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Ta mère ! Insulte et généalogie à la tribune démocratique

Abstract : As a consequence of Pericles’ citizenship law of 451/450, and the sudden arrival of matrilineality in Athenian law, women gained an important role in Athenian civic life. Henceforth, in the Assembly or in the law courts, one of the simplest methods for dealing with an adversary was to insult his mother. Study of the rhetorical corpus allows three kinds of insults, targeting the adversary’s mother, to be distinguished: she could be described as a foreigner, a prostitute or a pauper. Seemingly derived from the comic psogos, abusive rhetoric became a major issue for litigants and something which had to be refuted, since casting doubt on the mother’s birth, morality and/or social status amounted to contesting the son’s citizenship, excluding him from the demos, depriving him of any credibility and even of his parrhesia.
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https://hal.univ-reims.fr/hal-03008000
Contributor : Noémie Villacèque <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 3:55:12 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 3:28:33 AM

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Noémie Villacèque. Ta mère ! Insulte et généalogie à la tribune démocratique. Cahiers "Mondes Anciens" , ANHIMA, 2014, Maudire et mal dire : paroles menaçantes en Grèce ancienne, ⟨10.4000/mondesanciens.1242⟩. ⟨hal-03008000⟩

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