Before the true genesis of the stylistic method in Germany at the hands of Dittenberger, an isolated but important observation was made which, like Campbell's, appears to have passed for the most part unnoticed. In his work on rhetoric1 Blass remarked almost incidentally that in striking contrast to his earlier practice Plato eventually adopted Isocrates’ principle of avoiding hiatus.
It is in the Phdr., at least in the dialogue part, that this avoidance of hiatus first becomes noticeable, since scarcely half as many instances occur as, for example, in the Symp. and Rep. At the same time, Blass pointed out, there is no need to put the Phdr. among Plato's last works, since a certain leaning towards Isocrates, who is mentioned in the dialogue, was only to be expected.
In the Laws, however, hiatus is very definitely avoided, so that in book i for example there are only just over ioo instances on 34 pages (Teubner). Next comes the Phil, with hardly on average 2 instances per page. Finally, in Tim. (87 pages) there are about 50, in Crit. only 5, in Soph. (82 pages) 20, and in Pol. (83 pages) 11.
Blass inferred that Soph., Pol., Phil., Tim. and Crit. belong with the Laws to the last period of Plato's literary career. Both his statistics and his deductions were later confirmed in their broad lines by G. Janell (q.v.) who drew up exact figures of hiatus for the majority of the dialogues.
A comparison of Blass's results with Campbell's makes it immediately apparent that they provide mutual support. The two investigators employed entirely different methods, yet arrived at exactly the same conclusion.