English 6323

History of Rhetoric

Course Pages and Resources

Week 1: Introductions/Overview

September 4: Why do History?
Readings:              Octalog. “The Politics of Historiography.” Rhetoric Review, Vol. 7, No. 1. (Autumn, 1988), 5-49.
This article is available through the library's online access to the journal (through JSTOR).
Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0735-0198%28198823%297%3A1%3C5%3ATPOH%3E2.0.CO%3B2-P

September 11: Socrates, Plato, and the Sophists

Plato’s Gorgias <http://philosophy.eserver.org/plato/gorgias.txt>


  1. Biographical information on Socrates and Plato
  2. Context and information on Gorgias
September 18: Plato and the Sophists continued

Phaedrus < http://philosophy.eserver.org/plato/phaedrus.txt>

Ramsey Eric Ramsey. "A Hybrid Technê of the Soul?: Thoughts on the Relation between Philosophy and Rhetoric in Gorgias and Phaedrus." Rhetoric Review, 17. 2 (Spring, 1999), 247-262. [Available through JSTOR]


  1. Political and historical information on Plato’s Greece
  2. Critical article on one of Plato’s works (from our readings).
    (see bibliography)

September 25: The Sophists

Sophist < http://philosophy.eserver.org/plato/sophist.txt>
Gorgias of Leontini’s  On the Nonexistent <http://www.wfu.edu/%7Ezulick/300/gorgias/negative.html>


  1. The Third Sophistic
  2. The Rise of Democracy in Athens (esp. 500-300 B.C.)
  3. Aspasia of Miletus (summary handout and bibliography from D. Wilson)

October 2nd: A. Isocrates B. Book Reviews


Isocrates. "Against the Sophists."

-----. "Antidosis." http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Aabo%3Atlg%2C0010%2C019&query=1

[both texts are available courtesy of the Perseus Digital Library Project]

Enos, Richard. "Review Essay: Plato's Dream of Sophistry, Richard Marback." Rhetoric Review,18.1. (Autumn, 1999), 181-184.

Naddaff, Ramona A. "Review Article: Myths, Errors, and Dreams: The Return of Plato --Plato the Myth Maker, Luc Brisson and Gerard Naddaf ; Platonic Errors: Plato, a Kind of Poet, Gene Fendt and David Rozema; Plato's Dream of Sophistry, Richard Marback Classical Philology, Vol. 96, No. 2. (Apr., 2001), pp. 173-187.

No topics today (too busy!)

Tuesday, October 9: No Class

Tuesday, October 16

Read Aristotle's Rhetoric Book 1, through chapter 7 (or so).

Read: W. Rhys Roberts
The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 45, No. 4. (1924), pp. 351-361.
it is available through JSTOR.

Also, please scan the bibliography or do a little research and find a book review of a book about Aristotle (or a review essay) and read that as well. Next Tuesday we will discuss A's rhetoric and some interpretations of him and we will look at the book review/review essays you locate for more guidance on our own book reviews (those are due 10/30).


Tuesday October 23:

Aristotle's Rhetoric through the end of Book 1

Scenters-Zapico, John. "The Social Construct of Enthymematic Understanding." RSQ 24.3/4: 71-87.

Presenter, Becky


Tuesday, October 29

Book 2 of Aristotle's Rhetoric

Jacob, Bernard E. "What If Aristotle Took Sophists Seriously? New Readings in Aristotle's Rhetoric." Rhetoric Review 14.2 (Spring, 1996), 237-252.


Grimaldi, William M. A. "Rhetoric and the Philosophy of Aristotle." The Classical Journal 53.8. (May, 1958), 371-375.

Please bring drafts of your book review if you would like to workshop them. The due date for the book review has been moved up to November 6!


Nov 6

Finish Aristotle's Rhetoric. Turn in Book Review assignment.

Nov 13

Download Cicero's De Orator (On the Character of the Orator) from Google Books. Read the "Preface" and Chapters I-XV in the text.

We will also discuss the seminar paper expectations and how you can approach a proposal for next week.

Nov 20

We will not meet, but you have to have a proposal for your seminar paper submitted to me by today.



August 28, 2007

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