1. Quint. inst. 3, 1, 11: Antiphon quoque… artem et ipse composuit... etiam Polycrates… et Theodorus Byzantius (v. A V 10)
Artis Polycrateae vix certum testimonium.
2. Aeschriο fr. 8, 5 Bgk., 6, 5 D.:
οὐ γὰρ μὰ τὸν Ζῆνʼ, οὐ μὰ τοὺς κάτω κούρους,
οὐκ ἦν ἐς ἄνδρας μάχλος οὐδὲ δημώδης.
Πολυκράτης δὲ τὴν γενὴν Ἀθηναῖος,
λόγων τι παιπάλημα καὶ κακὴ γλῶσσα,
ἔγραψεν, ἅσσʼ ἔγραψ. ἐγὼ γὰρ οὐκ οἶδα.
Cf. Athen. 335 b/c ad locum.
3. Dion. Hal. de Isaeο, p. 123, 8 U. R.: Πολυκράτης δὲ κενὸς μὲν ἐν τοῖς ἀληθινοῖς, ψυχρὸς δὲ καὶ φορτικὸς ἐν τοῖς ἐπιδεικτικοῖς, ἄχαρις δὲ ἐν τοῖς χαριεντισμοῦ δεομένοις ἐστί.
Eundem nihil novi ad scribendi stilum conformandum addidisse dicit De Demosthene p. 143, 6 sq. U. R.
4. Isocr. 11 (Bούσιρις), 1: ἥδιστα μὲν ἄν σοι (i. e. Polycrati) περὶ ὅλης ἐπαρρησιασάμην τῆς παιδεύσεως, περὶ ἣν ἠνάγκασαι διατρίβειν. ἡγοῦμαι γὰρ τοῖς ἀναξίως μὲν δυστυχοῦσιν, ἐκ δὲ φιλοσοφίας χρηματίζεσθαι ζητοῦσιν ἅπαντας τοὺς πλείω πεπραγματευμένους καὶ μᾶλλον ἀπηκριβωμένους προσήκειν ἐθελοντὰς τοῦτον εἰσφέρειν τὸν ἔρανον. (Ibid. 50 μὴ θαυμάσῃς, εἰ νεώτερος ὢν… ἐπιχειρῶ σε νουθετεῖν.)
Polycratis Zoilus (v. i.) fuit discipulus sec. Aelianum v. h. 11, 10, Demosthenes sec. Sudae lexicon. Scriptores, qualis fuit Polycrates, Philodemus perstringit rhet. I 217, 5 sq.
5. Pausan. 6, 17, 9: Ἰάσων ἐν Θεσσαλίᾳ τυραννήσας Πολυκράτους οὐ τὰ ἔσχατα ἐνεγκαμένου διδασκαλείου τῶν (trad. τοῦ) Ἀθήνησι, τούτου τοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἐπίπροσθεν αὐτὸν (sc. Γοργίαν) ὁ Ἰάσων ἐποιήσατο.
6. Isocr. or. 11 (Βουσίριδος) ὑπόθεσις: τοῦτον τὸν λόγον γράφει πρὸς Πολυκράτη τινὰ σοφιστήν, ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἐλθόντα ἐπὶ τὸ σοφιστεύειν διὰ πενίαν, Ἀθηναῖον μὲν τῷ γένει, σοφιστεύοντα δὲ νῦν ἐν Κύπρῳ.
Quae ex Isocratis declamatione colligimus tamquam a Polycrate proposita, Sauppius expressit Or. Att. II 221 a I.
