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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 32 focuses on the authenticity, composition, and publication of Demosthenes’ speeches. In discussing authenticity, three alternatives need to be taken into consideration. A speech could be either a genuine work of Demosthenes, a real speech from fourth-century Athens wrongly attributed to Demosthenes, or a later composition. Most, if not all, of the speeches fall into the first two categories, while the last is possibly but not necessarily written with the intention of passing as a genuine work of Demosthenes. The article examines the debate over the authenticity of a large quantity of Demosthenes’ surviving oratory, and the distinctiveness of his style, on stylistic grounds. It also analyses how Demosthenes composed his speeches and other works, with emphasis on the extent to which he wrote his speeches in advance of delivery and what evidence exists for subsequent revision. Finally, it evaluates evidence of the publication and circulation of Demosthenes’ speeches.

Keywords: authenticity, composition, publication, Demosthenes, speeches, Athens, oratory, revision

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