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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 14 examines how versions of the past, particularly the Athenian past, figure and are deployed rhetorically in the public part of Demosthenes’ texts. It considers Demosthenes’ conception of Athenian history and the ways that he fashioned his historical material for communication to mass audiences by comparing his practice with that of Lycurgus, Aeschines, Hyperides, and Dinarchus. It discusses the basic unit of historical reference in Athenian oratorical texts, the paradeigma or illustrative analogy, and analyses Demosthenes’ uses of historical themes and argumentation in relation to the overall strategies of the speeches concerned. Finally, it highlights some key factors affecting the compositional and presentational choices made by orators as well as the extent to which orators modelled their self-presentation strategies on those of their political seniors (or indeed on more chronologically distant figures) and modified them to respond to those of successful rivals.

Keywords: Athenian past, Demosthenes, Aeschines, paradeigma, illustrative analogy, argumentation, speeches, orators, self-presentation, Athenian history

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