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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 4 examines the role of oratory in political and cultural life during the fourth century, focusing on the practice of public speaking, the relationship between rhetoric and other literary forms, and the orators’ concerns about appearing professional. It begins with a discussion of the practice and significance of oratory, noting how the high level that rhetoric attained in Athens is primarily intertwined with its democratic form of government and its requirements. It then considers the interaction between oratory and other literary forms such as epic poetry and drama, historiography, and philosophy. It also analyses the reflexivity of oratory in speeches, describing the interaction between the elite and the dêmos as a kind of drama and suggesting that participation in this drama turned rhetoric display into a reflexive and discursive process.

Keywords: oratory, political life, cultural life, rhetoric, orators, Athens, drama, reflexivity, speeches, public speaking

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