Antiphon of Rhamnos–Good Man or Bad Man? Philostratus Doesn’t Know

From the Lives of the Sophists 498

“I don’t know if Anitphon of Rhamnos should be called a good man or a bad one. He may be called good for the following reasons: he was a general many times and was victorious for the most part, increasing the Athenian fleet with sixty fully-equipped triremes. He seemed to be the most capable of men at speaking and reasoning. For these reasons, he merits praise from me or any other. But he rightly appears a wicked man on these counts: He destroyed the democracy, he enslaved the Athenian people, he was a friend to the Spartans, at first secretly but later in the open, and he foisted upon the Athenian state the constitution of the Four-hundred Tyrants.”

᾿Αντιφῶντα δὲ τὸν ῾Ραμνούσιον οὐκ οἶδ’, εἴτε χρηστὸν δεῖ προσειπεῖν, εἴτε φαῦλον. χρηστὸς μὲν γὰρ προσειρήσθω διὰ τάδε· ἐστρατήγησε πλεῖστα, ἐνίκησε πλεῖστα, ἑξήκοντα τριήρεσι πεπληρωμέναις ηὔξησεν ᾿Αθηναίοις τὸ ναυτικόν, ἱκανώτατος ἀνθρώπων ἔδοξεν εἰπεῖν τε καὶ γνῶναι· διὰ μὲν δὴ ταῦτα ἐμοί τε ἐπαινετέος καὶ ἑτέρῳ. κακὸς δ’ ἂν εἰκότως διὰ τάδε φαίνοιτο· κατέλυσε τὴν δημοκρατίαν, ἐδού-λωσε τὸν ᾿Αθηναίων δῆμον, ἐλακώνισε κατ’ ἀρχὰς μὲν ἀφανῶς, ὕστερον δ’ ἐπιδήλως, τυράννων τετρακοσίων δῆμον ἐπαφῆκε τοῖς ᾿Αθηναίων πράγμασιν.

I don’t know, Philostratus, whether or not I should consider this opening a purely rhetorical question or not. On the one hand, you do well in the creation of your dichotomy, but on the other hand, the merits of the case seem to render this grammatical balance rather false and forced.  Perhaps add the teaching of Thucydides into the mix?

Politics and War, Little Change: Thucydides on the Speeches of Plataea and Thebes

Thucydides, 3.56.1-2: the Plataeans’ Complaint

“The Thebans wronged us in many other ways and you know the final thing yourselves, the very reason we are suffering now. For they took our city when there was a truce in place and, worse, during a holy month. We paid them back correctly according to the custom that is accepted by everyone—that it is sacred to defend yourself against an attacking enemy. Therefore we should not for any reason suffer at their hands now.”

‘Θηβαῖοι δὲ πολλὰ μὲν καὶ ἄλλα ἡμᾶς ἠδίκησαν, τὸ δὲ τελευταῖον αὐτοὶ ξύνιστε, δι’ ὅπερ καὶ τάδε πάσχομεν. πόλιν γὰρ αὐτοὺς τὴν ἡμετέραν καταλαμβάνοντας ἐν σπονδαῖς καὶ προσέτι ἱερομηνίᾳ ὀρθῶς τε ἐτιμωρησάμεθα κατὰ τὸν πᾶσι νόμον καθεστῶτα, τὸν ἐπιόντα πολέμιον ὅσιον εἶναι ἀμύνεσθαι, καὶ νῦν οὐκ ἂν εἰκότως δι’ αὐτοὺς βλαπτοίμεθα.

3.62.4: The Theban View on their Capitulation to Persia

“The whole city was not in control of itself when it did this: it is not right to blame it for what it did wrong when there were no laws”

καὶ ἡ ξύμπασα πόλις οὐκ αὐτοκράτωρ οὖσα ἑαυτῆς τοῦτ’ ἔπραξεν, οὐδ’ ἄξιον αὐτῇ ὀνειδίσαι ὧν μὴ μετὰ νόμων ἥμαρτεν.

Thucydides, 2.43.3 (Perikles’ Funeral Oration)

 

“The whole earth is the tomb of heroes: their epitaph shines out not just for local attention, but their unwritten memory lives on in the esteem of each man more than on any monument.”

 

ἀνδρῶν γὰρ ἐπιφανῶν πᾶσα γῆ τάφος, καὶ οὐ στηλῶν μόνον ἐν τῇ οἰκείᾳ σημαίνει ἐπιγραφή, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τῇ μὴ προσηκούσῃ ἄγραφος μνήμη παρ᾽ ἑκάστῳ τῆς γνώμης μᾶλλον ἢ τοῦ ἔργου ἐνδιαιτᾶται.

 

Thucydides, 2.43.3 (Perikles’ Funeral Oration)

 

“The whole earth is our heroes’ grave: their epitaph is written not just for local notice, but an unwritten memory lives on in the esteem of each man more than any one monument.”

 

ἀνδρῶν γὰρ ἐπιφανῶν πᾶσα γῆ τάφος, καὶ οὐ στηλῶν μόνον ἐν τῇ οἰκείᾳ σημαίνει ἐπιγραφή, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τῇ μὴ προσηκούσῃ ἄγραφος μνήμη παρ᾽ ἑκάστῳ τῆς γνώμης μᾶλλον ἢ τοῦ ἔργου ἐνδιαιτᾶται.

Thucydides 2. 44. 3-5

 

 

Only the love of honor is ageless; being honored, not making a profit, brings joy to the uselessness of old age

 

τὸ γὰρ φιλότιμον ἀγήρων μόνον, καὶ οὐκ ἐν τῷ ἀχρείῳ τῆς ἡλικίας τὸ κερδαίνειν, ὥσπερ τινές φασι, μᾶλλον τέρπει, ἀλλὰ τὸ τιμᾶσθαι.

 

The full text.

 

Thucydides 2. 44. 3-5

 

τὸ γὰρ φιλότιμον ἀγήρων μόνον, καὶ οὐκ ἐν τῷ ἀχρείῳ τῆς ἡλικίας τὸ κερδαίνειν, ὥσπερ τινές φασι, μᾶλλον τέρπει, ἀλλὰ τὸ τιμᾶσθαι.

 

 

Only the love of honor is ageless; being honored, not making a profit, brings joy to the uselessness of old age