A Companion to Greek Rhetoric

A Companion to Greek Rhetoric

Language: English

Pages: 632

ISBN: 144433414X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This complete guide to ancient Greek rhetoric is exceptional both in its chronological range and the breadth of topics it covers.

  • Traces the rise of rhetoric and its uses from Homer to Byzantium
  • Covers wider-ranging topics such as rhetoric's relationship to knowledge, ethics, religion, law, and emotion
  • Incorporates new material giving us fresh insights into how the Greeks saw and used rhetoric
  • Discusses the idea of rhetoric and examines the status of rhetoric studies, present and future
  • All quotations from ancient sources are translated into English



















orthography and the somewhat ill-understood schede (parsing exercises).22 It is at this stage that training in rhetoric can be said to have started, with increasing use of progymnasmata as an aid to fluent composition. For the majority of those who had progressed this far, their education would now come to an end, the emphasis having been on form (accurate linguistic usage) rather than on the content of the texts from which the form was learnt. Any further progress would depend on the student’s

little subsequent development of these ideas apart from statements that the ‘simplicity of the fisherman’ is to be preferred to the complexities of the Atticist. Elements of a theory to support this attitude can be seen, for example, in Photius’ statements that Saint Paul is to be emulated rather than secular authors (Ep. 156) or in Psellus’ judgements of the style of Gregory of Nazianzus, a model of impeccable orthodoxy from all points of view.103 There are signs here that a rhetoric of

proof of their competence and virtuosity by presenting sample artistic speeches on a paradoxical theme, such as an encomium on salt or on the bumble-bee. The surprising and unexpected subject-matter and its effective treatment are meant to impress the public and aspiring pupils.4 Such an exercise in cleverness and competence also has a serious intention. Protagoras’ analysis of Simonides’ poem leads up, and is an introduction, to an investigation of ‘virtue’, and the virtuoso encomia on salt or

Homer to the Sophists (Cambridge: 1995), pp. 276– 289. For the fragments, J.V. Muir, Alcidamas (cited above), is essential; his translation of the speeches is more literal than that of Gagarin and Woodruff, and better reflects some of the stylistic features of Alcidamas’ Greek. Translations of On Sophists are also available in P. Matson, R. Rollinson and M. Sousa (eds.), Readings from Classical Rhetoric (Carbondale, Ill: 1990), pp. 38–42 and (less accessible) L. van Hook, ‘Alcidamas Versus

‘Aristotle’s Rhetoric as a ‘‘Counterpart’’ to Dialectic’, in A. Rorty (ed.), Essays on Aristotle’s Rhetoric (Berkeley: 1996), pp. 45–51. 12 Quite apart from the fact that Rhetoric 1.1 makes no mention of cries, tears, wry faces and the like, what we read in 1.1 suggests strongly that Aristotle is thinking of emotions that are aroused by what an orator says. His attack is directed against persons who write ‘arts of words or speech (logoi)’ (1354a12), and his praise is bestowed on city-states and

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