Monday, May 4, 2009

Socrates the Orator

OK, it's a nit, but the wonderful Mark Steyn gets it wrong in the following sentence from his latest article on National Review Online:

"... but I don't think those who routinely hail him as the greatest orator since Socrates actually sit through man of his speeches."

Socrates was no orator. He didn't like making speeches himself (his most famous speech resulted in his own execution), didn't like others making speeches, and did everything he could to draw individuals out of speechifying and into the cross-examination of Socratic dialog.  Now the sophists interrogated by Socrates - Protagoras, etc. - those were orators.

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