1. The last and at the same time the least important among the ten Attic orators, was born at Corinth about B. C. 361. (Dionys. Deinarch.
4.) His father's name was Sostratus, or, according to Suidas (s. v. Δείναρχος
), Socrates. Though a native of Corinth, he lived at Athens from his early youth. Public oratory there reached its height about this tine, and Deinarchus devoted himself to the study of it with great zeal under the guidance of Theophrastus, though he also profited much by his intercourse with Demetrius Phalereus. (Dionys. l.c.
2; Plut. Vit. X Orat.
p. 850; Phot. Bibl.
p. 496, ed. Bekker; Suidas, l.c.
) As he was a foreigner, and did not possess the Athenian franchise, he was not allowed to come forward himself as an orator on the great questions which then divided public opinion at Athens, and he was therefore obliged to content himself with writing orations for others.
He appears to have commenced this career in his twenty-sixth year, about B. C. 336, and as about that time the great Attic orators died away one after another, Deinarchus soon acquired considerable reputation and great wealth.
He belonged to the friends of Phocion and the Macedonian party, and took a very active part in the disputes as to whether Harpalus, who had openly deserted the cause of Alexander the Great, should be tolerated at Athens or not.
The time of his greatest activity is from B. C. 317 to B. C. 307, during which time Demetrius Phalereus conducted the administration of Athens.
But when in B. C. 307 Demetrius Poliorcetes advanced against Athens, and Demetrius Phalereus was obliged to take to flight, Deinarchus, who was suspected on account of his equivocal political conduct, and who was anxious to save his riches, fled to Chalcis in Euboea.
It was not till fifteen years after, B. C. 292, that, owing to the exertions of his friend Theophrastus, he obtained permission to return to Athens, where he spent the last years of his lift, and died at an advanced age.
The last event of his life of which we have any record, is a law-suit which he instituted against his faithless friend, Proxenus, who lead robbed him of his property.
But in what manner the suit ended, is unknown.
The principal source of information respecting the life of Deinarchus is the treatise of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, from which is derived the greater part of what is preserved in Plutarch (Vit. X Orat.
p. 850), Photius (Bibl.
p. 496, ed. Bekk), Suidas (l.c.
), and others.
The number of orations which Deinarchus wrote is uncertain, for Demetrius of Magnesia (apud Dionys. l.c.
1; comp. Suidas and Eudoc. p. 130) ascribed to him one hundred and sixty, while Plutarch and Photius speak only of sixty-four genuine orations; and Dionysius is of opinion, that among the eighty-seven which were ascribed to him in his time, only sixty were genuine productions of Deinarchus. Of all these orations three only have come down to us entire, and all three refer to the question about Harpalus. One is directed against Philocles, the second against Demosthenes, and the third against Aristogeiton.
It is, however, not improbable that the speech against Theocrincs, which is usually printed among those of Demosthenes, is likewise a work of Deinarchus. (See pp. 1333 and 1336 of that oration; Dionys. l.c.
10; Liban. Argam.;
Harpocrat. s. v. ἀγραφίου
; Apostol. Proverb.
19.49.) The titles and fragments of the orations which are lost, are collected as far as can be by Fabricius (Bibl. Gr.
ii. p. 864, &c.), and more complete by Westermann. (Gesch. der griech. Beredtsamk.
p. 311, &c.)
The ancients, such as Dionysius who gives an accurate account of the oratory of Deinarchus, and especially Hermogenes (de Form. Orat.
2.11), speak in terms of high praise of his orations; but there were others also who thought less favourably of him; some grammarians would not even allow him a place in the canon of the ten Attic orators (Bibl. Coislin, p. 597), and Dionysius mentions, that he was treated with indifference by Callimachus and the grammarians of Pergamus. However, some of the most eminent grammarians, such as Didymus of Alexandria and Heron of Athens, did not disdain to write cormentaries upon him. (Harpocrat. s.v. μαρτυλεῖον
; Suid. s. v. Ἤρων
The orations still extant enable us to form an independent opinion upon the merits of Deinarchus; and we find that Dionysius's judgment is, on the whole, quite correct. chus was a man of no originality of mind, and it is difficult to say whether he had any oratorical talent or not. His want of genius led him to imitate others, such as Lysias, Hyperides, and more especially Demosthenes; but he was unable to come up to his great model in any point, and was therefore nicknamed Δημοσθένης ὁ ἄγροικος
or ὁ κρίθινος
. Even Hermogenes, his greatest admirer, does not deny that his style had a certain roughness, whence his orations were thought to resemble those of Aristogeiton. Although it cannot be denied that Deinarchus is the best among the many imitators of Demosthenes, he is far inferior to him in power and energy, in the choice of his expressions, in invention, clearness, and the arrangement of his subjects.
The orations of Deinarchus are contained in the various collections of the Attic orators by Aldus (1513)
, Stephanus (1575)
, Gruter (1619)
, and Baiter
The best separate edition is that of C. E. A. Schmidt (Leipzig, 1826, 8vo.)
, with a selection of the notes of his predecessors, and some of his own. There is also a useful commentary on Deinarchus by C. Wurm, " Commentarius in Dinarchi Orationes tres," Norimbergae, 1828, 8vo.
Fabric. Bibl. Gr.
ii. p. 862, &c.; Westermann, Gesch. der griech. Beredisamk.