Lycurgus, Hyperides, Dinarchus
Life of LycurgusLycurgus, according to Libanius, was older than Demosthenes,1 though they were practically contemporaries. He belonged to the illustrious house of the Eteobutadae, who traced their descent from one Butes, brother of Erechtheus. The priesthood of Posidon-Erechtheus, and other religious offices, were hereditary in this family. The grandfather of the orator, also called Lycurgus, was put to death by the Thirty; his father, Lycophron, is known only by name. In the orator's extant speech, and in his recorded actions, we find abundant proof of a sincere piety and deep religious feeling, which were natural in the true representative of such a family. The traditions of his house may well have turned his thoughts to the stern virtues of ancient days, the days of Athenian greatness, when self-sacrifice was expected of a citizen. He expresses a friendly feeling towards Sparta. Of his earlier political life we know only that he was an ally of Demosthenes.2 He came into greater prominence after Chaeronea, and was one of the ten orators whose surrender was demanded by Alexander after the destruction of Thebes. In 338 B.C., when the war party came into power, he succeeded Eubulus, the nominee of the peace party, in an important financial office. In the decree quoted by the Pseudo-Plutarch he is called ‘Steward of the public revenue’ (τῆς κοινῆς προσόδου ταμίας), which is probably not his correct title, though it fairly represents his appointment.3 He kept this office for twelve years. His long administration, which was characterized by absolute probity, brought the finances of Athens to a thoroughly sound condition. During his office he built a theatre and an odeon, completed an arsenal, increased the fleet, and improved the harbour of Piraeus. He also embellished the city with works of art—statues of the great poets erected in the public places, golden figures of Victory and golden vessels dedicated in the temples. His respect for the poets was further shown by his decree that an official copy should be made of the works of the three great tragedians—a copy which afterwards passed into the possession of the Alexandrine library.4 He conceived it as his mission to raise the standard of public and private life. Himself almost an ascetic,5 he enacted sumptuary laws; as a religious man by instinct and tradition, he built temples and encouraged religious festivals; an ardent patriot by conviction, he thought it his duty to undertake the ungrateful part of a public prosecutor, pursuing all who failed in their sacred duty towards their country. In this way he conducted many prosecutions, which were nearly all successful. He was never a paid advocate or a writer of speeches for others; indeed he would have thought it criminal to write or speak against his convictions.6 His indictments were characterized by such inflexible severity that his contemporaries compared him to Draco, saying that he wrote his accusations with a pen dipped in death instead of blood.7 He died a natural death in 324 B.C. (Suda), and was honoured by a public funeral. His enemy Menesaechmus, who succeeded to his office, accused him of having left a deficit, though, according to one story, Lycurgus, on the point of death, had been carried into the ecclesia and successfully defended himself on that score. His sons were condemned to make restitution, and, being unable to pay, were thrown into prison, in spite of an able defence by Hyperides. They were released on an appeal by Demosthenes, then in exile.8
WorksFifteen speeches of Lycurgus were preserved in antiquity, nearly all accusations on serious charges. He prosecuted Euxenippus, whom Hyperides defended; he spoke against the orator Demades, and, in alliance with Demosthenes, against the sycophant Aristogiton. Other speeches known to us by name are Against Autolycus, Against Leocrates, two speeches Against Lycophron, Against Lysicles, against Menesaechmus, a Defence of himself against Demades, Against Ischyrias, πρὸς τὰς μαντείας (obscure title), Concerning his administration, Concerning the priestess, and Concerning the priesthood.9 Only one speech is now extant, the impeachment of Leocrates. Leocrates, an Athenian, during the panic which succeeded the battle of Chaeronea, fled from Athens to Rhodes, and thence migrated to Megara, where he engaged in trade for five years. About 332 B.C. he returned to Athens, thinking that his desertion would have been forgotten; but Lycurgus prosecuted him as a traitor. Only a small part of the speech is really devoted to proving the charge. By § 36 Lycurgus regards it as generally admitted. The remaining 114 sections consist mostly of comment and digressions which aim at emphasizing the seriousness of the crime and produce precedent for the infliction of severe punishment in such cases.
