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Porphyry's rhetoric

Heath, M. (2003) Porphyry's rhetoric. Classical Quarterly, 53 (1). pp. 141-166. ISSN 0009-8388

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This paper provides an introductory survey of the evidence for Porphyry’s writings on rhetoric and a discussion of their context and influence, together with a detailed commentary on the testimonia and fragments.

In paying tribute to Porphyry as polymath, Eunapius expresses uncertainty whether his most significant contribution was to rhetoric, literary studies, arithmetic, geometry, music or the various branches of philosophy (Lives of the Sophists 4.2.2-3 = 9.11-19 Giangrande). The aporia is a rhetorical figure (it is no coincidence that philosophy holds the final, climactic place), but we should not discount the initial claim that Porphyry was a major contributor to rhetoric, although that is not a perspective on Porphyry that will occur readily to modern scholars. Smith’s survey of recent work registers no interest at all in Porphyry as a rhetorician, and his Teubner edition of the fragments omits the majority of the rhetorical fragments, and all of the most substantial ones. The present paper aims to provide an introduction to this aspect of Porphyry’s work (§1-§4), together with a catalogue of the available evidence and a commentary on it (§5). This will, I hope, assist towards a better understanding of the history of rhetoric in the third century, and its place in the intellectual culture of the time.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2003 The Classical Association. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Classical Quarterly following peer review. It incorporates a number of additions and corrections, first published in March 2003 as Additional Notes to M. Heath, ‘Porphyry’s rhetoric: texts and translation’, Leeds International Classical Studies 1.5 (2002), 1-38 (at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/classics/lics/). The definitive publisher-authenticated version of the original paper can be found in Classical Quarterly 53 (2003), 141-66, available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cq/53.1.141.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > Classics (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 16:26
Published Version: http://cq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/53/1/141
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1093/cq/53.1.141
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/526

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