BMCR 2005.03.20

Logos and Power in Isocrates and Aristotle

, Logos and power in Isocrates and Aristotle. Studies in rhetoric/communication. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2004. 172 pages ; 24 cm.. ISBN 1570035261. $34.95.

Haskins (H.) intends to show that Isocrates, both as an educator and a theorist, is a rival of Aristotle. In contrast to views that consider Aristotle as the first intellectual who produces a theory of rhetoric, H. investigates the differences in the approaches that Isocrates and Aristotle adopt to five key issues, which form the chapters of this book and are presented in the Introduction: orality and literacy (Chapter 1: “Between Orality and Literacy”), poetic and rhetoric (Chapter 2: “Between Poetic and Rhetoric”), kairos and genre (Chapter 3: “Between Kairos and Genre”), identification and persuasion (Chapter 4: “Between Identification and Persuasion”), social change and social permanence (Chapter 5: “Between Social Permanence and Social Change”). The last chapter, under the title “Classical Rhetorics and the Future of Democratic Education”, offers possible applications of the conclusions reached in the preceding chapters to modern higher education. This is consistent with the author’s confession that “she was especially motivated by a growing discomfort at the instrumentalism of contemporary higher learning and by the alarming signs of erosion of a democratic culture on which so much of formal education depends” (p.131).

In Chapter 1, H. examines the possible bearings of orality and literacy on the work of Isocrates and Aristotle. In contrast to views that overemphasise the self-referential possibilities offered by literacy in the examination of language, H. holds that the philosophical and rhetorical prose of the 4th century BCE maintains significant features of orality. For this reason she offers criticism of Havelock’s evolutionary approach and his view that literacy prompted new mental practices, which in their turn produced the Greek enlightenment. According to H., Isocrates and Aristotle adopt two different approaches to rhetoric: the former is instrumental, and the latter socially constitutive. In relation to these distinct approaches, H. addresses the notions of mythopoetic and rational logos, as representatives of traditional and literate societies respectively.

H. claims that these two visions of logos are not mutually exclusive; the kernel of the problem lies in the inaccurate view that abstract thinking results from literacy. The criterion for the value of logos in archaic Greece was its truthfulness (aletheia), a word etymologically linked to memory. In this light, logos is a means of preserving commonly accepted cultural beliefs, a function recognised in Detienne’s and Martin’s works,1 and aletheia is achieved thanks to the “capacity of a performance to ‘realise’ the mythopoetic life world”. Traces of this oralistic culture can be discerned in the works of the Presocratics, and it persists in the age of the Sophists, who now place the emphasis on the social function of speech rather than on its relation to truth. Gorgias, especially in his Encomium of Helen, programmatically distances himself from poetic tradition, but uses its tools to show the power of logos to act and control audiences by producing various doxai. His legacy should be construed as an effort to add logismos to the received mythopoetic tradition, and to open a window to the pluralism of doxa.

H. returns to Isocrates to claim that he pursues truth and attacks the oral culture of his contemporaries but also integrates in his writings oralistic features in order to exhaust the possibilities of the social function of logos. To support her view, H. examines his quietism, his claims to truth and the traces of oral culture in his logos politikos. According to the traditional accounts of Isocrates’ life, his abstinence from the assembly is attributed to his physical weakness; but it is preferable to see it as a self-conscious effort to broaden the political arena and build a personal image that allows him to recreate deliberative rhetoric. Truth for Isocrates should work in the realms of politics and education, and is linked to the good reputation of individuals. Public orators should act in the interest of the city by telling audiences the truth, and the same applies to educators who profess to offer their students a happy life on the basis of ready-made technai, although a happy life is unforeseeable. The sources of logos politikos are to be traced in the mythopoetic tradition and its distinct ability to unify audiences emotionally through performances; in this sense, tradition serves as the basis for Isocrates’ political and educational programme, while as a writer he enjoys the advantage of saving time. The affinities of Isocrates’ composition with the rhapsodic performance rests in the adoption of rhythm and in the use of intertextuality. H. also borrows Martin’s distinction between muthos and epos, to show that Isocrates is a producer of muthos, a defender of his own reputation; but unlike the rhapsode’s, the rhetor’s ‘I’ is Isocrates’ himself, whose speech seeks to promote the Panhellenic ideal by relying upon a Panhellenic cultural tradition.