Analysis1. Introduction. Justice and piety demand that I should bring Leocrates to trial (§§ 1-2); the part of a prosecutor is unpopular, but it is my duty to undertake it (§§ 3-6). This is a case of exceptional importance, and you must give your decision without prejudice or partiality, emulating the Areopagus (§§ 7-16). 2. Narrative. The flight of Leocrates to Rhodes. Evidence (§§ 17-20). His move to Megara and occupation there. Evidence (§§ 21-23). 3. Argument. Comments on the narrative. Possible line of defence (§§ 24-35). The case is now proved. It remains to describe the circumstances of Athens at the time when Leocrates deserted her (§ 36). 4. The panic after the battle of Chaeronea (§§ 37-45). Praise of those who fell in the battle there (§§ 46-51). Acquittal is impossible (§§ 52-54). Another ground of defence cut away (§§ 55-58). Further excuses disallowed (§§ 59-62). Attempt of his advocates to belittle his crime refuted by appeal to the principles of Draco (§§ 63-67). They appeal to precedent—the evacuation of the city before the battle of Salamis: this precedent can be turned against them (§§ 68-74). The sanctity of oaths and punishment for perjury. Appeals to ancient history. Codrus (§§ 75-89). Leocrates says he is confident in his innocence—“quem deus vult perdere, prius dementat” (§§ 90-93). Providence (§§ 94-97). Examples of self-sacrifice; quotations from Euripides and Homer (§§ 97-105). Praise of Sparta. Influence of Tyrtaeus on patriots. Thermopylae (§§ 106-110). Severity of our ancestors towards traitors (§§111-127). Sparta was equally severe (§§ 128-129). Due severity will discourage treachery, and the treachery of Leocrates is of the basest sort (§§ 130-134). His advocates are as bad as he is (§§ 135-140). Appeal to the righteous indignation of the judges (§§ 141-148). Epilogue (§§ 149-150):
“I have come to the succour of my country and her religion and her laws, and have pleaded my case straightforwardly and justly, neither slandering Leocrates for his general manner of living, nor bringing any charge foreign to the present matter; but you must consider that in acquitting him you condemn your country to death and slavery. Two urns stand before you, the one for betrayal, the other for salvation; votes placed in the former mean the ruin of your fatherland, those in the latter are given for civil security and prosperity. If you let Leocrates go, you will be voting for the betrayal of Athens, her religion, and her ships; but if you put him to death, you will encourage others to guard and secure your country, her revenues, and her prosperity. So imagine, Athenians, that the land and its trees are supplicating you, that the harbours, the dockyards, and the walls of the city are imploring you; that the temples and holy places are urging you to come to their help; and make an example of Leocrates, remembering what charges are brought against him, and how mercy and tears of compassion do not weigh more with you than the safety of the laws and the commonwealth.”
Style, etc.Lycurgus is called a pupil of Isocrates; whether he was actually a student under the great master we cannot be sure, but undoubtedly he had studied the master's works. The influence of the Panegyric may be traced here and there in the forms of sentences and in certain terms of speech which are characteristic of the epideictic style. Blass and others have drawn attention to isolated sentences in the speech against Leocrates which might have been deliberately modelled, with only the necessary changes of words for the different circumstances, on sentences in Isocrates.10 The employment of a pair of synonyms, or words of similar sense, where one would suffice, also belongs to this style (compare p. 134, above) — e.g. safeguard and protect, § 3; infamous and inglorious, § 91; greatheartedness and nobility, § 100. With these we must class such phrases as τὰ κοινὰ τῶν ἀδικημάτων for τὰ κοινὰ ἀδικήματα11 (§ 6), and the employment of abstract words in the plural, as εὔνοιαι, φόβοι, § 48, 43. Lycurgus is very variable with regard to hiatus. In some instances he has deliberately avoided it by slight distortions of the natural order of words;12 in some passages he has been able to avoid it without any dislocation of order—a work of greater skill;13 but again there are sentences where the sequences of open vowels are frequent and harsh.14 Other instances of careless writing may be found in the inartistic joining of sentences and clauses, for instance in §§ 49-50, where several successive clauses are connected by γάρ,15 or in the clumsy accumulation of participles, as in § 93.16 We must conclude that Lycurgus, though so familiar with the characteristics of Isocratean prose as to reproduce them by unconscious imitation, was too much interested in his subject to care about being a stylist; and that though, like Demosthenes, he wrote his speeches out, he really belongs rather to the class of improvisatory speakers like Phocion. His tendency towards the epideictic style is also seen in his treatment of his subject-matter; thus §§ 46-51 are nothing but a condensed funeral speech on those who died at Chaeronea. It is introduced with an apology (§ 46); it may seem irrelevant, he says, but it is frankly introduced to point the contrast between the patriot and the traitor. The concluding sections of the eulogy are as follows:
This, with the exception of a slight imperfection of style already noticed, is good in its way, in the style which tradition had established as appropriate to such subjects. It is less conventional and, in spite of its bold metaphors, less insincere than Gorgias, avoiding as it does the extravagance of his antithetical style. But in spite of the speaker's apology we feel that it is out of place, and its effect is spoiled by the use to which it is put in the argumentative passage which immediately follows:
“And if I may use a paradox which is bold but nevertheless true, they were victorious in death. For to brave men the prizes of war are freedom and valour; for both of these the dead may possess. And further, we may not say that our defeat was due to them, whose spirits never quailed before the terror of the enemy's approach; for to those who fall nobly in battle, and to them alone, can no man justly ascribe defeat; for fleeing from slavery they make choice of a noble death. The valour of these men is a proof, for they alone of all in Greece had freedom in their bodies; for as they passed from life all Greece passed into slavery; for the freedom of the rest of the Greeks was buried in the same tomb with their bodies. Hence they proved to all that they were not warring for their personal ends, but facing danger for the general safety. So, Gentlemen, I need not be ashamed of saying that their souls are the garland on the brows of their country.”
