Michael Chukinas- Research Blog #5



This week I focused on two aspects of my paper, Greek rhetoric, and the historiography of the Melian dialogue. In doing so I found a fantastic source that provided information into both pursuits. Literary Texts And The Greek Historian, by Christopher Pelling, contains an incredible amount of information on the ancient greek rhetorical tradition. Given how Athenian courts were set up, it makes sense that being able to persuade through oration or writing was most certainly a useful skill. In learning more about the tradition the similarities between the Melian Dialogue are uncanny. As a major facet of my essay’s argument is to prove thucydides is sending a message throughout the dialogue, tying it to rhetorical tradition is essential. Pellings’ book will be invaluable for that.


On top of the aforementioned assistance, Pellings’ account of Greek historians is helping me structure my historiographical section. He gives a succinct account of major Greek historians and their contributions to field of study. Pelling goes into detail on the various schools of thought in analyzing and understanding Greek rhetoric. The historiography shows a fluid and changing view on the ever evolving materials. Texts like the Melian Dialogue have such depth, it feels like no two scholars see it the exact same way. His historiography inspires me to show this variety, while also discussing the nature of the text. Unfortunately unlike myself, he has a book in which he can explore topics to full lengths. I will have to find a way to condense the absolutely massive amount of influential material written on the Melian Dialogue starting from two thousand years ago.


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