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His treatment of subject, matter.

Having now noticed the leading characteristics of Lysias in regard to form of language, we will consider some of his characteristics in the other great department of his art—the treatment of the subject-matter. In this the ancient critics distinguished two chief elements, Invention and Arrangement1.

By ‘invention’ was meant the faculty of discovering

the arguments available in any given circumstances; the art, in short, of making the most of a case. Sokrates, criticising the speech in the Phaedros, is made to express contempt for the inventive power of Lysias2. Arguments, however, which would not pass with a dialectician, might do very well for a jury. If Plato found Lysias barren of logical resource, Dionysios emphatically praises his fertile cleverness in discovering every weapon of controversy which the facts of a case could yield to the most penetrating search3. The latter part of the speech against Agoratos may be taken as a good example of this exhaustive ingenuity4. It is a fault, indeed, that there the speaker attempts to make too many small points in succession; and one, at least, of these is a curious instance of overdone subtlety5.

In regard to arrangement, Lysias is distinguished

from all other Greek orators by a uniform simplicity. His speeches consist usually of four parts, which follow each other in a regular order: proem, narrative, proof, epilogue6. In some cases, the nature of the subject renders a narrative, in the proper sense, unnecessary; in others, the narrative is at the same time the proof; in a few, the proem is almost or entirely dispensed with. But in no case is there anything more elaborate than this fourfold partition, —and in no case is the sequence of the parts altered. This simple arrangement, contrasting with the manifold subdivisions which Plato notices as used by the rhetoricians of his day7, is usually said to have been first made by Isokrates8. This may be true in the sense that it was he who first stated it theoretically. In practice, however, it had already been employed by Lysias; and more strictly than by Isokrates himself9. The difference between their systems, according to Dionysios, is precisely this;—Lysias uses always the same simple framework, never interpolating, subdividing or defining10; Isokrates knows how to break the uniformity by transpositions of his own devising, or by novel episodes11. The same difference, in a stronger form, separates Lysias here from his imitator in much else, Isaeos. Every kind of artifice is used by Isaeos in shifting, subdividing, recombining the four rudimentary elements of the speech according to the special conditions of the case12. It was this versatile tact in disposing his forces—this generalship13, as Dionysios in one place calls it—which chiefly procured for Isaeos the reputation of unequalled adroitness in fighting a bad cause14. Lysias had consummate literary skill and much acuteness; but his weapons were better than his plan of campaign; he was not a subtle tactician. ‘In arranging what he has invented he is commonplace, frank, guileless;’15 while Isaeos ‘plays all manner of ruses upon his adversary,’16 Lysias ‘uses no sort of knavery.’17 Invention and selection are admirable in him: arrangement is best studied in his successors18.

1 εὕρεσιςτάξις: Dionys. De Lys. c. 15.

2 Plat. Phaedr. pp. 234 E—236 A.

3 Dionys. Lys. c. 13.

4 In Agorat. §§ 49—90.

5 ib. §§ 70—90, in which it is argued that the amnesty of 403 does not hold good as between two members of the same political party.

6 ἔστι δὲ τὰ τῆς ὑποθέσεως στοιχεῖα τέσσαρα, προοίμιον, διήγησις, πίστεις, ἐπίλογος: Dionys. Art. Rhet. X. c. 12. Aristotle's enumeration is προοίμιον, πρόθεσις, πίστις, ἐπίλογος: Rhet. III. 13.

7 Phaedr. pp. 266 E, 267 E. Cf. Arist. Rhet. IV. 13.

8 Dionys. Lys. 16: Sauppe, O.A. II. 224: Cope, Introd. to Arist. Rhetoric, p. 332.

9 Westermann (Griesch. Bereds. p. 75) seems to recognise Lysias as the inventor of the fourfold partition.

10 Dionys. De Lys. c. 15.

11 Id. De Isocr. c. 4, τὸ διαλαμβάνεσθαι τὴν ὁμοειδίαν ἰδίαις μεταβολαῖς καὶ ξένοις ἐπεισοδίοις.

12 Id. De Isae. c. 14.

13 τοὺς δὲ δικαστὰς καταστρατηγεῖ, De Isae 3.

14 His reputation in this respect was of a somewhat sinister kind:— ἦν δὲ περὶ αὐτοῦ δόξα παρὰ τοῖς τότε γοητείας καὶ ἀπάτης, ὡς δεινὸς ἀνὴρ τεχνιτεῦσαι λόγους ἐπὶ τὰ πονηρότερα. Dionys. De Isae. 4.

15 ἔστιν ἀπέριττός τις καὶ ἐλεύθερος καὶ ἀπόνηρος οἰκονομῆσαι τὰ εὑρεθέντα: Dionys. De Lys. c. 15.

16 πρὸς τὸν ἀντίδικον διαπονηρεύεται, De Isae. c. 3.

17 οὔτε γὰρ προκατασκευαῖς .τ.λ.], ...οὔτε ταῖς ἄλλαις τοιαύταις πανουργίαις εὑρίσκεται χρώμενος. De Lys. c. 15.

18 Ib.

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