In her discussion of Aristotle, H. shows how literacy facilitates his inclination to abstraction and decontextualization of rhetoric. Aristotle recognises the importance of seeing in learning, and in this way minimizes the significance of speech. By collecting endoxa, propositions of popular wisdom, he attempts to produce a system of views which excludes antinomy and detaches logos from its extra-linguistic aspects. A relevant question is how can one pin down the function of endoxa in an art which remains undefined and which is viewed as a part of dialectic. If endoxa form the source of enthymemes, should we say that Aristotle turns his attention to the audiences’ shared beliefs, as Grimaldi suggests?2 H. denies this possibility, because Aristotle has already neutralised endoxa (in the Topics), and also because endoxa are dealt with as logical constructions independently of their performative value in given situational contexts. H. then adduces the example of pathe, an object of investigation that escapes systematisation by its nature, to show Aristotle’s inclination to objectification. She discusses Rhetoric 1404a1-12, to conclude that Aristotle seeks to remove poetry from rhetoric, because for him what should prevail is clarity. Unlike Isocrates, Aristotle sees language as a means of representing things.

In Chapter 2, H. brings in poetry and discusses at length the concept of mimesis. Here, she argues that Aristotle’s view of poetry completes Plato’s political programme, and is opposed to Isocrates’ recognition of performance as a means of political education. The first section of this chapter deals with relatively well-known material concerning mimesis in Plato. H. presents the meanings of mimesis in the Republic, and points out that Plato criticises the educational value of poetry, because (a) its contents are irrelevant to their subject-matter and (b) because it corrupts the audiences. According to H., Plato attacks (a) with his theory of forms because (b) is beyond his control. Aristotle resembles Plato in that he also confines style to the level of cosmetics, but mimesis as identification of the audience poses serious problems to the latter because it escapes an epistemological approach. Plato’s ideal city is threatened by performances because audiences tend to identify emotionally with Protean characters.

H. then criticises Havelock’s reading that Plato’s polemic is influenced by the bias of literate culture; by insisting on the importance of Homeric poetry as an agent of cultural information, Havelock overstresses the “what” and overlooks the “how”. His conclusion that rhythm, melody, and dance serve “memorization” and therefore that epic poetry can carry only little meaning is not feasible because Plato complains that it transmits too much and random experience. H. also argues that Havelock is not right in attributing to performers and audiences an independent identity, possessed by poetic speech; as Plato’s Ion shows, performers acquire personality through performance, and passages from the Republic bring out the philosopher’s worry that the variety of poetic experience may cause confusion about the citizen’s proper role in the polis. Yet, in Ion the threat is done away with by representing the rhapsode as an insane person whose irrationality opposes educational purposes. Havelock’s restricted view results, H. argues, from neglect of the fact that poetic identification can coexist with a rational rehabilitation of it (which she recognises in Isocrates).

H.’s examination of the function of mimesis in Isocrates is based largely on the Antidosis, which she interprets as a defence of the traditional cultural sources and the performative character of civic identity. This work, H. claims, is mimetic in itself because it draws upon forensic procedures to defend educational purposes and because it is intertextually related to Plato’s Apology; Isocrates is confident that his audience will recognise the intertextual presupposition of the Apology because he addresses a literate public which is aware of the rivalry of the two schools, and in doing so he broadens the range of his educational polemic rather than securing for himself the image of a martyr. Yet, the two texts diverge in several respects: Socrates’ wisdom is divine and his philosophy a relentless questioning, whereas for Isocrates philosophia is linked to mousike. In Antidosis 181-4, Isocrates proposes that his concept of philosophia continues a long educational tradition, in which poetry played a predominant role, and he draws an analogy between the training of the body and that of the soul, which should be seen as an answer to Plato’s view that poetry and rhetoric affect the soul in the way that cookery and cosmetics affect the body. Isocrates attributes equal importance to acts and words, and thus aspires that his students not only become good speakers through habituation to praiseworthy logos but also be praised by poetry. According to H., Isocrates concedes the importance of theory in preparing the mind of a prospective citizen, but his philosophia should be construed as a struggle for good reputation, which serves both internal and external purposes — it helps the acquisition of ethos and serves as a “mimetic magnet”. These two purposes are linked by a catalyst, namely pleonexia, which Plato denigrates by explaining it as the constant pursuit of personal gain; in Isocrates it takes on a fresh meaning, acting in the city’s interest because one is recognised for one’s own good reputation. Philosophia now contributes to a student’s progress by the selection of those speeches that concern significant public issues — instead of forensic speeches — and by selection of the appropriate speeches; in this way those who aspire to be good speakers will also be good in action.

