Demosthenes Erotic Essay

Carey denies that nostalgia as a persuasive tactic lost its power over time, since “belief in a better past is again a recurrent and persistent factor.” Many would agree, I think.

Brenda Griffith-Williams considers emotional and rational persuasion in Athenian inheritance speeches (a type of forensic speech neglected by emotion studies), and whether you can distinguish between them.

This essay relates well with Carey’s essay (although Carey does not specifically use the term “nostalgia”) and with Sanders’ essay immediately previous, bookending Part I effectively.

The second part begins with Angelos Chaniotis who focuses on Greek epigraphy, examining inscriptions (both decrees and epitaphs) from the poleis of the eastern Mediterranean over a vast period, from 306 BCE to 408 CE.

In Part I, Chris Carey discusses the rhetoric of deliberative and forensic speeches in Athens, and how, through an evocation of nostalgia and comparison with the present, speakers appealed to envy, indignation, and shame to create hostility towards a powerful group or individual.

This is present in rhetoric, but is also prefigured in Old Comedy, suggesting a recurring theme.Using two cases from Isaeus (7 and 9) she determines that, although one may appear more rational and the other more emotional, they contain both types of techniques which are very difficult to tease apart.Griffith-Williams shows that Isaeus is not formulaic, but adapted his speeches according to the situation.The book is successful in its aim to look beyond the emotions, genres, and geography generally associated with the study of emotive persuasion.Even when many of the traditional genres and texts are addressed, new approaches are taken and there is a particular interest in practice and performance, not simply arousal of emotion.The volume is the result of a conference at Royal Holloway University of London June 2013 and most (but not all) presenters are represented.Including an introduction by Ed Sanders, the volume is divided into four sections (see the table of contents below.) Bibliographies are provided at the end of each essay, and a general index is found at the end.He looks to the Attic oratorical corpus (particularly Demosthenes’ Olynthics) and the speeches of Thucydides’ history to prove his argument.A table of emotions aroused or suppressed in Thucydides is included.Her close examination of the two texts is well-organized and convincing.Ed Sanders differentiates between forensic and deliberative oratory, contending that while forensic speeches deal with the past (what has happened), deliberative speeches deal with more future-based emotions, such as fear, confidence, hope, shame, and pride.


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