His life at Athens from 412 to 405 B C.
The next seven years at Athens—from 412 to 405—seem to have been years of peace and prosperity for the brothers. They were the owners of three houses, one in the town, in which Polemarchos lived1
; another in the Peiraeus, occupied by Lysias; and, adjoining the latter, a shield-manufactory, employing a hundred and twenty slaves. Informers— who were especially dangerous to rich foreigners— did not vex them2
; they had many friends; and, in the liberal discharge of public services, were patterns to all resident-aliens3
. The possession of house
shows that they belonged—as their father Kephalos had doubtless belonged—to that privileged class of resident-aliens who paid no special tax as such, and who, as being on a par in respect of taxes with citizens, were called isoteleis. If Lysias continued his rhetorical studies during this quiet time, he probably had not yet begun to write speeches for the law-courts. A rich man, as he then was, had no motive for taking to a despised drudgery; and the only extant speech ascribed to him which refers to a date earlier than 403—that for Polystratos—is probably spurious. Cicero5
, quoting Aristotle, says that Lysias once kept a rhetorical school, but gave it up because Theodôros surpassed him in technical subtlety. If this story is worth anything, there is perhaps one reason for referring it to the years 412—405; it certainly imputes to Lysias the impatience of a wealthy amateur. At any rate the ornamental pieces enumerated in the lists of his works—the encomia, the letters, the show-speeches—may have belonged in part to this period of his life. After 403 he wrote for the lawcourts as a profession, and wrote with an industry which can have left little time for the rhetoric of display.