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Divine TalkReligious Argumentation in Demosthenes$
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Gunther Martin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560226.001.0001

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Demosthenes' Assembly Speeches

Demosthenes' Assembly Speeches

(p.219) 6 Demosthenes' Assembly Speeches
Divine Talk

Gunther Martin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the evidence for religious references in deliberative oratory before the Athenian assembly; outside speeches on religious matters, such references are mainly found in times of crisis. Demosthenes' practice is compared with the speeches in Thucydides and Xenophon; religious argumentation is prominent in his assembly speeches only as an appeal to use the god-sent opportunity, and only in a certain period, in the early 340s. This is interpreted as an attempt on Demosthenes' part to arouse attention to himself by the use of a particular motif; he thereby suggests to the Athenians that their city is in danger while they are inactive.

Keywords:   assembly, deliberative oratory, Thucydides, Xenophon, danger

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