The Olympiakos compared with the Panegyrikos.
Here the extract ends—probably at the point
where Lysias addressed himself more particularly
to the state of Sicily, before concluding with an invective against the envoys of Dionysios. It is natural to compare with this fragment the great speech in which eight years later the same subject was treated,—the Panegyrikos of Isokrates. In each case a Panhellenic audience is reminded of the political unity of Hellas and is urged to common action against the barbarian; in each case there is an appeal to the most powerful of the Greeks to become organisers and leaders of the rest; in each case the speaker claims to be a more practical adviser than his predecessors. This last claim would not be easy to decide. It would be hard to say which was the more hopeful scheme; in 388, that Sparta should persuade the other Greek cities to lay aside all jealousies and unite for the common defence under her leadership; or in 380, that Sparta and Athens should jointly achieve that task, and act as harmonious colleagues in such a leadership. As regards form, the vigorous plainness which stamps the fragment of the Olympiakos is perhaps in better keeping with counsel given at a grave national crisis than is the artistic finish of the Panegyrikos. Dionysios says that in the epideictic style Lysias is ‘somewhat languid,’ and wants that power of ‘rousing the hearer’ which Isokrates, like Demosthenes, possessed1
. It is not certainly in this fragment that we find the justification of the criticism.