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Wednesday 12 April 2023 14.00 - 16.00
J-3 ANT03 Cognitive Approaches to Ancient Greek History
B34
Network: Antiquity Chair: Douglas Cairns
Organizers: Samuel Ellis, Riccarda Schmid Discussant: Douglas Cairns
Moderators: -
Samuel Ellis : I am your Father: the Pater Metaphor and its Effectiveness in Framing Sole Rule in the Greek Polis
Sole rule in the Greek polis has a complex history. Attitudes towards sole rule became increasingly negative from the 7th century BC onwards due to a rising focus on good governance and institutional order (eunomia). This meant that sole rulers faced increasing pressure to legitimise their position in the light ... (Show more)
Sole rule in the Greek polis has a complex history. Attitudes towards sole rule became increasingly negative from the 7th century BC onwards due to a rising focus on good governance and institutional order (eunomia). This meant that sole rulers faced increasing pressure to legitimise their position in the light of the rising civic ideology of the polis. Successful rulers were fully aware of the power and malleability of language to shape thought and used this to their advantage by employing strategies of persuasion and by manipulating historical memory for legitimising purposes (Gehrke 1994; Foxhall, Gehrke, Luraghi 2010). To challenge negative frames of power we see political actors use their own stereotypes and metaphors to present their rule as legitimate. For example, framing sole rule as mastery over slaves makes sole rule less attractive as slavery is largely considered negatively. Whereas framing sole rule as a father over his children evokes a more positive response due to the paternalistic nature of the frame. It is this attempt to frame one’s power in a paternal fashion that this paper is concerned with. While hierarchical in nature, the metaphor places emphasis on protection and duties of care rather than any pernicious motivations. Positive depictions of sole rulers in the ancient sources often used the paternal framework, particularly in epinician and panegyric to legitimise sole rule and present a more favourable appearance.
This paper will examine the development of the father metaphor in describing sole rule in the polis, noting its effectiveness in legitimising monocratic power. I then track the reconceptualization of the father metaphor and note its use in democratic and oligarchic constitutions, where the city institutions, or the city itself, takes on the role of father/fatherland, and the subsequent repercussions this had for sole rulers. The paper will make use of framing theory and conceptual metaphor theory to demonstrate the rhetorical effectiveness of the father metaphor in ancient Greece in an attempt to gain new insights into the political discourse of that period. (Show less)

Jakub Filonik : Citizenship as Metaphor: Framing belonging to the Polis in Classical Athens
As argued in recent decades by linguists such as G. Lakoff, Z. Kövecses, J. Charteris-Black, A. Musolff or R.W. Gibbs, conceptual metaphor is a reflection of patterns around which human thought and action are organized, and can be expressed in a number of indirect ways both in everyday language and ... (Show more)
As argued in recent decades by linguists such as G. Lakoff, Z. Kövecses, J. Charteris-Black, A. Musolff or R.W. Gibbs, conceptual metaphor is a reflection of patterns around which human thought and action are organized, and can be expressed in a number of indirect ways both in everyday language and socio-political discourse. Classical Athenians described their city-state as a political community ‘based on speeches’, where orators made appeals to their audiences’ shared identities in the political institutions of the city. In their publicly delivered speeches, Athenian in-group identity is referred to not only as a legal status but also a set of normative rules of conduct presented before civic audiences through elaborate rhetorical measures. Athenian speakers and politicians, just like their modern counterparts, could thus go to great lengths to exploit people’s sense of being ‘themselves’ as opposed to ‘others’. This paper argues that metaphorical appeals to shared identities could prove to be a rhetorical skeleton key, employed whenever speakers were striving for favourable reactions from their audiences, but as such, these were also drawn from deeply rooted cultural notions.
The citizenship laws of democratic Athens prescribed that only those of dual citizen descent could ‘share in the city’. Various classical authors eagerly resort to the metaphorical language of ‘sharing in the polis’ (metechein t?s pole?s) to encapsulate citizens’ socio-political status. We find this language in Pericles’ mid fifth-century citizenship law, and the definition of the citizen introduced by Aristotle, which limits it to the political activity of male enfranchised members of the community. Its significance was acknowledged with reference to equal participation of men and women in polis religion in Athens by J. Blok.
This paper will discuss the possible effects and roots of such language of belonging to – and participating in – the polis, quite common in Greek legal and political discourse. It will particularly look at how concepts linked to ‘sharing in the polis’, from conceptual domains seemingly so distant from each other, such as ownership, religious sacrifice, and allotment of land could be used in classical Athens to reframe current political issues through ideas at the core of Greek thinking about poliadic citizenship.
In analysing such concepts, this paper will draw upon modern theories in cognitive linguistics and discourse analysis, including Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Critical Metaphor Analysis, and metaphorical framing theories, in order to unfold some common ideas and experiences that might have stood behind the conceptualisations of political status and participation in ancient Greece, and to explore the ways in which civic identity was constructed, reframed, and exploited in classical Athenian rhetoric. (Show less)

Riccarda Schmid : Applicability and Accessibility: Framing-Effects in Athenian Oratory
In political communication – ancient and modern – it is evident that it is not only facts that convinced groups of people. Rather it is how something is said, how a story is elaborated, how information is illustrated, linked to emotional stories, or proven with examples that determines the reception ... (Show more)
In political communication – ancient and modern – it is evident that it is not only facts that convinced groups of people. Rather it is how something is said, how a story is elaborated, how information is illustrated, linked to emotional stories, or proven with examples that determines the reception and reaction of an audience. Hence, framing influences opinion building and decision-making (Kahneman & Tversky 1981; Nelson, Oxley & Clawson 1997). The importance of such storytelling in political communication was already well known to public speakers in ancient Athenian democracy. Through storytelling, orators offered their audience a framework in which they invited them to make their decision (Spatharas 2020). This ability to reach an audience, keep their interest and make a speech not only appealing but – at least for the day – convincing was crucial, especially in the competitive context of Athenian law courts.
To influence information evaluation processes, applicability and accessibility are crucial cognitive effects of framing (Price & Tewksbury 1997, Lecheler & de Vreese 2019). Applicability is the process of knowledge activation. A public speaker frames the issue at stake in such a way as to activate a specific set of ideas, emotions, and prior knowledge which the individual then applies to process the information received. If successful, the speaker determines how the audience evaluates the issue at stake. Further, once activated, such ideas, emotions or memories retain an activation potential, making them more likely to be used also in subsequent evaluations. This is the accessibility effect. It determines which cognitive elements are – even after a speech is finished – most likely used to evaluate an event or person. Accessibility depends on a speaker's ability to activate knowledge, opinions, values or emotions within his audience, while applicability is strongly dependent on repetition.
In this paper, I show how statesmen in ancient Athenian democracy used framing for their public political speeches and in doing so built on applicability and accessibility effects to stir their audience’s evaluations towards the decision they wished for. I will focus on the Athenian rh?t?r Aeschines and discuss how he used framing to create cohesive stories throughout his speeches. This allows us to analyze how Aeschines used applicability to impact the audience’s evaluation of his main arguments as well as how he deliberately repeated key points throughout a speech to build an accessibility effect. (Show less)



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