AWARDS: Durham Doctoral Fellowship
SUPERVISED BY: Professor Edward Harris
TITLE: Ancient sources related to Greek forensic rhetoric
Law and Rhetoric in the Treatises from Aristotle to Hermogenes Greek legal history and Greek rhetoric are traditionally considered as separate fields of study. Even if rhetorical sources are discussed from the perspective of legal history, they are used to gain insights about the functioning of legal institutions, mostly about aspects of legal procedure. Studies of Roman Law often take account of the inherent interconnectedness of law and rhetoric, but the relationship between the two rarely figures in recent work on Greek Law. When it is studied, the relationship is mostly depicted as a unilateral one, with the law serving only as the framework for rhetorical activity. Rhetorical treatises are often neglected (with the exception of Aristotle's Rhetoric) or if not, their content is viewed as primarily concerned with matters of style and form as opposed to the legal/philosophical substance. My project of doctoral research is aimed at a thorough historical and philological analysis of the ancient sources related to Greek forensic rhetoric, with a particular focus on the issue of how legal analysis appears in these texts. In contrast to much recent work on Greek Rhetoric and Law, its focus will be on the legal arguments appearing in the Greek treatises, in particular Aristotle's Rhetoric, the Rhetorica ad Alexandrum, the corpus Hermogenianum and the hypotheseis and scholia to the Attic Orators. Roman sources (like Cicero's treatises, the Rhetorica ad Herennium, Quintilian and the minor authors) will also be considered because they provide information about certain topics where the Greek originals are lost to us. First, my investigations shall follow the canon of ancient rhetoric, discussing the parts which are closely linked to legal technique, e.g. the topoi or the staseis. Then I turn to the analysis of legal problems deployed by these authors, in order to examine how far legal argument and rhetorical technique mutually determine each other. Topics like statutory interpretation, the role of epieikeia (fairness), and the relationship between the rhetorical treatises and the speeches of the orators will be discussed. Finally, I shall examine the reception of Greek legal theory in the works of Roman rhetoric, which will lead to a new understanding of the encounter of the two legal cultures.