Cicero calls his style "copious and polished," Quintilian, "sweet, pure and flowing"; Longinus says he was "the most Homeric of historians"; Dionysius, his countryman, prefers him to Thucydides, and regards him as combining in an extraordinary degree the excellences of sublimity, beauty and the true historical method of composition.
Then, in arranging the other special virtues, he begins with courage and temperance, which (after Plato) he considers as the excellences of the " irrational element " of the soul.
Next follow two pairs of excellences, concerned respectively with wealth and honour: (I) liberality and magnificence, of which the latter is exhibited in greater matters of expenditure, and (2) laudable ambition and highmindedness similarly related to honour.
Then comes gentleness - the virtue regulative of anger; and the list is concluded by the excellences of social intercourse, friendliness (as a mean between obsequiousness and surliness), truthfulness and decorous wit.
When the effort to restrain feeling is exhibited in a degree which surprises as well as pleases, it excites admiration as a virtue or excellence; such excellences Adam Smith quaintly calls the " awful and respectable," contrasting them with the " amiable virtues " which consist in the opposite effort to sympathize, when exhibited in a remarkable degree.