Divine Talk: Religious Argumentation in Demosthenes

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OUP Oxford, Sep 3, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 356 pages
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Gunther Martin examines the references to religion in the speeches of Demosthenes and other Athenian orators in the 4th century BC. In Part I he demonstrates the role religion plays in the rhetorical strategy of speeches in political trials: his main argument is that speakers had to be consistent in their approach to religion throughout their career. It was not possible to change from being a pragmatic to a `religious' speaker and back, but it was possible, when writing for others, to use religion in a way one would not have used it when delivering a speech oneself. In Part II Martin deals with assembly speeches and speeches in private trials, in which religious references are far scarcer. In the assembly, unless genuinely religious matters are discussed, religion seems to have been practically inadmissible, while in private trials it is procedural elements that supply the majority of religious references.

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About the author (2009)

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Gunther Martin is Domus Fellow, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.

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