Rhetoric and Roman Political Culture

Steel, C. (2022) Rhetoric and Roman Political Culture. In: Arena, V. and Prag, J. (eds.) A Companion to Roman Political Culture. Series: Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ; Chichester., pp. 446-454. ISBN 9781444339659 hbk, 9781119673712 pbk, 9781119673651 ePDF, 9781119673590 oBook, 9781119673675 epub (doi: 10.1002/9781119673675.ch32)

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Forensic advocacy was a highly specialised area of oratory, demanding not simply highly developed rhetorical skills but also a detailed knowledge and understanding of Roman law and competence in witness cross-examination. Oratory played an important part in Republican political culture, but individual politicians had a high degree of control of the extent to which they themselves spoke. A basic organisational principle of the Roman Republic was the lack of differentiation among its elite in terms of the functions they might be expected to perform during their careers. The conclusion, for rhetoric just as much as for the other skills and activities which make up the political culture of the Roman Republic, is that no single factor can adequately explain its working. In this highly individualised and intensely competitive world, the ability to speak persuasively was a valuable asset and rhetoric, therefore, a skill of persistent interest to the elite.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Steel, Professor Catherine
Authors: Steel, C.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
ISBN:9781444339659 hbk, 9781119673712 pbk, 9781119673651 ePDF, 9781119673590 oBook, 9781119673675 epub
Published Online:31 January 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
First Published:First published in A Companion to Roman Political Culture: 446-454
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Publisher

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