Read e-book online A New History of Classical Rhetoric PDF

By George A. Kennedy

George Kennedy's 3 volumes on classical rhetoric have lengthy been considered as authoritative remedies of the topic. This new quantity, an intensive revision and abridgment of The paintings of Persuasion in Greece, The artwork of Rhetoric within the Roman World, and Greek Rhetoric less than Christian Emperors, offers a finished heritage of classical rhetoric, person who is bound to develop into a customary for its time.

Kennedy starts by way of deciding upon the rhetorical positive aspects of early Greek literature that expected the formula of "metarhetoric," or a concept of rhetoric, within the 5th and fourth centuries b.c.e. after which strains the advance of that conception in the course of the Greco-Roman interval. He supplies an account of the instructing of literary and oral composition in colleges, and of Greek and Latin oratory because the basic rhetorical style. He additionally discusses the overlapping disciplines of historical philosophy and faith and their interplay with rhetoric. the result's a wide and interesting historical past of classical rhetoric that might end up specifically important for college kids and for others who wish an summary of classical rhetoric in condensed form.

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11 The dialogue is divided into three parts: in the first, Socrates interrogates Gorgias about rhetoric; in the second Gorgias is largely replaced by his follower Polus; in the third Socrates enters into debate with Callicles about justice. There is a dramatic heightening of tension in that Gorgias is represented as a somewhat amiable, if pompous, defender of his art and is treated 11 Dodds’ Gorgias is the best commentary on the dialogue; for discussion, see also Guthrie, History of Greek Philosophy, vol.

First, we should admit that we know very little about the form and content of fifth-century handbooks. 8 Some of what they say goes back to Aristotle’s SynagÉgx, some to other sources. According to one story, Tisias was a pupil of Corax and refused to pay for his instruction. Upon being dragged into court, he argued that if he won the dispute he need not pay, by that decision; if he lost, however, payment would be unjust, since what he learned would be proved worthless. Corax replied by reversing the argument.

Several strategies are evident. One was to stress the usefulness of the skills they could impart. Even Aristotle, in the first chapter of his treatise where he seems to be addressing students of philosophy, is at pains to explain how rhetoric is useful. Students probably did learn to be better speakers by studying rhetoric, but the results were unpredictable and the rhetoric of rhetoric regularly involved appeal to a higher vision. Rhetoric could be regarded as a natural force, the distinctive human faculty, as Isocrates claimed, or even something divine, as Gorgias suggested in his Encomium of Helen.

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A New History of Classical Rhetoric by George A. Kennedy


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