Changing the Authoritative Voice: Lycurgus' "Against Leocrates"

Classical Antiquity 19 (1):5-33 (2000)

Abstract

Lycurgus' "Against Leocrates" has long been seen as an anomaly in the oratorical corpus by scholars of ancient rhetoric. Its extensive use of quotations from the poets and of personification are two features regularly picked out as especially odd and inexplicable by critics. This paper argues that these and other features of the speech are central to Lycurgus' attempt to persuade his jury to accept his radically un-Athenian political views. In fact, Lycurgus has rejected Athenian approaches to punishment, prosecution, and politics in favor of Platonic views, which bear the taint of the elite philosophical schools. The quotation and the personification are two techniques that Lycurgus uses to craft a "new prosecutorial voice" that will overcome his audience's objections to his elitist and even Platonic political positions. I contend that the whole speech may be read as a study in how to craft a "voice" or form of oratorical self-presentation that will persuade an audience to accept heterodox political views

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-03-20

Downloads
22 (#518,150)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Gypsy Travellers and Education: Changing Needs and Changing Perceptions.Kalwant Bhopal - 2004 - British Journal of Educational Studies 52 (1):47 - 64.
Lycurgus 1.149 and Those Two Voting Urns.Ian Worthington - 2001 - Classical Quarterly 51 (1):301-304.
Autonomy and Credibility: Voice as Method.Ira J. Cohen & Mary F. Rogers - 1994 - Sociological Theory 12 (3):304-318.
The Rhetra of Lycurgus: Φυλα and Βα.John L. Myres - 1951 - The Classical Review 1 (02):67-68.
The Spartan Rhetra in Plutarch Lycurgus VI.H. T. Wade-Gery - 1943 - Classical Quarterly 37 (1-2):62-.