His use of examples from ancient history is similar to that of Isocrates, e.g. in the Philip and the Panegyric; but many of these episodes are forcibly dragged into a trial of the kind with which Lycurgus was concerned, whereas those of Isocrates always help to convey the lesson which he is trying to enforce. Thus the following passage, which succeeds a quotation from Homer, leads up to a digression on Tyrtaeus, accompanied by a lengthy quotation from his works. There is only a bare pretence that all this has anything to do with the case:
“And because they showed reason in the exercise of their courage, you, men of Athens, alone of all the Greeks, know how to honour noble men. In other States you will find memorials of athletes in the market-places; in Athens such records are of good generals and of those who slew the tyrant. Search the whole of Greece and you will barely find a few men such as these, while in every quarter you will easily find men who have won garlands for success in athletic contests. So, as you bestow the highest honours on your benefactors, you have a right to inflict the severest punishments on those by whom their country is dishonoured and betrayed.”
Here Lycurgus has reverted to the antithetical style of Antiphon, the opposition of ‘word’ and ‘deed,’ ‘private’ and ‘public,’ and the like. We are also from time to time reminded of Antiphon by the prominence given in the Leocrates to religious considerations. The digressions may be partly explained by the speaker's avowed motive in introducing some of them —his wish to be an educator. He introduces a very moral tale of a young Sicilian who, tarrying behind to save his father, on the occasion of an eruption of Etna, was providentially saved while all the others perished. This is his excuse—‘The story may be legendary, but it will be appropriate for all the younger men to hear it now’ (§ 95); and the manner of the lecturer is evident elsewhere—‘There are three influences above all which guard and protect the democracy and the welfare of the city,’ etc. ‘There are two things which educate our youth:—the punishment of evil-doers and the rewards bestowed on good men.’17 Quite apart fron these decorative digressions, Lycurgus admits into his ordinary discourse poetical phrases and metaphors which the stricter taste of Isocrates would have excluded. The bold personifications in his epilogue and elsewhere are cases in point: ‘So imagine, Athenians, that the land and its trees are supplicating you; that the harbours, the dockyards, and the walls of the city are imploring you; that the temples and holy places are urging you to come to their help.’18 Lycurgus must have tried the patience of his hearers by his lengthy quotations from the poets. No other orator, perhaps, would have dared to recite fifty-five lines of Euripides and to follow them, after a short extract from Homer, with thirty-two lines of Tyrtaeus. Aeschines, no doubt, was fond of quoting, but his extracts are comparatively short and generally to the point; he can make good use of a single couplet. Demosthenes too, in capping his great adversary's quotations, observed moderation and season. But the long quotations in Lycurgus are superfluous; that from Euripides is a mere excrescence, for he has already summarized in half a dozen lines the story from which he draws his moral; and the only purpose in telling the story at all is to introduce the refrain ‘Leocrates is quite a different kind of person.’ In this matter Lycurgus lacks taste—that is to say, he lacks a sense of proportion; but for all that he is felt to be speaking naturally quite according to his own character; he is attaining the highest ethos by being himself. We know his interest in the tragedians from the fact that he caused an official copy of the plays to be preserved; and though religious motives would suffice to account for this decree, probably personal feeling, the statesman's private affection for the works which he thus perpetuated, to some degree influenced his judgment. Though he may be unskilful, if judged by technical standards, Lycurgus impresses us by his dignified manner. He will not condescend to any rhetorical device which might detract from this dignity. He has no personal abuse for his opponent; he promises to keep to the specific charge with which the trial is concerned (§ 11), and at the end of the speech can justly claim that he has done so (§ 149). Though it may lay him open to the suspicion of sycophancy, he disclaims any personal enmity against Leocrates; he professes to be impelled entirely by patriotic motives, and we believe him (§ 5). He may seem to us excessively severe; we may regard the crime of Leocrates as nothing worse than cowardice; but we are convinced that to Lycurgus it appeared as the greatest of all crimes; and the Athenian assembly too was apparently so convinced.19 Failure in patriotism was to Lycurgus an offence against religion, and religion has the utmost prominence in his speech. There can be no doubt of his sincerity. The court of the Areopagus, which was more directly under religious protection and more closely concerned with religious questions than any other court, is mentioned by him with almost exaggerated praise.20 The Areopagus was very highly respected by all Athenians, but it was not a democratic court; it was a survival from pre-democratic days. An orator who only wished to propitiate the good-will of his popular audience would praise not the old aristocratic court but the modern popular assembly before which he was speaking. Lycurgus gives praise and blame where he thinks them due. He is by no means satisfied with the democratic courts.
“Hearing these lines and emulating such actions, our ancestors were so disposed towards manly courage that they were content to die not only for their own fatherland but for all Greece, as their common fatherland. Those, at any rate, who faced the barbarians at Marathon, conquered the armament of all Asia, by their individual sacrifice gaining security for all the Greeks in common, priding themselves not upon their fame but on doing deeds worthy of their country, setting themselves up as champions of the Greeks and masters of the barbarians; for they made no nominal profession of courage, but gave an actual display of it to all the world.”
