Antiphon the Athenian
Oratory, Law, and Justice in the Age of the Sophists
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: University of Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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My interest in Antiphon was first awakened in a course taught by Tom Cole some forty years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Stanford. At the time I put Antiphon aside to write a dissertation on Protagoras, and then went on to write on Aeschylus, justice, law, and rhetoric, which has now brought me back at last to this book on Antiphon. Another important stimulus came in 1977, when, while working on Athenian homicide law—and thus, naturally...
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The second half of the fifth century1 was a period of intellectual innovation and excitement throughout the Greek world, nowhere more so than in Athens. Poets, philosophers, medical writers and practitioners, religious reformers, historians, and others introduced new ways of thinking. They discussed and debated ideas, experimented with new methods of communicating orally, often in public forums, and explored the possibilities offered...
1. THE SOPHISTIC PERIOD
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Antiphon was active in the second half of the fifth century, a period of great intellectual activity generally associated with the group of thinkers we call Sophists. In using this term and expressions like “the sophistic movement,” I do not mean to imply any strict unity of belief or coordination of activity; indeed, the sophistic period is more notable for rivalry than for agreement...
2. ANTIPHON: LIFE AND WORKS
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Two contentious issues have long stood in the way of a full appreciation of Antiphon’s accomplishments. First, ever since antiquity there have been those who wished to divide Antiphon into (at least) two different Antiphons, “the orator” 1 (Antiphon of Rhamnus), who wrote forensic speeches, and “the Sophist,” who wrote the treatises Truth and Concord. The main reason for this division in antiquity was apparently stylistic, for the language...
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Two major sophistic works are ascribed to Antiphon, Truth (Alētheia, in two books) and Concord (Homonoia). The former has attracted more scholarly attention, especially since the discovery of substantial papyrus fragments early in the twentieth century, which contain the longest continuous texts and are of great philosophical interest...
4. CONCORD, DREAM-INTERPRETATION
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Antiphon’s other well-attested, sophistic work was entitled Concord (Homonoia). Of the twenty-nine fragments usually assigned to it (45–71 DK, 117–145 M), only fourteen are explicitly attributed to it; none of these is longer than two lines, and nine are single words or very short phrases.1 The other fifteen fragments are generally longer;most are preserved in Stobaeus’s fifth-century c.e. anthology,where they are attributed simply to “Antiphon.”...
5. THE TETRALOGIES
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Although Antiphon’s three Tetralogies take the form of court speeches, they were not written for delivery in court but for a more intellectual audience, perhaps the same audience as that of his more explicitly theoretical works. As already noted (above, 1.5), the Tetralogies fall into the category of Antilogiae, or opposed speeches, but are the only examples we know of with two pairs of speeches in each. This unique structure, which replicates an actual...
6. THE COURT SPEECHES
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As a background to discussion of the individual works, I begin with a brief summary of Athenian homicide law and legal procedure in Antiphon’s day.1 The Attic orators and others refer to the Athenian homicide laws as the oldest in the land. Scholars generally accept the tradition that the first laws written for Athens by Draco around 620 were all replaced a generation later (around 590) by Solon, except for Draco’s laws on homicide; thus, the...
7. FROM THE SOPHISTS TO FORENSIC ORATORY
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As we have seen (above, 2.1), most ancient authorities did not distinguish another Antiphon (“the Sophist”) from Antiphon of Rhamnus. As far as we can tell, those who did make this distinction did so for stylistic reasons and had no biographical information about this supposed other Antiphon; and the Antiphon described by Thucydides so resembles a typical Sophist that he would probably have been considered a Sophist by many of his contemporaries...
APPENDIX A: TRUTH: THE PAPYRUS FRAGMENTS
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APPENDIX B: CONCORD: THE FRAGMENTS
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ABBREVIATIONS AND WORKS CITED
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Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2002