A New History of Classical Rhetoric by George A. Kennedy

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 in depth revision and abridgment of The artwork of Persuasion in Greece, The artwork of Rhetoric within the Roman World, and Greek Rhetoric below Christian Emperors, presents a complete historical past of classical rhetoric, one who is bound to turn into a customary for its time.

Kennedy starts by means of settling on the rhetorical positive factors 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 improvement of that idea during the Greco-Roman interval. He provides an account of the educating of literary and oral composition in faculties, and of Greek and Latin oratory because the fundamental rhetorical style. He additionally discusses the overlapping disciplines of historic philosophy and faith and their interplay with rhetoric. the result's a wide and interesting background of classical rhetoric that would end up specially worthy for college students and for others who wish an summary of classical rhetoric in condensed form.

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A form of the Phoenician alphabet was then introduced about the eighth century, again at first for practical purposes. The Homeric epics and other early Greek literature are the result of an oral tradition of recomposition in performance by illiterate bards; written texts of Greek poetry probably first came into existence in the seventh century. C. poets, philosophers, and others were composing in writing, but “publication” continued to take the form of oral presentation of their works. Elementary schools to teach reading and writing probably came into existence in the sixth century; by the fifth century literacy was common throughout the Greek-speaking world.

The Encomium of Helen, most famous of Gorgias’ surviving works and most poetic in style, seeks to show that she was morally blameless in leaving her husband, Menelaus, and eloping with Paris—the incident that precipitated the Trojan war. At the end of the speech Gorgias claims to have removed a woman’s disgrace, provided a logical argument, corrected injustice and ignorance, and composed a paignion, or playful exercise, suggesting that the speech should be both taken seriously and not seriously at the same time.

PERSUASION IN GREEK LITERATURE The passage in On Sophistical Refutations continues (184a) with criticism of sophists like Gorgias who “gave their students speeches to learn by heart, either ‘rhetorical’ speeches or those consisting of questions [and answers], in which they thought the arguments of each side occurred. ” It thus seems possible to distinguish two traditions in the development of rhetoric in the fifth century: one is the tradition of the sophists, who taught mainly by example and imitation, not by providing precepts and rules, and whose epideictic speeches exemplified methods of inquiry but often dealt with issues of some philosophical significance; the other is the more pedestrian, less philosophical tradition of the handbook.

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