The Beginning of Speechwriting

Jens E. Kjeldsen, Amos Kiewe, Marie Lund, Jette Barnholdt Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


In this chapter, we introduce the classical theories of rhetoric that are foundational for contemporary speechwriting. We outline some of the basic concepts in the ancient Greek theories on rhetoric, notably Aristotle’s’ On Rhetoric, the first treatise on rhetoric, and additions made by Roman scholars. We explain how a cultural climate in ancient Greece gave rise to professional speechwriting for others: logography. When politicians and officials had to address large crowds in state matters, they sought advice from intellectuals and educators who taught rhetoric and philosophy. We present some of these professionals, often referred to as ‘Sophists,’ who also wrote speeches for citizens who had to deliver a speech in court. In ancient Rome, where citizens were allowed to have advocates speak on their behalf in court, the most important kind of speechmaking beside the courts was the political speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRhetoric, Politics and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRhetoric, Politics and Society
VolumePart F796
ISSN (Print)2947-5147
ISSN (Electronic)2947-5155

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'The Beginning of Speechwriting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this