Wednesday, 26 April 2023, 4 PM, Keble College, ARCO, Roy Griffiths Room, Teaching Rhetoric in the Syriac World

British Academy Newton International Fellow Daham University, Department of Classics and Ancient History

The art of public speaking and composing powerful orations that can swing the juries, persuade the masses and praise or attack public figures, is one of the most practised exercises in the history of mankind. In the Syriac world, the use of rhetorical devices is evident from the very start of literary production. However, it is only in the ninth century that we have the first, and only, known handbook on Syriac rhetoric, composed by the schoolteacher Antony of Tagrit

The lecture will discuss the rhetorical knowledge inferred from Anthony’s treatise to understand how rhetoric was taught in Synac schools. It will also discuss its similarities with the Greco-Roman tradition and highlight the differences, in an attempt to bring together some of the scattered pieces composing the puzzle of Syriac education, a subject which remains, to this day, still not fully understood.

Author: Dr. Bernard Mulholland

Dr. Bernard Mulholland is a Byzantinist, archaeologist, historian and Patristics scholar with a Ph.D. in history (QUB, 2012). Bernard's publications include: Fiction: Bernard Mulholland, Nazareth Quest (2022). Non-fiction: Bernard Mulholland, The man from MENSA - 1 of 600: Mensa research (2016). ---, The man from MENSA - 1 of the 600: Politics 1990-1995 (2016). ---, Ratio analysis of financial KPI in the Higher Education sector: a case study (2018). ---, Early Byzantine Ireland: a survey of the archaeological evidence (2021). ---, Navan Fort, Ireland: archaeological and palaeoecological analysis (2021). ---, The Early Byzantine Christian Church (Oxford, 2014). ---, 'Identification of Early Byzantine Constantinopolitan, Syrian, and Roman church plans in the Levant and some possible consequences', Patristic Studies in the twenty-first century: proceedings of an international conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Association of Patristic Studies, ed. Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Theodore de Bruyn and Carol Harrison (Turnhout, 2015), 597-633. Mulholland, B. (2021). 'Can archaeology inform the climate change debate?' Academia Letters, Article4385.

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