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The Rhetoric of ManhoodMasculinity in the Attic Orators$
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Joseph Roisman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241923

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241923.001.0001

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Manhood and Social Standing

Manhood and Social Standing

(p.84) Chapter 4 Manhood and Social Standing
The Rhetoric of Manhood

Joseph Roisman

University of California Press

This chapter explores the ways in which perceptions of masculinity were colored by social and economic status, and how the elite and the masses perceived each other's manhood. Erōtikos is an essay addressed by a man to a prospective young male lover named Epicrates. The association between superior manhood and superior social class seems to have been made by the demos as well. Oratorical references to the elite as unmanly focus on several interrelated themes: sexual excesses, self-indulgent lifestyles, the use of wealth in the pursuit of false honor, and hubris. Two speeches in Demosthenes' oratorical corpus that defended people in scorned occupations actually reflect the scorn in which those occupations and the people who earned their living by them were held. The orations presented generally show strong associations between manhood and social position.

Keywords:   manhood, social position, Demosthenes, Erōtikos, Epicrates, masculinity, social class

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