'Fake News': the Greek orators' rhetorical presentation of the past

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Greek oratory is a vast repository of information on the history, society, and mores of ancient Greece. But since the orators were practitioners of the art of rhetoric, and often styled historical examples to suit various rhetorical needs, to what extent can we accept the veracity of their accounts? Are they as guilty as producing 'fake news' as much as happens today? If so, and unlike today, how can we fact them for accuracy, and how were they able to escape censure on the part of their audience for embellishments of the truth and lies? I address these questions in this article, with reference to some historical events, and make some observations on the importance of oratory but how rhetoric can outweigh truth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-31
Number of pages17
JournalRoda da Fortuna: Revista Eletrônica sobre Antiguidade e Medievo
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Also available in Portuguese: "'Fake News': apresentação retórica do passado dos oradores gregos" (pp. 32-49).


  • Oratory
  • Rhetoric
  • Politics
  • News
  • History
  • Orator


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