Chapter

Rhetoric in mid-antiquity

Malcolm Heath

in Classics in Progress

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263235
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734328 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263235.003.0017

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Rhetoric in mid-antiquity

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The book's concluding study presents the rhetorical education of the fourth century ad, not as the end but as only midway in the literary culture of Hellas, between Homer and the Byzantine emperor Manuel Palaeologus. The first section of this chapter examines the rhetoric from Homer to Byzantium, from the Iliad to Emperor Manuel II. The second section considers mid-antiquity's pivotal significance, when the Roman empire of Manuel — Greek, Christian and detached from Rome — began to take root. The third section examines a lengthy passage from the scholia to Demosthenes' speech On the False Embassy. The lecturer deploys, in what may seem obsessive detail, the formidably elaborate apparatus of contemporary rhetorical theory. The fourth section notes that his contemporaries and successors saw Menander primarily as a specialist in the kind of minute analysis of forensic and deliberative oratory.

Keywords: Homer; Byzantium; Iliad; Christianity; rhetorical theory; Menander; Demosthene

Chapter.  9584 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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