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Demosthenes' "On the Crown"

Demosthenes' "On the Crown"

Rhetorical Perspectives

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Edited by James J. Murphy

$40.00

E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
978-0-8093-3511-4

10/04/2016

Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address

 

Additional Materials

About the Book

Demosthenes’ speech On the Crown (330 B.C.E.), in which the master orator spectacularly defended his public career, has long been recognized as a masterpiece. The speech has been in continuous circulation from Demosthenes’ lifetime to the present day, and multiple generations have acclaimed it as the greatest speech ever written. In addition to a clear and accessible translation, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives includes eight essays that provide a thorough analysis—based on Aristotelian principles—of Demosthenes’ superb rhetoric.

The volume includes biographical and historical background on Demosthenes and his political situation; a structural analysis of On the Crown; and an abstract of Aeschines’ speech Against Ctesiphon to which Demosthenes was responding. Four essays by contributors analyze Demosthenes’ speech using key elements of rhetoric defined by Aristotle: ethos, the speaker’s character or authority; pathos, or emotional appeals; logos, or logical appeals; and lexis, a speaker’s style. An introduction and an epilogue by Murphy frame the speech and the rhetorical analysis of it.

By bringing together contextual material about Demosthenes and his speech with a translation and astute rhetorical analyses, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives highlights the oratorical artistry of Demosthenes and provides scholars and students with fresh insights into a landmark speech.

Authors/Editors

James J. Murphy, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than twenty-four books on rhetoric, including A Short History of Writing Instruction and A Synoptic History of Classical Rhetoric.

Contributors include Lois P. Agnew, Francis P. Donnelly SJ, Richard Leo Enos, Richard A. Katula, John J. Keaney, David C. Mirhady, Donovan J. Ochs, and Jeffrey Walker.

Reviews

“This remarkable collection reveals the main strengths of Demosthenes’ speech On the Crown, including argumentative strategies, moral and psychological proofs, structural organization, and stylistic choices. James J. Murphy has devised an indispensable tool for scholars. To general readers, this book will provide a gateway to one of the most important works to have ever appeared in the history of rhetoric.”—Laurent Pernot, University of Strasbourg, past president of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric
 
“This book presents material that is crucial to classical rhetoric in the West. There is both a retrieval of historical interpretations of the speech and an offering of new interpretations, fulfilling a great need for the translation and the commentaries in an accessible form.”—Kathleen Ethel Welch, author of The Contemporary Reception of Classical Rhetoric

"By bringing together contextual material about Demosthenes and his speech with a translation and astute rhetorical analyses, Demosthenes'"On the Crown":Rhetorical Perspectives highlights the oratorical artistry of Demosthenes and provides scholars and students with fresh insights into a landmark speech." —Midwest Book Review