GREEK 112B: History of Greek Literature II




This course offers a survey of Greek literature from the late 5th century BC to the late 5th century AD through the lens of rhetorical discourse. We will read extracts from a broad range of texts from the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique periods. The selection will include exemplary orations (e.g., Demosthenes’ First Philippic, Gregory of Nazianzus’ Funeral Oration for Basil the Great), inserted speeches in narrative texts (e.g., Pericles’ famous funeral oration as rendered by Thucydides, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount according to the Gospel of Matthew), texts about rhetoric and rhetoricians (theoretical discussions such as Aristotle’s Rhetoric, biographical accounts such as Philostratus’ Lives of the Sophists, Lucian’s satire Teacher of Rhetoric), and rhetorical exercises (Aphthonius’ Progymnasmata, Synesius’ Encomium of Baldness which he wrote in response to Dio’s Encomium of Hair). The close reading and translation of the excerpts will be accompanied by discussions of genre in relation to historical contexts, performance, and discursive and linguistic (dis)continuities.