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Mantitheus of Lysias 16: neither long-haired nor simple-minded*

  • E. M. Craik (a1)


Hamaker's conjecture κομâ (for τολμâ, sic) at Lysias 16.18 was adopted by Rauchenstein in his influential edition of 1869 and soon given powerful endorsement by Jebb and by Shuckburgh. Successive later editors and commentators have seen no reason to demur: Thalheim, Adams, Hude, Gernet and Bizos, Lamb, and finally Edwards and Usher all adopt κομâ, and, where they comment, unanimously cite Aristophanic parallels (especially Eq. 580) in support of a connection between longhaired affectation and ‘oligarchic’ affiliations; some also adduce the expression ảπ’ὂΨεως in justification. But this is an egregious instance of unwarranted tampering with a sound text. τóλμα is a quality conspicuously displayed by Mantitheus, on his own account of his character, words, and actions.



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1 Of 74 instances of τóλμα words in the Lysianic corpus (sbs., adj., or vb.) the vast majority are, like 16.8, ‘bad’, e.g. (to cite only one occurrence per speech) 1.40, 3.40, 6.9, 7.17, 10.6, 12.2, 13.49, 14.5, 15.3, 19.51, 21.19, 24.7, 26.3, 29.7, 30.24, 31.1, 32.15. An example of ‘good', like 16.17, is 2.40. But the data may be skewed by a common concern to impute this quality to mendacious opponents, while military action is not a regular theme. There are also cases which are neutral (vb. meaning ‘have the heart to’, vel sim.) and cases where the negated vb. is used of failing to perform actions, commonly desirable (2.50, 6.49, 12.5, 14.17, 32.15, 34.11) but sometimes undesirable (14.15).

2 Cf. Lysias 2.51, πρεσβὐτεροι command and υεώτεροι obey orders, and PI. R. 425b σιγαì… τŵυ υεωτέρωυ παρà πρεσβυτέροις

3 There is no direct Lysianic parallel to the absolute use of the verb; in the closest case, 26.3, ποιεîυ is to be understood. But this is perfectly acceptable Greek usage. Here, inverted commas are implicit, if—as is likely—the speaker uses a word prominent in his opponent's allegations.

4 On disreputable philotimia, ct Lys. 14.21, 35, 43 and see Dover, K. J., Greek Popular Morality (Oxford, 1974), 233.

5 The true reading may be not ảμπεΧóμευοι as Dobree and others emend (with the effect of reinforcing Hamaker's conjecture), but a verb of more general connotation, e.g. ảποøαιυóμευοι Or perhaps κảκοσμíας ảπεΧóμευοι, closer to the MS tradition, might be considered.

6 For the phrase ảπ’ ὃΨεως, used of inference from (false) appearances, cf. Th. 1.10; also 2.37.2.

7 Such attempts to have it both ways are common: the defendant may claim that he is innocent of the charge, or some aspect of it; but simultaneously—just in case he is not believed—argue that even if guilty he does not deserve the impending punishment.

8 Devries, W. L., Elhopoiia (Baltimore, 1892), 1820; Usher, S., ‘Individual characterisation in Lysias’, Eranos 63 (1965), 99119, at 110. Usher does, however, comment also on the ‘over-confident tone’ and on Mantitheus’ idea that he is exceptional in his patriotism.

9 See Dover, K. J., The Evolution of Greek Prose Style (Oxford, 1997), 178–80.

* The following editions are mentioned: R. Rauchenstein, Ausgewühlte Reden des Lysias (Berlin, 1969, rev. K. Fuhr 1897, repr. 1963); R. C. Jebb, Selections from the Attic Orators (London, 1880, 2nd edn. 1888 and repr.); E. S. Shuckburgh, Lysiae Orationes xvi (London, 1882 and repr.); T. Thalheim (Leipzig, 1901); C. D. Adams, Lysias: Selected Speeches (New York, 1905, repr. Oklahoma, 1970); C. Hude (Oxford, 1912 and repr); L. Gernet and M. Bizos, Lysias, discours, t. 2 (Paris, 1926); W R. M. Lamb, Lysias (New York, 1930); M. Edwards and S. Usher, Greek Orators I: Antiphon and Lysias (Warminster, 1985). I am grateful to Sir Kenneth Dover and to the anonymous referee of CQ for helpful comments.

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