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Hellenistic OratoryContinuity and Change$
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Christos Kremmydas and Kathryn Tempest

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654314.001.0001

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Paradoxon, Enargeia, Empathy: Hellenistic Decrees and Hellenistic Oratory

Paradoxon, Enargeia, Empathy: Hellenistic Decrees and Hellenistic Oratory

(p.200) (p.201) 9 Paradoxon, Enargeia, Empathy: Hellenistic Decrees and Hellenistic Oratory
Hellenistic Oratory

Angelos Chaniotis

Oxford University Press

This chapter maintains that the narrations of Hellenistic decrees are a useful source for the oratory during this period. It emphasizes the cross-pollination of oratory, drama, and historiography, and between politics and theatre. Some of the decrees analyzed suggest that audiences in Hellenistic assemblies, even in the smaller cities, were as fascinated by the public performance of oratory as their Classical predecessors. The analysis of three aspects of these inscriptions leaves demonstrate the importance of oratorical performance and the vitality of oratory in the Hellenistic period: an emphasis on the tragic element of paradoxon (‘swift reversals of fortune’); a focus on visualizing narrated scenes (enargeia); and a recurrent attempt to stir the emotions of the audience.

Keywords:   hellenistic decrees, oratory, historiography, theatricality, arousal of emotions, enargeia, paradoxon

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