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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The main forum for political speech in the Greek city-state was the Assembly, which all male citizens had the right to attend. Speakers in the Assembly were not members of political parties promoting an ideology but appealed to the interests of the entire community and to shared social values. To win the trust of fellow citizens, speakers employed rhetoric to stress their moral integrity and their personal dedication to public service. The agenda of the Assembly was set by the Council, and speakers had to address a specific proposal for immediate action. The business of the Assembly included foreign affairs, public finance, military campaigns, and religious business—there was no separation of church and state in the ancient Greek world. The Greeks made a strict distinction between speeches before the Assembly (deliberative oratory) and those given in the law courts (forensic oratory) and at festivals and public funerals (epideictic oratory).

Keywords: rhetoric, political speech, Assembly, deliberative oratory, forensic oratory, epideictic oratory, law courts, public service

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