Tatian's Oratio Ad Graecos
Rhetoric & Philosophy/Theology
Studier utgivna av kungl. Humanistika
Vetenskapssamfundet i Lund: 2000-2001:2

By Dimitrios Karadimas
July 2004
Almqvist & Wiksell
ISBN: 9122020500
42 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$57.50 Paper Original

The aim of the present study is to define the role rhetoric has played in the composition of Titian's work Oratio ad Graecos. First, it is examined how this role is reflected on the construction and the content of the Oration. Then, some trends of Titian's thought related to rhetoric, philosophy, and theology are interpreted on the basis of the position that Titian was very much influenced by his rhetorical education and deeply committed to rhetoric - a position which is also to be established.

The study attempts to answer four basic questions. The first one has to do with the role of rhetoric in the construction of the Oration and seeks to explain the obvious lack of coherence in the work and the author's failure in its arrangement. In this part of the discussion three different sections of the Oration are treated as independent rhetorical units. Each of these three units belongs to a different kind of oratory (deliberative, judicial, epideictic), and they probably represent orations of the same kind which had been written before commitment to rhetoric, but it can also give an answer to the problem of the Orations coherence.

The second question leads the discussion to Tatian's criticism of philosophy, whilst the third one deals with his criticism of rhetoric. The discussion of these questions makes it clear that Tatian does not virtually attack rhetoric itself but the Greeks who use it in a wrong and condemnable way. Furthermore, in his fierce attack against philosophy he uses arguments which belong to the traditional anti-philosophical weaponry of rhetoric. Finally, the fourth question introduces us to Titian's theology, which also seems to have been influenced by his rhetoric. The influence is obvious, in the author's opinion in Titian's treatment of Logos.


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