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Headword: Ῥητορικὴ γραφή
Adler number: rho,151
Translated headword: oratorical indictment
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
One in which the contenders were orators. For the orators of old did not contest all the lawsuits, only some. But others say that an oratorical indictment is one directed against orators, when one of them had written or said or done something illegal;[1] just as one speaks of a committeemanly indictment against a committeeman, and a chairmanly indictment against a chairman.[2]
Rhetoric is 'knowledge of just things'.[3] But a peculiarity of rhetorical boldness is not to refuse but to contribute, additionally, a persuasive explanation of the facts.[4]
Damascius says about Isidore: "and he did not pay any significant attention to rhetoric, and he was cautious and hostile when it came to its swagger and posturing".[5]
An oratorical indictment[6] seems to be the name for the indictment brought against an orator who had written [or] said or done something against the law; and perhaps the reason some indictments are called oratorical is that the indictments of the orators are brought under different laws.
[Note] that dialectic differs from rhetoric;[7] and look under "treatments in detail".[8]
Greek Original:
Ῥητορικὴ γραφή: ἣν ἠγωνίζοντο οἱ ῥήτορες. οὐ γὰρ πάσας ἠγωνίζοντο τὰς δίκας τῶν παλαιῶν οἱ ῥήτορες, ἀλλ' ἐνίας. ἄλλοι δὲ ῥητορικὴν γραφὴν εἶναι λέγουσι τὴν κατὰ ῥήτορας γινομένην, γράψαντός τι ἢ εἰπόντος ἢ πράξαντος παράνομον: ὥσπερ λέγεται πρυτανικὴ γραφὴ ἡ κατὰ πρυτάνεως, καὶ ἐπιστατικὴ ἡ κατὰ ἐπιστάτου. Ῥητορικὴ δὲ ἐστὶν ἐπιστήμη δικαίων. ἴδιον δὲ ῥητορικῆς τόλμης τὸ μὴ ἀρνεῖσθαι μέν, πιθανὴν δὲ τῶν πραγμάτων ἐπεισφέρειν αἰτίαν. Δαμάσκιός φησι περὶ Ἰσιδώρου: οὐδὲ τῇ ῥητορικῇ προσέσχε τὸν νοῦν, ὅ τι καὶ λόγου ἄξιον, τὸ σοβαρὸν αὐτῆς καὶ ἀλαζονικὸν εὐλαβηθεὶς καὶ μισήσας. Ῥητορικὴ γραφὴ ἔοικε καλεῖσθαι ἡ κατὰ ῥήτορος γράψαντος εἰπόντος ἢ πράξαντος παράνομον: ἴσως δὲ καὶ κατὰ τοῦτο ῥητορικαὶ γραφαί τινες καλοῦνται, ὅτι κατὰ διαφόρους νόμους αἱ τῶν ῥητόρων γραφαὶ εἰσάγονται. ὅτι διαφέρει ἡ διαλεκτικὴ τῆς ῥητορικῆς: καὶ ζήτει ἐν τῷ διεξοδικούς.
Notes:
Like many Suda entries, this relates implicitly to classical Athens. For "orator(s)" (rhetor(es)) as the nearest ancient equivalent to the modern "politician(s)", see M.H. Hansen, The Athenian Democracy (Oxford 1991) chap.11, esp. p.268. An "indictment", graphe, was a prosecution which any concerned citizen could bring in the public interest.
[1] See in full M.H. Hansen, The Sovereignty of the People's Court in Athens and the Public Action against Unconstitutional Proposals (Odense 1974); in brief Hansen, Democracy 205-12.
[2] Entry thus far = Photius rho108 Theodoridis. "Committeemen" (prytaneis) prepared business for the citizen Assembly, which changed its "chairman" (epistates) daily. On all these specialized procedures see P.J. Rhodes, A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (Oxford 1981) 660, with further sources and bibliography.
[3] Plato, Gorgias 455A-B, 460Bff.; Phaedrus 267C-274A. Cf. Protagoras 318E-319A. See also Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topica 155.20.
[4] Aristotle, Rhetoric 1416a6-ff.
[5] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.35 Asmus, 114 Zintzen, 48B Athanassiadi.
[6] The source now becomes Harpocration s.v., commenting on the appearance of the phrase in Isaeus fr. 64 Sauppe; see also Photius rho107 Theodoridis.
[7] cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric 1354a1-ff.; an alternative argument in Plato, Phaedrus 262C-274A.
[8] cf. delta 930, rho 145.
References:
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, CUP, 1969
Plato, Gorgias, A Revised Text with Introduction and Commentary by E.R. Dodds, Oxford: OUP 1959
Understanding the Phaedrus. Proceedings in the II Symposium Platonicum, edited by Livio Rossetti, Sankt Augustin: Academia 1992
Keywords: biography; constitution; definition; law; philosophy; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: Marisa Divenosa on 14 September 2000@15:28:54.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes) on 17 September 2000@11:15:23.
David Whitehead (modified translation) on 18 September 2000@08:31:57.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, augmented references) on 21 February 2003@11:43:22.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 21 February 2003@11:45:47.
David Whitehead (modified headword; augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 23 February 2003@09:06:09.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 11 November 2005@08:30:42.
David Whitehead (expanded nn.2 and 6; tweaks and cosmetics) on 28 October 2013@07:40:49.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 4 February 2015@00:04:00.

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