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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the development of rhetorical pedagogy from Homer to late antiquity. It is clear from Homer that effective public speaking was valued in archaic Greece and was seen as a teachable skill. Fifth- and early fourth-century B.C.E. sophists gradually developed formalized and theorized rhetorical pedagogy, but the evidence for their work is very limited. Isocrates and the author of the Rhetoric to Alexander build on earlier sophistic rhetoric in different ways. Evidence becomes most abundant in late antiquity, from the second century C.E. onward. Innovations in rhetorical theory and concurrent changes in the structure of pedagogical practice in this period reflect the perennial responsiveness of rhetoric as a practical discipline to its sociocultural context.

Keywords: rhetoric, ancient Greece, pedagogy, rhetorical theory, Homer, sophists, sophistic rhetoric, Isocrates, late antiquity, public speaking

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