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Headword: *(rh/twr
Adler number: rho,152
Translated headword: orator, rhetor, rhetorician
Vetting Status: high
In ancient times this was the term for one who gave his advice to the people and who spoke in public, regardless of whether he was competent or incompetent at speaking, and whether he gave his advice out of consideration for what was best and most just or in accordance with his own personal interests.[1] Demosthenes calls this person an orator when he says: 'orator as leader... and a general under him' [2]. And elsewhere [he writes]: 'Personally, if the one who recommends to you what he thinks will be beneficial to you is an orator, I would neither refuse nor avoid this name; but if the term orator applies to the sort of people whom both I and you observe to be ignorant and to have become wealthy at your expense, I would not be that kind of man, not I'.[3] And against many decrees an oratorical (prosecution) has been brought,[4] advisedly, if someone introduces a proposal but does not himself occupy a private position in life.
Greek Original:
*(rh/twr: topalaio\n e)kalei=to o( dh/mw| sumbouleu/wn kai\ o( e)n dh/mw| a)goreu/wn, ei)/te i(kano\s ei)/h le/gein ei)/te kai\ a)du/natos, ei)/te kai\ a)po\ tou= belti/stou kai\ dikaiota/tou sumbouleu/wn ei)/t' e)p' oi)kei/ois lh/mmasi. kai\ o( *dhmosqe/nhs tou=ton kalei= r(h/tora, e)peida\n le/gh|: r(h/twr, h(gemw\n kai\ strathgo\s u(po\ tou/tw|. kai\ e(te/rwqi: e)gw\ d', ei) me\n o( sumbouleu/wn u(mi=n o(/ ti a)\n sumfe/rein h(gh=tai, r(h/twr e)sti/n, ou)/t' a)rnou=mai ou)/te fu/goimi a)\n tou)/noma tou=to: ei) de/, oi(/ous e)gw\ kai\ u(mei=s de\ o(ra=te, a)paideu/tous kai\ a)f' u(mw=n peplouthko/tas, ou)k a)\n ei)/hn ou(=tos e)gw/. kai\ polloi=s yhfi/smasi parage/graptai r(htorikh\ e)k boulh=s, ei) ei)sfe/rei tis gnw/mhn, a)lla\ mh\ au)to\s i)di/an tu/xhn h(gou/menos.
= Photius rho112 Theodoridis.
[1] cf. generally Plato, Gorgias 455Aff.
[2] Demosthenes 2.29 = 13.20. (The Suda quotes this in abbreviated form. Demosth. has "leader of each syndicate", meaning faction, so Adler was wrong to place a comma between "orator" and "leader".) For the Greek text and English translation from Perseus, see web address 1 below.
[3] Demosthenes 21.189. Again the quotation is imprecise; for the Greek text and English translation from Perseus, see web address 2 below.
[4] See rho 151.
The Rhetoric of Aristotle, ed. E.M. Cope-J.E. Sandys, Cambridge 1897
W.K.C. Guthrie, The History of Greek Philosophy, Vols. III and IV, Cambridge 1969
Plato, Gorgias, A Revised Text with Introduction and Commentary by E.R. Dodds, Oxford 1959
Understanding the Phaedrus. Proceedings in the II Symposium Platonicum, edited by Livio Rossetti, Sankt Augustin 1992
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: definition; history; law; philosophy; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: Marisa Divenosa on 13 September 2000@23:01:33.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Altered wording; added links and keywords.) on 14 September 2000@00:57:24.
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetics) on 15 September 2000@07:59:31.
William Hutton on 17 September 2000@18:32:48.
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetics) on 19 September 2000@17:18:44.
David Whitehead (modified translation; other cosmetics) on 20 September 2000@03:29:42.
William Hutton (Cosmetics) on 20 September 2000@08:03:15.
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics) on 19 December 2002@11:48:26.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 5 December 2005@06:06:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes) on 24 September 2013@00:48:39.
David Whitehead (added primary note; tweaks and cosmetics) on 28 October 2013@07:44:23.


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