Antiphon and Andocides (Oratory of Classical Greece) by Michael Gagarin, Douglas M. MacDowell

By Michael Gagarin, Douglas M. MacDowell

Classical oratory is a useful source for the research of old Greek existence and tradition. The speeches supply proof on Greek ethical perspectives, social and fiscal stipulations, political and social ideology, and different elements of Athenian tradition which were mostly neglected: ladies and kinfolk lifestyles, slavery, and faith, to call only a few.

This quantity comprises the works of the 2 earliest surviving orators, Antiphon and Andocides. Antiphon (ca. 480-411) was once a number one Athenian highbrow and writer of the occupation of logography ("speech writing"), whose designated curiosity used to be legislations and justice. His six surviving works all main issue murder instances. Andocides (ca. 440-390) was once inquisitive about spiritual scandals—the mutilation of the Herms (busts of Hermes) and the revelation of the Eleusinian Mysteries—on the eve of the fateful Athenian excursion to Sicily in 415. His speeches are a safety opposed to fees when it comes to these events.

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Later sources tell us that Antiphon taught others and that he was the first person to write speeches. Earlier orators, such as Themistocles or Pericles, delivered their own speeches and had no need of a written text, but around 430 Antiphon, who did not speak in public himself but advised others who would be speaking in court, began the practice of "logography"—the writing out of an entire speech for a friend or client to memorize and deliver as his own. Thus Attic oratory as we know it came into being.

Still, I must try, for it seems that nothing is more bitter than necessity. I have no other way to proceed than with arguments the prosecutor used when he absolved others of the crime and claimed that the circumstances of the death show that I am the murderer. For if making them seem innocent makes the crime appear to be my doing, then it is only right that making them suspect should make me seem innocent. [5] It is not unlikely, as they claim, but likely that someone wandering around in the middle of the night would be killed for his cloak.

Hermes no (1982): 145-158, and Gerard Pendrick, "Once again Antiphon the Sophist and Antiphon of R h a m n u s H e r m e s 115 (1987): 4 7 - 6 0 , INTRODUCTION 5 that an orator who praises the law in a clients speech before a jury is not necessarily voicing his own opinion, and the papyrus fragments are less often understood as a call to anarchy; moreover, a new papyrus fragment has forced a revision of part of the text of On Truth, eliminating an earlier reconstruction in which the author appeared to challenge the traditional class structure.

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