H. then discusses the significance of public speeches and the educational value of mimesis. Unlike Plato, Isocrates, by acknowledging the importance of poetic style, favours an educational reformation detached from litigation and including traditional cultural elements; in this way the form of his composition becomes part of his factual evidence. Philosophia on the other hand replaces the traditional educational role of mousike, and in this way Isocrates offers a practical substitute for theoretical pedagogy: by identifying with fictional characters, students become familiar with a diversity of social roles.

Aristotle, unlike Plato (and Isocrates) does not exile mimesis altogether; he accepts its educational value at the early stages of education (Politics) and confines it to the level of style (Poetics, Rhetoric). H. finds three possible applications of mousike in the Politics: play (paidia), education of character, and cultural pursuits. Aristotle seems to attack the Isocratean concept of philosophia as good reputation through public performance, because this would transform a public speaker into a performer who struggles to meet the demands of corrupt audiences; for this reason he restricts mousike to the role of ethismos of young children who, when they become adults, will take interest in advanced cultural engagements.

H. goes on to compare Aristotle’s views on poetry with the views of Plato (and Isocrates). She argues that Aristotle’s difference from Plato is not that he attributes to poetry a cathartic value; in his approach to poetry what emerges as important is the role of mimesis in learning (Poetics 4) and contemplation (sullogizesthai) concerning the object of representation. The contemplative approach to poetry is reflected in Aristotle’s account of its evolution and his explanation of how one learns through it; in Aristotle’s stratification of the constituent elements of tragedy, muthos is recognised as its core because it produces katharsis, that is learning through recognition of the mimetically reproduced cause-effect sequence of events. The division into quantitative and qualitative parts of tragedy allows Aristotle to create a gap between performative and representational mimesis. H.’s discussion of the rest of the constituent elements of tragedy leads to the conclusion that Aristotle privileges the importance of the core element of tragedy in the way that he privileges pisteis in the Rhetoric; but for him poetry is more philosophical because it lends itself to philosophical investigation and because Aristotle neutralises its emotional aspects by attributing to them cognitive value.

In Chapter 3, H. discusses the ever-elusive notion of kairos and in this context examines the tripartite division of the three genres of rhetoric. The first section of the chapter is devoted to Aristotle; according to H., the tripartite division of speeches into deliberative, forensic, and epideictic is due to the fact that he intends to decontextualise them from their social environment. To overcome the difficulty in explaining kairos as an unstable element determined by situational contexts, H. borrows from Bakhtin the notion of “speech genres”, which she places between kairos and genre. Aristotle, in his Rhetoric, seems to accept that each genre of rhetoric concerns a specific audience, and therefore he ascribes to rhetoric a social function; but, according to H., this is untrue, because audiences are taken for granted by Aristotle. This can be seen in his attempt to define the telos of each individual genre on the basis of its contents: deliberative-to sumpheron, forensic-to dikaion, epideictic-to kalon. In what follows, H. examines the characteristics attributed by Aristotle to each genre separately and also includes discussion of parts of book 1 of the Rhetoric concerning the building of propositions, concluding that this work continues the philosopher’s earlier logical treatises, which explains Aristotle’s programmatic declaration that rhetoric is a counterpart of dialectic. A problem is that determining the topoi relevant to each genre would entail that rhetoric demands the knowledge that Aristotle denies to it; according to H. the philosopher provides the answer himself when he separates rhetoric from ethics and politics and when he rules out the possibility that the rhetor possesses knowledge on which he depends.

Epideictic rhetoric is more intriguing because of its self-contained nature: display requires a kind of agreement between speakers and hearers, and form is here more important than content. Epideictic is characterised mainly by augmentation (auxesis), and formal stylistic elements can indeed change pieces of deliberative oratory into praise. In book 1 of the Rhetoric, epideictic is considered to be a distinct genre, whereas in book 3 the existence of epideictic features is recognised in the other genres as well; this is due to the fact that Aristotle deals with speeches without considering their situational contexts, as can be seen in his discussion of auxesis and the use of proems, where inclusion of style and parameters of emotion are imposed by rhetorical practice. In summary, Aristotle presents a deliberative speaker who employs augmentation as going beyond the limits of deliberative rhetoric because he defines its telos on the basis of such an abstraction as to sumpheron.

