PL EN


2012 | 15: Leadership in Antiquity: Langauge - Institutions - Representations | 109-121
Article title

Wisdom behind Power. General Remarks on Isocrates as the Self-made Advisor of the Kings

Authors
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The article begins with short introduction referring to the role of advisors, teachers and sages in the political life with emphasis on the changes connected with the emergence of Athenian democracy and education offered by the sophists. Athenian state offers excellent opportunities for political education, on the other hand the existence of a sage in the system based on the popular rule in the eyes of some intellectuals proves to be difficult, or impossible. Plato’s reaction on the death of Socrates results in his resigning from public activity, Isocrates however finds his own way of life in accordance with his views. He seemingly retreats from political activity, because he does not present his speeches in the assembly, still he takes part in political life by writing treatises referring to the contemporary issues. The treatises To Nicocles and To Philip prove that his interests were not limited to the Athens; he was eager to consider different political systems and believed that addressing the powerful leaders might be quite an efficient way to influence political reality. In the treatise To Nicocles he offers the general set of principles that should be obeyed by a king in order to preserve his authority and take good care of the state, the treatise To Philip comprises an appeal to the king of Macedon encouraging him to unite Greece in the crusade against Persia. In spite of obvious differences in the historical context, both works present mixture of moral idealism and political pragmatism characteristic for Isocrates, who put en effort in establishing for himself the position of political commentator and advisor. His professional activity added a new quality to the political culture of Athens, where an individual either took active part in assemblies and administration, or chose the life of a private man. Isocrates escaped this alternative and introduced a new model of an intellectual in the public sphere.
Contributors
author
  • Jagiellonian University
References
  • Eucken Ch., 1983, Isocrates. Seine Position in der Auseinandersetzung mit den zeitgenöstischen Philosophen, Berlin–New York.
  • Flower M.D., 2000, ‘From Simonides to Isocrates: The Fifth-Century Origins of Fourth-Century Panhellenism’, Classical Antiquity, 19, 1, p. 65-101.
  • Jaeger W., 2001, Paideia. Formowanie człowieka greckiego, tr. M. Plezia, H. Bednarek, Warszawa.
  • Janik J., 2003, Terms of the Semantic Sphere of dike and themis in the Early Greek Epic, Kraków.
  • Janik J., 2012, Political concepts and Language of Isocrates, Kraków.
  • Kahn Ch.H., 1999, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. The Philosophical Use of a Literary Form, Cambridge.
  • Markle M.M., 1976, ‘Support of Athenian Intellectuals for Philip: A Study of Isocrates’ PHILIPPUS and Speusippus’ LETTER TO PHILIP’, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, p. 80-99.
  • Michelini A.N., 1998, ‘Isocrates‘ Civic Invective: ACHARNIANS and ON THE PEACE’, Transactions of the American Philological Association, 128, p. 115-133.
  • Nails D., 1995, Agora, Academy, and the Conduct of Philosophy, Dordrecht–Boston–London.
  • Ober J., 1989, Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens. Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Power of the People, Princeton.
  • Ober J., 2002, Political Dissent in Democratic Athens. Intellectual Critics of Popular Rule, Princeton–Oxford.
  • Perlman S., 1983, ‘Isocrates, PATRIS and Philip II’, Ancient Macedonia, 3, p. 211-227.
  • Poulakos T., 1997, Speaking for the Polis. Isokrates’ Rhetorical Education, Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Raaflaub K.A., 1997, ‘Homeric society’, [in:] I. Morris, B. Powell (eds.), A New Companion to Homer, Leiden–New York–Köln, p. 624-648.
  • Too Yun Lee, 1995, The Rhetoric of Identity in Isocrates, Cambridge.
  • Tuszyńska-Maciejewska K., 2004, Izokrates jako twórca parenezy w prozie greckiej, Poznań.
  • Usener S., 1994, Isokrates, Platon und ihr Publikum, Tübingen.
  • Woolf G., 1996, ‘Power and the spread of writing in the West’, [in:] A.K. Bowman, G. Woolf (eds.), Literacy & Power in the Ancient World, Cambridge, p. 84-98.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-97aeb849-a429-4d02-8b97-b771a76843ee
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.