ABSTRACT

Authors may be dealing here with the traditional antipathy between philosophy and rhetoric; and it is maintained that the sage is responsible for emptying rhetorician's schools by making philosophy so fashionable. They have a number of encounters between the holy man and a sceptical opposition which regards itself as more sophisticated, but which will not necessarily retire from a contrived encounter unscathed. Time and again they find the quarrels of holy men intertwining with the pressures and problems of urban aristocracies. The variety of rivalries between holy men is such that we cannot lay down any rules of engagement for the conduct of disputes. One common factor or context seems present: the holy man is an individualist who does not easily tolerate opposition, all the more so from those close to him; we can also expect volatile reactions from large populations in the hands of individuals offering the hope of revelations.