Law and Ethics in Greek and Roman Declamation (Law & Literature, Volume 10)

Law and Ethics in Greek and Roman Declamation (Law & Literature, Volume 10)

Language: English

Pages: 363


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Ancient declamation defies easy categorization. It stands at the crossroads of several modern disciplines. Only within the past few decades the complexity of declamation and the promise inherent in its study have come to be recognized. The book contains 13 essays from international scholars, engages with the multidisciplinary nature of ancient declamation, focusing on the interactions in declamation between rhetoric, literature, law, and ethics.

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cum induxisset stipem porrigentem mendico: ‘o felicem patrem!’ et hoc qui dicit, ipse fortassis pater est. P. Asprenas, when he had described someone offering alms to a beggar, said: ‘How miser- able the father!’ – and the man who says it is himself perhaps the father! The quotations of both Loci 1 and 2 (for Locus 2, see below) exercise the fact that, though they are the closest of blood relatives, the mutilated victims and their parents do not know each other. Reflecting the emphasis on

husband. Another peculiarity of monolingual themes – also found on the Greek side –are those elements whose occasional presence reveals adaptation to the cultural context. Latin themes are adapted to a Roman context: for example, the character of the proscriptus, accused of poisoning his wife (no. 75).450 But even more striking is the prevalence of cases in which poisoning is only the initial situation, while the main accusation relates to different offenses (8 out of 20). An interesting

impostate le controversie”), but in the arguments (“negli argomenti cui si ricorre nella parte dimostrativa”). The Latin declamatory corpora, which include many examples of partially if not entirely developed declamations, permits further investigation on this issue. Mantovani’s and Krapinger’s studies on Ps.Quint. Decl. maior. 13 (Apes pauperis) have highlighted the complex legal background of this discourse: the case of the poor man claiming damages from his rich neighbor seems to be “la

decades has become the object of a consistent stream of studies. “Law always begins in story,” says J. B. White in a famous essay on the narrative potential of law,473 and is recognized as able to “create” stories either in cooperation or in competition with other stories. Declamatory themes and legal cases share this narrative potential. In either case one cannot speak of true literary forms: they are simply short narrative texts, which, however, contain within them the elements required for

ethical disquisitions and literary fireworks. 5 Second category: is the law right? In the second, larger category of legal problems in the Major Declamations the issue is not the enforceability of a particular law under the mitigating or aggravating circumstances presented in the case, but its very suitability: does it even apply in the case at hand? The best example of this is the fictitious law malae tractationis sit actio,603 a law concerning the maltreatment of married women, which governs

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