In the next section, H. examines the notions of kairos and genre in Greek culture. She claims that Aristotle’s taxonomy is betrayed by the extant speeches and goes on to criticise the alternative method of focusing on kairos. Kairos is a notoriously difficult notion to describe, as the summary of views that H. provides shows; according to H., a solution is to be found in the examination of speeches as social performances. To support her argument, H. adduces the distinction between epos and muthos in the Iliad and presents us with the concept of “speech genres” in Bakhtin’s work, a concept removed from the traditional concept of genres. “In Bakhtin’s account, speech genres … constitute the condition of possibility for entering meaningful and socially effective communicative exchange”. This brings discussion to Isocrates, in whose “love of listening” (philekoia), the knowledge of the right moment to intervene, H. finds an equivalent of speech genres.

In his work Against the Sophists (12-13), Isocrates criticises the practice of teaching through model-speeches, for which he offers the alternative of philosophia. He shows a special interest in the knowledge of detecting the appropriate time, a knowledge which is possible to acquire if one realises the social character of discourse. In Demonicus, Isocrates specifies the conditions in which one can speak: when the speaker has ample knowledge of the subject, and when it is necessary to speak. H. offers an example of the Isocratean concept of kairos by examining the Panegyricus, a text that takes into account the historical background and promotes the Panhellenic idea. In this speech, the standard introductory statements of humility are replaced by declarations of the speaker’s awareness of responsibility. Epideictic style is in accordance with the demands of kairos, as comparison with Plato’s Menexenus shows, and traditional material is not brought in simply to meet generic demands, but to illuminate aspects of the current occasion. Similarly, Athenian policies towards Sparta are dealt with in a manner that balances democratic and elitist tendencies. Finally, the use of passages from the Panegyricus in the Antidosis is seen by H. as an effort on the part of Isocrates to colour his work with diachronic value, homologous to the Homeric epic.

The chapter closes with a reference to the rivalry between Isocrates and Aristotle. The latter reduces the former’s speeches to mere stylistic embroidery, and the former replies by complaining about the way in which his texts are read in the Lykeion. Modern scholars have been biased by Aristotle’s criticism, which does not do justice to Isocrates. According to H. Isocrates rejects both tetagmene techne and theory; what he favours is the study of all sorts of speeches that meet various social demands, a study that facilitates the speakers’ ability to act and speak en kairôi.

Chapter 4 turns to questions about rhetorical audiences. Here, in order to specify the divergences in Isocrates’ and Aristotle’s approaches to audiences, H. uses the terms “identification” and “persuasion”. After a brief presentation of peithô in Greek culture, H. proposes that Isocrates views logos both as a means of persuasion and a creator of culture, whereas for Aristotle to pithanon, a neuter and neutralised formulation, is a means of exercising influence upon opinion. Unlike several Aristotelians who favour the view of active contribution of the audiences in making sense of the enthymemes, H. borrows from Burke the notion of identification, which “concerns itself with the state of ‘Babel after the fall’ by forging alliance out of the condition of disunity”.3 H. also presents the role of identification in Althusser’s and Buthler’s thought and then passes to discussion of Isocrates’ vision of speech as a hegemôn (‘leader’).

Given that Isocrates’ pamphlets resemble written versions of speeches addressed to live audiences, H. attempts to specify the nature of the audiences and to explain why his speeches are modeled upon ‘democratic’ rhetoric, although they are delivered before civic crowds. H. proposes that the answer lies in Isocrates’ vision of speech as a creator of culture. As the ‘Hymn to Logos’ (in Nicocles) shows, Isocrates believes that logos creates communities, and more significantly he goes beyond the traditional belief concerning the creation of civilised life because he grants logos the status of a leader (hegemôn). Unlike other accounts of logos, Isocrates considers it to have a formative value both in matters of conduct and politics. The Areopagiticus, a speech in which she discerns identification both in its intention and approach to the audience. The speech is not a conservative manifesto, because this would entail that Isocrates promotes the return to good old days; what he actually attempts, is to make citizens reflect on the role of their city in the Panhellenic environment. H. discusses several central themes of the speech in detail: the analogy between the city and human body, whose soul is its politeia; Athens as the saviour of the rest of the Greek cities and its present situation; the balance between democratic and conservative attitudes; condemnation of legalism as a means of civic participation. In sum, Isocrates attacks institutionalism and regards power as a concomitant of rhetorical identification.

