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On this page: Isodaetes – Isodetes – Issa – Issoria – Isthmius


country as Isocrates. If we set aside the question as to whether the political views he entertained were practicable or wise, it must be owned that he was a sincere lover of his native land, and that the greatness and glory of Athens were the great objects for which he was labouring; and hence, when the battle of Chaeroneia had destroyed the last hopes of freedom and independence, Isocrates made away with himself, unable to survive the downfal of his country, b. c. 338. (Plut. p. 837; Dionys. Photius, II. cc. ; Philostr. Vit. Soph. i. 17.)

The Alexandrian critics assigned to Isocrates the fourth place in the canon of Greek orators, and the great esteem in which his orations were held by the ancient, grammarians is attested by the numerous commentaries that were written upon them by Philonicus, Hieronymus of Rhodes, Cleochares, Did-ymus, and others. Hermippus even treated in a separate work on the pupils of Isocrates ; but all these works are lost, with the exception of the cri­ticism by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The lan­guage of Isocrates is the purest and most refined Attic dialect, and thus forms a great contrast with the natural simplicity of Lysias, as well as with the sublime power of Demosthenes. His artificial style is more elegant than graceful, and more os­tentatious than pleasing ; the carefully-rounded periods, the frequent application of figurative ex­pressions, are features which remind us of the so­phists ; and although his sentences flow very melodiously, yet they become wearisome and mo­notonous by the perpetual occurrence of the same over-refined periods, which are not relieved by being interspersed with shorter and easier sen­tences. In saying this, we must remember that Isocrates wrote his orations to be read, and not with a view to their recitation before the public. The immense care he bestowed upon the com­position of his orations, and the time he spent in working them out and polishing them, may be in­ferred from the statement, that he was engaged for a period of ten, and according to others, of fifteen years, upon his Panegyric oration. (Quintil. x. 4. § 4.) It is owing to this very care and labour that in the arrangement and treatment of his sub­ject, Isocrates is far superior to Lysias and other orators of the time, and that the number of ora­tions he wrote is comparatively small. \

There were in antiquity sixty orations which went by the name of Isocrates, but Caecilius, a rhetorician of the time of Augustus, recognised only twenty-eight of them as genuine (Plut. I. c. p. 838; Phot. Bibl. Cod. 260), and of these only twenty-one have c^f\& down to us. Eight of them were written for judicial purposes in civil cases, and in­tended to serve as models for this species of ora­tory ; all the others are political discourses or show speeches, intended to be read -by a large public: they are particularly characterised by the ethical element on which his political views are based. Besides these entire orations, we have the titles and fragments of twenty-seven other orations, which are referred to under the name of Isocrates. There also exist under his name ten letters, which were written to friends on political questions of the time ; one of them, however (the tenth), is in all probability spurious. A scientific manual of rhe­toric (T€x^n /HjTopt/o}) which Isocrates wrote is lost, with the exception of a few fragments, so that we are unable to form any definite idea of his merits in this respect.



The orations of Isocrates are printed in the various collections of the Greek orators. The first separate edition is that of Demetrius Chalcocondylas (Milan, 1493, fol.), which was followed by numer­ ous others, which, however, are mainly based upon the edition of Aldus (e. g. those published at Hagenau, 1533, 8vo.; Venice, 1542, 1544, 1549, 8vo. ; Basel, 1546, 1550, 1555, 1561, 8vo.). A better edition is that of H. Wolf (Basel, 1,553, 8vo.), and with Wolf's notes and emendations, Basel, 1570, fol., the text of which was often re­ printed. Some improvements were made in the edition of H. Stephens (1593, fol., reprinted in 1604, 1642, 1651, 8vo., in London 1615, 8vo., and at Cambridge 1686, 8vo.). The edition of A. Auger (Paris, 1782, 3 vols. 3vo.) is not what it might have been, considering the MSS. he had at his disposal. The best modern editions are those of W. Lange (Halle, 1803, 8vo.), Ad. Coraes (Paris, 1807, 2 vols. 8vo.), G. S. Dobson (London, 1828, 2 vols. 8vo., with a Latin transl., copious notes and scholia), and Baiter and Sauppe (Zu­ rich, 1839, 2 vols. 12mo.). There are also many good editions of separate orations and of select orations, for which the reader must be referred to bibliographical works (Hoffmann, Lexicon Bibliogr* vol. ii. p. 615, &c.) A useful Index Graecitatis was published by Th. Mitchell, Oxford, 1827, 8vo. (Comp. Westermann, Gesch. der Griecli. Beredts. §§ 48, 49, and Beilage iv. pp. 288—293; Leloup, Commentatio de Isocrate, Bonn, 1823, 8vo. ; J. G. Pfund, de Isoeratis Vita et Scriptis, Berlin, 1833, 2. Of Apollonia, a disciple of Isocrates of Athens (No. 1), with whom he has often been confounded. He appears, however, to have enjoyed a consider­ able reputation as an orator, for he is mentioned among those who competed with other .orators for the prize which Artemisia of Caria proposed in the literary contest which she instituted in honour of her husband Mausolus, in b. c. 352. Siiidas men­ tions the titles of five of his orations, but none of them have come down to us. (Epist. Socrat. xxviii. pp. 65, 67 ; Suid. s. v. ''IffoKpa.rrjs; Eudoc. p. 247; Spalding, ad Quintil. ii. 15. § 4.) Some critics be­ lieve that he was the author of the rex^r) /tyropi/o), which was mentioned above among the works of his master and namesake. (Westermann, Gesch. d. Gi'iecn..Beredtsamk. § 50, notes 3 and 4. § 68, note 15.) [L. S.]

ISODAETES ('ItroSafTTjs), from Safeo, i. e. the god who distributes his gifts equally to all, occurs as a surname of Dionysus Zagreus. (Plut. de Ei. ap. Delph. 9.) [L. S.]

ISODETES ('lo-oSeVr/s), from 5e'«, the god who binds all equally, is used as a surname of Pluto, to express his impartiality (Hesych. s. v.), and of Apollo. (Bekker, Anecdot. p. 267.) [L. S.]

ISSA ("Io-0-a), a daughter of Macareus in Les­ bos, and the beloved of Apollo, from whom the Lesbian town of Issa is said to have received its name. (Ov. Met. vi. 124; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 220; Steph. Byz. s. v. ; Strab. i. p. 60.) [L. S.]

ISSORIA ('Itrtrwpia), a surname of the Laco- niaii Artemis, derived from , Mount Issorion, on which she had a sanctuary. (Paus. iii. 14. § 2, 25. § 3 ; Hesych. and Steph. Byz. s. v.,\ Plut. Ages. 32 ; Polyaen. ii. 14.) [L. S.]

ISTHMIUS ("Icr0/iios), i. e. the god worship­ped on the Isthmus (of Corinth), a surname of Poseidon, in honour of whom the Isthmian games were celebrated. (Paus. ii. 9. § .6 > . [L. S.]

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