Nicole Loraux, The
Invention of Athens: The Funeral Oration in the Classical City
Zone Books, 2006
The Greek Sophists, Eds. John Dillon and Tania Gergel
Aristotle,The Art of Rhetoric
Harvard UP, 2006
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine
Prentice Hall, 1958
Cicero, De Inventione
Harvard UP, 1976
Institutes of Oratory
course offers an introduction to some of the basic figures and
issues connected to rhetoric from the ancient period (Greece and
Rome) through the Middle Ages. Before we can begin, you need
to know your
Homer. If you do not, please read the
Iliad and the Odyssey before the course begins.
The Fagles translation (recommended) of both poems is
available at the TWU Bookstore.
You cannot hope to understand the ancient world without
knowing Homer. After dealing with Homer, our course takes up
the group of instructors called the Sophists, and almost all
the major matters flow from their work, such as issues of
truth-telling and lying, and the esoteric versus the exoteric.
Plato and Aristotle will take up the question of whether
philosophy and rhetoric can co-exist. The Romans inherit the
Greek tradition, and then attempt to provide their own
responses to the same matters.
The course will be a mixture of primary sources coupled with
narratives and interpretive accounts of the history of rhetoric by
some of the key contemporary scholars. Although knowledge of ancient
Latin are not required, we will do some work in Greek and
Latin (some of it via the
Perseus Project). Every graduate student of rhetoric ought to be able to
cope with the original languages, at least in a rudimentary way. The
history of rhetoric up through the medieval period covers centuries. The possibilities
for study could occupy more than one lifetime.