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Among the Greeks, rhetorike comprised the practical as well as the theoretical art of speaking, and rhetor denoted an orator no less than a teacher of oratory. Among the Romans, it denoted only the latter, the actual speaker being called orator. The first men, who reduced oratory to a system capable of being taught, appeared among the Sicilian Greeks, who, according to the (testimony of the ancients, were distinguished for the keenness of their understanding and their love of disputation [Cicero, Brutus 46]. The Syracusan CORAX (ciro. 500 B.C.) is said to have been the first who elaborated systematic rules for forensic speeches, and laid them down in writing in a manual on the art of rhetoric (techne). His pupil TISIAS (born circ. 480), and after him the Leontine GORGIAS, further cultivated the art, and from about 427 carried it to Greece itself, and in particular to Athens. In the judicial proceedings and the assemblies of the people, the practice of oratory had long been familiar at Athens, though it had not been reduced to technical rules, and oratory had had a conspicuous representative in PERICLES. At Athens the theory of oratory was further cultivated by the SOPHISTS (Gr. Sophistai, "men who professed knowledge or wisdom "). Their instruction in style and rhetoric was enjoyed by numerous Athenians, who desired by the aid of study and practice to attain to expertness in speaking. The first Athenian, who, besides imparting instruction in the new art, applied it practically to speaking in the assemblies of the people and before courts, and who published speeches as patterns for study, was ANTIPHON (died B.C. 411), the earliest of the "Ten Attic Orators." In his extant speeches the oratorical art is shown still in its beginnings. These, with the speeches interwoven in the historical work of his great pupil Thucydides, give, an idea of the crude and harsh style of the technical oratory of the time; while the speeches of ANDOCIDES (died about 399), the second of the Ten Orators, display a style that is still uninfluenced by the rhetorical teaching of the age. The first really classical orator is LYSIAS (died about 360), who, while in possession of all the technical rules of the time, handles with perfect mastery the common language of every-day life. ISOCRATES (436-338) is reckoned as the father of artistic oratory properly so called ; he is a master in the careful choice of words, in the rounding off and rhythmical formation of periods, in the apt employment of figures of speech, and in everything which lends charm to language. By his mastery of style he has exercised the most far-reaching influence upon the oratorical diction of all succeeding time. Of the three kinds of speeches which were distinguished by the ancients, political (or deliberative), forensic, and showspeeches (or declamations), he specially cultivated the last. Among his numerous pupils is ISAeUS (about 400-350), who in his general method of oratory closely follows Lysias, though he shows a more matured skill in the controversial use of oratorical resources. The highest point was attained by his pupil DEMOSTHENES, the greatest orator of antiquity (384-322); next to him comes his political opponent AeSCHINES (389-314). The number of the Ten Orators is completed by their contemporaries HYPERIDES, LYCURGUS, and DINARCHUS. In the last of these the beginning of the decline of oratorical art is already clearly apparent. To the time of Demosthenes belongs the oldest manual of rhetoric which has been preserved to us, that of ANAXIMENES of Lampsacus. This is founded on the practice of oratory, and, being intended for immediate practical use, shows no trace of any philosophical groundwork or philosophical research. Greek rhetoric owes to ARISTOTLE its proper reduction into a scientific system. In contrast to Isocrates, who aims at perfection of form and style, Aristotle, in his Rhetoric, lays special stress on subject-matter, and mainly devotes himself to setting forth the means of producing conviction. When Athens had lost her liberty, practical oratory was more and more reduced to silence; the productions of the last orators, such as DEMETRIUS of nus (q.v.), the god of the river, made her his wife. According to an older tradition, the mother of the founders of Rome was Ilia, daughter of Aeneas (q.v.) and Lavinia.
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