• parataxis: simple connectives, little subordination
  • lexis eiromene (loose or running style)


  • more hypotaxis (subordination) than Hekataios
  • still mostly running style, but some sentences crisply concluded by short phrases
  • interwoven repetitions of key words (e.g., perikhoreo, and especially nous)
  • fondness for doubling and tripling expressions linked by kai


  • Ionic “brogue”
  • some Homeric flavor
  • modulation between lexis eiromene and lexis katestrammene (i.e., between “naive” and more elaborate sentence structure, including “sophistic” antitheses)
  • anaphoric pronouns
  • anaphora for heightening of passion
  • repetition of key words, including linking words
  • compound coinages for solemn effect

Old Oligarch

  • fairly simple sentence structure; little variatio
  • signposting of intentions
  • pronouns in apposition to clauses
  • interweaving repetitions (without word-play)
  • changes of subject
  • rhetorical questions
  • use of second person
  • deadpan humor and sarcasm


  • short kola/kommata
  • repeated words, carefully interwoven, especially at the ends and beginnings of clauses
  • little suspension of sense
  • deft sentence-construction, with elegant variations
  • an apparently loose style where sentences can nonetheless form “rounded” wholes


  • long sentences, with considerable subordination
  • careful connection within and between sentences
  • few “Gorgianic” devices to help mark off parallel kola
  • overall sentence-architecture not as clear as in Antiphon or Isocrates


  • some use of “Gorgianic” jinglings
  • carefully constructed periods, with lots of formal antitheses
  • somewhat archaic diction
  • repetition of connectives (e.g., touto men. . .touto de)
  • limited variety in sentence structure


  • sentences carefully consructed of short kola (kommata)
  • isocolon (parisosis)
  • assonance/alliteration/homoioteleuton
  • parechesis/paronomasia/polyptoton
  • antithesis
  • pleonasm
  • chiasmus
  • some “poetic” language
  • elaborate logic
  • self-conscious “signposting”


  • longer kola than Gorgias except in peroration
  • Gorgianic sound-play
  • antithesis
  • pleonasm
  • chiasmus
  • plays on meanings of words
  • metrical sequences
  • poetic language
  • logic-chopping and signposting


  • Dionysios of Halikarnassos notes:
    • purity of diction
    • ordinary vocabulary
    • lucidity
    • brevity
    • taut and closely rounded sentences
    • vividness (enargeia)
    • character-drawing (ethopoiia)
    • propriety (to prepon)
    • persuasiveness
    • charm (kharis)
  • variation from running to periodic style
  • elaborately constructed and subtly balanced periods
  • restrained use of rhetorical figures
  • overall impression of plainness, simplicity


  • elaborate periods with isokolon, parisosis, paromoiosis
  • careful architecture of periods, with longer kola and kommata and greater overall organization than Gorgias
  • clear signposting in long periods and between periods
  • careful attention to balance and antithesis
  • much pleonasm and synonymy in pursuit of balance (though sometimes pleonasm/synonymy are only apparent)
  • Gorgianic figures used with restraint
  • pure and elevated diction
  • near-complete avoidance of hiatus
  • no intrusion of varied personal emotions
  • overall lack of substantial variety of tone
  • tendency to be prolix


  • clearly structured and “signposted” sentences
  • variatio of structure and length of clauses and sentences while maintaining basic parallelism
  • some anacolouthon in emotionally rhetorical passages
  • some rhetorical devices (e.g., asyndeton, anaphora, alliteration, homoioteleuton) for emotional effect


  • archaism (e.g., -ss- instead of -tt-)
  • avoidance of formal parallelism
  • frequent shifts of construction/of subject
  • hyperbaton with key words
  • unemphatic pronouns/relative pronouns
  • insistence on noetic (rather than verbal) antitheses
  • abstract substantives
  • new coinages, especially compounds
  • avoidance of personal expressions
  • density/rapidity of expression
  • logos/ergon, to eikos, gnome, epi, histemi (kathistemi), etc.


  • modulation among various “styles”, to achieve characterization by style
  • absence of formal rhetorical periods with suspension of sense and “mechanical” balance, except for special (often ironic) effect
  • overall clarity of structure, even in long sentences with anacolouthon, achieved through generous “signposting” and repetition/recursion (i.e., meaning is cumulative rather than suspended)
  • complete subordination of “rhetorical” figures to content and speaker; elegant and subtle use of (e.g.) alliteration, chiasmus
  • frequent repetition and amplification to clarify arguments with multiple examples/analogies
  • unobtrusive variation of expression when the same or similar ideas are repeated, together with a modulation between fullness of expression and ellipsis
  • subtle interweaving of repeated words, and groups of words from the same root, to build rhetorical/emotional impact
  • varied vocabulary including frequent use of “poetic” words in appropriate contexts
  • sparing use of technical philosophical terms
  • re-creation of “live” speech by anacolouthon/ellipsis/brachylogy and by varied and subtle use of particles, especially in dialogue
  • vivid and elaborate imagery/use of fables/quotations of poetry
  • frequent use of epigram


  • great variety and verve in shape of sentences and in length and relationship of kola/kommata
  • general emotional intensity
  • superb talent for invective
  • constant variation between elaborate periods and shorter, more abrupt sentences, including one-word “capstones” marking pauses and transitions
  • striking variation of tone/juxtaposition of invective with “higher” rhetoric
  • frequent shifts in the person(s) addressed
  • frequent rhetorical questions, exclamations, asides
  • vivid similes and metaphors
  • bold asyndeton/anaphora/anadiplosis/polysyndeton to achieve emotional amplification
  • deft use of praeteritio/aposiopesis
  • avoidance of mechanical, formal parallelism, even where (e.g.) there is a clear men/de antithesis
  • skillful suspension of meaning/displacement of words to engage the audience fully in complex periodic sentences
  • many techniques for compressing meaning, including:
    • frequent articular infinitives, often containing complex constructions
    • short relative clauses or series of such clauses
    • parenthetical phrases/clauses/sentences