Zoilus appears to have been at one time a follower of Isocrates, but subsequently a pupil of Polycrates, whom he heard at Athens, where he was a teacher of rhetoric. Zoilus was chiefly known for the acerbity of his attacks on Homer (which gained him the name of Homeromastix, "scourge of Homer"), chiefly directed against the fabulous element in the Homeric poems. Zoilus also wrote against Isocrates and Plato, who had attacked the style of Lysias of which he approved.
Notwithstanding the zeal and ability which he had invariably displayed as foreign minister, it had long been felt by his colleagues that his eager and frequent interference in the affairs of foreign countries, his imperious temper, the extreme acerbity of his language abroad, of which there are ample proofs in his published correspondence, and the evasions and artifices he employed to carry his points at home, rendered him a dangerous representative of the foreign interests of the country.
The touch of acerbity in ii.