A Synoptic history of classical rhetoric

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Hermagoras Press, Nov 1, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 316 pages
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The purpose of history is to help people understand the present by providing a sense of continuity to their lives. The history of western civilization begins in Ancient Greece. So much of what we observe around us -- art, architecture, poetry, drama, and political systems -- is derived from the Greeks. Even religious beliefs and beliefs about the solar system emanate from the writings of Greek and Roman philosophers. Writing itself is a phenomenon of Greek civilization. Students seeking to understand the social impact of technologies such as writing, print, and television, must begin their study with figures such as Socrates, who was one of the first to be concerned with the changes in social interaction and consciousness wrought by the emergence of writing on portable material. For students of language, an awareness of the classical world is particularly important. The study of human discourse is an entirely western phenomenon. As far as one can judge from surviving evidence, the Greeks were the only people of the ancient world who endeavored to analyze the ways in which human beings communicate with each other. Greece is, therefore, the birthplace of the art of discourse, which includes not only rhetoric, but also logic and grammar. Although many other ancient civilizations produced literature, only the Greeks produced analytic, expository treatises that attempted to discover the actual bases of human communication. Written treatises and school "systems" which allowed rhetorical discoveries to be transmitted to others enabled the Greeks and later the Romans to amass a considerable body of precepts to guide speakers and writers. This body of precepts forms the basis for the study of "rhetoric" -- the art of human discourse. This book provides a clear understanding of the classical roots of rhetoric. While no single volume can account for every idea developed by the ancients on the art of rhetoric, this book seeks to present the concepts that will most effectively provide today's student with a basis for understanding human communication. The text contains essays about the period, original treatises by ancient writers with modern analyses that elaborate on their rhetorical precepts, and representative speeches given by celebrated orators of the ancient world. In addition, a bibliography of readings is presented for those who want to study this period more deeply.

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Contents

The Sophists and Rhetorical Consciousness
17
Aristotles Rhetorical Theory With a Synopsis of Aristotles Rhetoric
51
The Codification of Roman Rhetoric With a Synopsis
111
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About the author (1995)

James J. Murphy is Professor of Rhetoric and Communication at the University of California at Davis, and the author of "Rhetoric in the Middle Ages,"""

Richard A. Katula is Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Katula received his Ph.D. in rhetorical studies at the University of Illinois. He is the author or co-author of three other books, the most recent of which is A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric, 3rd Ed. (2003). He has also written and produced an award-winning documentary, The Gettysburg Address: A Speech for the Ages (2000). Professor Katula is a two-time Fulbright Scholar to Greece, and is currently the director of a National Endowment for the Humanities workshop entitled, ęThe American Lyceum: The Rhetoric of Idealism, Opportunity, and Abolition. (www.americanlyceum.neu.edu). Professor Katula is a frequent guest on radio and television programs on subjects such as political rhetoric and presidential debates.

Meador is the pulpit minister at the Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas and a former professor at UCLA and the University of Washington.

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