antiphon

/an"teuh fon'/, n.
1. a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response.
2. Eccles.
a. a psalm, hymn, or prayer sung in alternate parts.
b. a verse or a series of verses sung as a prelude or conclusion to some part of the service.
[1490-1500; < ML antiphona responsive singing < Gk () antíphona, neut. pl. of ANTÍPHONOS sounding in answer, equiv. to anti- ANTI- + phon(é) sound + -os adj. suffix. Cf. ANTHEM]

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flourished с 480–411 BC

Orator and statesman.

The first Athenian known to practice rhetoric professionally, he wrote speeches for others to give in court but was reluctant to appear in public debate. He may have instigated the revolution of the oligarchic Council of the Four Hundred, an attempt to seize the Athenian government in the midst of war. When the oligarchy fell, he defended his role in the overthrow in a speech called by Thucydides the greatest defense ever made, but he was nonetheless executed for treason.

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▪ Greek writer and statesman
flourished c. 480—411 BC, Athens

      orator and statesman, the earliest Athenian known to have taken up rhetoric as a profession. He was a logographos; i.e., a writer of speeches for other men to deliver in their defense in court, a function that was particularly useful in the climate of accusation and counter-accusation that prevailed in Athens at the conclusion of the Peloponnesian War, between Athens and Sparta.

      As a politician Antiphon was the prime mover in the anti-democratic revolution of the Four Hundred, an oligarchic council set up in 411 BC in an attempt to seize the Athenian government in the midst of war. Others may have been more conspicuous in the forefront of the political struggle, but Thucydides' (Thucydides) judgment in his History, when describing the revolution of the Four Hundred, is that it was Antiphon “who conceived the whole matter and the means by which it was brought to pass.” He was reluctant to put himself forward in public debate because, says Thucydides, he realized that his reputation for cleverness made him unpopular with the people. But when the regime of the Four Hundred fell, he defended himself in a speech Thucydides describes as the greatest ever made by a man on trial for his life. Nevertheless, the defense was unsuccessful and Antiphon was executed for treason.

      Fifteen of Antiphon's compositions survive, of which three, “On the murder of Herodes,” “On the Choreutes,” and “Against a Stepmother,” were actually delivered in court. The remaining 12 speeches are arranged in three sets of four known as tetralogies, which were composed as exercises for the instruction of students. Each tetralogy consists of two speeches each for the defense and the prosecution in a homicide case.

      The 1st-century-BC teacher of rhetoric Dionysius of Halicarnassus selected Antiphon's work as an example of the austere in oratory. His language is dignified and he nowhere indulges in the personal abuse that characterizes many of the later orators. Even when he is dealing with actual events, however, he seems remote from the realities of the situation, and he makes no attempt to suit his speeches to the differing personalities of those who were to deliver them. An edition by K.J. Maidment in Minor Attic Orators, volume 1, is in the Loeb Classical Library with Greek text and English translation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antiphon — Antiphon, en grec ancien Ἀντιφῶν / Antiphôn (Rhamnos, Attique v. 480–Athènes 410), est l un des dix grands orateurs attiques. Ce sophiste hédoniste s’était spécialisé dans plusieurs domaines de la sophia (la connaissance, le savoir) telle que le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Antiphon — • One or more psalm verses or sentences from Holy Scripture which are sung or recited before and after each psalm and the Magnificat during Matins and Vespers Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Antiphon     Antiphon …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ANTIPHON — quidam scripsit librum περὶ τῶ εν ἀρετῇ πρωτευσάντων, e quo Laertius Diogenes, l. 8. Pythagorae vitam illustrat. Citat eundem, sed περὶ τȏυ βίου τῶ εν ἀρετῇ πρωτευσάντων, Porphyrius, in Vita Pythagorae, et ex illo Cyrillus, l. 10. contra Iulianum …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Antiphon — bezeichnet: Antiphon (Musik), eine bestimmte Form eines Chorals Antiphon (Redner) (480–411 v. Chr.), einen griechischen Redner Antiphon (Sophist) (5. Jhd. v. Chr.), einen griechischen Philosophen und Sophisten. Die Identität mit dem Redner… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Antiphon — An ti*phon, n. [LL. antiphona, fr. Gr. ?. See {Anthem}.] 1. A musical response; alternate singing or chanting. See {Antiphony}, and {Antiphone}. [1913 Webster] 2. A verse said before and after the psalms. Shipley. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Antĭphon — Antĭphon, 1) Athener, wollte dem Philippos die athenische Flotte verrathen, deshalb von Demosthenes angeklagt u. 332 o. Chr. hingerichtet; 2) A., aus Rhamnus in Attika, geb. 480 (479) v. Chr., Tragiker, später hochgeachteter Rhetor, war der erste …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Antiphōn — (griech., »Gegenstimme«; franz. Antienne), ursprünglich ein Wechselgesang zwischen zwei Chören, einer der ältesten Bestandteile des altkirchlichen Ritualgesanges. In die griechische Kirche soll den Antiphonengesang der heil. Chrysostomus… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Antiphon — Antiphon, der älteste der zehn »attischen Redner« (s. d.), geb. um 480 v. Chr. in Rhamnus. Ein hervorragendes Mitglied der oligarchischen Partei und besonders bei Einsetzung des Rates der Vierhundert und den Friedensverhandlungen mit Sparta… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Antiphon — Antiphōn (grch.), gottesdienstlicher Wechselgesang zwischen Priester und Gemeinde; im röm. Gottesdienst gegen Solo und Chorgesang zurücktretend; das Antiphonarĭum oder Antiphonāle umfaßt den kirchlichen Gesang überhaupt. In der prot. Kirche hat… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Antiphon [2] — Antĭphon, Verfasser von Gerichtsreden, geb. um 480 v. Chr. zu Rhamnus in Attika, wegen Landesverrats und Beteiligung an der Einführung einer oligarchischen Verfassung 411 zum Tode verurteilt; 15 Reden erhalten, meist erdichtete Fälle behandelnd;… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Antiphon [1] — Antiphon war in alter Zeit die Art des Psalmengesanges, daß die Singenden sich in 2 Chöre theilten, von denen der eine die Verse, der andere aber die Klausel, den Schluß, sang, oder sie fangen abwechselnd den einen und andern Vers; jetzt versteht …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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