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Isokrates as an observer and commentator upon his times

Lennox, Peter Gordon

Description

This thesis sets out to provide the first major study in English of the historical significance of the six political discourses of Isokrates (Panegyrikos. Plataikos. Archidamos. On the Peace, Areopagitikos and Philippos). Each discourse is discussed individually, and each is closely examined with respect to its content and its historical context. For each, Isokrates' perspectives, ideas and judgements, whether idiosyncratic or compatible with other contemporary viewpoints, are assessed...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLennox, Peter Gordon
dc.date.accessioned2017-08-29T01:16:01Z
dc.date.available2017-08-29T01:16:01Z
dc.date.copyright1991
dc.identifier.otherb1815739
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/124851
dc.description.abstractThis thesis sets out to provide the first major study in English of the historical significance of the six political discourses of Isokrates (Panegyrikos. Plataikos. Archidamos. On the Peace, Areopagitikos and Philippos). Each discourse is discussed individually, and each is closely examined with respect to its content and its historical context. For each, Isokrates' perspectives, ideas and judgements, whether idiosyncratic or compatible with other contemporary viewpoints, are assessed against available historical data, for both their historical plausibility and validity. Throughout the six chapters, which examine each of the political discourses in turn, it is argued that, despite the fact that these works are neither deliberate historical works nor genuine orations, designed for public delivery in the political contexts which constitute the settings, these discourses provide important historical evidence for the history of the times in which each was composed. Each work addresses at least one significant contemporary political issue; other related social, economic and military issues are also drawn into the discussion. Isokrates' own statements about the serious nature of his advice are shown to afford a more persuasive interpretation of these works than do attempts by some scholars to detach the composition of individual works from their proclaimed historical contexts or to show the works as principally rhetorical display-pieces. Isokrates eschewed a personal involvement in political life, either as rhetor or strategos. but his discourses reveal him as astute to contemporary issues of state and of inter-state relations. His commentary and advice upon current affairs was sometimes subtle, sometimes personal, but it cannot reasonably be portrayed as absurd, or even inept. Issues are not approached ideologically, but with a pragmatism not incompatible with a conservative and patriotic Athenian spirit. Isokrates cannot be characterized as a panhellenic visionary, pursuing persistently a singleminded policy: each discourse addresses its own peculiar situation, and, where apposite, policies are adapted to contemporary circumstances. Comparison with other evidence indicates that it is unlikely that Isokrates acted through these works as the mouthpiece of an active politician or of a political faction. Furthermore, his views and his advice, whether seen to be shared by others or whether perceived to be more idiosyncratic, can be perceived as a reasonable interpretation of the individual situations. Moreover, the advice appears to have been not entirely without influence, although two quite specific historical events have been mistakenly attributed to the direct influence of Isokrates' advice. In short, historians of Greek history of the Fourth century B. C. neglect these discourses at their peril.
dc.format.extentvi, 339 leaves
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherCanberra
dc.subject.lcshIsocrates Political and social views
dc.subject.lcshGreece Politics and government To 146 B.C
dc.titleIsokrates as an observer and commentator upon his times
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorKelly, D. H.
dcterms.valid1991
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, 1991. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1991
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d63bf0a43574
dc.date.updated2017-08-25T01:45:20Z
local.mintdoimint
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