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My subject is not exhausted; there are many excellent things to be said upon it, but I am prompted by two considerations to stop speaking: the length of my discourse and the number of my years. But I urge and exhort those who are younger and more vigorous than I to speak and write the kind of discourses by which they will turn the greatest states—those which have been wont to oppress the rest—into the paths of virtue and justice, since when the affairs of Hellas are in a happy and prosperous condition, it follows that the state of learning and letters also is greatly improved.A somewhat academic close, but the state of affairs and the state of learning are not dissociated in his mind; “philosophy” is the salvation of th
After he had taken over the government of the city, which had been reduced to a state of barbarism and, because it was ruled by Phoenicians, was neither hospitable to the Greeks nor acquainted with the arts, nor possessed of a trading-port or harbor, Evagoras remedied all these defects and, besides, acquired much additional territory, surrounded it all with new walls and built triremes, and with other construction so increased the city that it was inferior to none of the cities of Greece. And he caused it to become so powerful that many who formerly despised it, now feared it.See Isoc. 4.141 for the fleet and army of Evagoras.
Conon and Evagoras seized this opportunity, and, as the generals of the Persian king were at a loss to know how to handle the situation, these two advised them to wage war against the Lacedaemonians, not upon land but upon the sea, their opinion being that if the Persians should organize an army on land and with this should gain a victory, the mainland alone would profit, whereas, if they should be victors on the sea, all Hellas would have a share in the victory.
In truth, how could one reveal the courage, the wisdom, or the virtues generally of Evagoras more clearly than by pointing to such deeds and perilous enterprises? For he will be shown to have surpassed in his exploits, not only those of other wars, but even those of the war of the heroes which is celebrated in the songs of all men. For they, in company with all Hellas, captured Troy only,Cf. Isoc. 4.83. but Evagoras, although he possessed but one city, waged war against all Asia. Consequently, if the number of those who wished to praise him had equalled those who lauded the heroes at Troy, he would have gained far greater renown than they.
These I prefer to statues because I know, in the first place, that honorable men pride themselves not so much on bodily beauty as they desire to be honored for their deeds and their wisdom: in the second place, because I know that images must of necessity remain solely among those in whose cities they were set up, whereas portrayals in words may be published throughout Hellas, and having been spread abroad in the gatherings of enlightened men, are welcomed among those whose approval is more to be desired than that of all others;
In the first place, the scattered settlements and villages of which the state was composed he united, and made Athens into a city-stateA reference to the sunoikismo/s attributed to Theseus, i.e., the uniting of the scattered villages in Attica into a polis or city-state. Cf. Thuc. 2.15. so great that from then even to the present day it is the greatest state of Hellas: and after this, when he had established a common fatherland and had set free the minds of his fellow-citizens, he instituted for them on equal terms that rivalry of theirs for distinction based on merit, confident that he would stand out as their superior in any case, whether they practised that privilege or neglected it, and he also knew that honors bestowed by high-minded men are sweeter than those that are awarded by slavesWith this passage （Isoc. 10.34-35） Isoc. 4.38-89, with note, should be compared.. And he was so far from doing anything contrary to the will of the citiz
What man would have rejected marriage with Helen, at whose abduction the Greeks were as incensed as if all Greece had been laid waste, while the barbarians were as filled with pride as if they had conquered us all? It is clear how each party felt about the matter; for although there had been many causes of contention between them before, none of these disturbed their peace, whereas for her they waged so great a war, not only the greatest of all wars in the violence of its passions, but also in the duration of the struggle and in the extent of the preparations the greatest of all time.
And yet I did not permit these disabilities to dishearten me nor did I allow myself to sink into obscurity or utter oblivion, but since I was barred from public life I took refuge in study and work and writing down my thoughts, choosing as my field, not petty matters nor private contracts, nor the things about which the other orators prate, but the affairs of Hellas and of kings and of states.See General Introduction. Wherefore I thought that I was entitled to more honor than the speakers who come before you on the platform in proportion as my discourses were on greater and nobler themes than theirs. But nothing of the sort has come to pass.
Of the ancient struggles which they have undergone in behalf of the Hellenes, I shall speak hereafter.He does so in Isoc. 12.191 ff. Now, however, I shall begin with the time when the Lacedaemonians conquered the cities of AchaeaIn the northern Peloponnese. For the Dorian Invasion of the Peloponnese see Grote, History of Greece vol.2, pp. 2 ff. Cf. Isoc. 6.16 ff. and divided their territory with the Argives and the Messenians; for it is fitting to begin discussing them at this point.Now our ancestors will be seen to have preserved without ceasing the spirit of concord towards the Hellenes and of hatred towards the barbarians which they inherited from the Trojan War and to have remained steadfast in this policy.
And after this, they founded many great cities on both continents,Europe and Asia—north and south of the Hellespont. swept the barbarians back from the sea, and taught the Hellenes in what way they should manage their own countries and against whom they should wage war in order to make Hellas great