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The rhetoric of conspiracy in ancient Athens [electronic resource] /
Joseph Roisman.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2006.
description
xiv, 199 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520247876 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780520247871, 9780520247871 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2006.
isbn
0520247876 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780520247871
9780520247871 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8414230
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 169-179) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Original and stimulating."--Paul Cartledge, author ofSpartan Reflections
Flap Copy
"Original and stimulating."--Paul Cartledge, author ofSpartan Reflections "This is a work of superior scholarship."--Edwin M. Carawan, author ofRhetoric and the Law of Draco
Flap Copy
"Original and stimulating."--Paul Cartledge, author of "Spartan Reflections" "This is a work of superior scholarship."--Edwin M. Carawan, author of "Rhetoric and the Law of Draco"
Flap Copy
"Original and stimulating."--Paul Cartledge, author of Spartan Reflections "This is a work of superior scholarship."--Edwin M. Carawan, author of Rhetoric and the Law of Draco
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-06-01:
In this clear and well-argued book, Roisman (Colby College) continues the work he began in The Rhetoric of Manhood: Masculinity in the Attic Orators (2005). Both books examine Athenian speeches of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE as sources for Athenian social history. However, whereas the first of these books dealt with questions of gender construction, the present title aims to demonstrate how rhetoric gave voice to and articulated a certain "conspiratorial mind-set" that characterized Athens at the time. Roisman deftly analyzes an impressive number of speeches in the light of modern theories of conspiracy, in so doing following up on Eli Sagan's The Honey and the Hemlock: Democracy and Paranoia in Ancient Athens and Modern America (CH, Apr'92, 29-4683). But unlike Sagan, who attributes this mind-set to the paranoid psychology of Athenians, Roisman argues that conspiracy charges are most often associated with political and personal crises. Conspiracy interpretations provided some logic and order in the face of events that seemed otherwise absurd and uncontrollable. Such attribution of responsibility to specific individuals allowed Athenians to maintain their collective values, which in this way were not perceived as the cause of the crisis. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. P. Nieto Brown University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2007
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The Attic orators often filled their speeches with charges of conspiracy involving almost every facet of Athenian life. This work examines the range and nature of the conspiracy charges. It considers their rhetorical, cultural, and psychological significance.
Long Description
The Attic orators, whose works are an invaluable source on the social and political history of Classical Athens, often filled their speeches with charges of conspiracy involving almost every facet of Athenian life. There are allegations of plots against men's lives, property, careers, and reputations as well as charges of conspiracy against the public interest, the government, the management of foreign affairs, and more. Until now, however, this obsession with conspiracy has received little scholarly attention. In order to develop the first full picture of this important feature of Athenian discourse, Joseph Roisman examines the range and nature of the conspiracy charges. He asks why they were so popular, and considers their rhetorical, cultural, and psychological significance. He also investigates the historical likelihood of the scenarios advanced for these plots, and asks what their prevalence suggests about the Athenians and their worldview. He concludes by comparing ancient and modern conspiracy theories. In addition to shedding new light on Athenian history and culture, his study provides an invaluable perspective on the use of conspiracy as a rhetorical ploy.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Athenian Conspiracy and Its Vocabularyp. 2
Positive Plottingp. 7
Plotting Homicidep. 11
Plotting and Other People's Possessionsp. 19
Plotting and Contested Inheritances: Isaeusp. 19
Plotting and Demosthenes' Inheritancep. 22
Collusions to Appropriate Contested Inheritancesp. 27
Plotting, Desire, and Damagep. 31
Plotting Borrowers and Lendersp. 35
Legal Plots and Trapsp. 44
Plots to Obstruct Litigation: Demosthenes and the Challenge of Antidosisp. 45
The Choregus's Homicide Trial (Ant. 6)p. 47
Framing in Crime: Andocidesp. 51
Framing in Homicidep. 54
Legal Traps: Stephanus and Epaenetusp. 58
Plots and Entrapments: Apollodorus and Nicostratusp. 62
Political Conspiracies: Plots against the City and Its Regimep. 66
Plotting in Aristophanes and Thucydidesp. 66
The Legacy of Oligarchic Conspiracies: Andocides and Hetaireiaip. 69
The Legacy of Oligarchic Conspiracies: Lysias and the Thirtyp. 72
Plotting Politicians and Public Officialsp. 85
Plotting Legislation and Political Measuresp. 95
Demosthenes' Against Aristocrates (Dem. 23)p. 96
Demosthenes' Against Timocrates (Dem. 24)p. 103
Plotting Motions and Honorsp. 114
Foreign and Domestic Plottersp. 118
International Conspiraciesp. 133
Plotting War: Philip and the Fourth Sacred Warp. 133
Plotting in International Tradep. 145
Conclusion: Conspiracy Theories, Ancient and Modernp. 151
Demosthenes 32. Against Zenothemisp. 161
The Date and Background of Aristocrates' Decreep. 165
Works Citedp. 169
General Indexp. 181
Index Locorump. 187
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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