A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

3. An Athenian orator, son of Callicrates of Aphidna, and nephew of the notorious Agyrrhius. (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 742.) We first hear of him in B. C. 379, as connected with the oligarchical party, and as sending to Thebes to warn Leontiades of the intended attempt on the Cadmeia by the exiles under Pelopidas; and yet in the following year, 378, he was joined with Chabrias and Timotheus in the command of the forces which were despatched to the assistance of Thebes against Agesilaus. (Plut. de Gen. Socrat. 31; Xen. Hell. 5.4.34; Diod. 15.29.) Still, however, he appears as the supporter at Athens of Spartan interests. Thus, in 373, he joined Iphicrates in the prosecution of Timotheus, who had been most active against Sparta in the western seas, and had, in fact, by his restoration of the Zacynthian exiles, caused the renewal of war after the short peace of 374. (Dem. c. Timoth. pp. 1187, 1188; Xen. Hell. 6.2. §§ 11-13, comp. 5.4.64, &c., 6.2. §§ 2, 3.) In 373 also, but before the trial of Timotheus, Callistratus had been appointed commander, together with Iphicrates and Chabrias, of the forces destined for Corcyra,--and this at the request of Iphicrates himself, to whom (according to one mode of interpretating the words of Xenophon, οὺ μάλα ἐπιτήδειον ὄντα) he had hitherto been opposed. (Xen. Hell. 6.2.39; compare Schneid. Epimetr. ad loc.; Thirlwall's Greece, vol. v. p. 63, note 2; Böckh, Publ. Econ. of Athens, p. 419, note 497, 2nd. edit.; Dem. c. Timoth. p. 1187.) Soon, however, he induced Iphicrates to consent to his returning to Athens, promising either to obtain for him a supply of money, or to bring about a peace; and in 371 accordingly we find him at Sparta with the ambassadors,--himself apparently without that title,-- who were empowered to negotiate peace for Athens. On this occasion Xenophon records a speech delivered by him after those of Callias and Autocles, and the only pertinent and sensible one of the three. (Xen. Hell. 6.3. §§ 3, 10, &c.; see Diod. 15.38, 51, who in the former passage assigns the mission of Callistratus to B. C. 375, confounding the peace of 371 with that of 374, and placing the latter a year too soon.) Again, in 369, the year of the invasion of Laconia by Epaminondas, Callistratus induced the Athenians to grant the aid which the Spartans had sent to ask. (Dem. c. Neaer. p. 1353; comp. Xen. Hell. 6.5.33, &c.) To B. C. 366 we may with most probability refer his famous speech on the affair of Oropus,--a speech which is said to have excited the emulation of Demosthenes, and caused him to devote himself to the study of oratory. It would seem that, after the seizure of

Oropus by a body of Oropian exiles and the consequent loss of it to Athens, the Athenians, having sent an army against it under Chares, were induced by Chabrias and Callistratus to compromise the matter by delivering the place as a deposit to the Thebans pending the adjustment of their claims. The Thebans refused afterwards to surrender it, and the consequence was the prosecution of the advisers of the compromise. At first the eloquence of Callistratus was successful, and they were acquitted; but the loss of so important a frontier town rankled in the minds of the people, and Callistratus appears to have been condemned to death in 361, and to have gone into banishment to Methone in Macedonia. In 356 (see Clinton on the year) he seems to have been still an exile, but he ultimately returned to Athens,--a step which the orator Lycurgus refers to as a striking instance of judicial infatuation,--and was put to death, though he had fled for refuge to the altar of the twelve gods. (Xen. Hell. 7.4.1, &c.; Diod. 15.76; Plut. Dem.; 5 Hermipp. apud Gell. 3.13; Pseudo-Plut. Vit. X Orat. p. 156, ed. Tauchn.; Dem. c. Polycl. pp. 1221, 1222; Lycurg. c. Leocr. p. 159; Aristot. Rh. 1.7.13.) During his exile he is said to have founded the city of Datum, afterwards Philippi, and doubtless he was the deviser of the plan for increasing the rent of the Macedonian harbour dues from 20 to 40 talents. (Isocr. de Pac. p. 164a.; Pseudo-Aristot. Econ. 2.22; comp. Schneid. Epim. ad Xen. Hell. 6.2.39; Böckh, Publ. Econ. of Athens, bk. iii. ch. 4.) Demosthenes appears to have admired him greatly as an orator, and Theopompus praises him for his public conduct, while he censures the profligacy of his private life. (Dem. de Cor. p. 301, de Fals. Leg. p. 436; comp. Ruhnken, Hist. Crit. Orat. Graec. ap. Reiske, vol. viii. p. 140; Aristot. Rh. 1.14.1, 3.17.13; Theopomp. apud Athen. iv. p. 166e.) The author of the lives of the X Orators (l.c.) strangely confounds the present Callistratus with the son of Empedus, in which mistake he has been followed by some modern writers: others again have erroneously identified him with the Callistratus who was Archon Eponymus in 355. (See Ruhnken, l.c.; Clint. Fast. ii. pp. 126, 378; Böckh, Publ. Econ. bk. ii. ch. 14.)