The whole speech is pervaded by references to religion; Rehdantz has noted that the word θεός occurs no less than thirty-three times; and other words of religious import are very frequent, though the orator never uses ejaculations such as the ὦ γῆ καὶ θεοί of Demosthenes. This reiteration is of less significance than the serious tone of the passages in which such references occur; his opening sentences indicate the attitude which he is to maintain:
“I too, shall follow justice in my prosecution, neither falsifying anything, nor speaking of matters extraneous to the case. For most of those who come before you behave in the most inappropriate fashion; for they either give you advice about public interests, or bring charges, true or false, of every possible kind rather than the one on which you are to be called on to give your verdict.There is no difficulty in either of these courses; it is as easy to utter an opinion about a matter on which you are not deliberating as it is to make accusations which nobody is going to answer. But it is not just to ask you to give a verdict in accordance with justice when they observe no justice in making their accusations. And you are responsible for this abuse, for it is you who have given this licence to those who appear before you. . . .”
Passages later in the speech deepen this impression, and contain definite statements of belief which we cannot disregard:
“Justice and Piety will be satisfied, men of Athens, by the prosecution which I shall institute, on your behalf and on behalf of the gods, against the defendant Leocrates. For I pray to Athena and the other gods, and to the heroes whose statues stand in the city and in the country, that if I have justly impeached Leocrates; if I am bringing to trial the betrayer of their temples, their shrines and their sanctuaries, and the sacrifices ordained by the laws, handed down to you by your forefathers, they may make me to-day a prosecutor worthy of his offences, as the interests of the people and the city demand; and that you, remembering that your deliberations are concerned with your fathers, your children, your wives, your country, and your religion, and that you have at the mercy of your vote the man who betrayed them all, may prove relentless judges, both now and for all time to come, in dealing with offenders of this kind and degree. But if the man whom I bring to trial before this assembly is not one who has betrayed his fatherland and deserted the city and her holy observances, I pray that he may be saved from this danger both by the gods and by you, his judges.”
The following fragment deserves quotation as an example of his dignified severity: ‘You were a general, Lysicles; a thousand of your fellow citizens met their death, two thousand were made prisoners, and our enemies have set up a trophy of victory over Athens, and all Greece is enslaved; all this happened under your leadership and generalship; and yet do you dare to live and face the sun's light, and invade the market-place—you, who have become a memorial of disgrace and reproach to your country?’ (Against Lysicles, fr. 75.)
“For the first act of the gods is to lead astray the mind of the wicked man; and I think that some of the ancient poets were prophets when they left behind them for future generations such lines as these:For when God's wrath afflicteth any man,
By his own act his wits are led astray,
And his straight judgment warped to crooked ways,
That, sinning, he may know not of his sin.21
The older men among you remember, the younger have heard, the story of Callistratus, whom the city condemned to death. He fled the country, and hearing the god at Delphi declare that if he went to Athens he would obtain his due, he came here, and took sanctuary at the altar of the twelve gods; but none the less he was put to death by the city. This was just; for a criminal's due is punishment. And the god rightly gave up the wrong-doer to be punished by those whom he had wronged; for it would be strange if he revealed the same signs to the pious and the wicked.’ But I am of opinion, Gentlemen, that the god's care watches over every human action, particularly those concerned with our parents and the dead, and our pious duty towards them; and naturally so, for they are the authors of our being, and have conferred innumerable blessings on us, so that it is an act of monstrous impiety, I will not say to sin against them, but even to refuse to squander our own lives in benefiting them.”
HyperidesHyperides, a member of a middle-class family, was born in 389 B.C., and so was almost exactly contemporary with Lycurgus, whose political views he shared. He too, according to his biographer, was a pupil of Isocrates and of Plato, but the influence of the latter can nowhere be traced in his work. A man of easy morals and self-indulgent habits, he presents a striking contrast to the austerity of Lycurgus. The comic poets satirized his gluttony and his partiality for fish, and the Pseudo-Plutarch records that he took a walk through the fish-market every day of his life; but the pursuit of pleasure did not impair his activity. He was at first a writer of speeches for others, as Demosthenes was at the beginning of his career;22 but before he reached the age of thirty he began to be concerned personally in trials of political import. He prosecuted the general Autocles on a charge of treachery, in 360 B.C.; he appeared against the orator Aristophon of Azenia, and Diopeithes. He impeached in 343 B.C., Philocrates, who had brought about the peace with Philip.23 He was sent as a delegate to the Amphictyonic Council (Demos., de Cor., §§ 134-135), and showed himself a vigorous supporter of the policy of Demosthenes; in 340 B.C., when an attack on Euboea by Philip was anticipated, he collected a fleet of forty triremes, two of which he provided at his own cost. Shortly before Chaeronea he proposed a decree to honour Demosthenes; after the battle he took extreme measures for the public safety, including the enfranchisement of metoeci and the manumission of slaves. He was prosecuted by Demades for moving an illegal decree, and retorted, ‘The arms of Macedon made it too dark to see the laws; it was not I who proposed the decree, but the battle of Chaeronea.’ (Fr. 28). He was able to retaliate soon afterwards by prosecuting Demades for the same offence of illegality. Demades had proposed to confer the title of proxenos on Euthycrates, who had betrayed Olynthus to Philip. A fragment which remains of Hyperides' speech on this subject shows him to be a master of sarcasm (below, p. 295). We know nothing for certain about the origin of the breach between him and Demosthenes; it may have been due to his disapproval of the latter's policy of inactivity when Sparta in 330 B.C. wished to fight with Antipater; at any rate his language in 334 B.C. shows him to be an irreconcilable adversary of Macedon. Nicanor had sent a proclamation to the Greeks requesting them to recognize Alexander as a god, and to receive back their exiles. At the same time Harpalus, Alexander's treasurer, had deserted from the king's side and arrived at Athens with a considerable treasure. Demosthenes was in favour of negotiating with Alexander; Hyperides wished to reject the proposals of Nicanor, and use the treasure of Harpalus for continuing the war against Macedon. Harpalus was arrested, but succeeded in escaping, and many prominent statesmen came under suspicion of having received bribes from him. Hyperides was chosen as one of the prosecutors, and Demosthenes was exiled. Hyperides, after Alexander's death, took the chief responsibility for the Lamian war, and was chosen to pronounce the funeral oration on his friend, the general Leosthenes, and the other Athenians who fell in the war. Demosthenes had now returned from exile; the two patriots were reconciled, and persisted in the policy of resistance from which the prudence of Phocion had long striven to dissuade Athens. After the battle of Crannon, Antipater demanded the surrender of the leaders of the war party; Hyperides fled, was captured and put to death in 322 B.C. He is said to have bitten out his tongue for fear that he might, under torture, betray his friends. His body was left unburied till the piety of a kinsman recovered it and gave him interment in the family tomb by the Rider's Gate. He had proved himself consistent throughout his public life, and however mistaken his policy, especially in the latter years, may have been, honour is due to him for the unflinching patriotism which led him to martyrdom in a vain struggle to uphold his country's honour. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, Hyperides was known to the modern world only from the criticisms of Dionysius and other ancient scholars, and from a few minute fragments preserved here and there by quotations in scholiasts and lexicographers. A manuscript is believed to have existed in the library at Buda, but when that city was captured by the Turks in 1526 the library was destroyed or dispersed, and Hyperides was lost. In 1847 portions of his speeches began to reappear among the papyri discovered in Egypt. In that year a roll, containing fragments of the speech Against Demosthenes and of the first half of the Defence of Lycophron, was brought to England; a second roll discovered in the same year was found to contain the second half of the Lycophron and the whole of the Euxenippus. In 1856 were discovered considerable fragments of the Funeral Speech. In 1890, some fragments of the speech Against Philippides were acquired by the British Museum, while the most important discovery of all was that of the speech Against Athenogenes. The MS. was purchased for the Louvre in 1888, but the complete text was only published in 1892. Its importance may be estimated by the fact that Dionysius couples this speech and the defence of Phryne as being the best examples of a style in which Hyperides surpassed even Demosthenes. The papyrus itself is of interest as giving us one of the very earliest classical MSS. that we possess; it dates from the 2nd century B.C.24 In many points Hyperides challenges comparison with Lysias. The criticism of Dionysius is well worth our consideration: ‘Hyperides is sure of aim, but seldom exalts his subject; in the technique of diction he surpasses Lysias, in subtlety (of structure) he surpasses all. He keeps a firm hold throughout on the matter at issue, and clings close to the essential details. He is well equipped with intelligence, and is full of charm; he seems simple, but is no stranger to cleverness.’25 The first sentence contrasts Hyperides once for all with his contemporary Lycurgus, who, while less sure of his aim, has a personal dignity which gives exaltation to every theme. We have hardly enough of the work of Hyperides to enable us to form a first-hand judgment as to the merits of his diction compared with that of Lysias. He has, indeed, the same simplicity and naturalness, but hardly, so far as we can judge, the same felicity of expression. Hermogenes blames him for carelessness and lack of restraint in the use of words, instancing such expressions as μονώτατος, γαλέαγρα, ἐπήβολος, etc., which seem to him unsuited for literary prose. As we have had occasion to notice already, rare and unusual words may be found occasionally in every orator, almost in every writer. Hyperides was no purist; he enlivened his style with words taken from the vocabulary of Comedy and of the streets. He did not wait for authority to use any expression which would give a point to his utterance. Critics who expected dignified restraint in oratorical prose may have been shocked by the adjective θριπήδεστος, ‘worm-eaten,’ which he applied to Greece; to us it seems an apt metaphor. Of his other colloquialisms some recall the language of Comedy—as κρόνος (‘an old Fossil’), the diminutive θεραποντίον, and ὀβολοστάτης26 (‘a weigher of small change’=‘usurer’), προσπερικόπτειν (‘to get additional pickings’—the metaphor is apparently from pruning a tree), παιδαγωγεῖν in the sense of ‘lead by the nose.’ Others seem to be merely colloquial, part of that large and unconventional vocabulary which was soon to form the basis of Hellenistic Greek; for we must remember that we are already on the verge of Hellenism, and that the Attic dialect must soon give way before the spread of a freer language. In this class we may put ἐποφθαλμιᾶν (‘to eye covetously’), ὑποπίπτειν (‘to put oneself under control of somebody’), ἐνσείω (‘to entrap’), κατατέμνειν (‘to abuse’), ἐπεμβαίνω (poetical or colloquial, ‘to trample on’). In some of his speeches relating to hetairai he seems to have used coarse language which offended his critics; nothing offensive is found in his extant speeches.27 Other metaphors and similes abound; he is fond of comparing the life of the State to the life of a man, as Lycurgus does also—ἓν μὲν σῶμα ἀθάνατον ὑπείληφας ἔσεσθαι, πόλεως δὲ τηλικαύτης θάνατον κατέγνως. ‘You imagine that one person (i.e. Philip) can live for ever, and you passed sentence of death on a city as old as ours.’ The Homeric phrase ἐπὶ γήρως ὀδῷ (=ἐπὶ γήραος οὐδῷ, ‘on the threshold of old age’) is curiously introduced into a serious passage in the Demosthenes without any preparation or apology. We can only suppose that it was so familiar to his hearers that it would not strike them as being out of place in ordinary speech. It is similarly used by Lycurgus (Leoc., § 40). In the same speech (Against Demosthenes) Hyperides speaks of the nation being robbed of its crown, but the metaphor is suggested by the fact that actual crowns had been bestowed on Demosthenes. Such metaphors as ‘others are building their conduct on the foundations laid by Leosthenes,’ though less common in Greek than in English, are perfectly intelligible. A happy instance of his ‘sureness of aim’ which Dionysius commended is preserved in a fragment about his contemporaries:
He uses simile, however, with varying success; the following, though the conception is good, is not properly worked out, as the parallelism breaks down:
“Orators are like snakes; all snakes are equally loathed, but some of them, the vipers, injure men, while the big snakes eat the vipers.”Fr. 80.
