Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory (Blackwell Introductions to the by Thomas Habinek

By Thomas Habinek

This booklet introduces readers to the traditional rhetorical culture by means of investigating key questions on the origins, nature and value of rhetoric. Explores the function of the orator, specially the 2 maximum figures of the culture, Demosthenes and Cicero Investigates where of rhetoric on the middle of old schooling Considers the position of rhetoric because the finish of antiquity. encompasses a word list of right names and technical phrases; a chronological desk of political occasions, authors, orators, and rhetorical works; and recommendations for extra studying.

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Extra info for Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World)

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The orator in question is Alcibiades, arguably the sexiest figure in Greek politics, a man who seemed to be whatever his audience needed on any given occasion. Recovering the historical Alcibiades is less our concern here than understanding what Alcibiades meant to those Greeks, contemporary and later, who discussed him. And discuss him they did – in comedies, speeches, histories, biographies, and eventually even in school exercises that invited students to sharpen their skills in praise and blame.

And discuss him they did – in comedies, speeches, histories, biographies, and eventually even in school exercises that invited students to sharpen their skills in praise and blame. His appearance in Plato’s Symposium, where he crashes a party, but is welcomed nonetheless, and ends up transforming and, in spite of himself, deepening the import of the conversation that has been underway before his arrival, for all its brilliance and distinctiveness, conforms to the pattern of Alcibiades literature.

The very terms used to define human relationships, not to mention the very laws of nature, she transforms, becoming wife of her son-in-law, stepmother of her son, mistress to the husband of her daughter! (In Defense of Cluentius 199) It is a timeworn rhetorical strategy to create solidarity within a fragmented group by pinning the blame for all troubles on a scapegoat. But of course the scapegoat is only an externalized manifestation of what the excluding community finds unacceptable about itself.

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