7. Isocr. 11 (Βούσιρις), 48 (Polycratem adloquitur): ἀλλὰ γὰρ ἴσως ἂν εἴποις, ὡς οὐδὲ σὲ τοῦτο παρέλαθεν, ἀλλʼ ἐβουλήθης τοῖς φιλοσόφοις παράδειγμα καταλιπεῖν, ὡς χρὴ περὶ τῶν αἰσχρῶν αἰτιῶν καὶ δυσχερῶν πραγμάτων ποιεῖσθαι τὰς ἀπολογίας. ἀλλʼ εἰ 5 καὶ πρότερον ἠγνόεις, ἡγοῦμαί σοι νῦν γεγενῆσθαι φανερόν, ὅτι πολὺ θᾶττον ἄν τις σωθείη μηδὲν φθεγξάμενος ἢ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἀπολογησάμενος. καὶ μὲν δὴ καὶ τοῦτο δῆλον, ὅτι τῆς φιλοσοφίας ἐπικήρως διακειμένης καὶ φθονουμένης διὰ τοὺς τοιούτους τῶν λόγων ἔτι μᾶλλον αὐτὴν μισήσουσιν. ἢν οὖν ἐμοὶ πείθῃ, 10 μάλιστα μὲν οὐ ποιήσει τοῦ λοιποῦ πονηρὰς ὑποθέσεις, εἰ δὲ μή, τοιαῦτα ζητήσεις λέγειν, ἐξ ὧν μήτʼ αὐτὸς χείρων εἶναι δόξεις μήτε τοὺς μιμουμένους λυμανεῖ μήτε τὴν περὶ τοὺς λόγους παίδευσιν διαβαλεῖς.
5 ἡγοῦμαι Γ οἶμαι rell. 10 ποιήσεις
Βούσιρις oratio nomine erat ἐγκώμιον, re vera ἀπολογία, sicut Gorgiae Ἑλένης ἐγκώμιον vel Anaximenis (Isocratis Helenae or. Hypoth.). Est τόπος τῶν παραδόξων, Aristotelis XV, rhet. 1399 a 29. Inde Philodemi vituperatio rhet. I 216, 18 S. οἱ ῥητορικοὶ σοφισταὶ Βουσείριδας καὶ Πολυφήμους καὶ τοιούτους ἄλλους ἐγκωμιάζοντες τὰ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἔπαθλα κοινοποιοῦσι καὶ πολλοὺς εἶναι πoνηροὺς προτρέπονται.
8. Quint. inst. II 17, 4: equidem illos, qui cοntra disputaverunt (sc. dicentes artem non esse rhetoricen), non tam id sensisse, quod dicerent, quam exercere ingenia materiae difficultate credo voluisse, sicut Polycraten, cum Busirim laudaret et Clytaemestram, quamquam is, quod his dissimile nοn est, cοmposuisse orationem, quae esset habita contra Socraten, dicitur.
Clytaemestrae laudem fortasse Philodemus intellegit rhet. I 217, 26 S. (cf. infra C 73).
Socratis accusationem item fuisse πονηρὰν ὑπόθεσιν, ut Isocratis verbis utar, Quintilianus adfirmat, habitam eam esse falso enuntians, sicut alii eam scriptores cum Anyti oratione confundunt (Fragmenta v. apud Sauppium Or. Att. II 222 a VII). Quam tamen meram fuisse declamationem non dixerim.
9. Alexander περὶ ῥητορ. ἀφορμῶν III p. 3, 10 Sp.: ἀμέλει ὅταν χύτρας ἐγκωμιάζωμεν ἢ ψήφους, ὡς Πολυκράτης, οὐ πάντως καὶ τεθαυμακότες τὴν χύτραν ἢ τὰς ψήφους ἐπαινοῦμεν, ἀλλὰ γυμνάζοντες ἑαυτοὺς πιθανοῖς τισι λόγοις.
