionysios unliesitatingly rejeeted it, and the few remaining words suffiee in themselves to betray a vulgar rhetorician:—κλαίω τὸν ἀμάχητον καὶ ἀναυμάχητον ὄλεθρον, κ.τ.λ. But it must have been at least as old as the latter part of the fourth century B C, since Theophrastos quoted it (Dionys. Lys. 14).

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