This course examines the rise of rhetoric in fifth century Athens. As soon as men began to teach ways to speak more effectively, citizens began to fear the pernicious effects on a free society of those who could too easily persuade others. Thus even as rhetoric was first being defined there arose a corresponding fear of rhetoric. By reading some of the first evaluations of rhetoric ever written, students gain a greater understanding of written and oral argumentation. The course also follows the development of speech writing into the Republican period of Rome and looks at the polarizing rhetoric employed by the great Roman orator, Cicero. Students learn not only how to argue more persuasively, but also learn how to avoid the seductions of rhetoric by becoming more aware of how persuasive techniques are deployed against them.