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Prospectus

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Seminar Greek: Peitho: the Power of Persuasion. Famous Speeches from Homer to Pericles and Demosthenes

Course
2017-2018

Admission requirements

This class can be taken in fulfilment of the requirements of both the MA and the Research MA program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations (track Classics), with differential requirements.
Admission requirements for other students: a BA degree in Classics obtained from a university in the Netherlands, or a comparable qualification obtained from a university outside the Netherlands. Moreover, students with an international degree have to contact the coordinator of studies to check admissibility.

Description

Peithô was the Greek goddess of persuasion. She plays a dominant role in the Greek world, which was deeply engaged in debates, arguments and the composition of effective speeches. This seminar will examine the rhetorical strategies of Greek speakers and orators in a variety of archaic and classical Greek texts, representing different genres and periods. We will discuss Odysseus’ rhetorical strategies in Homer, we will reconstruct the didactic program of Corax and Tisias, the earliest teachers of rhetoric on Sicily, and we will closely analyze some famous speeches of sophists, philosophers and politicians.

How did rhetorical practice develop from the earliest period to the classical period? What can we learn from ancient and modern rhetorical and linguistic theory? How did rhetoric interact with poetry (Homer), philosophy (Plato, Aristotle) and historiography (Thucydides)? These are only a few of the questions that will be raised in this seminar. We will be reading some of the greatest texts of Greek literature (mostly in Greek, partly in translation), including Gorgias’ Helen, Plato’s Apology, Isocrates’ Panegyricus, parts of Demosthenes’ On the Crown and Pericles’ Funeral Oration.

Course objectives

Knowledge:

  • of the history of Greek rhetorical theory and practice;

  • of the historical, literary and rhetorical aspects of a selection of famous speeches (Homer, Gorgias, Plato, Isocrates and Demosthenes)

  • of ancient rhetorical techniques (argumentation, style, structure, characterization, etc.);

  • of various paradigms of rhetorical and linguistic analysis;

  • of stylistic classifications in ancient rhetoric.

Skills:

  • research: independent formulation of a complex research question, collecting materials, analyzing results, constructing arguments, formulating conclusions;

  • critical assessment of secondary literature;Oral presentation: the oral presentation will give a clear and well-argued interpretation of a specific text passage, making effective use of a handout and/or PowerPoint;

  • written presentation: the paper will offer a clear and well-structured presentation of original research.

  • the student must demonstrate his or her grasp of critical issues in recent scholarship, and assess recent scholarly contributions by confronting them with the original source material;

  • this course aims at active participation and preparation: the student demonstrates involvement in the topic by asking well-informed and constructive questions and making contributions to the collective progress, on the basis of antecedent independent preparation.

Timetable

Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Contact hours 13 × 2 = 26 hours;

  • Reading of Greek text (ca. 65 pp OCT) = 50 hours;

  • Secondary Literature = 30 hours;

  • Preparation Oral Presentation = 20 hours;

  • Preparation Oral Examination = 14 hours;

  • Written Paper (5000-6000 words) = 140 hours.

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Contact hours (13 sessions) = 26 hours;

  • Reading of Greek text (ca. 65 pp OCT) = 50 hours;

  • Secondary Literature = 30 hours;

  • Preparation Oral Presentation = 20 hours;

  • Preparation Oral Examination = 14 hours.

Assessment method

Assessment method

In case of 10 EC:

  • Oral examination on the Greek text and topics discussed in class (30%)

  • Oral presentation (30%)

  • Paper (30%)

  • Participation (10%)

In case of 5 EC:

  • Oral examination on the Greek text and topics discussed in class (50%)

  • Oral presentation (30%)

  • Participation (20%)

Weighing

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Resit

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. If the overall mark is unsatisfactory, the student can either revise the paper or retake the oral examination (after consultation with the teacher). There is no resit for the oral presentation and participation. If the final mark is sufficient, the examination and paper cannot be retaken.

Exam review

Students will be invited to discuss their paper and their results for this seminar (participation, oral presentation, oral examination, paper) individually with the teacher, as soon as the results have been published.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for:

  • the distribution of study material

  • the announcement of assignments

Reading list

Students should acquire:

Pernot, L. Rhetoric in Antiquity. Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005.

An additional reading list, with titles to be found in the Leiden University Library, will be made available before the start of the seminar. A selection of relevant books will be made available on a special bookshelf at the University Library.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English])http://hum.leiden.edu/students/study-administration/usis-english.html) and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Dhr. dr. Casper de Jonge

Remarks

All other information