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in point of time the third of the Ten Attic Orators, was born at Athens about B.C.45. He was a son of the rich Syracusan Cephalus, who had been invited by Pericles to settle at Athens. At the age of fifteen he went with his two brothers to Thurii, in South Italy, and there studied under the Syracusan rhetorician Tisias. He returned to Athens in 412, and lived in the Piraeus in comfortable circumstances, being joint possessor, with his eldest brother Polemarchus, of several houses and a manufactory of shields, where 120 slaves were employed. Under the rule of the Thirty Tyrants, however, the brothers were accused in 404 of being enemies to the existing government; their property was confiscated and Polemarchus executed, while Lysias with the greatest difficulty managed to escape to Megara. After the fall of the Thirty, in which he had eagerly co-operated, he returned to Athens, and gave his time to the lucrative occupation of writing legal speeches for others, after obtaining high repute as an orator, in 403, by his accusation of Eratosthenes, the murderer of his brother. He died in his eighty-third year, esteemed by all. Of the 425 speeches to which the ancients assigned his name, but of which the greater number (233) were regarded as not genuine, there remain-besides numerous and sometimes considerable fragments-thirty-one, though they are not all quite complete; and of these five must be looked upon as certainly not genuine, and four others are open to grave suspicion. Only one of these speeches, that against Eratosthenes, mentioned above, was delivered by Lysias in person. He is the first really classical orator of the Greeks, and a model of the plain style, which avoids grandiloquence and seeks to obtain its effect by a sober and clear representation of the case. The ancient critics justly praised the purity and simplicity of his language, the skill shown in always adapting style to subject, the combination of terseness with graphic lucidity of description, particularly noticeable in narrative, and, lastly, his power of painting character.
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