Erotic Essay

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The Erotic Essay (Ancient Greek: Ἐρωτικός) constitutes along with the Funeral Oration the two epideictic speeches ascribed to the prominent Athenian statesman and orator Demosthenes, which are still extant. According to Ian Worthington, the speech was written probably between the late 350s and 335 BC (during Demosthenes' lifetime), but its real author is unknown. Friedrich Blass believes that it belongs to a member of a school of Isocrates.[1] I. Worthington believes that the content and style of the Erotic Essay is the most removed from Demosthenes' other writings and asserts that the oration is influenced by both Plato and Isocrates. In terms of context, the essay is written for a youth named Epicrates, about whom nothing is known. The author attempts to counsel Epicrates and the audience on what is best for a person. He maintains that through the study of philosophy a person will become a virtuous citizen.


  1. ^ Friedrich Blass (1893), Die attische Beredsamkeit, III, 1, p. 406.