) is a name applied by the Greeks to two distinct
classes of persons.
1. To the earlier Greek historians previous to Herodotus, though Thucydides
) 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.
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
ii. p. 127, &c.; Müiller, Hist. of
i. p. 206, &c.; Wachsmuth, Hellen.
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.
36.22 and 24; compare Plat. Euthydem.
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,
compare Att. Proc.
p. 707=919 Lipsius; Jebb's Attic