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Summer 2003, pages 27-53

Logos as Composition

Abstract: This essay argues that the word logos meant "a gathering or composition" in Homeric Greek and that it retained this sense through the fifth century BCE. It first builds a philological case for the composition/gathering meaning of logos. Next, it addresses the historiographic question of how the interpretation of logos as logic/language has come to prevail in our histories of Greek thought. Finally, it demonstrates the relevance that the composition/gathering reading of logos can have for the history of rhetoric by showing how it can help in rethinking the "rivalry" between muthos and logos.

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