Papyrus of Antiphon
Tetralogy 2

Attic Orators

Instructor: K. Kapparis

Office 115A Dauer Hall

Course Objectives

We are fortunate to have a substantial number of speeches from classical Athens (over 100 in total), composed and delivered by a number of different orators for various public occasions, political meetings, and law-courts. These texts preserve for us many details concerning the public and private life, politics, social structures, religion, ideology and culture of Athens in the late fifth and fourth century BC. Considering that the primary purpose of a speech was to persuade the listeners, what the orator said ought to sound truthful, even if it was not. The Attic Orators offer accounts of a wide variety of settings and situations, with attention to the detail, and presented in such a manner that the ordinary Athenian of that time would find at least plausible. This is why these texts are particularly valuable to modern day social and political historians. Moreover it is intriguing to see how the early masters of the art of speaking succeeded in persuading the audience in a political meeting, winning over a jury, or moving the crowds attending state funerals, public festivals and celebrations. When we compare their skills to those of charismatic public speakers of the present, we may often find that they possessed a deep knowledge of the mechanisms of persuasion, and that they were in the position to manipulate these mechanisms very effectively. Their works were used for many centuries as manuals for the study of the Greek language, and as models in the instruction of students of rhetoric. Nowadays they are still valuable to us as language manuals, highly authoritative historical sources, and prototypes for the study of rhetoric and speech-writing. The present course will offer students a representative selection of authors, texts and themes from the political, epideictic and judicial oratory of classical Athens.






W1: Introduction
The Athenian Assembly and Law-Courts. 
The evolution of oratory in Athens.

Forensic Oratory: Sexuality and social conduct
W2-4: Aeschines, Against Timarchos (43-60, 102-12)
The standards of male Athenian morality
Male prostitution
The treatment of the weak and the disadvantaged 

W5-8: Apollodoros, Against Neaira [D.59]
The career of a famous Courtesan
Women's lives in Classical Athens
Women in Athenian Law
Greek Festivals

W9: Midterm Test

W10-11: Hypereides, Against Athenogenes
Pimps, crooks and infatuated fools

Political Oratory: The Defence of the City State
W12-13: Demosthenes, The First Olynthiac
Athenian apathy and Macedonian expansionism
Philip II as a leader
The defense of the Greek polis

W14: Study Time; Thanksgiving (No Classes)

Epideictic Oratory: The Panhellenic Dream
W15: Lysias: Olympic Oration
Greeks and Barbarians
The Olympic Spirit
Essay Submissions

W16: Final Test

  Class Handouts

Important Terms for the understanding of Greek Law

  Suggested Readings:

D.M. MacDowell: The Law in Classical Athens
R. Just: Women in Athenian Law and Life
J.G. Kennedy: The Art of Persuasion in Greece
M. Gagarin Antiphon
K. Kapparis Apollodoros Against Neaira
V.J Hunter Policing Athens: Social Control in Attic Lawsuits
M.H. Hansen The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes
D. Whitehead Hypereides
K.J. Dover: Lysias and the Corpus Lysiacum
N. Fisher Aeschines Against Timarchos
F. Blass Die Attische Beredsamkeit (3 vols)

See also the following online bibliography (the section about the primary sourses is too basic, but the secondary resources are useful):

Dionysios of Halikarnassos: The Lives of the Ten Orators 
The Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies discussion on Athenian Law in its Democratic Context. An absolute 'Must Read" 
The Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies series on Athenian law: portraits of the Attic Orators
Nomoi: Bibliography on Ancient Greek Law 
Links to the texts of the Attic Orators (in translation)
A rich site on all matters related to Attic Forensic Oratory and Greek Law 
A site with resources on Demosthenes
Links to translations of the speeches of Lysias