), an Athenian rhetorician and sophist of some repute, a contemporary of Socrates and Isocrates.
He taught first at Athens and afterwards at Cyprus.
He is mentioned as the teacher of Zoilus.
He is named along with some of the most distinguished orators of his time by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (de Isaeo,
100.8, de Dem. Eloc.
100.20), who, however, finds great fault with his style.
This is said by some writers to have been the speech delivered by Melitus at the trial of Socrates; but as it contained allusion to an event which occurred six years after the death of the philosopher, it would seem to have been simply a declamation on the subject composed at a subsequent period. (D. L. 2.38
, with the note of Menagius; Aelian, Ael. VH 11.10
, with the note of Perizonius; Isocr. Busiris,
§ 4, &c.; Quint. Inst. 2.17.1
; Suidas, s. v. Πολυκράτης
The oration of Isocrates, entitled Busiris,
is addressed to Polycrates, and points out the faults which the latter had committed in his oration on this subject.
(Schol. ad Arist. Rhet.
An obscene poem on love, which he published under the name of the poetess Philaenis, for the purpose of injuring her reputation (Athen. 8.335
Other Possible Works
It is doubtful whether the above-mentioned Polycrates is the same as the Polycrates who wrote a work on Laconia (Λακωνικά
) referred to by Athenaeus (iv. p. 139d.).
Panegyric on Helen
Spengel supposes that the rhetorician Polycrates is the author of the Panegyric on Helen,
which has come down to us as the work of Gorgias. (Westermann, Geschichte der Griech. Beredtsamkeit,
§ 50, n. 22.)