Aristotle represents a different approach to audiences but also converges with Isocrates in that he removes himself from Plato by recognising that humans are zôa politika, that speech distinguishes men from beasts, and that there is no gap between human speech and the values that it communicates. Aristotle differs from Isocrates in that he presupposes (in the Politics) the existence of a natural polis with specific social relationships, which speech represents rather than constitutes. Non-corrupt constitutions (aristocracy, monarchy, and politeia) require the existence of this natural polis, and virtue in the context of a given constitution takes on a different meaning from human virtue: under politeia artisans could be granted citizenly virtue, but this is not the case with aristocracy, in which political and personal virtue coincide. Although Isocrates shares Aristotle’s elitism, he differs from him in that speech as hegemôn underlies all sorts of relationships and does not strengthen already existent social differences.

H. then attempts to explain Aristotle’s Rhetoric in the context of his political thought. The problem is, she argues, that the art of persuasion stands between speech — necessary for political beings — and the political art of a legislator. His Rhetoric does not designate the use of logos in pursuit of virtue but prescribes persuasive tools of influencing opinion in a corrupt politeia. Hence Aristotle’s attempt is reformative, a correction of the existing democracy, where the many have no claims to governance. This can be seen in Aristotle’s correction of corrupt constitutions, which includes submission of the many to the leisured seekers of virtue; but knowledge of the regimes is the most important means of persuasion, and this explains his attack on stylistic devices that affect deliberation.

In Aristotle, audiences are restricted to the role of a measuring tool, a kanôn, and those approaches to enthymemes that acknowledge the audiences’ contribution in completing the speaker’s reasoning are wrong because Aristotle clearly advises speakers not to mix enthymemes with emotions and because other rhetorical features (e.g. the narratives) also involve ethos and pathos. His rational approach to enthymemes is discerned in his discussion of forensic oratory: judges should pay attention only to the laws, without being interested in interpreting them. Aristotelian audiences should be able to decode representations of the expedient, the just, or the praiseworthy, without necessarily possessing phronesis. At the end of this chapter, H. criticises Farrell’s view concerning the participation of the audiences; but Farrell’s perception of the self, as a reflection of the otherness, is granted by Aristotle only to those enlightened, who are able to build relationships on philia.3

In Chapter 5, H. links the two central words of her title: logos and power. She claims that there have been two major methods of studying ancient rhetoric: “historical deconstruction” and “contemporary appropriation”, and that the pair speech and power reflects the modern tendency of examining political matters with discursive tools. Speech is then examined as dunastes in Gorgias, hegemôn in Isocrates, and dunamis in Aristotle.

Gorgias, along with other Sophists, represents an unprecedented radicalism which prompted political change and for this reason excited the interest of American scholars in the 1960’s. This image is brought out in his work Encomium of Helen, which, H. argues, presents mythopoetic logos both as violence (bia) and a plaything (paignion). The dynastic power of logos is now applied within the context of democracies, and speech is taken to challenge stable and unquestioned truths. As Gorgias’ discussion of the myth of Helen shows, truth is an image of opinion (doxa) and the received tradition is “defamiliarized”. But the Sophists’ educational programme includes both social change and social stability: the omnipotence of speech replaces aristocratic descent, but speakers can put across through logos traditional cultural beliefs.

Aristotle on the other hand, H. argues, attempts both to dispel logos from its magic and systematise means of rational persuasion; since rhetoric is an elusive object of investigation, he gathers together pieces of culture to fulfil his own objectives. Rhetoric as dunamis is unable to form political subjects and Aristotle also isolates other cultural discourses from it. In his theoretical works, he distinguishes dunamis from energeia since the former does not necessarily bring about action. Garver attempts to show that rhetoric as dunamis is not incompatible with civic art, because one can study it epi paideia, in order to learn how persuasion works rather than exercise it.4 H. argues that this is not feasible; Garver’s picture would fit Isocrates, not Aristotle who places phronesis below episteme and above art, and who intends to confine decision making to following the laws.

For Aristotle social roles are natural and independent from the practices of persuasion; these roles, which he examines in the Politics, are discussed at length by H. to conclude that rhetoric as dunamis can be used by the few privileged who exercise phronesis in order to secure the consent of the many and thus change the present corrupt regime into the desired politeia. Rhetoric as dunamis cannot contribute to the improvement of conduct, as Garver claims, because phronesis is a prerequisite that comes before involvement in rhetoric, and consequently it is impossible for rhetoric to have a constitutive power.

