An Introduction to Classical Rhetoric: Essential Readings / Edition 1

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An anthology of primary texts in translation, An Introduction to Classical Rhetoric offers an overview of the social, cultural, and intellectual factors that influenced the development and growth of rhetoric during the classical period.

  • Uses primary source material to analyze rhetoric from the Sophists through St. Augustine
  • Provides an in-depth introduction to the period, as well as introductions to each author and each selection
  • Includes study guides to help students develop multiple perspectives on the material, stimulate critical thinking, and provide starting points for dialogue
  • Highlights include Gorgias's Palamedes, Antiphon's Truth, Isocrates' Helen, and Plato's Protagoras
  • Each selection is followed by suggested writing topics and a short list of suggested additional readings.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"At last a text that allows students to study the primary texts of classical rhetoric situated in their historical and social context. Williams selects judiciously among foundational texts and also offers rich introductory essays that make clear the historical, intellectual, and cultural setting in which the study of rhetoric took root."
David Zarefsky, Northwestern University

"An Introduction to Classical Rhetoric offers a scholarly alternative for students of classical rhetoric which is both accessible and engaging."
Beth Bennett, University of Alabama

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405158619
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/18/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 936,376
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James D. Williams is Professor of Rhetoric & Linguistics and a former Director of the Writing Program at Soka University. He is the author of many books, including The Teacher's Grammar Book (2e, 2005) and Visions and Revisions: Continuity and Change in Rhetoric and Composition (2002).

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Table of Contents



Part I: Classical Greek Rhetoric.

1 Introduction to Greek Rhetoric.

2 Female Voices.

3 The Sophists.

4 Plato on Philosophy and Rhetoric.

5 Aristotle and the Systemization of Rhetoric.

Part II: Classical Roman Rhetoric.

6 Introduction to Roman Rhetoric and Oratory.

7 Cicero and the Latinization of Greek Rhetoric.

8 Horace and the Revival of Poetry.

9 Quintilian the Educator.

10 The End of the Classical Period: Libanius and Augustine.





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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2010

    Interesting Stuff

    Last fall at my university I enrolled in a communications course; the topic was classical rhetoric. This was the required text. When the course began, I was pretty certain that it would be boring 'cause I'm not all that interested in history. But this textbook made the past come alive. It was pretty amazing. The books gives a lot of detail about ancient Greece and Rome that I suspect most people know nothing about. It links the history to the reading selections, which makes them more understandable. So I give this book 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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