The present paper scrutinises the intrinsic argumentative structure of Hyperides' Athenogenes-speech. Since the speaker cannot rely on solid juristic foundation (as his task was to annul a valid, undersigned contract), in order to influence his audience, he adopts a threefold method of argumentation. First, Hyperides produces an impressive list of irrelevant laws, then he launches a bitter invective against Athenogenes and finally, which plays the decisive role, he targets the jurors (his well trained fellow-spectators of comedy) with cleverly chosen comic reminiscences. Quite uniquely in the history of Attic eloquence, the orator - as his main weapon - creates a striking scenario (both events and characters) of contemporaneous comic choreography. This is proven by thematic and linguistic parallels. On the basis of the new reading of the papyrus [col. XVI,1] we can also re-evaluate the invective against Athenogenes.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.