Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the mutual influence of rhetoric and law on one another from our earliest evidence in the Homeric poems through the Hellenistic period. Law influenced rhetoric in that a forensic context was crucial for the “invention” of rhetoric in Sicily, for the rhetorical advances made by the sophists, especially Gorgias, and for the assessments of rhetoric by Plato and Aristotle. On the other hand, rhetoric played a large role in litigation in the earliest “trial scene” on Achilles’s shield in Homer’s Iliad, as well as in the forensic speeches of the fourth-century logographers. A case study, Lysias 1, “On the Murder of Eratosthenes,” shows how rhetoric was crucial to the determination of both the facts of the case and the meaning of the relevant laws.

Keywords: rhetoric, law, sophists, Gorgias, Plato, Aristotle, logographers, forensic speeches, Lysias

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.