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date: 28 November 2020

Lysiaslocked

, Attic orator
  • Stephen Todd

Extract

The ancient biographical tradition, that he was born in 459/8 and died c.380 bce ([Plut.] Vit. Lys. 835c, 836a; Dion. Hal. Lys. 1, 12), is clear but problematic. The latter date is plausible; the former less so, and many scholars suggest that a man some fifteen years younger would have been more likely to engage in his range of activities after 403 (the speeches, and cf. also [Dem.] 59. 21–2). He appears as a character in *Plato (1)'s Phaedrus; in the Republic, his father Cephalus is an elderly *Syracusan, resident as a *metic in Athens, and friend of assorted Athenian aristocrats: the search for dramatic dates, however, is probably vain.Lysias and his brother Polemarchus left Athens after Cephalus' death to join the panhellenic colony (see panhellenism) of *Thurii in southern Italy, where he is said to have studied *rhetoric.

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