Courtroom rhetoric in imperial and late antique philosophical dialogues

Book chapter


La Valle, Dawn Teresa. (2023). Courtroom rhetoric in imperial and late antique philosophical dialogues. In In Jolowicz, Daniel and Elsner, Jaś (Ed.). Articulating Resistance under the Roman Empire pp. 51 Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108753425.003
AuthorsLa Valle, Dawn Teresa
EditorsJolowicz, Daniel and Elsner, Jaś
Abstract

Because dialogue represents philosophy happening in the context of interpersonal relationships, it is a natural place to investigate power dynamics, both displays of power and displays of resistance. But in literature, unlike in life, the power dynamics are completely within the control of one person, the author, who can script the situation as he chooses. In this chapter, I argue that there was a change in the rules of comportment found in literary dialogues between the first and fourth centuries CE that can be traced through paying close attention first to the appearance and then to the development of a new character in these discussions – a judge. A shared embrace of forensic rhetoric to express philosophical antagonism existed across changing modes of judgement in the Roman Empire. I argue that this forensic dialogic mode was introduced as a mode of sublimation of political energy, as a rerouting of resistance into a safer domain of scholastic antagonism.

Keywordsdialogue; judges; courtroom; forensic rhetoric; Dialogue of Adamantius; Minucius Felix ; Methodius of Olympus; Plutarch of Chaeronea; Tacitus’ Dialogus
Page range51
70
Year01 Jan 2023
Book titleArticulating Resistance under the Roman Empire
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN978-1-108-48490-9
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108753425.003
Web address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/articulating-resistance-under-the-roman-empire/courtroom-rhetoric-in-imperial-and-late-antique-philosophical-dialogues/D629979BF34581FE82D3EF2F18D6AF88
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Dec 2022
Print2023
Publication process dates
Deposited10 May 2024
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