Corax the Sophist

In antiquity, the sophists were people who were very influential to public speaking, relevant even in today's day and age.The term “sophist” comes from the Greek sophos which means wisdom. This being stated, a sophist was a person who used and taught wise things (Reinard).A sophist by the name of Corax made many contributions to public speaking which are quite useful to us today.
Corax was a sophist who appeared at the beginning of ancient history when there were land disputes in ancient Greece which also led to legal disputes."Land disputes in ancient Greece were often murky, the records disputed, the facts hard to determine" (Osborn 5).Corax examined the fact that certainty is hard to establish in disputes, and therefore "speakers must seek to establish probabilities and to reconstruct plausible accounts of reality" (Osborn 5) which would help to administer the truth.Corax "invented" the study of rhetorical speaking and defined it as the "craftsman of persuasion" (Reinard).
The name "Corax" in Greek means crow (korax) which suggests that he must have suffered from "bad puns" throughout his life.In fact, Corax accused his student, Tisias, of not paying for his instruction in public speaking and brought charges up against him.In the end, even though Corax seemed to be more persuasive, the jurors dismissed the case altogether (Osborn 5-6).
Corax gave us the revelation that "reality is often the projection of our own interpretations, expectations, and fantasies" (Osborn 6).This was not Corax's only major contribution to public speaking.He also developed a four-part pattern for the organization of forensic speeches.
The four essential parts were: the introduction, narration, argument, and conclusion or peroration.The introduction is where the speaker identifies with his or her audience.After identifying with the audience…


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