Isocrates on the other hand, intervenes in the life of the polis, and attempts to find ways of compromising politics with rhetoric. But his civic activity poses two problems: (a) his work is integral to the agonistic display context of the city, and (b) his theoretical theses on logos cannot be separated from their wider situational context. Nevertheless, it is exactly the performative nature of his writings that allows his logos politikos to contribute to the formation of a pluralistic polis; away from the arenas of decision making, Isocrates attempts to create a new space for the discussion of civic issues. But before moving to the examination of his concept of logos, in relation to Gorgias and Aristotle, H. proposes that one should deal with the view that his writings are “little more than a cautionary tale about the dangers of political aesthetics”. She dismisses Vitanza’s argument that Isocrates’ paideia prompted the class bias that formed the ideological basis of the Third Reich as anachronistic.5 Finley also criticises Isocrates for elitism and modern historians for being nostalgic of ‘traditional education’, for which he proposed the teaching of “a relevant past”.6 According to H. however, Isocrates meets the demands of modern education, especially because he stigmatises individualism; H. also addresses Vitanza’s argument that Isocrates expands imperialism and that the idea of “manifest destiny” was modeled upon the Greco-Roman paradigm: Vitanza’s argument is based on the misconception that Jaeger is the continuator of Isocrates; the Panhellenic ideal, which Isocrates fervently propounds, is a rhetorical topos of the 5th and 4th centuries; and his references to the historical past serve as a means of recollecting the common identity.

When compared to Gorgias or Aristotle, Isocrates seems to favour a more democratic vision of public discourse; for him logos is a leader (hegemôn) because it creates institutions, secures social order and at the same time challenges it. In spite of the differences between ancient and modern cultures, Isocrates seems to fit our postmodern world. Speech as hegemon lacks the self-referentiality of postmodernism, it is not an empty cell. Isocrates disengages politics from institutions and deliberation, and through his writings adopts several roles. In Nicocles, a tyrant is made to defend his status through verbal persuasion, in the same way that a public speaker has to defend the common interest. Both a tyrant and a democratic citizen have to recognise the power of speech as an hegemôn. Such a vision of speech does not attribute to it inherent aggressive characteristics, as Gorgias does, but depends its effectiveness upon the quality of its performance.

In the final chapter, H. offers discussion of the possible implications of her conclusions to the function of modern education and politics. She observes that rhetoric in American universities plays an instrumental role which resembles the role to which Aristotle confines it. Rhetoric is applied in communication studies and public relations, in a context that produces individuals without civic consciousness. Models provided by the mass media enhance cultural values that serve the interests of gigantic companies through the process of mimesis. Therefore, it is worthwhile to examine how the Isocratean version of rhetorical education would serve the needs of modern education. H. proposes that the teaching of argumentative skills should be put aside, because it minimizes the ideological charge of discourse. Students should be encouraged to investigate the social context where they live in and to develop a critical relationship with it. The teaching of texts, for example, should focus on the social or political problems posed by them and their explanation as possible answers to current historical situations, and students should also actively participate by intervening to their environment through several kinds of “speech genres” (antiwar petitions, articles, documentaries on consumerism etc).

The book is meant for readers who have sufficient knowledge of the authors it discusses, and its argumentation is generally coherent. In our times of scholarly careerism, books that carry their author’s care for what they are doing and thought about why they are doing it are more than welcome. H. uses theory from different fields to support her arguments, but in some cases the works she refers to are not presented sufficiently enough; her discussion of Bakhtin’s “speech genres” especially leaves her argument a bit dangling. In the final chapter, H. makes interesting points about the possible value of Isocrates’ educational programme in American universities, but it would be interesting to have her views on how this programme would work in the context of globalization and imperialistic aggression. In her discussion of peithô one would expect a reference to Buxton’s excellent book, and I was surprised not to find Buchheim’s commentary on Gorgias in the bibliography. There are some minor misprints.


1. Detienne, M. (1996) Masters of Truth in Archaic Greece. Translated by Janet Lloyd. New York. Martin, R. (1989) The Language of Heroes: Speech and Performance in the Iliad, Ithaca, N.Y.

2. Burke, K. (1969) A Rhetoric of Motives, Berkeley.

3. Farrell, T. B. (1976), “Knowledge, Consensus, and Rhetorical Theory”, Quarterly Journal of Speech 62, 1-14.

4. Garver, E. (1994) Aristotle’s Rhetoric: An Art of Character, Chacago.

5. Vitanza, V. (1997) Negation, Subjectivity, and the History of Rhetoric, Albany.

6. Finley, M. I. (1975) The Use and Abuse of History, New York.