Essay questions: Term 1
Please note the University’s new proofreading policy and adapt your cover sheet accordingly!
Please refer to your UG HANDBOOK for a guide towards essay writing and marking criteria.
UPDATED bibliographies will appear on this page in due course.
Deadline: Thursday 23 November, 2017 (week 8)
1. Did the image of Mark Antony survive Cicero’s Philippics?
Cicero, Philippics (esp. I-II)
Plutarch, Life of Antony (in: Makers of Rome. Nine Lives)
W. Shakespeare, Antony & Cleopatra
T. Duff, Plutarch’s Lives: Exploring Virtue and Vice, 1999
W. Fitzgerald, ‘Oppositions, Anxieties and Ambiguities in the Toga Movie’, in S.R. Joshel/M. Malamud/ DT McGuire (eds), Imperial Projections: Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture, 2001,
R. Kelly, Mark Antony and Popular Culture. Masculinity and the Construction of an Icon, 2014
2. Did Cicero’s key rhetorical strategies in his late forensic speeches have a genuine impact on the events?
Cicero, Pro Milone
J. Hall, ‘The Philippics’, in J. May (ed.), The Brill Companion to Cicero. Oratory and Rhetoric, 2002, 273-304
J. May, ‘The final years. The loss and recovery of independence, and the ethos of a patriot’, in eiusdem. Trials of Character. The Eloquence of Ciceronian Ethos, 1988, 128-161
3. Are women’s voices represented in Classical Greek oratory?
Look up the trials of Phrynè and Neaira…
Gagarin, M. 2001 ‘Women’s voices in Attic Oratory’, in A. Lardinois & L. McClure, Making Silence Speak. Women’s Voices in Greek Literature & Society, Princeton, 161-176
McClure, L. 2003 Spoken like a Woman. Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama, Princeton
4. Is there a connection between art and rhetoric in antiquity?
Elsner, J. & Meyer, M. (eds) (2014), Art and Rhetoric in Roman Culture
Newby, Z. (2016) ‘Paideia, Rhetoric and Self-Representation: Responses to mythological wall paintings, in Z. Newby, Greek myths in Roman art and culture, 2016, 137-163
Platt, V. 2014 "Agamemnon's Grief: on the Limits of Expression in Roman Rhetoric and Painting," in J. Elsner and M. Meyer (eds.), Art and Rhetoric in Roman Culture. Cambridge University Press, 211-31
5. How did rhetorical training affect the careers of the likes of Demosthenes, Aeschines and Cicero?
Plutarch, Lives (Orators)
Kremmydas, C., Powell, J. and Rubinstein L. eds 2013, Profession and Performance. Aspects of Oratory in the Greco-Roman World, BICS Suppl. 123
Marrou, H.-I. (1956), A History of Education in Antiquity (original French edition: 1948)
Essay questions: Term 2
deadline: Wednesday 28 February
1. How does rhetoric affect ancient historiography as a source for the modern historian?
(take at least two examples; choose from either Greek or Latin historiographers)
C. De Jonge, Dionysius of Halicarnassus on Thucydides, in S. Forsdyke, E. Foster and R. Balot (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Thucydides, 2017
Andrew Laird ‘The Rhetoric of Roman Historiography’, in A. Feldherr (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Roman Historians, 2009, 197-213
Peter Van Nuffelen, Orosius and the Rhetoric of History, Oxford, 2015
Tony Woodman, Rhetoric in Classical Historiography: Four Studies, London, 1988
Harvey Yunis, ‘Thucydides on Periclean Rhetoric and political instruction’ in Taming Democracy
2. Why is Tacitus so prone to using literary (especially poetic) language in writing history?
Tacitus, Annales; Dialogus de oratoribus
Alex Dressler, 'Politics of conspiracy and hermeneutics of suspicion in Tacitus' Dialogus de oratoribus', Classical Antiquity 32-1, 2013, 1-34
Francesca Santoro L’hoir, Tragedy, Rhetoric, and the Historiography of Tacitus’ Annales, Ann Arbor 2006
Christopher van der Berg, The World of Tacitus' Dialogus de oratoribus: aesthetics and empire in imperial Rome, 2014
3. Can a tragic hero be persuaded through speech?
(take at least two examples; choose from Greek or Latin tragedies)
Sophocles, Ajax; Philoctetes; Antigone
G. Braden, 'The rhetoric and psychology of power in the dramas of Seneca', Arion 9, 1970, 5-41
Page Du Bois, 'the Death of the Character', International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 21-3, 2014, 301-308
A. L. Motto & J. R. Clark, 'Tenebrae and the wandering spouse', Rheinisches Museum 131/3-4, 1988, 338-342
Sarah Nooter, When heroes sing: Sophocles and the Shifting Soundscape of tragedy, 2012
4. Was Plato an enemy of rhetoric?
Plato, Gorgias; Phaedrus; Menexenus
Ann N. Michelini (ed.), Plato as author: the rhetoric of Philosophy, 2003
J. Mitscherling, The Image of a Second Sun: Plato on poetry, rhetoric, and the technè of mimesis, 2009
C. Schefer, 'Rhetoric as part of an initiation into the mysteries: a new interpretation of the Platonic Phaedrus', in A. N. Michelini (ed), Plato as author, 2003, 175-196
G. Wardy, The Birth of Rhetoric: Gorgias, Plato, and their successors, 1996
Harvey Yunis, 'Plato's Rhetoric', in I. Worthington (ed.), A Companion to Greek Rhetoric, 2010
5. To what extent is the so-called Second Sophistic a triumph of (masculine) performance?
M. Gleason, 'Shock and awe: the performance dimension of Galen's anatomy demonstrations', in C. Gill et alii, Galen and the World of Knowledge, 2009
M. Gleason, Making Men. Sophists and Self-Presentation in Ancient Rome, 1995
S. Swain, 'The Three Faces of Lucian', in C. Ligota and L. Panizza (eds), Lucian of Samosata Vivus et Redivivus, Warburg Institute Colloquia 10, 2007, p. 17-44
S. Swain, Hellenism and Empire, 1996 ( see individual chapters on prominent Second Sophistic figures)
6. Is Odysseus the archetypal orator?
(you may study Odysseus as a figure of eloquence in Homer, Sophocles, Ovid…)