Zwischen traditioneller Rhetorik und sokratischer (Anti-)Rhetorik. Einige neue Βemerkungen über das Proömium von Platons "Apologie des Sokrates" (17a1-18a6)

Konstantinos Stefou


In this paper my aim is to show how Socrates’ critique of contemporary rhetoric in the preamble of the Apology is indirectly but clearly addressed to the Homeric value system. Socrates’ contemporary litigants, heirs to the competitive ethics embodied in the Homeric epics, are observed to devote themselves to employing devious tricks and cunning in order to win court cases. Socrates, however, sets out to plead the cause of truth and justice, and will defend himself against his accusers by means of these conceptual “tools.” It is clear, therefore, that Socrates’ principal aim is to redefine traditional rhetoric by formulating new goals and expected outcomes: rhetoric must not distort the truth but reveal it so that it can be readily grasped by the audience.

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