Special Sub-Topic: The Attic Orators
|To be an Attic Orator, the person must be one of the ten names included on a particular list compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace. Sometimes called the "Canon of Ten", by what other name is this list known?|
Alexandrian Canon. Attica was the name given to the area of Greece around the city of Athens. The Attic Orators all lived between the third and fifth centuries BC, and their work inspired the later Atticism movement which began in the first century BC.
Aristarchus of Samothrace and Aristophanes of Byzantium were both Head Librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria, with Aristarchus succeding Aristophanes in the post.
|The Attic Orator Hypereides was renowned as a logographer. What is a logographer?|
Speech writer. It was the speeches of Hypereides that encouraged the people to go to war against their Macedonian rulers after the death of Alexander the Great. The Lamian War is directly attributed to them by historians. Eventually, the Greeks and their allies were defeated, and Hypereides and his colleagues were put to death by the Macedonians.
|Thought to have been written in 393BC, "Against the Sophists" is one of the few works by this particular Attic Orator to have survived to the present day. Which rhetorician wrote it to help define the educational principles of his newly opened school?|
Isocrates. Isocrates lived from 436-338 BC. He was a contemporary of Plato, whose "Gorgias" is thought to be a response to "Against the Sophists".
|In the year 404BC, Athens came under the control of an oligarchy, known nowadays as the Thirty Tyrants.
One of the Attic Orators, and his brother Polemarchus, were arrested and condemned by the Thirty, and Polemarchus was executed. What was his orator brother's name?|
Lysias. Many prominent public figures of the day were condemned by the Thirty, and forced to drink poisonous hemlock. Lysias only escaped because he was able to bribe his captors to release him from house arrest. He managed to board a boat and fled to Megara in southern Attica.
|One of the Attic Orators was instrumental in leading an Athenian rebellion against Alexander the Great, and was later sentenced to death by Alexander's successor Antipater. Who was this orator, who eventually committed suicide rather than be captured by Antipater?|
Demosthenes. After Athens was defeated in the Lamian War, and fell under the control of Philip of Macedon, Demosthenes became the leader of the anti-Macedonian factions within the city. He was chosen to deliver the now famous "Funeral Oration" for the citizens and soldiers of Athens who had fallen in the battle against Philip. The "Funeral Oration" and his "Erotic Essays" are the only two of Demosthenes works to survive to the present day.
|At the trial of the courtesan Phryne (Mnesarete), on charges of "profaning the Eleusian mysteries", she was ably defended by one of the Attic Orators who was reputed to be one of her lovers. She was spared by the judges and freed on the strength of his impassioned speech in her defence. Who was this Orator?|
Hypereides. Phryne was a nickname often given to courtesans of the time, and meant "toad". She was famed for her beauty, and in a time when most women were considered to be the property of their father or husband, she was independent and was incredibly rich and powerful, thanks to her well connected lovers.
The popular story of her trial and defence by Hypereides culminates in his tearing her robe open to expose her beauty to the judges, who were then so overcome that they immediately cleared her of all charges against her. Scholars think that this is probably an exaggeration or outright fabrication from some 200 years after the event, as the few surviving earlier records make no mention of such an incident.
|In the year 415BC, on the eve of the Athenian military expedition to Sicily, a terrible act of vandalism occurred in Athens. The Attic Orator Andocides was accused of taking part in this. What was it?|
Defacing of the Herm statuary. The Herm or Herma are a particular type of statue, featuring a head and sometimes shoulders on a tall square plinth. Male ones also sometimes have genitalia on the plinth. They were symbols of good luck and fertility, and many homes had one at the doorway to welcome guests. For them to be smashed and defaced was a serious business, and the population of Athens was outraged. Andocides managed to escape relatively unscathed after he informed on his fellow vandals, some of whom were then sentenced to death for their crime.
|One of the Attic Orators held the office of Manager of the Public Revenue in Athens for three consecutive terms. He was so beloved of the citizens that they refused point blank to hand him over when Alexander the Great demanded that he be surrendered. Famed for his integrity, who was this man?|
Lycurgus. Not to be confused with the Spartan Lycurgus the law giver, Lycurgus of Athens was a much loved and respected citizen of Athens. He was famous for his even handed application of, and adherence to the law, and for his honesty and integrity.
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were playwrites who were honoured with bronze statues commission by Lycurgus during his time in office as Manager of the Public Revenue - a similar job to today's City Manager or Mayor.
|Three speeches written by this Attic Orator survive today, they are "Against Demosthenes", "Against Aristogiton", and "Against Philocles". Sentenced to death, then forced into exile in Chalcis in 307BC, who was he?|
Dinarchus. Sometimes known as Dinarch, he wielded a great deal of political influence, but fell from popularity on the death of his mentor Demetrius Phalereus. Soon after this he was sentenced to death by the new regime of Demetrius Poliorcetes, and entered exile to save his life. Some fifteen years later he was able to return to Attica, but died about a year later.
|One of the Attic Orators was also an accomplished mathematician. Together with Bryson of Heraclea, they are acknowledged as the first people to assign a possible upper and lower boundary value of pi, and furthering the solution to the problem of "squaring the circle". Who was this Orator?|
Antiphon. It was only in 1882 that the "squaring the circle" problem was proved to be impossible to solve, but the work of many mathematicians, including Bryson and Antiphon, helped extend human knowledge in the field of geometry and general mathematics.
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