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Title: Roman representations of the orator during the last century of the Republic
Author: Burnand, Christopher John
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2000
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The aim of this thesis is to explore the various ways in which Romans constructed the orator's role during this period. I emphasize that the orator was a central figure in Late Republican Rome and that a rhetorical training and an ability to speak in public - whether in the courts, in the senate house or in contiones - could be seen as essential attributes for the leading public figures of this time. In this way the thesis contributes to recent work which has stressed that the political system at Rome can be seen as a form of democracy. My chapters are arranged according to the texts which I have used as evidence in each. The first examines the surviving rhetorical handbooks and dialogues, and argues that there was a thriving and agonistic market for rhetorical education at Rome. Greek ideas were reshaped to suit the Roman socio-political world and its different practices, such as advocacy. Roman orators engaged in heated polemic over the best style of speaking, providing further evidence that the world of the forum was highly competitive. The second chapter uses a selection of Cicero's judicial speeches to argue that a Roman advocate could use a wide variety of strategies, both in portraying his relationship with his client, and in presenting his own persona. The third chapter focuses upon Cicero's Philippics, and explores the ways in which an orator could present his relationship - and establish his authority - with his audience, through his selection of arguments, such as the use of exempla. The final two chapters broaden the horizons of the work: the former uses the fragments of Cato the Elder and Gaius Gracchus to suggest that earlier Romans had used similar devices in developing their self-portrayals. The latter explores the historical texts of Caesar and Sallust, the only surviving evidence which sets the speech-act within the contexts of opposing orations and of audience responses. I conclude with an appendix on the published versions of the speeches.
Supervisor: Chris Pelling, Greg Woolf, Andrew Lintott Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Oratory ; Rome History