Aristogeiton (orator)

Aristogeiton (Greek: Ἀριστογείτων; lived 4th century BC) was an Athenian orator and adversary of Demosthenes and Dinarchus. His father, Scydimus, died in prison, as he was a debtor of the state and unable to pay: his son, Aristogeiton, who inherited the debt, was likewise imprisoned for some time. He is called a demagogue and a sycophant, and his eloquence is described as of a coarse and vehement character.[1] His impudence drew upon him the surname of "the dog." He was often accused by Demosthenes and others, and defended himself in a number of orations which are lost. Among the extant speeches of Demosthenes there are two against Aristogeiton,[lower-alpha 1] and among those of Dinarchus there is one. The Suda[3] mentions seven orations of Aristogeiton,[4] and an eighth against Phryne is mentioned by Athenaeus.[5] Aristogeiton died in prison.[6]


  1. The authorship of both speeches has been questioned; Douglas MacDowell considers Against Aristogeiton I to have been written by Demosthenes but Against Aristogeiton II to be pseudo-Demosthenic.[2]


  1. Hermogenes of Tarsus, De Formis Oratoriis, i; Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 268; Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Phocion", 10; Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, xii. 10
  2. D.M. MacDowell (2009). Demosthenes the Orator. Oxford University Press. p.299.
  3. Suda, "Aristogeiton (1)", "Aristogeiton (2)"
  4. Photius, cod. 265; Harpocration, Lexicon of the Ten Orators, s.v. "Autokleides"
  5. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, xiii. 60
  6. Plutarch, Moralia, "Sayings of kings and commanders" p. 188


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Aristogeiton". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 306.
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