of rhetoric when the underlying argument was weak (as in Speech 31). Dionysius was at least right in his general judgement ( Lys. 1) that Lysias 'left few of his successors with the opportunity of improving on his performance' in the main oratorical media.
In the course of his long life ( 436-338 BC) Isocrates had two distinct literary careers. Most of his published writing is the product of his school and its programme, and will be considered later. But he began by writing speeches for the lawcourts, a profession which he subsequently disowned and disparaged.212 Six speeches from this early period survive, five of which are to be assigned to the years 403-393, the sixth, Aegineticus, to c.390. This corpusculum is thus contemporary with much of the Lysianic corpus, and must be examined in close proximity to it.
This and 18 Against Callimachus are the earliest datable Isocratean speeches ( 403/2), and the first of his six forensic orations. The question of authorship is raised by the frequency of hiatus, a clashing of final with initial vowels elsewhere scrupulously avoided by Isocrates, but it may be laid to rest by the presence in abundance of other stylistic features associated with him--homoeoteleuton and parison, in which it exceeds the average for the corpus by factors of 2½ and 3 respectively.
The survival of the short piece (it is incomplete, lacking an epilogue) is readily explained: it is an exercise in standard probability- argument (eikos, ek tekmerion, 4), applied to the circumstances immediately following the fall of the Thirty Tyrants at Athens, in a case where no witnesses or documents provided direct evidence. The plaintiff Nicias left three talents with the defendant when he fled the tyranny, but received only two back from him on his____________________