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Hypereides (Greek Ὑπερείδης; c. 390–322 BCE) was a logographer (speech writer) in Ancient Greece. He was one of the ten Attic orators included in the "Alexandrian Canon" compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace in the third century BCE.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Phryne before the Areopagus, 1861

William Noel, the curator of manuscripts and rare books at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland and the director of the Archimedes Palimpsest project, called Hypereides "one of the great foundational figures of Greek democracy and the golden age of Athenian democracy, the foundational democracy of all democracy.”[1] This assessement is obviously overblown: Hyperides was in no way a foundational figure, and Noel himself writes that he had never heard of him before the discovery of the new fragments (The Archimedes Codex, 223). The discrepancy shows Hyperides for what he was: an important figure in late fourth-century Athens.

Contents

Rise to power

Little is known about his early life except that he was the son of Glaucippus, of the deme of Collytus and that he studied logography under Isocrates. In 360 BC he prosecuted Autocles for treason.[2] During the Social War (358–355 BCE) he accused Aristophon, then one of the most influential men at Athens, of malpractices,[3] and impeached Philocrates (343 BC) for high treason. Although Hypereides supported Demosthenes in the struggle against Phillip II of Macedon; that support was withdrawn after the Harpalus affair. After Demosthenes' exile Hypereides became the head of the patriotic party (324 BC).

Downfall

After the death of Alexander the Great, Hypereides was one of the chief promoters of war against Macedonian rule. His speeches are believed to have led to the outbreak of the Lamian war (323–322 BCE) in which Athens, Aetolia, and Thessaly revolted against Macedon rule. After the decisive defeat at Crannon (322 BCE) in which Athens and her allies lost their independence, Hypereides and the other orators, were condemned to death by the Athenian supporters of Macedonia.

Hypereides fled to Aegina only to be captured at the temple of Poseidon. After being put to death his body (according to others) was taken to Cleonae and shown to the Macedonian general Antipater before being returned to Athens for burial.

Personality and oration style

Hypereides was an ardent pursuer of "the beautiful," which in his time generally meant pleasure and luxury. His temper was easy-going and humorous. Though in his development of the periodic sentence he followed Isocrates, the essential tendencies of his style are those of Lysias. His diction was plain, though he occasionally indulged in long compound words probably borrowed from the Middle Comedy. His composition was simple. He was especially distinguished for subtlety of expression, grace and wit. [4]

Surviving speeches

Seventy-seven speeches have been attributed to Hypereides, of which seventy-five were regarded as spurious by his contemporaries. It is said that a manuscript of most of the speeches survived as late as the 15th century in the library of Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, but was later destroyed after the capture of Buda by the Turks in the 16th century. Only a few fragments were known until relatively recent times. In 1847 large fragments of his speeches, Against Imosthenes and For Lycophron (incidentally interesting clarifying the order of marriage processions and other details of Athenian life, and the Athenian government of Lemnos) and the sole of the For Euxenippus (c. 330, a locus classicus on state prosecutions), were found in a tomb at Thebes in Egypt. In 1856 a considerable portion of a eulogy for Leosthenes and his comrades who had fallen in the Lamian war. Currently this is the best surviving example of epideictic oratory.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century further discoveries were made including the conclusion of the speech Against Philippides (dealing with an indictment for the proposal of unconstitutional measure, arising out of the disputes of the Macedonian and anti-Macedonian parties at Athens), and of the whole the Against Athenogenes (a perfumer accused of fraud in the sale his business).

New discoveries

In 2002 Natalie Tchernetska of Trinity College, Cambridge discovered fragments of two speeches of Hypereides that had been considered lost in the Archimedes Palimpsest. These were from the Against Timandros and Against Diondas. Dr Tchernetska's discovery led to a publication on the subject in the Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik,[5]. This prompted the establishment of a working group under the auspices of the British Academy, which includes scholars from the UK, Hungary, and USA. The new fragments of the speech Against Diondas are to be found in ZPE 165 (2008), 1-19.

In 2006 the Archimedes Palimpsest project together with imagers at Stanford University used powerful X-ray fluorescence imaging to read the final pages of the Palimpsest, which contained the material by Hypereides. These were interpreted, transcribed and translated by the working group.

