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The Rhetoric of (dis)unity: Community and division in Greco-Roman prose and poetry - 23-24/11/2017,


This conference aims to shed new light on the capacity of rhetoric, as used in Greek and Roman prose (mainly oratory and historiography) and poetry (mainly in tragedy and comedy), to promote either bonding and affiliation or distancing and division between the speaker and the audience. From the ancient Greco-Roman courts and assemblies to today’s political discourse, rhetoric is inherently divisive. It focuses on appealing to core groups and defining oneself against others.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 23-24/11/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Athens University Museum (Athens, Greece)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Andreas Michalopoulos (Athens); Flaminia Beneventano della Corte (Siena); Andreas Serafim (Cyprus); Alessandro Vatri (Oxford).



Gratis/free /gratuito


Thursday – 23 November 2017

09:00-09:45 Registration (Coffee/Tea)

09:45-10:00 Welcome speeches

Panel 1 ~ The Rhetorical Triangle: Authors, Speakers and Audiences

Chair: Mary Yossi (Athens)

10:00-10:30 Ioannis Konstantakos (Athens): Divided audiences and how to win them over: The case of Aristophanes’ Acharnians

10:30-11:00 Eleni Volonaki (Kalamata): Rhetorical techniques of identification/hostility between speakers and audience in eisangelia cases

11:00-11:30 Robert Sing (Cambridge): Trust me, I am not an expert: Identifying with a moral ethos

11:30-12:00 Noboru Sato (Kobe University): Thorubos in Athenian speeches, a sign of (dis)unity

12:00-12:30 Cristina Rosillo-Lopez (Spain): Bonding with the audience in trials: the importance of the corona in the Late Roman Republic

12:30-13:30 Lunch

Panel 2 ~ Rhetorical Techniques of Unity and Division

Chair: Dimitrios Karadimas (Athens)

13:30-14:00 Dimos Spatharas (Crete): Emotions, out-groups and the construction of social identities in the Attic orators

14:00-14:30 Andreas Serafim (Cyprus): A War in Words: Mockery, laughter and the rhetorics of (dis)unity in Attic oratory

14:30-15:00 George Paraskeviotis (Cyprus): Humorous unity and disunity between the characters in Vergil’s Eclogues 1, 2 and 3

15:00-15:30 Bé Breij (Radboud University Nijmegen): “It takes more love to kill a son than to vindicate him”: how maxims may contribute to affiliation

15:30-16:00 Stratis Kyriakidis (Thessaloniki): Anadiplōsis and geminatio in Ausonius: Rhetorical theory and poetic praxis

16:00-16:30 Coffee/Tea Break

Panel 3 ~ Constructed Communities

Chair: Christos Fakas (Athens)

16:30-17:00 Lene Rubinstein (London): Cruelty and Community in Greek oratory and historiography

17:00-17:30 Nick Fisher (Cardiff): Creating a Cultural Community: Aeschines and Demosthenes

17:30-18:00 Roger Brock (Leeds): Citizens and demesmen in Athenian rhetoric

18:00-18:30 Brenda Griffith-Williams (London): Everybody knows: the “common knowledge” topos in Athenian forensic oratory

18:30-19:00 Tzu-I Liao (London): Persuading “us”: Demosthenes’ strategy of using the collective identity in the Assembly

19:00-19:30 Coffee/Tea Break

Keynote speech

Chair: Katerina Carvounis (Athens)

19:30-20:30 Philip Hardie (Cambridge): Concordia and Discordia in late antique Latin poetry: The rhetoric of community and dissension in church and state

21:00 Dinner (at a local restaurant)

Friday – 24 November 2017

Panel 4 ~ Arguments and Concepts in the Construction of Communities

Chair: Amphilochios Papathomas (Athens)

09:00-09:30 Ilias Arnaoutoglou (Athens): “Corporate” rhetoric and identity-building in Athenian Hellenistic associations

09:30-10:00 Myrto Aloumpi (Oxford): Creating community through the rhetoric of charis: deliberative versus forensic oratory

10:00-10:30 Flaminia Beneventano (Siena): Rhetoric of the humans, rhetoric of the gods. Deigmata, phasmata and the construction of evidence

10:30-11:00 Michael Paschalis (Crete): The Rhetorical Strategy of Cicero’s On Divination

11:00-11:30 Simone Mollea (Warwick): Humanitas: a double-edged sword in Apuleius the orator?

11:30-12:00 Coffee/Tea Break

Panel 5 ~ Rhetorical unity and division in the Roman world

Chair: Sophia Papaioannou (Athens)

12:00-12:30 Paulo Martins (Sao Paulo): The Neoteric Poetry and Old Voices in Early Empire

12:30-13:00 Andreas N. Michalopoulos (Athens): Fighting against an intruder: Τhe speeches of Pentheus (3.531-563) and Niobe (6.170-202) in Ovid’s Metamorphoses

13:00-14:00 Lunch

Keynote speech

Chair: Rozalia Hadjilambrou (Athens)

14:00-15:00 Michael Edwards (Roehampton): TBA

Panel 6 ~ Gender

Chair: Grammatiki Karla (Athens)

15:00-15:30 Stefano Ferrucci (Siena): Vanishing Mothers. The (de)construction of Personal Identity in Attic Forensic Speeches

15:30-16:00 T. Davina McClain (Northwestern State University): Cato vs Valerius/Men vs Women: Rhetorical Strategies in The Oppian Law Debate in Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita

16:00-16:30 Coffee/Tea Break

Panel 7 ~ Textual Communities in Literary and Scientific Genres

Chair: Evgenia Makrigiani (Athens)

16:30-17:00 Christos Kremmydas (London): Dio Chrysostom on (dis)unity in the cities of the Greek East under Roman rule

17:00-17:30 Marco Romani Mistretta (Harvard): Finding unity through knowledge: narrative and identity-building in Greek technical prose

17:30-18:00 Maria Kythreotou (Cyprus): Antithesis as a (dis)uniting figure in Thucydidean speeches

18:00-18:30 Vasileios Liotsakis (Heidelberg): How to Satisfy Everyone: Balance between Unity and Division in Arrian’s Anabasis of Alexander

18:30-19:00 Alessandro Vatri (Oxford): Divisive scholarship: affiliation dynamics in ancient Greek literary criticism

19:00-19:15 Conclusions

20:15 Dinner (at a local restaurant)

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