Skip to main content

Black History Month: Select Books 30% Off

Harvard University Press - home



Translated by W. R. M. Lamb

ISBN 9780674992696

Publication date: 01/01/1930

Attic eloquence.

Lysias (ca. 458–ca. 380 BC), born at Athens, son of a wealthy Syracusan settled in Attica, lived in Piraeus, where with his brother he inherited his father’s shield factory. Being a loyal supporter of democracy, Lysias took the side of the democrats at Athens against the Thirty Tyrants in 404, supplying shields and money. After one political speech in accusation of Eratosthenes (one of the Thirty) in 405, he became at Athens a busy professional speech writer for the law courts. At the Olympic festival of 388 he denounced, with riotous results, the costly display of the embassy sent by Dionysius I of Syracuse and the domination of Sicily by Dionysius.

The surviving speeches of Lysias (about thirty complete out of a very much larger number) are fluent, simple, and graceful in style yet vivid in description. They suggest a passionate partisan who was also a gentle, humorous man. We see in him the art of oratory young and fresh.


  • Sir Walter Rangeley Maitland Lamb (1882–1961) lectured in Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was Secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Book Details

  • 736 pages
  • 1-7/16 x 4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press