Homeric Speech and the Origins of Rhetoric
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book would not have come into being without the infl uence and assistance of numerous individuals. First among them are the teachers whose guidance set me on the path to this endeavor: Margaret Ahern, who provided a home/school bursting at the seams with books; Fritz Hinrichs, who introduced me to the Great...
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From ancient times to the present, rhetoric has been recognized as essential to the discourses of politics, advertising, law, education, and interpersonal relations. Definitions of rhetoric from the ancient Greek and Roman world attest to its deep significance. According to Plato, rhetoric is “a way of directing the soul by...
Part I: Rhetoric in Homer
1. Reconsidering the Origins of Rhetoric
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Although modern accounts of the history of rhetoric (Kennedy 1963, 1994; Cole 1991; Schiappa 1999; and Pernot 2005 being primary examples) vary in emphasis and approach, all of them generally agree on the role of Homeric poetry in their histories. In their view, Homer is innocent of any systematic craft of rhetoric...
2. Investigating Homeric Rhetoric
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A central tenet of this investigation is that rhetoric is, in the classical Greek conception, a technê. It is a skill— learned, taught, and employed with calculation and intention. The first step in any act of rhetoric is gathering information: information about human nature and its points of susceptibility to persuasion...
3. Patterns of Aristotelian Rhetoric in the Iliad
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From the preceding survey and analysis of the Iliad’s rhetorical speeches, it is possible to observe several patterns, both among rhetorical techniques used and among speakers who employ these rhetorical techniques. Certain speakers emerge from this analysis as the most “successful” rhetoricians in the Iliad...
Part II: The Genealogy of Rhetoric from Homer to Aristotle
4. Explaining the Correspondence between Homeric Speech and Aristotelian Theory
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The remarkable points of correspondence between the techniques of persuasion used in Homeric speech and those appearing in Aristotle’s Rhetoric raise the question of how this correspondence might have arisen— a question made more intriguing because it seems to have gone largely unacknowledged by Aristotle...
5. Rhetoric in Archaic Poetry
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If indeed Homeric speech is a significant (and largely unacknowledged) source for later rhetorical theory, how was a system of rhetorical persuasion transmitted from Homer to Aristotle— crossing lines of time, genre, and medium (oral to written)? Did it find its way into other forms of Archaic literature along the way?...
6. From Poetry to Theory
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The fi fth century BCE saw a burgeoning variety of literary and societal practices interacting with each other in Greece, and particularly in Athens. Competing with the Archaic poetic tradition were the new poetic forms of tragedy and comedy, the new prose forms of historiography and oratory, and the emerging disciplines...
Appendix. Analysis of Remaining Iliadic Rhetorical Speeches
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In addition to the catalogue of 19 speeches analyzed in chapter 2 (including Odysseus’ speech at 2.284– 332, used as a “model passage”), I have identified 39 other speeches in the Iliad that exhibit rhetorical argumentation. These speeches, along with my analysis of their rhetorical techniques, are presented...
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Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 3 line drawings
Publication Year: 2014