oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Death as an ideological stimulant : epitaphios and logos hegemonikos through Nicole Loraux’s The Invention of Athens

Volume 7 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



In this paper, I will first discuss how funeral orations (epitaphioi) in Nicole Loraux’s The Invention of Athens are read as part of the Athenian ideological struggle against internal and external conflicts. Loraux’s book is by far the most influential study of the Greek epitaphios. Further, I will focus on the rhetorical strategies that allow the funeral orations to transform death into an ideological tool to strengthen Athenian hegemony during its classical phase (fifth and fourth centuries BC). Lastly, drawing on Jean-François Lyotard and Jean-Paul Sartre, I shall briefly examine some philosophical implications about death and its ideological function when collectively implemented in an epitaphios.  

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