Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Critical Essays 2. Dinarchus

LCL 466: 250-251

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Dionysius Of Halicarnassus



Περὶ Δεινάρχου τοῦ ῥήτορος οὐδὲν εἰρηκὼς ἐν τοῖς περὶ τῶν ἀρχαίων γραφεῖσιν διὰ τὸ μήτε εὑρετὴν ἰδίου γεγονέναι χαρακτῆρος τὸν ἄνδρα, ὥσπερ τὸν Λυσίαν καὶ τὸν Ἰσοκράτην καὶ τὸν Ἰσαῖον, μήτε τῶν εὑρημένων ἑτέροις τελειωτήν, ὥσπερ τὸν Δημοσθένη καὶ τὸν Αἰσχίνη καὶ <τὸν>1 Ὑπερείδην ἡμεῖς κρίνομεν, ὁρῶν δὲ καὶ τοῦτον τὸν ἄνδρα πρὰ πολλοῖς ἠξιωμένον ὀνόματος ἐπὶ δεινότητι λόγων καὶ ἀπολελοιπότα δημοσίους τε καὶ ἰδίους λόγους οὕτε ὀλίγους οὔτ᾿ εὐκαταφρονήτους, ἡγησάμην δεῖν μὴ παραλιπεῖν αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τοῦ βίου καὶ τοῦ χαρακτῆρος αὐτοῦ διελθεῖν καὶ διορίσαι τούς τε γνησίους καὶ ψευδεῖς λόγους πάντων ἢ τῶν γε πλείστων ἀναγκαιότερον οἶμαι τοῖς μὴ ἐκ περιζώματος ἀσκοῦσι ῥητορικήν. ἅμα δ᾿ ἑώρων2 οὐδὲν ἀκριβὲς οὔτε Καλλίμαχον οὔτε τοὺς ἐκ Περγάμου γραμματικοὺς περὶ αὐτοῦ γράψαντας, ἀλλὰ παρὰ τὸ μηδὲν ἐξετάσαι περὶ αὐτοῦ τῶν ἀκριβεστέρων ἡμαρτηκότας, ὡς μὴ μόνον ἐψεῦσθαι πολλὰ ἀλλὰ καὶ λόγους τοὺς οὐδὲν μὲν αὐτῷ προσήκοντας ὡς Δεινάρχου




I said nothing about the orator Dinarchus in my1 writings on the ancient orators because he was neither the inventor of an individual style, as were Lysias, Isocrates and Isaeus, nor the perfecter of styles which others had invented, as I judge Demosthenes, Aeschines and Hyperides to have been.1 But I observe that many have thought that this man also deserves renown for the brilliance of his oratory; I observe too that he left both public and private speeches which are inconsiderable neither in number nor in quality. Therefore I have decided that he should not be passed over, but that for serious students of rhetoric, who do not wish merely to don the trappings of the art, it is imperative, or at any rate a matter of high priority, to examine his life and style and to distinguish between his genuine and spurious speeches. At the same time, however, I saw that neither Callimachus2 nor the grammarians from Pergamum had written any detailed study of him, and that through this failure to examine him in greater detail they had committed errors which have resulted not only in many falsifications but also in the ascription to Dinarchus of many speeches which are not his

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dionysius_halicarnassus-dinarchus.1985