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Argument in the Athenian Assembly

by: Ashleigh Notetaker

Argument in the Athenian Assembly 4900.0

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Communication Studies > 4900.0 > Argument in the Athenian Assembly
Ashleigh Notetaker
GPA 3.73
Special Topics in Comm

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About this Document

Debate about the Mytileneans between Cleon and Diotodus
Special Topics in Comm
Class Notes
Mytilenean, Diototus, Cleon, Debate
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashleigh Notetaker on Sunday September 13, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 4900.0 at University of Georgia taught by O'Connell in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Special Topics in Comm in Communication Studies at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 09/13/15
Argument in the Athenian Assembly Justice or Selfinterest 09092015 The Mytilene Debate revolted from Athens Athens in 5th century BC had an empire war between Persians and Greeks Athens organized naval alliance to protect Greece from naval attacks 0 Most alliance members ceased to contribute ships and instead began to contribute money to fund the Athenian navy By 454 BCE the alliance had become a de facto empire controlled by Athens alliance members were not permitted to secede o Lesbos biggest city was Mytilene Revolted from Athens with Spartan assistance in 428 while Athens was at war with Sparta and they ended up surrendering Athens voted to kill aH adult Mytilenean males and enslave all the women and children Sent a ship trireme to report vote to Paches the general who defeated the revolt Next day had a change of heart and the debate was reopened 2 speakers Thucydides account 0 Cleon demagogue Leader of the demos quotThe most aggressive member of the citizen bodyquot lead by tricking them through rhetoric o Diodotus Know nothing of him besides this speech Is he a quotvolunteerquot Was effectivecon dent to go against Cleon debate 2 issues 0 should Mytilenean be punished for revolting and if so how Cleon s speech El Re ection on what it means for a democratic state to have an empire Absence of fear and intrigue like wartime Athenians aren t afraid because fear is a good thing 0 We don t make each other afraid during everyday life 0 Not basis of foreign policy We have a tyranny over unwilling subjects 0 Better to m and make friends than borrow giving them stuff to make them loyal Have to be tyranny in relation to relationships with other city states need to show force 0 They re afraid of us What we should do with them Mytilenean has wronged us more than any other state 0 Death is deserved appropriate and just 0 Give reasons Enjoy independence of government were held in highest honor by us they had certain privileges stabbed us in the back Deliberately attempted to take side of worst enemies Spartans against us deliberate act of war Hypothesis because Athenians put might before right loyalty to Athens and that s what the Mytileneans did Emphasizes the ideas that they were given pdeeges Shouldn t have happened this is what caused them to revolt No more special treatment to subject states only respect you because of your strength Allies this could happen with other states if we don t do anything to Mytileneans killing them will set an example deterrent El Conclusion o If you do as I say it s just and advantageous for Athenians o Punish these people in your own interest 0 Don t be traitors to your own cause punish them as they deserve and send a message to other allies Diodotus El El Re ection on role of rhetoric Not repping Mytileneans or accusing our decision is the best policy for ourselves not their wrong doing based on Athenians selfinterest What we re discussing concerns the future not past what s best for Athenians in the long run Aristotle s rhetoric What Diodotus says lines up with what Aristotle says about speeches Deals with future legal past contents are urging or discouraging and the object is whatever is advantageous Not about punishment this is just about our interests Threat of death is NOT an advantageous deterrent 0 People still revolt when you punish with death 0 Most nd something more frightening than death or realize death isn t effective People revolt because they think they ll succeed Is it in M selfinterest to run an empire like a tyranny Entertain moderate policies on citystates o If you kill them no money so treat them kindly so city isn t destroyed Exercise extreme vigilance before they rebel After suppressing them limit blame as much as possible 0 Only execute those guilty I This is best course of action for the long term and alert enemies n Conclusions 0 The Mytilene debate addressed the punishment of the Mytilens and the role of rhetoric in the Athenian democracy Diodotus defeats Cleon by arguing the basis of advantagequotself interestquot rather than justice that s dealt with in court what s the role of rhetoric in the Athenian Democracy 0 was a real debate but speeches re ect Thucydides m interests 0 discussion about Athens as well Cleon s speech 0 Most aggressive member of the assembly and most in uential 9got this way through rhetoric 0 Most dire prospect if decisions don t remain rm and we don t examine facts When a decision is made it should stay firm Better to have bad laws that are enforced aH the time then good ones that aren t Better to be stupid and feel a sense of responsibility because you think you re doing it for a good reason I There were no pointed experts collected the wisdom of all the people 0 Warns of clever people who could make the less educated change their minds putting other speakers on their guard 0 Simple men snap decisions and even bad laws are better than deliberation and cleverness Will lead public to get confused don t change minds 0 I haven t changed my mind why reopen the debate The actions don t bene t us Elaborate counterfactual claims paradoxes He does what he warns against 0 Be on guard of clever speakers the fact that the speakers will be bribed dangerous for democracy 0 Not criticizes Athenians We the people have started these debates future plans are based off what performers say they re spectators You treat assembly like intellectual contest o If you re led astray when voting because of cleverness you can make the wrong decision Athenians are misled by the quotpleasure of listeningquot 0 Passion punish the crime sense of fairness we re a tyranny how to run an empire in orderly matter love of speeches if you love speeches you can be persuaded to change your mind Not a way to run an empire don t encourage debatediscussion o Rhetorical argument about the dangers of speeches Diotodus s speech 0 Beginning address question of rhetoric Defends rhetoric Haste and high emotion dangerous to good council 0 Words are important They should drive our actions don t act until we talk about it o Bribes Worse to accuse people of this Speaker becomes stupiddishonest if he feels who do you trust a Even if it s good advice people are still wary I Once you re tainted can t get rid of this reputation Deliberation and discussion are better than snap discussions o In Athens Our actual practice is opposite a If anyone is suspect of bribery we deprive the city of this person 0 Good advice is now suspect Only city that s so clever it s impossible it s too good openly without deceit We expect to be entertained in assembly this is a bad thing encourages voting for cleverness rather than good advice I Not inherent part of debate U Need to rely on reason discussion not corruption and vote on best argument based on reasoned debate 0 Conclusions 0 2 concerns how to punish Mytilieneans and the role of rhetoric in Athenian democracy 0 Cleon criticized the Athenians for changing their minds under the in uence of clever speeches o Diotodus defends the role of rhetoric in decision making but criticizing the actual practice of rhetoric in democratic Athens


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