The Dernosthenic Canon
Hermogenes cites from over half the Demosthenic speeches that have come down to us, particularly from the public speeches, but also from private speeches, and from the Epistles (not from the Erotikos or the Epitaphlos).1 If one compares his citations with those of other rhetoricians, such as the author of Peri Politikou Logou, no really striking differences emerge, with the possible exception that an unusually high proportion of citations come from De Corona, cited over 120 times, three times more than the nearest rival, and a source of examples for almost all of the ideai.2 This was probably not an untypical view; Aelius Aristides even dreams about the speech.
Many of the passages cited in Peri Ideon had been cited by generations of rhetoricians before him. The overlap with passages cited in Peri Politikou Logou is particularly high, but there is a degree of uniformity even if one looks as far back as Demetrius, who cites Demosthenes frequently in his discussion of the quality δεινο+́τηç. For example, De Corona 71, which is a key passage in the discussions of ἀκμη+́ in Peri Ideon and Peri Heureseos, had been cited by Demetrius ( De Eloc. 279) to illustrate an effective rhetorical question.3 Similar patterns of imitation and adaptation of____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Canons of Style in the Antonine Age:Idea-Theory in Its Literary Context. Contributors: Ian Rutherford - Author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford, England. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 80.
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