previous next


LOGO´GRAPHI (λογογράφοι) is a name applied by the Greeks to two distinct classes of persons.

1. To the earlier Greek historians previous to Herodotus, though Thucydides (1.21) applies the name logographer to all historians previous to himself, and thus includes Herodotus among the number. The Ionians were the first of the Greeks who cultivated history; and the first logographer, who lived about Olymp. 60, was Cadmus, a native of Miletus, who wrote a history of the foundation of his native city. The characteristic feature of all the logographers previous to Herodotus is, that they seem to have aimed more at amusing their hearers or readers than at imparting accurate historical knowledge. They wrote in the unperiodic style called λέξις εἰρομένη. They described in prose the mythological subjects and traditions which had previously been treated of by the epic and especially by the cyclic poets. The omissions in the narratives of their predecessors were probably filled up by traditions derived from other quarters, in order to produce, at least in form, a connected history. In many cases they were mere collections of local and genealogical traditions. (Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece, ii. p. 127, &c.; Müiller, Hist. of Greek Lit. i. p. 206, &c.; Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alterth. 2.2, p. 443; Curtius, Hist. of Greece, translated by Ward, ii. p. 499.)

2. To persons who wrote judicial speeches or pleadings and sold them to those who were in want of them. These persons were called λογοποιοὶ as well as λογογράφοι. Antiphon, the orator, was the first who practised this art at Athens, towards the close of the Peloponnesian war (Plut. Vit. Dec. Orat. p. 832; Aristot. Rh. 1.33). After this time the custom of making and selling speeches became very general; and though the persons who practised it were not very highly thought of and regarded as pedants (Demosth. de Fals. Leg. pp. 417, 420, where see Shilleto's note; Plat. Phaedr. p. 257 C; Anaxim. Rhet. 36.22 and 24; compare Plat. Euthydem. p. 272 A, 289 D, 305 A), yet we find that orators of great merit did not scruple to write speeches of various kinds for other persons. Thus Lysias wrote for others numerous λόγους εἰς δικαστήριά τε καὶ βουλὰς καὶ πρὸς ἐκκλησίας εὐθέτους, and besides πανηγυρικούς, ἐρωτικούς, and ἐπιστολικούς. (Dionys. Lys. 1.3; compare Att. Proc. p. 707=919 Lipsius; Jebb's Attic Orators, 1.3.)


hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.21
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: