CriticaLink | Plato: Phaedrus | Terms


Public speaking played a key role in the political and legal lives of the Greeks. Skilled orators like Pericles could not only command a great deal of power and influence in public affairs, but were also at an advantage in the courts, where litigants had to plead their own cases. They sometimes earned money as logographers, producing speeches and letters for others. The Greek word for orator is rhetor; we derive our word rhetoric from the expression for the "techniques of the orator" (rhetorike techne).