Lysias is best known for his portrayal of character (ethopoiia), his believable narratives, his plain or “Attic” style, and for the role he plays as inferior foil to Socrates in Plato’s Phaedrus. But he was also an important figure in developing, refining, and employing types of argument, including the rhetorical technique that would later be called the enthymeme. In On the Death of Eratosthenes, Lysias not only uses enthymemes, he highlights their use, selects a term (enthymizing), and demonstrates how “enthymizing” could be central to rhetorical artistry, to narrative development, to legal reasoning, and to political activism. Examining Lysias 1 not only deepens our understanding of Lysias’ rhetorical abilities, but it suggests that the orators had an important role to play in the development of rhetorical theory.

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