In ancient Athenian courts of law, litigants presented their cases before juries of several hundred citizens. Their speeches effectively constituted performances that used the speakers' appearances, gestures, tones of voice, and emotional appeals as much as their words to persuade the jury. Today, all that remains of Attic forensic speeches from the fifth and fourth centuries BCE are written texts, but, as Peter A. O'Connell convincingly demonstrates in this innovative book, a careful study of the speeches' rhetoric of seeing can bring their performative aspect to life.
Offering new interpretations of a wide range of Athenian forensic speeches, including detailed discussions of Demosthenes' On the False Embassy, Aeschines' Against Ktesiphon, and Lysias' Against Andocides, O'Connell shows how litigants turned the jurors' scrutiny to their advantage by manipulating their sense of sight. He analyzes how the litigants' words work together with their movements and physical appearance, how they exploit the Athenian preference for visual evidence through the language of seeing and showing, and how they plant images in their jurors' minds. These findings, which draw on ancient rhetorical theories about performance, seeing, and knowledge as well as modern legal discourse analysis, deepen our understanding of Athenian notions of visuality. They also uncover parallels among forensic, medical, sophistic, and historiographic discourses that reflect a shared concern with how listeners come to know what they have not seen.
|Publisher:||University of Texas Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
- Abbreviations of Ancient Authors
- Abbreviations of Modern Editions
- Note on Translations and the Spelling of Greek Names
- Introduction. Vision and Performance in the Courts of Classical Athens
- Part One: Physical Sight
- Chapter 1. Visual Rhetoric and Visual Evidence
- Chapter 2. The Meanings of Movement
- Part Two: The Language of Demonstration and Visibility
- Chapter 3. Showing and Seeing: The Procedural Terminology of Witnessing
- Chapter 4. Saying as Showing, Hearing as Seeing
- Part Three: Imaginary Sight
- Chapter 5. Visualizing Civic Suffering
- Chapter 6. Shared Spectatorship: Bridging the Gap Between Past and Present and Here and There
- Appendix of Speeches
- Index of Ancient Texts
- General Index
What People are Saying About This
"An excellent contribution to the study of Athenian rhetoric that should be welcomed by specialists in both Classics and the study of rhetoric. The aspect of Athenian rhetoric under scrutiny has not yet been adequately studied nor even properly described."