Greek Declamation

Book Details

Author  D. A. Russell
Publisher  Cambridge University Press
Publication Date   September 17, 2009
ISBN  052111912X
Pages  152

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Declamation was 'a toy model of oratory' in which students composed and delivered deliberative and forensic practice speeches in character. It was not confined to the schools: the professionals gave public performances to large and critical audiences. Greco-Roman education was more or less dominated by rhetoric; from the fourth century BC down to and beyond the end of classical antiquity declamation was an art within the larger art, inhabiting almost a distinct world, with its own laws, customs and mores. Latin declamation has been well studied but its Greek counterpart is less well known. This book sets the practice of declamation in its historical context, describes the conventional, though often bizarre, themes of the speeches and discusses the declaimers' public performances, rhetorical theory and knowledge and use of classical literature and history. This book will be of interest both to students of classical literature and to historians of ancient society and education. The main text is written so as to be wholly intelligible to those with no knowledge of Greek.

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