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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 22 examines how the city and countryside are represented in Demosthenes and other Attic orators. In a court of law, the plausibility of a story will often be contingent on the physical setting, and a speaker is expected to persuade the jury to accept his version by having them visualize where events took place. Demosthenes, even when speaking in the courts, seldom depicts action in a specific rural or urban environment. To understand why, the chapter first considers what Athenian forensic oratory generally has to offer by way of descriptions of physical settings. It then analyses the rhetorical and political reasons why the Attic orators in general, and Demosthenes in particular, provide little detailed information about the physical world in which they lived. Finally, it discusses the implications of the reticence by Demosthenes and other orators to talk about local city or country life.

Keywords: city, countryside, Demosthenes, orators, forensic oratory, physical world, city life, country life

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