His speeches and letters consist partly of declamations on the usual sophistical themes, partly deal with contemporary historical events: an argument between the fathers of Cynegirus and Callimachus (two Athenians who fell at Marathon) as to which had the better claim to have the funeral oration pronounced over him first; a discussion on the duties of; a king and of his subjects; a defence of the Byzantine general Chandrenos addressed to the emperor; a letter on the cruelties of the Catalans and Turks in Thessaly and Macedonia; a congratulatory letter to Theodorus Metochita; a panegyric on the king of Cyprus.
We possess two declamations under his name: Peri Sofiston, directed against Isocrates and setting forth the superiority of extempore over written speeches (a recently discovered fragment of another speech against Isocrates is probably of later date); ''Odusseus, in which Odysseus accuses Palamedes of treachery during the siege of Troy (this is generally considered spurious).
Against luxury and moral corruption he indulges in declamations, which are so frequent that (like those of Seneca) they at last pall upon the reader; and his rhetorical flourishes against practically useful inventions (such as the art of navigation) are wanting in good sense and good taste (xix.
The "philosophic" declamations perhaps constituted its chief interest for the general public, and its significance as a contribution to democratic propaganda.
He is so described in the declamations ascribed to Lucian, and in the letters which bear his own name.
Like others who have gone through the conventional course of instruction, he kept a place in his memory for the various charms of Virgil and Horace, of Tacitus and Ovid; but the master whose page by night and by day he turned with devout hand, was the copious, energetic, flexible, diversified and brilliant genius of the declamations for Archias the poet and for Milo, against Catiline and against Antony, the author of the disputations at Tusculum and the orations against Verres.
This letter, with Ricci's reply, the three Buddhist declamations and Ricci's confutation, were published in a collected form by the Christian Sen-Kwang-K'e.