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Courses

Lysias

Greek 560 - Spring 2020

Of all the Attic orators, Lysias gives us perhaps the most vivid depiction of daily life among the Athenians. Active as a logographer c. 403- c. 380, Lysias' numerous speeches (and fragments thereof) also illuminate a vital period in the history of an Athens that experienced profound defeat in the Peloponnesian War and yet managed a remarkable resurgence once it overthrew the Thirty Tyrants. More than an eyewitness, Lysias thus provides us with vital evidence for the workings of Athenian society during a critical period. We will investigate the rhetoric and language of Lysias' speeches (which ensured his place among the canonical Attic orators) and we will also explore numerous questions of Athenian law, politics, institutions, economy, and religion where they arise in connection with his work. Students will also be expected to read all of the fragments and testimonia in Carey's edition of Lysias, regardless as to whether we discuss them in class.
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