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York University
EN 1006

Introduction to Rhetoric EN 1007 – Fall 2009 – Carol Poster Lecture 3 – Sophists and the Power of Writing – Sept 28 - Crete-island halfway Greece & Egypt. - Minoan- Non Greek speaking community; Forms of writing; Hieroglyphic A&B (Not Greek). - Crete-Minoan 2700 – 155 unknown language. - Mainland: 1700 Linear B. Crete 1500. - People who wrote in this were Greek speaking culture. - Linear B tablets with syllabary engraved on them. - Tablets used for tax; commercial tablets. - Earliest forms of writing – commercial & practical. - 1500 – 1100 collapse of Mycenean civilization; don’t know the causes. - Trojan war. - Invasion of migrant group who appear to be attacking settled people (sea people). - Collapse of civilization – may have to do with volcanoes. - Writing disappears in the Greek language. - None until 800 & 750. - Greek alphabet based on Phonecian. - Inscribed on vases; few letters inscribed on tablets. - New Greek alphabet based on Phonecian. - Period of scibed – where few people use it – Greek dark ages. - New Greek alphabet – spreads slowly and becomes regular features of tax system and regular special merchandise. Period Where Writing is Rare - Dramatis personae: Helen, Gorgias, Polus, Callicles, Socrates, Plato. - Persian wars 499-450. o Persian side:  Greece is rocking inhospitable and not rich by the standards of Persia.  Nice to annex it because of good wines.  Persian emperors sent people to conquer Greece.  Persian conquest – not consensual.  Persian rule of law – Not lying and keeping oath was considered sacred.  Based on un-treaty relation; thought they would work with the Greek.  Greek had no problem breaking aoths and promises.  Greeks revolted as soon as the soldiers left Greece and the treaty was made.  Persian gave up – not worth it. o Greek side:  Military virtue – Greek proved superiority to the barbarian Persian side.  Persian Army = Greek mercenaries.  Greek mercenaries would help Persian soldiers in order to conquer their enemies.  After 19 years – when they manage to cooperate a little, they stop cooperating.  People died more of infected wounds then on the battle field. - Peloponnesian wars 431-404. o Sparta won. - 30 Tyrants 404-403. o Killed people and sealed property. o Athenian democracy overthrew them and democracy was sealed. - Athenian old education o Basic educations  Rich men.  Literacy, numeracy [+(easy), - (not so easy), x (advanced) & / (not taught)], music and gymnastics; BASIC – pre 500-450.  Women: basic counting and reading to keep house hold tasks.  Slaves: weaving and reading; more valuable; illiterate generally.  Craft men – illiterate generally.  Athenian men – memorized large amounts of lyrics?  Gym-wrestling – getting people strong in prep for military.  Every citizen = Member of Parliament.  Involved in culture = involved in public speaking.  Leadership positions were appointed by law. - Athenian legal and legislative systems. o Democracy  Only vote if you were a man & who’s for grandparents were Athenian citizens.  Women & immigrants couldn’t vote.  Citizen was not a sweeping universal title. o Direct democracy  Every Athenian citizen was part of the assembly to vote on all measures.  Various leadership positions on council: • Generals & leaders; wars & practical affairs. • Appointments as judges.  Position selected by Lot [Ostracon- pottery shard].  A priestess would be blind folded and pick out a name from the shard. • Thought that a god would have a hand in the selection. • Stuffed ballot boxes – Ways to cheat – Repeated name entrance; • People didn’t know how to read – people didn’t know what name was actually being written down. o Laws inscribed on Stele.  Law or decree had to be shown in the market place in stone.  People did the job or read and writing for others.  Relevant laws – run around the market place to find the law.  Legal system got messy because things got knocked down or defaced.  Paying taxes: civil servant wrote out bill.  Written contract wasn’t valid until you had 6 live witnesses to validate it. o Self-representation  In court; no lawyers; if you could speak well you’d lose your case. o Liturgy  Ask one rich person to buy triery.  Athenian law code was always swamped with law suits.  If you couldn’t public speak you were in big trouble to law suits.  Old education system didn’t teach to argue in law court. - Innovations of sophists and philosophers. o Sophists: Teachers  General education.  Rhetoric.  Ability to speak well in law and participate in
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