Friday, 26 May 2017

Rebecca Van Hove presents a working paper on 'Religious authority in Attic oratory'

This text is the first chapter of my thesis and is concerned with the notion of religious authority. It starts off by presenting an oracle story told by the orator Lykourgos in a judicial speech, which serves as illustration of the way in which different, conflicting authorities, such as the Athenian demos and the gods, but also the demos’ laws, the gods’ unwritten laws, the god’s oracular message, and the human interpretation of this message, influence decision-making processes in classical Athens. The chapter then moves on to examine how we can begin to understand such episodes: the first part deals with the concept and definition of authority; the second part applies this to religious authority in ancient Greece; the third part examines how a notion of authority as a contested-and-constructed process affects the reading of oratory as a genre.

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