Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version

October 1973


Published in The Classical Journal, Vol. 69, No. 1. (Oct. - Nov., 1973), pp. 34-40. © 1973 The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc. Used by permission.


From CLASSICAL TIMES to the present, scholars have been rejecting Lysias' speeches. Their efforts are now complete. In the time of Dionysius of Halicarnassus the Lysian corpus included 425 speeches. Of these, Dionysius averred that "no fewer than 200" juridical orations were the work of Lysias. Including some nonjuridical speeches, he settled upon a total of 230 as genuine works. The scholarship factor and the usual accidents of transmission have left us but thirty-five. This includes two epitomes (orations 11 and 15), three extensive quotations in Dionysius' De Lysia ludicium (orations 32, 33, and 34) and the Eroticus from Plato's Phaedrus. By 1968, only six orations (1, 3, 21, 26, 32, and 34) stood free of the scholar's obelisk. But now the entire surviving corpus is marked, for Kenneth Dover has concluded that only the twelfth oration (which was athetized by Alphonse Hecker in 1847) can confidently be called Lysias'.

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