Greek rhetorician and writer (436–338 BC)

Isocrates (/ˈsɒkrətz/; Ancient Greek: Ἰσοκράτης [isokrátɛ̂ːs]; 436–338 BC) was an ancient Greek teacher of rhetoric and was one of the ten Attic orators [en]. He was one of the leading Greek rhetorical speakers of his time and contributed to rhetoric and education through his teaching and written works.

Bust of Isocrates; plaster cast in the Pushkin Museum [en] of the bust formerly at Villa Albani [en], Rome

Some people say Tisias [en], a pupil of Corax of Syracuse [en], was the teacher of Isocrates. Within two generations, rhetoric had become an important art, its growth driven by social and political changes such as democracy and courts of law. Isocrates starved himself to death, two years before his 100th birthday.[1][2]


  1. Phillips, David D. (27 March 2003). "Orator Biographies". The Stoa. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  2. Potter, Ben (17 April 2015). "Isocrates: The Essayist". Classical Wisdom Weekly. Retrieved 7 September 2020. In 338 BC, two years shy of Alexander's coronation and his own 100th birthday, Isocrates starved himself to death after yet another appeal to Philip fell on deaf ears.