The new Hypereides revelations include two previously unknown speeches, effectively increasing the quantity of material known by this author by 20 percent. Previously most scholars believed only fragments of Hypereides survived beyond the Classical period.[6]

Lost speeches

Among the speeches not yet recovered is the Deliacus [7] in which the presidency of the Delian temple claimed by both Athens and Cos, which was adjudged by the Amphictyonic League to Athens. Also missing is the speech in which he defended the illustrious courtesan Phryne (said to have been his mistress) on a capital charge: according to Plutarch and Athenaeus the speech climaxed with Hypereides stripping off her clothing to reveal her naked breasts; in the face of which the judges found it impossible to condemn her.[8]

References

Whitehead, David. Hypereides: The Forensic Speeches. Oxford University Press, 2000. (ISBN 0-19-815218-3, ISBN 978-0-19-815218-7)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "A Layered Look Reveals Ancient Greek Texts," by FELICIA R. LEE, "The New York Times," November 27, 2006[1]
  2. ^ (frags. 55–65, Blass)
  3. ^ (frags. 40–44, Blass)
  4. ^ (De sublimitate, 34) in the phrase-"Hypereides was the Sheridan of Athens"
  5. ^ Natalie Tchernetska (2005): “New Fragments of Hypereides from the Archimedes Palimpsest”, ZPE 154, pp. 1–6.
  6. ^ "A Layered Look Reveals Ancient Greek Texts," by FELICIA R. LEE, "The New York Times," November 27, 2006[2]
  7. ^ (frags. 67–75, Blass)
  8. ^ (Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, XIII.590)

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HYPEREIDES (c. 390322 B.C.), one of the ten Attic orators, was the son of Glaucippus, of the deme of Collytus. Having studied under Isocrates, he began life as a writer of speeches for the courts, and in 360 he prosecuted Autocles, a general charged with treason in Thrace (frags. 55-65, Blass). At the time of the so-called "Social War" (358-355) he accused Aristophon, then one of the most influential men at Athens, of malpractices (frags. 40-44, Blass), and impeached Philocrates (343) for high treason. From the peace of 346 to 324 Hypereides supported Demosthenes in the struggle against Macedon; but in the affair of Harpalus he was one of the ten public prosecutors of Demosthenes, and on the exile of his former leader he became the head of the patriotic party (324). After the death of Alexander, he was the chief promoter of the Lamian war against Antipater and Craterus. After the decisive defeat at Crannon (322), Hypereides and the other orators, whose surrender was demanded by Antipater, were condemned to death by the Athenian partisans of Macedonia. Hypereides fled to Aegina, but Antipater's emissaries dragged him from the temple of Aeacus, where he had taken refuge, and put him to death; according to others, he was taken before Antipater at Athens or Cleonae. His body was afterwards removed to Athens for burial.

Hypereides was an ardent pursuer of "the beautiful," which in his time generally meant pleasure and luxury. His temper was easy-going and humorous; and hence, though in his development of the periodic sentence he followed Isocrates, the essential tendencies of his style are those of Lysias, whom he surpassed, however, in the richness of his vocabulary and in the variety of his powers. His diction was plain and forcible, though he occasionally indulged in long compound words probably borrowed from the Middle Comedy, with which, and with the everyday life of his time, he was in full sympathy. His composition was simple. He was specially distinguished for subtlety of expression, grace and wit, as well as for tact in approaching his case and handling his subject matter. Sir R. C. Jebb sums up the criticism of pseudo-Longinus (De sublimitate, 34) in the phrase- "Hypereides was the Sheridan of Athens." Seventy-seven speeches were attributed to Hypereides, of which twent y -five were regarded as spurious even by ancient critics. It is said that a MS. of most of the speeches was in existence in the 16th century in the library of Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, at Ofen, but was destroyed at the capture of the city by the Turks in 1526. Only a few fragments were known until comparatively recent times. In 1847 large fragments of his speeches Against Demosthenes (see above) and For Lycophron (incidentally interesting as elucidating the order of marriage processions and other details of Athenian life, and the Athenian government of Lemnos), and the whole of the For Euxenippus (c. 330, a locus classicus on ecaayy €XiaL or state prosecutions), were found in a tomb at Thebes in Egypt, and in 1856 a considerable portion of a Xoyos &LTa4aos, a Funeral Oration over Leosthenes and his comrades who had fallen in the Lamian war, the best extant specimen of epideictic oratory (see Babington, Churchill). Towards the end of the century further discoveries were made of the conclusion of the speech Against Philippides (dealing with a ypa4 rapavoµwv, or indictment for the proposal of an unconstitutional measure, arising out of the disputes of the Macedonian and anti-Macedonian parties at Athens), and of the whole of the Against Athenogenes (a perfumer accused of fraud in the sale of his business). These have been edited by F. G. Kenyon (1893). An important speech that is lost is the Deliacus (frags. 67-75, Blass) on the presidency of the Delian temple claimed by both Athens and Delos, which was adjudged by the Amphictyons to Athens.

On Hypereides generally see pseudo-Plutarch, Decem oratorum vitae; F. Blass, Attische Beredsamkeit, iii.; R. C. Jebb, Attic Orators, ii. 381. A full list of editions and articles is given in F. Blass, Hyperidis orationes sex cum ceterarum fragmentis (1894, Teubner series), to which may be added I. Bassi, Le Quattro Orazioni di Iperide (introduction and notes, 1888), and J. E. Sandys in Classical Review (January 1895) (a review of the editions of Kenyon and Blass). For the discourse against Athenogenes see H. Weil, Etudes sur l'antiquite grecque (1900).


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