The epistles of Isocrates: A historical and grammatical *commentary
This study begins with an examination of the authenticity of the nine letters of Isocrates. Literary, historical, and philological arguments are employed, and it is determined that there is not sufficient evidence to doubt their authenticity. Next, this study undertakes the relationship of the speeches and letters of Isocrates in relation to the tri-partite division of forensic, deliberative, and epideictic oratory. Such a traditional division, which divides speeches by their place of performance, their style, and their subject matter is insufficient and inadequate in describing the works of Isocrates, as he employs the high style of epideictic with the subject matter or deliberative, but delivered none of the speeches in person. The same difficulty in classifying his speeches exists with his letters. Instead, Isocrates takes as the subject of his letters those great political matters which concern the Greeks (uniting all Greeks and taking the field to defeat their common foe, the Persians, and the duties and responsibilities of good government), a deliberative theme, in the style of an epideictic speech, which would not have been delivered in person before an assembly or even before the court of one of the powerful personalities of his day, but in absentia.
Next, the study includes a text and critical apparatus of the nine letters derived from comparing earlier editions of the works of Isocrates. A literal translation follows directly after the text. Finally, there is a grammatical and historical commentary of each of the nine letters, arranged in chronological order.
0294: Classical studies