ALEXANDER THE GREAT: CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ORAL TRADITION OF INTERPRETATION
This research discusses the contributions to the oral tradition of interpretation of Alexander the Great. Alexander's role in the Hellenization of peoples beyond the borders of ancient Greece is recognized. The spread of Grecian values and culture owed much to the oral tradition of interpretation. Alexander was especially effective in the promotion of Hellenization because of his abilities as a persuasive speaker. Much of Alexander's effectiveness as an orator stemmed from the teaching he received from Aristotle. These several themes are discussed in this research.
Ancient Athenian politicians used the courts of law, assemblies, and theaters in much the same way as modern politicians use radio and television to interpret values and events and to persuade people to accept those interpretations. Oratorical skills are essential in this approach to interpretation. Oral interpretation is in effect oral presentation. In this context, the effectiveness of interpretation is enhanced by the presence of the speaker and by the ability of the speaker to involve her or his body in the presentation. Whether the body responds to emotion or whether emotions respond to the body is not relevant within the context of oral interpretation because one cannot exist without the other. Alexander was a master at the use of his body in conjunction with his oratory.
The oral tradition of interpretation is an art of performance. Thus, oral interpretation requires the presence of an audience, which in its own way and in its own turn "becomes a participant in the total act of interpretation." Alexander's success in persuading people to do his bidding was largely a function of such interaction between speaker and listeners. Alexander was not a man of great stature. Alexander was, however, possessed with extraordinary physical skills, and he was, thus, able to ...