(Vorsokratiker 81. 885)

1. Hermogenes de ideis 2, 11, 10 (II p. 415, 28 Sp.): ἔστι γὰρ καὶ οὗτος (Κριτίας) σεμνὸς μὲν παραπλησίως τῷ Ἀντιφῶντι καὶ διηρμένος πρὸς ὄγκον καὶ τὰ πολλὰ λέγων ἀποφαντικῶς, καθαρώτερος δὲ τὴν λέξιν καί, ὅτε περιβάλλοι, διευκρινῶν, ὥστε 5 εἶναι καὶ σαφὴς ἅμα τῷ μεγέθει καὶ εὐκρινής. ἔχει δὲ πολλαχοῦ καὶ μάλιστα ἐν τοῖς δημηγορικοῖς προοιμίοις καὶ τὸ ἀληθινόν τε καί πιθανόν.

4 ὅτε περιβάλλοι i. e. εἰ σεμνῶς καὶ περιττῶς λέγειν πειρῷτο.

δημηγορικῶν προοιμίων exstitisse collectionem Critiae nomine signatam Hermogenis verba docere videntur, sicut Antiphontis, Cephali, Demosthenis (Pollux VI 143) prooemia exstabant. Sed Demosthenis etiam nunc 56 prooemia congesta possidemus. Ipse quidem Cicero (ad Att. 16, 6, 4) ad manum se habere eiusmodi emolumentum testatur, cum dicit: ‘de gloria librum ad te misi, at in eo prooemium id est, quod in Academico tertio. id evenit ob eam rem, quod habeo volumen prooemiorum. ex eo eligere soleo, cum aliquod σύγγραμμα institui. Itaque iam in Tusculano, qui non meminissem me abusum isto prooemio, conieci id in eum librum quem tibi misi.’ Mos erat oratoribus talia aut proprio ingenio comparare aut ab aliis ficta atque in lucem edita in usum suum convertere, sicut Andocidem et Lysiam fecisse constat.



2. Critiae Elegiarum fr. 7 D. (Stob. III 29, 11): ἐκ μελέτης πλείους ἢ φύσεως ἀγαθοί.

Cf. Eueni fr. B XX 6, Isocratis 15, 189 sq. al.


XVII. Critias


1. Hermogenes, On Forms: [Kritias] too is magnificent in a similar way to Antiphon, with a tendency to be dignified and a habit of stating most things in a declaratory manner. However, his expression is purer and, when he exaggerates, he is still well organised, so that he is both clear despite the high tone and easy to follow. In many places, but especially in the prologues to deliberative speeches, he displays both truth and persuasion.


Hermogenes’ words seem to show that there was a collection of ‘prologues to deliberative speeches’ carrying Critias’ name in the title, just as there were prologues of Antiphon, Cephalus, and Demosthenes (Pollux 6.143). But as far as Demosthenes is concerned, we still possess 56 proems gathered together. Cicero himself (Letters to Atticus 16.6.4) testifies to having such a work as he writes: ‘I have sent you a book on glory, and it contains a proem that is in the Third Academic, too. This is because I happen to possess a volume of proems. Out of it I usually choose one when I decide to write something. So already in my Tusculan property I, who did not remember having already used up this proem, put it in the book I sent you.’ It was customary for orators either to put together such texts out of their own devices or to put into their own use ones that others had come up with and got published, as we know Andocides and Lysias did.


2. Critias, Elegies, fr. 7 D.: More are good through practice than by nature.

Cf. Euenus fr. B XX 6, Isocrates 15.189 f. and elsewhere.