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Keeping to the Point: Law, Rhetoric and Character in Athenian Forensic Oratory - 12-13/09/2019, Edinburgh (Scotland)



The School of History, Classics and Archaeology of the University of Edinburgh is happy to announce the conference ‘Keeping to the Point: Law, Rhetoric and Character in Athenian Forensic Oratory’.

The nature of Athenian trial has been one of the most disputed aspects of Athenian Law. Some recent works see little connection between Law and rhetoric. According to these views, once the case was in court, litigants used various rhetorical strategies such as appeals to pity, boasting about public service and character assassination to win a verdict and paid little attention to the letter of the law. These views, however, downplay the importance of institutions  and are out of step with more recent studies on the Athenian Law and legal procedure.

This conference will explore the relationship between Law and judicial rhetoric by providing a thorough analysis of some of the most relevant forensic speeches from Classical Athens. The aim of this conference is to show the close connection between legal procedures, institutions and rhetorical arguments, and to foster new methodological reflections that have relevance for students of ancient history and rhetoric, and legal and political institutions. 


FECHA/ DATE/DATA: 12-13/09/2019


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: School of History, University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Serena Cammoranesi (Manchester) ; Matt Ingham (Manchester) ; Paul Reichetanz (Rostock)








onference Programme

12th September 2019

9.00- 9.45: Registration

9.45:    Introduction

10.15 - Alberto Esu (Universität Mannheim)

            Keeping to the point in Graphai Paranomon: Civic Honours and Character Evidence in Demosthenes’ Against Androtion and Against Aristocrates

11.00 - Mirko Canevaro (University of Edinburgh)

            Relevance and the scope of arguments from lawfulness in graphe nomon me epitedeion theinai speeches

11.45:  Coffee/Tea

12.00 - Guy Westwood (University of Oxford)

            The Rhetoric of the Graphe Paranomon in Demosthenes’ On the Crown

12.45-14.00: Lunch

14.00 - Annabella Oranges (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milano)

            Keeping to the Athenian law on Bribery beyond Rhetoric and Persuasion: some Reflections

14.45 - Matteo Barbato (University of Birmingham)

            Gossip, morals, and poetry: legal relevance in Aeschines’ Against Timarchus

15.30-16.00: Coffee/Tea

16.00 - Jakub Filonik (Jagiellonian University in Krakow)

             How does Lycurgus keep to his point?

16.45 - Edward Harris (University of Edinburgh/University of Durham):

            The Nature of the Probole and the Legal Charge in Against Meidias: The Challenges of Proving a Charge of     Hybris

17.30 -  Linda Rocchi (University of Edinburgh)

             Did Ariston keep to the Point? Dike aikeias and Dike Hybreos in Demosthenes’ Against Conon

18.15: Drinks Reception

19.30: Conference Dinner


13th September 2019

9.30 - James Sickinger (Florida State University)

           Lysias 13 and the Case against Agoratus

10.15 - Ben Clapperton (University of Durham)

            Standards of Relevance and Rhetorical Strategies in the Areopagus and in the Popular Courts: Was there a Difference?

11.00-11.30: Coffee/Tea

11.30 - Rebecca Van Hove (Université de Liège/Collège de France)

            Trial and error: the suppliant’s bough and Andocides’ impiety

12.15 - Brenda Griffith-Williams (University College London)

             Character Evidence in Four Athenian Inheritance Disputes (Isaios 4,7, 8, and 10)

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00 - Giacinto Falco (Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa)

            Against Timotheus or Morality at the service of Law

14.45 - Stefano Ferrucci (Università di Siena)

            Rhetoric and the Rule of Law: The Case of Apollodorus’ Against Neaera

15.30: Concluding Remarks

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