The Trial as a Pretext. On Gorgias’ Defense of Palamedes

Stefania Giombini

The Defense of Palamedes is a discourse that includes some aspects close to law, as the call for precautionary detention, and that, at the same time, seems to lack the fundamental structures of judicial discourses as testimonies and references to laws. The relation of this work with the archaic and classical era laws will be analyzed, like also the logic of the argumentation that underlies the careful construction of the whole text and like all the elements, presents and absents, which will help identifying the ultimate purpose of Gorgias’ work. The result will be a highly rhetorical reading of the Defense in which Gorgias, careful to make strong an initially weak speech, will be able to show how the mere art of persuasion may be able to produce an effective discourse.

DOI: 10.37240/AHFiMS.2020.65.9


Keywords: Gorgias · rhetoric · Greek trial · antilogy · principle of non-contradiction

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