On the Ideal Orator

On the Ideal Orator

3.73 (233 ratings by Goodreads)
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In "On the Ideal Orator" (De Oratore) Cicero - the greatest Roman orator and prosewriter of his day - gives his views on rhetoric, oratory and philosophy. Cast in the lively literary form of a dialogue, the work presents a daring view of the orator as the master of all language communcation, while still emphasizing his role at the heart of Roman society and politics. Cicero thus goes far beyond the rules of the standard manuals of the rhetoricians, whom he criticizes for their rigidity and narrowness. But in the age-old quarrel between the philosophers and the rhetoricians, he does not side with the philosophers either. His picture of the ideal orator consitutes Cicero's own, original synthesis between the two positions. This translation aims to be accessible as well as accurate. The translation is based on, and contributes to, the many advances in recent scholarship of "De Oratore" itself, as well as of the many aspects of ancient rhetoric, philosophy, and history relevant to the work. It reflects the many variations of Cicero's style, which are essential ingredients of the work, signalling irony, seriousness, arguments, and climaxes.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 680.39g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • glossary, index, bibliography
  • 0195091973
  • 9780195091977

Table of contents

Introduction. 1: The Roman background: politics and culture. 1.1: Orators in politics. 1.2: Greeks and Romans. 2: De oratore in Cicero's life. 3: The subject: the ideal orator. 4: Form I: Dialogue technique. 5: Form II: "Rhetorical" techniques and the way to read De oratore. 6: Background I: The quarrel between rhetoricians and philosophers, and Cicero's position in it. 6.1: Brief history of the quarrel. 6.2: The issues in the quarrel: Cicero's position. 7: Background II: Traditional rhetoric and Cicero's alternative. 7.1: Preliminary questions. 7.2: The basic systems and Cicero's choice. 7.3: The individual activities. 8: Background III: Cicero's "sources". 9: This translation. 10: The text. 11: Synopsis of the work. Further Readings and Bibliography. Abbreviations. Translation: On The Ideal Orator. Book 1. Book 2. Book 3. Appendix A: Cicero's Works. Appendix B: Figures of Thought and Speech. Appendix C: List of Readings. Glossary. Index of Places and Names. General Indexshow more

Rating details

233 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 26% (60)
4 35% (81)
3 29% (68)
2 8% (19)
1 2% (5)
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