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Title: Public Political Discourse in Roman Asia Minor
Author: Kuhn, Christina T.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2162 7695
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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The present thesis provides a historical analysis of public political discourse in the cities of Roman Asia Minor in the period between 30 BC until AD 250. It sheds light on the political, social and cultural contexts in which political speech was embedded (e.g. Roman rule, the power of the urban elite, the Second Sophistic, the philosophical schools) and shows how these contexts shaped and sometimes transfonned the nature, fonn, function, thematic scope and major concerns of political discourse in the imperial period. Starting from a study of the main protagonists and fora of political speech, the thesis examines the possibilities and limitations of political debate in the civic institutions, the function of political discourse as an instrument of exercising control of elite power, the issue of consensus and concord in civic politics, the aims of rhetorical training, the power of persuasion and perfonnance, and the development of an ethics of political communication with parrhesia and moral instruction as its basic features. On the evidence of the literary and epigraphic sources the present study argues that, despite the constraints of Roman rule, there was still a remarkable vitality of public political discourse in the councils, assemblies and courtrooms of the poleis due to the intense competitiveness among the urban elite and the recognition of the demos as a relevant political factor in the decision-making process. Civic politics continued to be oriented towards the concerns of the demos, and the key notions of democratic rhetoric and ideology remained a living political heritage in this period. It is against the background ofthis vibrant political culture that certain developments in the theory and practice of political discourse could increasingly gain ground: the intrusion and establishment of sophistic and perfonnative elements in political discourse, and, as a response to it, the emergence of a meta-discourse on the basic principles of political speech.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available