Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece by Debra Hawhee

By Debra Hawhee

The function of athletics in old Greece prolonged well past the geographical regions of kinesiology, festival, and leisure. In educating and philosophy, athletic practices overlapped with rhetorical ones and shaped a shared mode of information creation. "Bodily Arts" examines this interesting intersection, delivering a tremendous context for realizing the attitudes of old Greeks towards themselves and their surroundings. In classical society, rhetoric was once an task, one who used to be in essence 'performed'. Detailing how athletics got here to be rhetoric's 'twin paintings' within the physically features of studying and function, "Bodily Arts" attracts on diversified orators and philosophers reminiscent of Isocrates, Demosthenes, and Plato, in addition to clinical treatises and a wealth of artifacts from the time, together with statues and vases. Debra Hawhee's insightful examine spotlights the idea of a classical gym because the place for a recurring 'mingling' of athletic and rhetorical performances, and using historical athletic guide to create rhetorical education in response to rhythm, repetition, and reaction. providing her information opposed to the backdrop of a extensive cultural viewpoint instead of a slim disciplinary one, Hawhee offers a pioneering interpretation of Greek civilization from the 6th, 5th, and fourth centuries BCE via gazing its voters in motion.

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Thus at the heart of the ancient agōn lies the concept of aretē, for the struggling contest served as a stage of sorts. Early on aretē was associated with the goodness, courage, and prowess of a warrior. 279). 536) with the utmost glory, a guarantor of aretē. Conceptually, aretē was tightly bound with agathos (goodness), kleos (glory), timē (honor), and philotimia (love of honor). As David Cohen points out, the norms and practices of Athenian virtuosity ‘‘operate within the politics of reputation, whose normative poles are honor and shame’’ (1991: 183).

And then there were the crowns: a golden crown conferred by the Athenian Assembly signified not absolute rule, but absolute aretē. As Aeschines indicates, the crown functions as a material marker of a citizen-leader’s virtuosity (aretē) and justice (dikaiosunē) (Aeschines, Against Ctesiphon 10), and when in 337 Demosthenes’ friend Ctesiphon proposed that a crown be conferred on Demosthenes for his leadership during the war and recovery, it would have been the third crown Demosthenes had received in five years (Sealey 1993: 201; Demosthenes, On the Crown 83).

536) with the utmost glory, a guarantor of aretē. Conceptually, aretē was tightly bound with agathos (goodness), kleos (glory), timē (honor), and philotimia (love of honor). As David Cohen points out, the norms and practices of Athenian virtuosity ‘‘operate within the politics of reputation, whose normative poles are honor and shame’’ (1991: 183). As such, aretē functions as an external phenomenon, depending on forces outside the ‘‘self’’ for its instantiation. Aretē thus operated within an economy of actions, wherein certain acts, such as dying in battle or securing a victory at the Olympic Games, were considered agathos and hence deserving of honor, CONTE STI NG VI RTUOS ITY 17 and certain acts were not.

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