Eadem Scholia Aphthonii, quae Sabatucci edidit, Stud. ital. 16 (1908) p. 83, 25 sq. et Ioannes Sard. p. 123, 11 sq. R., ubi post Πολυκράτης addendo ἢ φαλάκραν ἢ μυῖαν Synesii et Luciani memoria inmiscetur ἐμέτου, πυρετοῦ, χύτρας ἐγκώμια se nosse ait Plutarchus Mor. 44 F. Plato symp. 177 B: ἀλλʼ ἔγωγε ἢδη τινὶ ἐνέτυχον βιβλίῳ ἀνδρὸς σοφοῦ, ἐν ᾧ ἐνῆσαν ἅλες ἔπαινον θαυμάσιον ἔχοντες πρὸς ὠφέλειαν, καὶ ἄλλα τοιαῦτα συχνὰ ἴδοις ἂν ἐγκεκωμιασμένα. Isocr. 10, 12: τῶν μὲν γὰρ τοὺς βομβυλιοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἅλας καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα βουληθέντων ἐπαινεῖν οὐδεὶς πώποτε λόγων ἠπόρησεν. Menander περὶ ἐπιδ. 29 W IX 131, 5, p. 332, 26 Sp. οὐδʼ ἐκεῖνο ἀγνοῶ, ὅτι καὶ τῶν ἁλῶν καὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἤδη τινὲς τῶν πάλαι σοφιστῶν ἐπαίνους συνέγραψαν. Haec quoque παίγνια ad Polycraten relata sunt; de universa materia Blass II2 370 sq., Münscher, Rh. M. 54, 255 sq.
10. Aristot. rhet. 1401 b 15: ἄλλος (sc. τόπος τῶν φαινομένων ἐνθυμημάτων) διὰ τὸ συμβεβηκός, οἷον ὃ λέγει Πολυκράτης εἰς τοὺς μῦς, ὅτι ἐβοήθησαν διατραγόντες τὰς νευράς.
Ubi schol.: Πολέμων ἱστορεῖ τοὺς ἀμφὶ Τρωάδα κατοικοῦντας ἀπὸ χρησμῶν τινων τοὺς ἐπχωρίους μῦς σέβεσθαι διὰ τὸ τὰς νευρὰς τῶν τόξων τῶν πολεμίων φαγεῖν, πρὸς δὲ καὶ τοὺς ὀχεῖς τῶν ἀσπίδων ἤτοι τοὺς λώρους. Ex μυῶν aliquo encomio huc relatum a Spengelio, quod Aristoteles prοtulit rhet. 1401 a 12: ἓν δὲ τὸ παρὰ τὴν ὁμωνυμίαν, τὸ φάναι σπουδαῖον εἶναι μῦν. ἀφʼ οὗ γʼ ἐστὶν ἡ τιμιωτάτη πασῶν τελετή· τὰ γὰρ μυστήρια πασῶν τιμιωτάτη τελετή. V. Philod. rhet. I p. 215, 10 S., Menander περὶ ἐπιδ. p. 332, 13 Sp.
11. Demetr. de eloc. 120: καίτοι τινές φασι δεῖν τὰ μικρὰ μεγάλως λέγειν καὶ σημεῖον τοῦτο ἡγοῦνται ὑπερβαλλούσης δυνάμεως. ἐγὼ δὲ Πολυκράτει μῦν τῷ ῥήτορι συγχωρῶ ἐγκωμιάζοντι ὡς Ἀγαμέμνονα ἐν ἀντιθέτοις καὶ μεταφοραῖς καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ἐγκωμιαστικοῖς τρόποις. ἔπαιζεν γάρ, οὐκ ἐσπούδαζε, καὶ αὐτὸς τῆς 5 γραφῆς ὁ ὄγκος παίγνιόν ἐστι.
3 μῦν: μὲν cod. <Θερσίτην> ὡς Ἀγ. suppleverat E. Maass. 6 παίγνιον: vide ad Gorgiae Helenam quae adnotata sunt.
12. Isocr. Helenae or. Hypothesis: τινὲς λέγουσιν, ὡς ὅτι καὶ τὸν λόγον τοῦτον ἔγραψε πρὸς Πολυκράτην, ἐπιλαμβανόμενος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τούτῳ, οὐκ ἔστι δέ· καὶ γὰρ τὸ ἐναντίον συνέβη. ἐκεῖνος γὰρ Πολυκράτης ἐπελάβετο τοῦ Ἰσοκράτους ὡς κακῶς γράψαντος τὸν λόγον τοῦτον, ὥσπερ ἐκείνου ἐπελάβετο ἐν τῷ Βουσίριδι.
