103A: History of Rhetorical Theory I
Instructor(s) Dale Carrico
Rhetoric was conceived in antiquity as the art of speaking well. But the act of speaking, peer to peer, was always also a doing of deeds, and even well done it could do you in -- whether one was declaiming in the assemblies and courts of the radical democracies and anti-democracies of the Greek city-states, or drawing up ideal Republics in dreamy discourses among scholars, or engaging in the rough and tumble of state-craft and electioneering in the all too real and corrupt Republic of Rome, or circulating satires among snickers in the shadow of Emperors. Although we will be reading texts in which philosophy declares its opposition to rhetoric's opportunism and deceit, we will read them as rhetorical skirmishes in the politics of truth-telling. Although we will read discourses on civic deliberation, we will read them as anxious testaments to ubiquitous violence. Although we will be reading orations aspiring to a world of Heroes and of Men, we will read them as brutal reflections on a world in which many were not heroes and many were not men.
We will be reading works by Aristophanes, Aristotle, Marcus and Quintus Cicero, Euripides, Gorgias, Homer, Juvenal, Libanus, Petronius, Plato, Quintillian, Sappho, Seneca, Suetonius, Terence, and Thucydides. All of the readings will be available either online or in a course reader.