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Transferable Disgust in Demosthenes 54: Against Conon

From: Syllecta Classica
Volume 20 (2009)
pp. 1-30 | 10.1353/syl.2010.0006



Demosthenes 54: Against Conon concerns a savage attack on Ariston, a young Athenian, by Conon and his sons. Throughout the oration Demosthenes directs the jury's attention to sordid and visceral aspects (mud, blood, illness, vomit) of the ordeal in an attempt to win support for his case by appealing to the jury's disgust response, part of their "moral equipment" with which they will judge the seriousness of the crime. This analysis of Against Conon focuses on how images of disgusting substances are transferred rhetorically from victim to defendant as a retributive action.