The Epitaphios from which the last quotation is taken is a speech of a formal kind composed in the epideictic style, and naturally recalls similar speeches of Isocrates and others. Its composition shows much greater care than was taken with the other speeches; thus there are few examples of harsh hiatus, a matter to which the author as a rule paid no attention. All the other extant speeches have far more instances of clashing vowels.28 The antithetical sentences are appropriate to the style, and the periodic structure is like that of Isocrates, except that the sentences are, on the whole, shorter and simpler. In other speeches he mingles the periodic and the free styles with discretion. The objection to a long period is that it takes time to understand it; we cannot fully appreciate the importance of any one part until we have reached the end and are in a position to look back at the whole. For practical oratory it is far better to make a short statement which may be in periodic form, and amplify it by subsequent additions loosely connected by καί, δέ, γάρ, and such particles. This is what Hyperides does with success, for instance in the opening of the Euxenippus, an argumentative passage.29 In narrative passages a free style is expected.30 In contrast to this flowing style we must notice the quick abrupt succession of short sentences which he sometimes affects, either in the form of question and answer, as in the following fragment, or otherwise:
“As the sun traverses the whole world, marking out the seasons, and ordering everything in due proportion, and for the prudent and temperate of mankind takes charge of the growth of their food, the fruits of the earth and all else that is beneficial for life; so our city ever continues to punish the wicked and help the righteous, preserving equal opportunities for all, and restraining covetousness, and by her own risk and loss providing common security for all Greece.”
Still more effective is the following:
““Did you propose that the slaves should be made free?” “I did, to save the free men from becoming slaves.” “Did you move that the disfranchised citizens should be enfranchised?”—“I did, in order that all in harmony might fight side by side for their country.””(Frr. 27-28).
Hyperides possessed an active wit which enabled him on many occasions to evade an argument by making his opponent appear ridiculous. Euthias, in prosecuting Phryne for impiety, made his audience shudder by describing the torments of the wicked in Hades. ‘How is Phryne to blame,’ asked Hyperides, ‘for the fact that a stone hangs over the head of Tantalus?’ (Fr. 173.) In the Euxenippus, he complains that the process of impeachment before the assembly has been applied to the present case:
“It is on this account that you have enacted laws to deal separately with every possible offence that a citizen may commit. A man commits sacrilege—prosecution for sacrilege before the king-archon. He neglects his parents—the archon sits on his case. A man proposes an illegal measure —there is the council of the Thesmothetae. He makes himself liable to arrest—the “eleven” are permanent officials.”
His sarcasm is playful at times, even in serious passages; for instance the following:
“Impeachment has hitherto been employed against people like Timomachus, Leosthenes, Callistratus, Philon, and Theotimus who lost Sestos—some of them for betraying ships which they commanded, some for betraying cities, and one for giving, as an orator, bad advice to the people. . . . The present state of affairs is ridiculous— Diognides and Antidorus are impeached for hiring fluteplayers at a higher price than the law allows; Agasicles of Piraeus is impeached for being registered as of Halimus; and Euxenippus is impeached on account of the dream which he says he dreamed.”
Another good example of his sarcastic humour appears in the defence of Euxenippus against the charge of Macedonian sympathy:
“These Euboeans Demosthenes enrolled as Athenian citizens, and he treats them as his intimate friends; this need not surprise you; naturally enough, since his policy is always ebbing and flowing, he has secured as his friends people from Euripus.”
This same sarcasm is in many places a powerful weapon of offence, as in the next extract from the indictment of Demosthenes:
“If your assertion (the prosecutor's) were true, you would not be the only person to know it. In the case of all others who in word or deed favour Philip, their secret is not their own; it is shared by the whole city. The very children in the schools know the names of the orators who are in his pay, of the private persons who entertain and welcome his emissaries, and go out into the streets to meet them on their arrival.”
