Department of Greek & Latin


International colloquium on Political Oratory and Rhetoric

International colloquium on ‘Political Oratory and Rhetoric in the Classical and Hellenistic Period’

University College London, 25-26 April 2019

Organisers: Chris Carey, Mike Edwards, Ifigeneia Giannadaki

The Department of Greek and Latin is hosting an international colloquium on political oratory and rhetoric in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Although much significant research has been done on Greek political oratory, especially in Classical Athens, and studies have focused on subjects related to deliberative speeches, there are still many questions which demand an answer and others which have yet to be asked. These questions will form the focus of an international conference which aims to bring together researchers on Greek oratory, historiography, law, and politics. Our aim is to explore the nature of political oratory and rhetoric in different periods and from a range of poleis to draw comparisons (e.g. chronological development, constitutional differences affecting political speeches) and trace trends and developments over the period in question. For this purpose, we wish to examine a wide range of broadly defined ‘political speeches’―including Assembly speeches, ambassadorial, military speeches, and their representations in other genres, prose (historiography, rhetorical tracts) and verse. The aim is to expand current discussion in and beyond Athens, explore both continuity and change in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and examine public speech in democratic and non-democratic environments.


Suggestions for accommodation:


If you prefer a hotel, the Tavistock is a reliable and reasonably priced option (£91 per night for a single room): www.imperialhotels.co.uk/hotels/tavistock-hotel

There are several smaller hotels (typically 15 rooms) in the attractive Georgian houses along Gower Street. Prices vary, but the following all offer single rooms (sometimes with shared bathrooms) at about £100 per night: 


Student Accomodation

International Hall (University of London): https://london.ac.uk/staycentral/international-hall

Another possibility is Passfield Hall: http://www.lsevacations.co.uk/

UCL's own halls of residence also offer vacation accommodation, but booking is not yet open for April next year. For information, see www.ucl.ac.uk/residence

Provisional Programme

Thursday 25th April 2019

9.30-11.00 Coffee-tea


11.00-11.15 Welcome

Session 1

11.15-11.45 Mike Edwards (RHUL), ‘Herodotus, Marathon and Miltiades’

11.50-12.20 Peter J. Rhodes (Durham), ‘Thucydidean Speeches: Talking to the Demos about Democracy’                                                                       

12.25-12.55 Chris Carey (UCL), ‘Political rhetoric outside Athens: content and contexts’      


13.00-14.00 Lunch break                                                                                                        


Session 2

14.00-14.30 Lene Rubinstein (RHUL), ‘War and vulnerable non-combatants in classical deliberative and forensic oratory’      

14.35-15.05 Michael Gagarin (Texas), ‘Political Rhetoric in Hellenistic Cretan Inscriptions’     

15.10-15.40 Chris Kremmydas (RHUL), ‘How to address a king: representations of oratorical performances before kings in the Classical and Hellenistic periods’                       


15.45-16.30 Coffee/tea break



Topic: ‘Political persuasion ancient and modern’

Panel members: Henrietee van der Blom (Birmingham), Manfred Kraus (Tübingen), Christopher Reid (Queen Mary University of London), Harvey Yunis (Rice).


18.30 for 19.00 Conference dinner

Friday 26th April 2019

9.00-10.00 Coffee-tea

Session 3

10.00-10.30 Harvey Yunis (Rice), ‘The Aesthetics of Athenian Political Rhetoric’

10.35-11.05 Alberto Maffi (Milan), ‘Rhetoric and Politics in Plato and Aristotle’

11.10-11.40 Eleni Volonaki (Kalamata), ‘Οratorical practice and rhetorical theory within the context of political oratory’                                                        

11.45-12.15 Manfred Kraus (Tübingen), ‘The Paradigmatic Primacy of Political Rhetoric in Early Greek Treatises on Rhetoric’                                                                                                


12.15-12.45 Coffee break


Session 4                    

12.45-13.15 Guy Westwood (Oxford), ‘Demosthenes (and Others) on Stage: Political Rhetoric in Fourth-century   Athenian Comedy’                                                             

13.20-13.50 Kostas Apostolakis (Crete), Political Rhetoric on the Rostrum and on the Stage in Fourth-century Athens’    


13.50-14.50 Lunch  


The event is generously sponsored by the UCL Greek and Latin Leventis Fund.