This edition was designed by R.C. Jebb – one of the greatest classical scholars Britain has ever produced – as a companion to his two-volume monograph Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeus (1876). The selection was meticulously made to illustrate the ‘successive steps in the process by which a language of most elastic resource was gradually adapted to a certain set of purposes’. The authors represented, with their varied styles, serve to bridge the gap that lies between the prose of Gorgias and Thucydides and that of Demosthenes. At the same time the passages are specifically selected for their intrinsic social and historical interest to readers. That the edition was still in regular use almost a hundred years later, says much for its quality. This reissue carries a substantial new introduction in which Pat Easterling assesses Jebb’s scholarship in general and the place of the Attic orators within it, while Michael Edwards writes more specifically about the edition’s strengths and influences.
R.C. Jebb was Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge. P.E. Easterling is Professor Emeritus of Greek in the University of Cambridge. Recent work includes The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy (ed.) (1997) and Greek and Roman Actors: Aspects of an Ancient Profession (ed. with Edith Hall) (2002). She has also provided the introductions to each of Jebb’s editions of Sophocles’ plays (2004). Michael Edwards is Reader in Classics at Queen Mary, University of London. He is author of The Attic Orators (1994), an edition of Lysias: Five Speeches (1997), and a translation of the speeches of Isaeus (2004).