The following fragment contains the most striking example of irony to be found anywhere in his works; the situation explains itself:
“You, by whose decree he was put in custody, who when the watch was relaxed did nothing to assure it, and when it was abandoned altogether did not bring the guilty to trial—no doubt it was for nothing that you turned the opportunity to such advantage. Are we to believe that Harpalus gradually paid out his money to the minor politicians, who could only make a noise and raise an uproar, and overlooked you, who were master of the whole situation?”
We have seen already how he could turn his wit against the whole class of orators, to which he belonged himself; it is pleasant to find him, in a speech which he wrote for a fee, thus describing Athenogenes: ‘A common fellow, a professional writer of speeches.’ ( Athenogenes, col. 2, “ἄνθρωπον λογόγραφόν τε καὶ ἀγοραῖον”) It was the business of the logographos to sink his own personality in that of his client, and Hyperides, who was an artist by instinct, did so more successfully than any other speech-writer, except, perhaps, Demosthenes. In the present instance he must have felt a peculiar satisfaction in his work. In private speeches he introduces many matters extraneous to the case; thus in the Athenogenes, though the question is only about a shady business transaction, he rouses odium by references to his adversary's political offences. No doubt many weak cases succeeded by such devices, which call forth the just indignation of Lycurgus (Lycurgus, Leocr., § 11; cf. § 149). In public cases he has a higher ideal. When Lycurgus was an advocate on the other side, Hyperides referred to him with all the respect due to his character. Even the speech against Demosthenes is entirely free from personal abuse, if we except a little mild banter about Demosthenes' austere habits of sobriety.32 The indictment of Demosthenes' public actions is vigorous enough, but it is restrained within the limits of good taste, and this is not for the sake of ancient friendship, which Hyperides repudiates:
“The reasons which Demades has introduced are not the true justification for Euthycrates’ appointment, but if he must be your proxenos, I have composed, and now put forward, a decree setting forth the true reasons why he should be so appointed:—Resolved—that Euthycrates be appointed proxenos, for that he acts and speaks in the interests of Philip; for that, having been appointed a cavalry-leader, he betrayed the Olynthian cavalry to Philip; for that by so doing he caused the ruin of the people of Chalcidice; for that after the capture of Olynthus he acted as assessor at the sale of the prisoners; for that he worked against Athens in the matter of the temple at Delos; for that, when Athens was defeated at Chaeronea, he neither buried any of the dead nor ransomed any of the captured.”Fr. 76.
Dionysius approves the diversity of Hyperides' manner in dealing with his narratives:—‘He tells his story on a variety of ways, sometimes in the natural order, sometimes working back from the end to the beginning.’33 We have no means of judging; the Euxenippus, the only complete forensic speech, contains practically no narrative; the story of the Athenogenes is, apparently, told straight through without a break, and then followed by evidence and criticism and legal arguments. Then follows the attempt to blacken the character of Athenogenes by extraneous arguments. We may conclude this section by a few sentences from the treatise On the Sublime, expressing an estimate of the general character of his oratory:
“After that will you dare to remind me of our friendship? . . . (as if it were) not you yourself who dissolved that friendship, when you received money to do your country harm, and changed sides? When you made yourself ridiculous and brought disgrace on us who hitherto had been of your party? Whereas we might have been held in the highest respect by the people, and been attended for the rest of life's journey by an honourable repute, you shattered all such hopes, and are not ashamed at your age to be tried by the younger generation for receiving bribes. On the contrary, the younger politicians ought to receive education from men like you; if they committed any hasty action they ought to be rebuked and punished. Things are quite different now, when it falls upon the young men to correct those who have passed the age of sixty. And so, Gentlemen, you may well be angry with Demosthenes, for through you he has had his fair portion of wealth and renown; and now, with his foot on the threshold of old age, he shows that he cares nothing for his country.”
