Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks
edited by Carol S. Lipson and Roberta A. Binkley
In this collection, contributors from a range of disciplines explore the
rhetorics of early cultures before classical Greece, and from other cultures
simultaneous with it. The book aims to recover rhetorics from early cultures that are not normally attended to in the field of rhetoric, which generally begins examination of the history of rhetoric with the Greeks of 4th and 5th century BCE.
The contributors extend the gaze of rhetoric studies to cultures outside of the western tradition, focusing on near eastern and far eastern cultures. In particular, authors examine the rhetoric of ancient Mesopotamia and Assyria, ancient Egyptian rhetoric, biblical rhetoric of ancient Israel, ancient Chinese rhetoric, the rhetoric of Rhodes, and rhetorical practices as these migrated across near eastern cultures.
The book not only uncovers and makes visible alternate ways of understanding human behavior, but it examines the ways that the rhetorical practices under investigation both reflect and influence their cultures.
In addition, the collection addresses issues of historiography that arise in studying cultures where texts are limited and often available only in translation, and where scholars must depend on work in other disciplines. Additionally, authors raise questions about the application of western rhetorical concepts to these ancient cultures.
Finally, the collection provides discussion of specific ways that faculty who are not experts in the particular languages and cultures involved can begin to teach such rhetorics, at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
The authors represent the following range of disciplines: Rhetoric and
Composition, Mesopotamian and Assyrian Studies, Egyptology, and Religion.