This study of the language of insult charts abuse in classical
Athenian literature that centres on the mouth and its appetites,
especially talking, eating, drinking, and sexual activities. Attic
comedy, Platonic dialogue, and fourth-century oratory often deploy
insulting depictions of the mouth and its excesses in order to
deride professional speakers as sophists, demagogues, and women.
Although the patterns of imagery explored are very prominent in
ancient invective and later western literary traditions, this is
the first book to discuss this phenomenon in classical literature.
It responds to a growing interest in both abusive speech genres and
the representation of the body, illuminating an iambic discourse
that isolates the intemperate mouth as a visible emblem of
behaviours ridiculed in the democratic arenas of classical Athens.
Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
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