Chapter

Manly Youth

Joseph Roisman

in The Rhetoric of Manhood

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780520241923
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931138 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520241923.003.0002
Manly Youth

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This chapter describes the Athenians' perceptions of youth and the orators' use of those perceptions with the same chronological ambiguity and behavioral emphasis that the Greeks bought to this age group. Of all of the speeches in the orators' corpus, the oration Against Conon makes the most extensive use of images of youth. The case involved a charge of assault by the young claimant Ariston against Conon and his sons. The stereotypes of youth, which played a central role in Ariston's claim against Conon, are not as well-developed in other orations. The case of Epichares against Theocrines is presented. The orations reveal two largely antithetical images of youth. One is that of the self-controlled, obedient, mature young men, ready to learn from adults, in whom Athenian men placed their hopes for the future of their society. The other is that of young men who threaten adult power, institutions, and conventions.

Keywords: Athenian youth; Athenian orators; Ariston; Conon; Epichares; Theocrines; stereotypes; Athenian men

Chapter.  6765 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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