13. Aristot. rhet. 1401 a 24: ἄλλος (sc. τόπος τῶν φαινομένων ἐνθυμημάτων), τὸ διῃρημένον συντιθέντα λέγειν ἢ τὸ συγκείμενον διαιροῦντα. ἐπεὶ γὰρ ταὐτὸν δοκεῖ εἶναι οὐκ ὂν ταὐτὸ πολλάκις, ὁπότερον χρησιμώτερον, τοῦτο δεῖ ποιεῖν... (33) πάλιν τὸ Πολυκράτους εἰς Θρασύβουλον, ὅτι τριάκοντα τυράννους κατέλυσεν.
Schol. ad l. p. 150, 7 R.: ὁ Πολυκράτης ῥήτωρ ὢν ἔπαινον ἐποίησεν εἰς Θρασύβουλον. Laconum vituperationem a Iosepho commemoratam (c. Apionem l 221) in Thrasybuli laudibus locum habuisse Sauppius coniecit (Or. Att. 221 b V).
1. Quintilian 3.1.11: Antiphon too […] wrote a treatise himself […] and so did Polycrates […] and Theodorus of Byzantium.
Hardly a clear testimony of a handbook by Polycrates.
2. Aeschrion fr. 8: No, by Zeus, by the boys below the Earth, I was not lustful toward men nor a common whore. But Polycrates, Athenian born and bred, a subtle speaker and a bad tongue, wrote whatever he wrote. I don’t know.
Cf. Athen. 335 b-c ad loc
3. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Isaeus: Polycrates is hollow when it is about the truth, lame and coarse in epideictic speeches and unpleasant wherever pleasantry is required.
In On Demosthenes p. 143, 6 f. U. R. he also says that this author did not contribute anything to the development of the writing style.
4. Isocrates, Busiris 1: I should have been greatly pleased to discuss frankly with you (Polycrates) and fully the education with which you have been obliged to occupy yourself. For I believe that when men through no fault of their own are unfortunate and so seek in philosophy a source of gain, it is the duty of all who have had a wider experience in that occupation, and have become more thoroughly versed in it, to make this contribution voluntarily for their benefit. (Ibid. 50: Do not be surprised if I attempt to admonish you though being younger than you.)
Zoilus (see under his name) was a student of Polycrates according to Aelian Various History 11.10; so was Demosthenes according to Suda. Philodemus On Rhetoric 1.217, 5 f. criticizes writers like Polycrates.
5. Pausanias 6.17.9: Jason, the tyrant of Thessaly, placed him (Gorgias) before Polycrates, who was a shining light of the Athenian school.
6. Hypothesis to Isocrates, Busiris: He wrote this speech against some sophist named Polycrates, who was forced by poverty to become a sophist; Athenian by birth, but practicing his profession on Cyprus.
Sauppe Or. Att. II 221 a l expounds what I have selected from Isocrates’ declamation as having been published by Polycrates.
7. Isocrates, Busiris 48f. (speaking to Polycrates): But perhaps you will say that you too were not unaware of all this but that you wished to bequeath to men of learning an example of how pleas in defense of shameful charges and difficult causes ought to be made. But I think it has now been made clear to you, even if you were previously in ignorance, that an accused person would sooner gain acquittal by not uttering a word than by pleading his cause in this way. And, furthermore, this too is evident, that philosophy1, which is already in mortal jeopardy and is hated, will be detested even more because of such discourses. If, then, you will listen to me, you will preferably not deal in future with such base subjects, but if that cannot be, you will seek to speak of such things as will neither injure your own reputation, nor corrupt your imitators, nor bring the teaching of rhetoric into disrepute.
The speech Busiris was styled as an ‘encomium,’ but was in truth a ‘defense speech’, like Gorgias’ Encomium of Helen and that by Anaximenes (see the hypothesis to Isocrates’ Helen). It belongs to the ‘topos of paradox’ (Aristoteles XV, Rhetoric 1399a29). Hence Philodemus’ vituperation, On Rhetoric 1.216,18 S.: ‘The sophistic rhetoricians, by praising Busiris and Polyphemus and the like, make the rewards for good people commonplace and encourage many to be bad.
