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Community and Communication: Oratory and Politics in Republican Romebrings together nineteen international contributions which rethink the role of public speech in the Roman Republic. Speech was an integral part of decision-making in Republican Rome, and oratory was part of the education of every member of the elite. Yet no complete speech from the period by anyone other than Cicero survives, and as a result the debate on oratory, and political practice more widely, is liable to be distorted by the distinctive features of Cicero's oratorical practice. With careful attention to a wide range of ancient evidence, this volume shines a light on orators other than Cicero, and considers the oratory of diplomatic exchanges and impromptu heckling and repartee alongside the more familiar genres of forensic and political speech. In doing so, it challenges the idea that Cicero was a normative figure, and highlights the variety of career choices and speech strategies open to Roman politicians. The essays in the volume also demonstrate how unpredictable the outcomes of oratory were: politicians could try to control events by cherry-picking their audience and using tried methods of persuasion, but incompetence, bad luck, or hostile listeners were constant threats.
Catherine Steel is Professor of Classics at the University of Glasgow, and is author of numerous books and articles on Cicero, Roman oratory, and Roman political history.
Henriette van der Blom is Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University and has previously published Cicero's Role Models (Oxford University Press, 2010) as well as articles on Cicero and Roman political life.
Table of Contents
List of contributors
List of abbreviations
Henriette van der Blom and Catherine Steel
Part I: Citizens, Speech and the Roman res publica
1. Friends, Romans, Countrymen: addressing the Roman people and the rhetoric of inclusion, Karl-Joachim Holkeskamp
2. Cultural hegemony and the communicative power of the Roman elite, Robert Morstein-Marx
3. Feeding the plebs with words: the significance of senatorial public oratory in the small word of Roman politics, Martin Jehne
4. From meeting to text: the contio in the late Republic, Henrik Mouritsen
Part II: Strategy and Tactics in Public Speech
5. Beyond the contio: political communication in the tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus, Harriet I. Flower
6. Speech, competition, and collaboration: tribunician politics and the development of popular ideology, Amy Russell
7. Publius Clodius and the boundaries of the contio, James Tan
8. Campaign rhetoric, W. Jeffrey Tatum
9. Pompeius, Helvius Mancia and the politics of popular debate, Catherine Steel
Part III: Judgments and Criticisms
10. The bad orator: between clumsy delivery and political danger, Jakob Wisse
11. The orator and his audience: the rhetorical perspective, Valentina Arena
12. Cicero and the politics of ambiguity, John Dugan
Part IV: Romans and non-Romans
13. The Roman ambassador s speech: public oratory on the diplomatic stage, Elena Torregaray Pagola
14. Foreign eloquence in the Roman senate, Francisco Pina Polo
15. The provincial perspective on the politics of repetundae trials, Jonathan R.W. Prag
Part V: Cicero s Rivals
16. The common (mediocris) orator: the Scribonii Curiones, Cristina Rosillo Lopez
17. Fragmentary Speeches: the oratory and political career of Piso Caesoninus, Henriette van der Blom
18. Marcus Junius Brutus the orator: between philosophy and rhetoric, Andrea Balbo
19. Antonius, triumvir and orator: career, style and effectiveness, Trevor Mahy