GK 383 • Studies in Classical Greek Literature
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
The importance of oratory in fourth-century Athens and in the Greek world in general is now widely recognized, with new texts, commentaries and translations appearing regularly. It is far to broad a body of material -- both in terms of the number and variety of speeches and in terms of modern approaches and interests -- to do more than skim the surface in a survey. So instead I would like to focus on just two orators and two works: Demosthens, On the Crown and Isocrates, Antidosis. We will read the former with the new Cambridge commentary by Harvey Yunis and the latter in the Budé edition if we can get it. In addition, a visitor -- Gerhard Thür from Graz (Austria) -- will be here all Spring and will participate in the course in ways we have not yet precisely determined. His specialty is Greek law, so we will probably read one private speech of Demosthenes in order to see a very different aspect of him. Classes will focus on specific issues, for which a number of Greek passages and some secondary literature will be assigned. I will expect a class report from every student -- on a topic or on a book or article -- but will negotiate a paper assignment with each student (in connection with recent discussions in the GSC, it will be possible for students not to write a paper and receive CR for the course). The kinds of issues the course will address include, legal and historical questions (primarily in connection with Dem), rhetorical style (important for both -- and a topic on which much work needs to be done), Isocrates' persona (see Too's book), Demosthenes' persona (just as interesting but less studied), and Isocrates' educational programme. We will some other speeches in translation in connection with these and other issues.
Demosthenes, On The Crown, ed. H. Yunis (Cambridge). Isocrates, Tome III (Budé), ed. G. Mathieu.