From Peithô's Web
Lives of the Ten Orators, tr. Bancroft


DINARCHUS, the son of Socrates or Sostratus,--born, as some think, at Athens, but according to others, at Corinth, --came to Athens very young, and there took up his dwelling, at that time when Alexander made his expedition into Asia. He used to hear Theophrastus, who succeeded Aristotle in his school. He was frequently conversant with Demetrius the Phalerian too. He betook himself more especially to the affairs of the commonwealth after the death of Antipater, when some of the orators were killed and others banished. Having contracted friendship with Cassander, he became in a short time vastly rich, by exacting great rates for his orations of those for whom he wrote them. He opposed himself to the greatest and most noble orators of his time, not by being overforward to declaim publicly--for his faculty did not lie that way,--but by composing orations for their adversaries. And when Harpalus had broken out of prison, be wrote several orations, which he gave to their accusers to pronounce against those that were suspected to have taken bribes of him.

Some time after, being accused of a conspiracy with Antipater and Cassander about the matter of Munychia, when it was surprised by Antigonus and Demetrius, who put a garrison into it, in the year of Anaxicrates,(1) he turned the greatest part of his estate into money, and fled to Chalcis, where he lived in exile about fifteen years, and increased his stock; but afterwards, by the mediation of Theophrastus, he and some other banished persons returned to Athens. Then he took up his abode in the house of one Proxenus, his intimate friend; where, being very aged and withal dimsighted, he lost his gold. And because Proxenus refused to make inquiry after the thief, he apprehended him; and this was the first time that ever he appeared in court. That oration against Proxenus is extant; and there are sixty-four that bear his name, whereof some are believed to be Aristogiton's. He imitated Hyperides; or, as some incline to judge, rather Demosthenes, because of that vigor and force to move the affections, and the rhetorical ornaments that are evident in his style.

1. B.C. 307.

Scanned by Agathon (RSB) from the University of Washington's copy of Plutarch's Lives and Writings, ed. by A.H. Clough and William W. Goodwin, with an introd. by Ralph Waldo Emerson. London, Simpkin, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd. [1914?], vol. 5.

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