A New History of Classical Rhetoric

A New History of Classical Rhetoric

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 069100059X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

George Kennedy's three volumes on classical rhetoric have long been regarded as authoritative treatments of the subject. This new volume, an extensive revision and abridgment of The Art of Persuasion in Greece, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World, and Greek Rhetoric under Christian Emperors, provides a comprehensive history of classical rhetoric, one that is sure to become a standard for its time.

Kennedy begins by identifying the rhetorical features of early Greek literature that anticipated the formulation of "metarhetoric," or a theory of rhetoric, in the fifth and fourth centuries b.c.e. and then traces the development of that theory through the Greco-Roman period. He gives an account of the teaching of literary and oral composition in schools, and of Greek and Latin oratory as the primary rhetorical genre. He also discusses the overlapping disciplines of ancient philosophy and religion and their interaction with rhetoric. The result is a broad and engaging history of classical rhetoric that will prove especially useful for students and for others who want an overview of classical rhetoric in condensed form.












late fifth century was also the time of Democritus, who developed an atomic theory in physics, and of the school of Hippocrates, which made significant advances in medicine, based on careful observation of symptoms and logical reasoning from cause to effect. We do have three speeches by one political speaker of the late fifth century, Antiphon, but they are speeches written for delivery in the law courts and are thus examples of his activities as a logographer.15 Thucydides (8.68) describes

critique of a written speech in which he pointed out its use of invention, arrangement, and style. He himself will provide examples for imitation. This, indeed, seems to have been his major activity. He consulted his more advanced students as he revised his own writings and invited their criticism (cf. Panathenaicus 200), and his students wrote speeches, which he criticized and helped them improve. At the end of the passage Isocrates refers to his students as engaged in philo45 CHAPTER THREE

confusion, in part because the author is not drawing up a list of figures but trying to describe the effect of different kinds of style. He is apparently unfamiliar with the concept of a trope but does treat metaphor as something distinct from a figure; the discussion of metaphor in 78–89 much resembles that in Aristotle and even quotes On Rhetoric on the subject (81). An unusual feature of Demetrius’ work is his discussion of letter writing, citing letters of Aristotle and others (223–35).

seventy-three citizens) had been chosen from a pool of those eligible. The praetor presided at the trial, which took place out-of-doors in the Roman forum. The prosecution opened its case with a set speech (oratio perpetua), in which a patron often had a great deal to say in general about the wrongs committed by, and the wickedness of, the defendant, but in which he might well not reveal the evidence to substantiate the charges. He would be followed by other patrons for the prosecution, who might

to Caesar is For King Deiotarus. The case was tried in Caesar’s own house, a custom many of the emperors later followed, to the disadvantage of orators. Apparently Caesar never got around to making a decision before his death. After Caesar’s death and before Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus had firmly secured power came the series of deliberative orations known as the Philippics, consciously modeled on Demosthenes’ speeches against Philip of Macedon. The Second Philippic, with its violent invective

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