The Subversive Oratory of Andokides: Politics, Ideology and Decision-Making in Democratic Athens

Overview

Oratory was a vital element in the Athenian democracy. In this study Anna Missiou analyses the ideological content of the speeches of the crypto-oligarch Andokides active c.420-390 B.C.. Drawing on modern communication studies, she proposes a contextual and historical approach to oratory rather than one that concentrates on the speaker. She insists that there was a rational as well as an emotional element in the responses of both orator and audience, and that there was a tension between political equality and ...
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Overview

Oratory was a vital element in the Athenian democracy. In this study Anna Missiou analyses the ideological content of the speeches of the crypto-oligarch Andokides active c.420-390 B.C.. Drawing on modern communication studies, she proposes a contextual and historical approach to oratory rather than one that concentrates on the speaker. She insists that there was a rational as well as an emotional element in the responses of both orator and audience, and that there was a tension between political equality and socio-economic inequality lying at the centre of Athenian democratic society. She suggests that the political ideology of a speaker can be evaluated in the light of his rhetorical techniques. A detailed analysis of Andokides' arguments for peace in On the Peace with the Lakedaimonians reveals that the intense controversy in Athens over the continuation of the war with Sparta in 391 reflected class antagonism among the Athenians. Conventionally the rejection of Andokides' proposals by the Athenian Assembly has been ascribed to irrational crowd-behaviour, an interpretation assuming that the sole purpose of an orator is to sway his audience by persuasion. However, Dr. Missiou argues that the speech was essentially subversive, aimed at spreading pro-Spartan and anti-war feelings rather than persuading the audience to take a particular decision on this occasion. These considerations can lead the reader on to larger issues such as whether Athenian democracy questioned basic aristocratic values and attitudes in domestic and foreign affairs, and whether an orator encouraged or discouraged the participation of the ordinary Athenians in the actual deliberation and decision-making process.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521037594
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/2007
  • Series: Cambridge Classical Studies Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction
1.1 Athenian deliberative oratory 1
1.2 The limitations of the traditional, speaker-oriented approach 2
1.2.1 The assumptions of the speaker-oriented approach 5
1.3 A contextual and historical approach 8
1.4 Andokides' deliberative oratory: a case study 10
2 Civic virtue in the eyes of an oligarch
2.1 Andokides' family 15
2.2 The orator's socio-economic milieu 20
2.3 Andokides' On his Return 25
2.3.1 An insolent tone 26
2.3.2 The services of Andokides 28
2.3.3 The changing significance of charis 32
2.3.4 Andokides on civic virtue 40
2.4 Andokides' On the Mysteries 49
3 The anti-imperialistic argument
3.1 Historical setting of the Athenian Assembly in 391 55
3.2 Use and abuse of democracy 56
3.3 The controversy over Athenian prosperity 58
3.4 Athenian public opinion on the empire 67
3.5 The Athenian empire and Andokides' rhetorical strategies 73
3.5.1 The symbolic significance of walls and ships 74
3.5.2 The food question 76
3.5.3 Andokides on Themistokles 78
3.6 The attitudes of the social classes towards war 82
3.7 Summary 85
4 Sparta's moral superiority
4.1 Andokides' portrait of an ungrateful Athens 87
4.2 The transmission of the historical allusion: Xenophon 92
4.3 Other evidence on the incident of 405/4 95
4.4 An ideological interpretation 100
5 Andokides, Athenian foreign policy and the principle of gratitude
5.1 Andokides' criticism of Athenian foreign policy 109
5.2 The singularity of the Athenian code in Greek interstate relations 111
5.2.1 Perikles' ideological assertion 114
5.3 The Kerkyraian debate 121
5.4 The Mytilenaian debate 126
5.5 The Plataian debate 130
6 Rational argument and emotional appeal in the deliberation of 391
6.1 Introduction 140
6.2 The strategy of fear 144
6.3 Informed speculation 149
6.4 Changes in the image of the enemy 154
6.5 The Argive question 158
7 The rhetoric of subversion
7.1 The decision of the Assembly in 391 168
7.2 The subversive character of Andokides' speech 172
7.3 The subversive strategies of Andokides and Antiphon 177
7.4 Conclusion 181
Bibliography 183
General index 198
Index of passages cited
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