This chapter presents one part of the ancient rhetorical curriculum which is the melet. It is a declamation—an imaginary deliberative or judicial oration in which the speaker impersonated a mythical, historical, or generic character. Meletai were complete, full-blown orations; the student advanced to them after working on the progymnasmata, preliminary exercises in various modes of discourse, which often can be found incorporated into appropriate sections of a full-blown oration. The sophist was expected to be a master of declamation. His meletai were models for his students to emulate, and there were also eager audiences for them outside of the schoolroom. Himerius's Orations 1–5 are presented in this chapter.
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