Phryne Made Naked by Hyperides, or Rhetoric of Gesture in Ancient Athens (Towards the problem of nonverbal elements in the discourse)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Research Fellow; Professor
Institute of World history, Russian academy of sciences
Russian State University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameVestnik drevnei istorii
EditionVolume 78 Issue 3

In Ancient Greece, the following types of gestures were in use (simplifying an unjustly complicated fivefold classification proposed by D. Lateiner and reducing it into three points): 1) conscious and ritualized gestures; 2) conscious but not ritualized gestures, of individual character; 3) unconscious gestures. In connection with the “rhetoric of gesture”, this article deals mainly with gestures of the second category. After citing various examples from political and legal history of Archaic and Classical Athens, the author aims to demonstrate that in the framework of culture of conscious non-ritualized gestures, more restrained gestures were correlated (at least in the sources’ perception) with a political position, which was also considered more moderate, and non-restrained gestures — with a radical position.

KeywordsAthens, Archaic and Classical periods, gestures, rhetoric, actio, politicians, orators, Hypereides, Demosthenes, Kleon, Solon, Peisistratos
Publication date03.12.2018
Number of characters799
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