17. Of BYZANTIUM (1), a rhetorician or pleader of Byzantium.
He is mentioned, but somewhat contemptuously by Plato (Phaedr.
vol. iii. p. 266, ed. Steph. vol. i. pt. i. p. 81, ed. Bekker, p. 811, ed. Baiter, 4to. Züric. 1839) as " the most excellent tricker-out of a speech," τόν γε βέλτιστον λογοδαίδαλον
He appears to have written a treatise on rhetoric, as Plato, in the passage just cited, refers to the minute subdivisions of an oration mentioned by Theodore (comp. Rufinus, De Compositione et Metris Oratorum
). Cicero (Cic. Brut. 100.12
) describes him as excelling rather in the theory than the practice of his art, " in arte subtilior, in orationibus autem jejunior."
He was apparently contemporary with Plato. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (De Antiq. Oratorib.; de Isaeo,
100.19) speaks of him as antiquated, careless and superficial.
He is cursorily noticed by Quintilian (Institut. Orat.
3.1) and Diogenes Laertius (2.104). Suidas (s. v.
) says lie wrote Κατὰ Ἀνδοκίδου
, Contra Andocidem, Κατὰ Θρασυβούλου
, Contra Thrasybulum,
and some other pieces, which are all now lost. (Diogenes Laertius says (l.c.
) there was another sophist Theodore, but does not mention whether he was a Byzantine or not. Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. vi. p. 139, vol. x. p. 382.)