And the passage concludes with a sincere tribute to the titanic force of Demosthenes. Hyperides had seventy-seven speeches ascribed to him, of which fifty-two were thought by the Greek biographer to be genuine (Ps.-Plut., § 15). Blass has collected the titles of no less than sixty-five, in addition to the five which are extant in the papyri; so that only seven are unknown by name. Some quotations have been given from the indictment of Demosthenes (above, p. 18, 294-296); the subject matter has been explained (above, p. 225-227), and the treatment, so far as we can judge from the fragments, criticized (above, p. 296). The date is 324 B.C. The Defence of Lycophron is a speech in an εἰσαγγελία in which Lycurgus was one of the prosecutors. Lycophron, an Athenian noble, was a commander of cavalry in Lemnos, and was accused of seducing a Lemnian woman of good family, the wife of an Athenian who died before the case came on. The date is uncertain; perhaps around 338 B.C. The case of Euxenippus arises out of the fact that Philip, after Chaeronea, restored the territory of Oropus to Athens. It was divided into five lots, and one lot assigned to every two tribes. A question arose whether the portion given to the Hippothoöntid and Acamantid tribes was not sacred to Amphiaraüs, and Euxenippus and two others were deputed to sleep in the shrine of the hero and obtain from their dreams a divination on the subject. They reported a dream which could be interpreted in favour of their tribes. In the present instance they are prosecuted for having given a false report of their dreams. The defendant and another advocate had already preceded Hyperides, so that the present speech is mainly devoted to bickering with the prosecutors, of whom Lycurgus was one. Date about 330 B.C. The speech Against Philippides34 is very much mutilated. It is a γραφὴ παρανόμων against Philippides, otherwise unknown, who had proposed a vote of thanks to a board of πρόεδροι or presidents of the ecclesia for their action in passing a certain decree, which seems to have been a vote of honour to Philip. It was passed under compulsion, and Philippides attempted subsequently to exonerate them from all possible blame by a decree which is here declared illegal. The Epitaphios or Funeral Speech is a composition in a well-known conventional form. The topics for such a speech were already laid down by long custom. The skill of the orator is seen in his original way of handling the traditional commonplaces. First of all there is the strong personal note. He had been associated in politics with Leosthenes, and with him was jointly responsible for the Lamian war in which the latter met his death (322 B.C.). His personal feeling for the general is very prominent in the speech; Leosthenes is in fact the principal theme; he is put, as M. Croiset remarks, almost on a level with Athens:—‘Leosthenes seeing all Greece humbled and cowering, brought to ruin by the traitors whom Philip and Alexander had bought; seeing that our city wanted a man, and all Greece wanted a city, to take the leadership, freely gave himself for his country and gave our city for the Greeks to win their freedom.’ (Epitaphios, § 10). It is not, he says, that he wishes to slight the other patriots, but in praising Leosthenes he is praising all. He draws a fancy picture of the heroes of antiquity welcoming Leosthenes in Hades. It is a sign of the times that the individual should so be exalted; we have travelled far indeed from the cold impersonality of Pericles, to whom the nameless heroes who sacrifice their lives are but part of a pageant passing before the eyes of the deathless city. The consolation to the living is remarkable for containing references to a future life, which is quite without precedent:—‘It is hard to comfort those who are in such grief; for neither speeches nor laws can send sorrow to sleep’ . . . (there follow remarks about eternal praise, which are not particularly characteristic; but he concludes in a higher strain):—‘Furthermore, if the dead are as though they had never been, our friends are released from sickness and pain and the other misadventures which afflict mankind; but if the dead have consciousness, and are under the care of God, as we believe, we may be sure that they, who upheld the honour of the gods when it was threatened, are now the objects of God's loving kindness.’ (Epitaphios, §§ 41-43.) Truly Socrates had not lived in vain. The speech Against Athenogenes35 is an admirable example of the orator's lighter style. Its chief merit is the way in which the narrative of the events is delivered by the speaker. Hyperides' client, a young Athenian, wished to obtain possession of a young slave, who was employed in a perfumery-shop. Athenogenes, the owner of the shop— ‘a vulgar speech-maker, and worst of all an Egyptian’ —saw his opportunity for a good stroke of business, and at first refused to sell the slave. A quarrel ensued. At this point Antigona, once the most accomplished courtesan of her day, but now retired, came and offered her services to the young man. She contrived to pick up for herself a gratuity of 300 drachmas, just as a proof of his good opinion. Later, she told the young man that she had persuaded Athenogenes to release the boy, not separately, but together with his father and brother, for forty minas. The young man borrowed the money; a touching scene of reconciliation followed, Antigona exhorting the two adversaries to behave as friends in future. ‘I said that I would do so, and Athenogenes answered that I ought to be grateful to Antigona for her services; “and now,” he said, “you shall see what a kindness I will do you for her sake.”’ He offered, instead of setting the slaves free, to sell them formally to the plaintiff, who could then set them free when he liked, and so win their gratitude. ‘As to any debts they have contracted, you can take them over; they are trifling, and the stock remaining in the shop will easily cover them.’ Assent having been given, Athenogenes produced a contract in these terms, which he had brought with him, and it was signed and sealed on the spot. Within three months the unhappy purchaser found himself liable for business debts and deposits amounting to five talents. Athenogenes made the preposterous excuse that he had not known anything about this enormous debt. His dupe was in an awkward position, as he had formally taken over the business and its liabilities. He tries to prove that the contract should be held not valid. His legal claim is very slight; the appeal is really to equity. The second part of the speech deals with Athenogenes in his political relations. The epilogue exhorts the judges to take this opportunity of punishing such a scoundrel on general grounds, even if he cannot actually be brought under any particular law.
“If successes were to be judged by number, not by magnitude, Hyperides would be absolutely superior to Demosthenes. He has more tones in his voice, and more good qualities. He is very nearly first-class in everything, like a pentathlete, so that, while other competitors in every event beat him for the first prize, he is the best of all who are not specialists.’ . . . ‘Where Demosthenes tries to be amusing and witty, he raises a laugh, but it is against himself. When he attempts to be graceful, he fails still more signally. At any rate, if he had attempted to compose the little speech about Phryne or the one against Athenogenes, he would have established still more firmly the reputation of Hyperides.’ ‘But . . . the beauties of the latter, though numerous, are not great; his sobriety renders them ineffective, and leaves the hearer undisturbed—no one, at any rate, is moved to terror by reading Hyperides.”