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The Roman World of Cicero's de Oratore [Paperback]

Elaine Fantham

Price: 42.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Dec 2006 0199207739 978-0199207732 New Ed
The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore aims to provide an accessible study of Cicero's first and fullest dialogue, on the ideal orator-statesman. It illustrates the dialogue's achievement as a reflection of a civilized way of life and a brilliantly constructed literary unity, and considers the contribution made by Cicero's recommendations to the development of rhetoric and higher education at Rome. Because Cicero deliberately set his extended conversation in the generation of his childhood teachers, a study of the dialogue in its historical setting can show how the political and cultural life of this earlier period differed from Cicero's personal experience of the collapse of senatorial government, when the overwhelming power of the `first triumvirate' forced him into political silence in the last decade of the republic. After an introductory chapter reviewing Cicero's position on return from exile, chapters include a comparative study of the careers of M. Antonius and L. Licinius Crassus, protagonists of the dialogue, a discussion of Cicero's response to Plato's criticisms of rhetoric in the Gorgias and Phaedrus, and his debt to Aristotle's Rhetoric, analysis of the dialogue's treatment of Roman civil law, existing Latin literature and historical writing, Strabo's survey of the sources and application of humour, political eloquence in senate and contio, theories of diction and style, and the techniques of oral delivery. An epilogue looks briefly at Cicero's De re publica and Tacitus' Dialogus de oratoribus as reflections on the transformation of oratory and free (if oligarchic) republican government by debate to meet the context of the new autocracy.

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"With her usual astute scholarship, Fantham has presented a cogent, illuminating analysis of the dialogue within the context of the failing senatorial government of the late republic. Her analysis is as important for understanding Cicero and his era as it is for understanding the practice of oratory, rhetoric in Rome, and the training of the orator/statesman.... This is a significant contribution to the understanding of Cicero, his dialogue, and his world. Highly recommended."--Choice

About the Author

Elaine Fantham is Giger Professor of Latin Emerita, Princeton University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Often as I reflect and return in memory to the old days, my dear brother, I think that those great men were immensely blessed who flourished in their tenure of office and glorious achievements in the best period of our political life: for they could hold  Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too New 14 Jan 2008
By Eugene J. Brady - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since I'm only on page nine of the book I cannot give a proper evaluation of the entire book. However it is clear that great detail is presented on the specifics of Cicero's time. I look forward to further reading.
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