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  • Oratory was a vital element in the Athenian democracy. In this study Anna Missiou analyses the ideological content of the speeches of the crypto-oligarch Andokides (active c. 420-390 BC). Drawing on modern communication studies, she proposes a contextual and historical approach to oratory rather than one that concentrates on the speaker. She insists that there was a rational as well as an emotional element in the responses of both orator and audience, and that there was a tension between political equality and socio-economic inequality lying at the centre of Athenian democratic society. She suggests that the political ideology of a speaker can be evaluated in the light of his rhetorical techniques. A detailed analysis of Andokides' arguments for peace in On the Peace with the Lakedaimonians reveals that the intense controversy in Athens over the continuation of the war with Sparta in 391 reflected class antagonism among the Athenians. Dr Missiou argues that the speech was essentially subversive, aimed at spreading pro-Spartan and antiwar feelings rather than persuading the audience to take a particular decision.