GK 385 • Attic Oratory
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
The course will focus on speeches written by three Athenian logographers - Antiphon, Lysias, and Demosthenes. We will be considering these speeches as rhetorical works, but also within the context of Athenian legal, political, and social history. A highlight of the course will be a visit by Professor Stephen Todd (Manchester), who will conduct three sessions after Spring Break. Stephen's current research project is a substantial commentary on the speeches of Lysias, the first volume of which (speeches 1-11) has recently been published. He is currently working on volume 2 (speeches 12-23 or so), and will be using drafts of his commentary on several of these speeches as the basis for his three sessions. This will be a wonderful opportunity not only to observe the making of a commentary but to have some input into it. We will begin the course with Antiphon and will then read several of Demosthenes' private speeches. We will then work on Lysias (out of chronological order because of scheduling Todd), and will conclude with Demosthenes' On the Crown, arguably the greatest speech by any of the orators. We will read most of the speeches in Greek, but I may assign one or two long speeches (such as Demosthenes 21 Against Meidias) or parts of speeches in English. Every student will give an oral presentation in class and write a substantial research paper. These may or may not be on the same topic. Grades will be based primarily on the paper but may be adjusted up or down depending on class participation, including the class report.
Carey, C. & R. A. Reid, Selected Private Speeches. Cambridge 1985. (Speeches 37, 39, 54, 56) Gagarin, Michael, Antiphon: the Speeches. Cambridge 1997. Yunis, Harvey, Demosthenes On the Crown. Cambridge 2001. Material on Lysias will be distributed at the time.