8. Quintilian 2.17.4: I think that those who have argued against this (rhetoric being an art) did not so much mean what they said but rather wanted to challenge people’s intelligence through the difficulty of the matter, as did Polycrates, for instance, in praising Busiris and Clytemnestra – although he (what is not different from it) is said to have written a speech that was given against Socrates.
Phlodemus On Rhetoric I 217, 26 S. may mean the praise of Clytaemnestra (cf. below, C 73).
Quintilian claims that the accusation speech against Socrates was likewise a ‘bad starting point’ (to use Isocrates’ terminology), wrongly asserting that it was actually given, just as other authors confuse it with Anytus’ speech (see the fragments in Sauppe Or. Att. II 222 a VII). I would still argue it was not a mere declamation.
9. Alexander, On Rhetorical Starters [?]: No doubt when we praise pots or pebbles, as did Polycrates, we in no way do so because we admire the pot or the pebbles, but simply to practice giving persuasive speeches.
The same scholia on Aphthonius that Sabatucci edited, Stud. ital. 16 (1908) p. 83, 25 f., and John of Sardis p. 123, 11 f. R., where, by adding ‘either a bald head or a fly’ after ‘Polycrates’, the memory of Synesius and Lucian is mixed in. Plutarch Moralia 44 F claims to know of ‘praises of vomit, fever, and of a cooking-pot’; Plato symp. 177 B: ‘But I have come across a book by a wise man in which salt got a wonderful praise for its usefulness and you could see many such things being praised.’ Isocr. 10.12: ‘None of those who have decided to praise bumblebees or salt or the like have ever been at a loss for words.’ Menander On deliberative speeches 29 W IX 131.5, p. 332, 26 Sp.: ‘I am well aware of the fact that some of the ancient sophists wrote praises of salt and the like.’ Such ‘jokes’ have been referred to Polycrates; on this topic as a whole see Blass II2 370 f., Münscher, Rh. M. 54, 255 f.
10. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1401b15: Another fallacy is derived from accident; for instance, when Polycrates says of the mice, that, they rendered great service by gnawing the bowstrings.
The Scholium there: ‘Polemon reports that the inhabitants of the Troad worship the local mice following some oracles, on the grounds that they ate the strings of the enemies’ bows, as well as the straps of the shields or the thongs.’ Spengel links this topic with a praise of ‘mice’ that Aristotle cites in Rhetoric 1401a12: ‘One kind of fallacy is that of equivocation, like saying that the mouse is an important thing because from it is derived the most highly regarded of all religious festivals: the mysteries are the most honored festival of all.’ See Philod. On Rhetoric I p. 215, 10 S., Menander On Epideictic Speeches p. 332, 13 Sp.
11. Demetrius, On Elocution: And yet some claim that we must speak of little things in pompous tones and they think this is a sign of exceptional ability. I for my part do accept Polycrates the orator praising a mouse as much as Agamemnon with antitheses, metaphors and all the other tropes used in praises. For he was joking, not being serious, and the serious tone of the writing is itself a joke.
‘Mouse’ has been inserted here by the editors in place of (the particle) men. E. Maass inserts ‘Thersites as much as Agamemnon’ instead. On ‘joke’ see my notes on Gorgias’ Helen.
12. Hypothesis on Isocrates’ Helena: Some say that [Isocrates] wrote this speech, too, as an attack against Polycrates. This, however, is not true, but the opposite is the case: Polycrates attacked Isocrates alleging that he wrote this speech badly, just as the latter attacked him in Busiris.
13. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1401a24: Another fallacy consists in combining what is divided or dividing what is combined. For since a thing which is not the same as another often appears to be the same, one may adopt the more convenient alternative. […] (33) Again, one may quote what Polycrates said of Thrasybulus, that he deposed thirty tyrants.
Scholium ad loc. p. 150, 7 R.: ‘Polycrates, a rhetorician, wrote a praise of Thrasybulus.’ The blame of the Laconians quoted by Josephus (Against Apion 1.221), according to an hypothesis of Sauppe (Or. Att. 221 b V), was among the praises of Thrasybulus.