Greek Oratory. Tradition and Originality.
Oxford University Press, 2001. First paperback ed. XI,388p. Paperback. 'This (...) book treats classical oratory from its beginning in the sophistic period to its end (...) in 322 B.C. U. sets his work squarely in the tradition of Dionysius, one of whose aims was to assess the classical orators' literary merit in purely aesthetic terms. U. cites Blass, Jebb, Dobson, and Kennedy as his modern predecessors, but he differs from these in his concentrated focus on literary style. His goal is stylistic analysis, and he presents biographical, historical, legal, and other matters only as background for his purposes. (...) The subtitel identifies two specific concerns, tradition and originality. The former consists primarily of recurring rhetorical features. U. identifies the parts of speaches, common themes, or topoi, and many individual figures of speech (...). But his real interest is originality, and he repeatedly observes where and how a writer is or is not being original. (...) U. generally steers a reasonable path through the many difficulties regarding these issues. He also copes fairly well with the chronological overlap among several orators (...). The search for originality raises many other questions, however, that U. either ignores or treats only implicitly. (...) It is easy, of course, to criticize someone for not writing the book the reviewer wants, and I should hasted to add that U. largely accomplishes what he sets out to do. (...) Although reviewers may read the book straight through, many others will read only the discussions of certain orators or speecheds, but they will find these useful and enlightening. The book also provides a good starting point for a study of rhetorical tropes and figures in oratory. (...) The book will be useful, and not just for its many detailed studies. Perhaps its most impressive feature is U.'s overall assessments of orators, particularly through form and scale rather than identifiable technical or rhetorical innovation.' (...) Despite some limitations, then, this book has considerable strengths and will interest all who work on the orators.' (MICHAEL GAGARIN in The Classical Review (New Series), 2000, pp.422-424).