Brill's Companion to Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric

Brill's Companion to Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric

Brill's Companion to Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric

Brill's Companion to Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric

Synopsis

This volume is intended as a companion to the study of Cicero's oratory and rhetoric for both students and experts in the field: for the neophyte, it provides a starting point; for the veteran Ciceronian scholar, a place for renewing the dialogue about issues concerning Ciceronian oratory and rhetoric; for all, a site of engagement at various levels with Ciceronian scholarship and bibliography. The book is arranged along roughly chronological lines and covers most aspects of Cicero's oratory and rhetoric. The particular strength of this companion resides in the individual, often very original approach to sundry topics by an array of impressive contributors, all of whom have spent large portions of their careers concentrating upon the oratorical and rhetorical oeuvre of Cicero. A bibliography of relevant items from the past 25 years, keyed to specific Ciceronian works, completes the volume. "Brill's Companion to Cicero will become the standard reference work on Cicero for many years.

Excerpt

At the beginning of a new century (and a new millennium), the name, the accomplishments, the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero still endure. Even a cursory reading of Professor Kennedy's essay on Cicero's oratorical and rhetorical legacy (see Chapter 16), or a glance at the impressive bibliography assembled by Professor Craig (Chapters 17 and 18), will confirm that Cicero's writings, despite periods when his popularity may have waned, have continued to be of great interest to many people throughout the ages and into the present. In addition to the scholars and the experts who have written and are writing about him, yet another generation of Latin students follows in the footsteps of countless other generations who have studied his speeches and his other works as models of elegant Latin prose and effective verbal persuasion. Indeed, there are legitimate reasons for such abiding interest. It is true that Cicero's extant corpus is huge in comparison to that of most other authors whose works survive from antiquity; his letters, speeches, and rhetorical and philosophical treatises stand as veritable mines of information about one of the most interesting and intriguing periods in all of Roman history. There are, however, many other prolific ancient authors whose volumes sit collecting dust on the shelves of our libraries. The fact remains that Cicero was, to put it simply, very good at what he did: his talent at persuading an audience has been matched by few orators in history, and his mastery of prose style and expression, in spite of criticism from 'Atticists' both ancient and modern, stands nearly unrivaled. Even those who are forced to rely on translations of Ciceronian prose have come to appreciate these accomplishments.

The authors of the essays in this volume offer their work as a companion to the study of Cicero's oratory and rhetoric, for both students and experts in the fleld. We hope that it will become a vade mecum of sorts: for the neophyte, a starting point; for the veteran, a place for renewing the dialogue (both old and new) about issues concerning Ciceronian oratory and rhetoric; for all, a site of engagement at various levels with Ciceronian scholarship and bibliography. Although the volume is arranged along roughly chronological lines, some of the authors choose to take a thematic approach . . .

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