Lysias: Selected Speeches

Lysias: Selected Speeches

Author(s): Lysias, Edited by Christopher Carey
Publication Date: 25-01-1990

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The Greek prose writer Lysias is a fascinating source for the study of Athenian law, society and history in the late fifth century BC. Six of his professional legal speeches are selected in this new edition, both for their intrinsic interest and because the language is accessible even to the comparative beginner. In his introduction Dr Carey discusses Lysias' life and place in the evolution of Greek prose style, and the development of Greek rhetoric. He approaches the speeches in terms of their function, as attempts to secure a verdict favourable to the speaker, and assesses how effectively the selection and deployment of arguments promote this end. In the commentary he addresses problems of Lysias' style and syntax, and textual issues where necessary, but the particular focus is always literary: Lysias' use of rhetorical devices, his marshalling of fact and argument and his manipulation of contemporary values and prejudices are examined in detail. These speeches are invaluable historical documents and will be of interest to students of ancient history and civilisation, as well as classicists.

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