Philostratus


pg. 139 In the case of other sciences and arts, men honor those who have excelled in any of these areas; for instance, they respect doctors who are skilful more than those who are less skilful, while in the arts of divination and music they admire whoever is more expert, and for carpentering and all the vulgar crafts they cast the same sort of vote; only in the case of rhetoric, even as they praise it, they distrust it as being crooked and mercenary and dedicated to the frustration of justice. And it is not only the general public who have such a view of this art, but also the most distinguised members of society. At any rate they call 'clever rhetoricians' those who demonstrate a degree of skill in invention and exposition, thus bestowing upon such excellence a thoroughly ill-sounding epithet. This being the case it was only to be expected, I think, that Antiphon, like the rest, should become a butt of comedy; for it is just things that are notable that comedy holds up to mockery. - Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists I 15

pg. 219 Now if he had been a man of no education, led astray into these excesses, there would be some force in the argument of those who assert that he was demoralized by Thessaly and the society that he frequented there; for characters that lack education are easily led in any direction in their choice of lifestyle. But since he had been highly educated and frequently delivered himself of philosophical maxims, and traced his ancestry back to Dropides, who was archon of Athens next after Solon, he cannot be acquited in the sight of most men of the charge that these crimes were due to his own natural wickedness. Then again it is remarkable that he did not come to resemble Socrates, son of Sophroniscus, in company with whom above all others he engaged in philosophy, and who had the reputation of being the wisest and the most just man of his time; but he did grow to be like the Thessalians, who affect an insolent arrogance, and behave tyranically even in their wine-drinking. - Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists I 16 = 88AI

pg. 220 But in my view it is quite clear that no human being can be said to have died nobly for a cause that he took up for no right reason. And I believe that this is why this man's expertise and his writings are held in low regard by the Greeks ; for unless our public utterances and our moral character are in accord, we shall seem to speak with a tongue not our own, just as in the case of flutes. - Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists I 16 = 88AI

We value the things which we spend money on more than those we get for free.

No one can die nobly for a cause that he took up for no right reason.

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