Roman Eloquence: Rhetoric in Society and Literature

By William J. Dominik | Go to book overview

10

Melpomene's declamation (rhetoric and tragedy)

Sander M. Goldberg

In the late summer of 55 BCE, Cicero sweltered through the inaugural ceremonies for Pompey's new theater complex in the Campus Martius. The vast structure itself was in many ways a marvel: Rome's first stone theater, designed to hold perhaps 40,000 spectators, incorporated a temple of Venus Victrix above the cavea, flanked by four ancillary sanctuaries to revered abstractions like Honos and Virtus, while behind the stage building stretched an elaborate portico and formal garden connecting the theater with a new senate-house some 200 meters to the east. It was all very impressive, but not the surroundings nor the awnings nor the innovative water-courses of the new building itself could relieve the heat of that Roman August or the tedium of that inaugural display. 1 Cicero described the program with wry distaste in a famous letter to his friend Marcus Marius, himself comfortably installed in a villa on the Bay of Naples.

The entertainments staged in the new theater included mimes, plays, and farces. Performances were in Greek as well as Latin and employed both local and imported talent. Some distinguished veterans of the stage had also been invited out of retirement for the occasion, and some, says Cicero, unwisely accepted the invitation: old Aesopus, the famous tragic actor of the late republic, actually lost his voice in mid-sentence, to the embarrassment of all. Related shows in the Circus included races and wild animal displays performed over a five-day period-memory of an elephant hunt there lingered down to Pliny's day-but the most notorious spectacle on the program, or at least the spectacle that most exasperated Cicero, was the lavish staging of two classic Roman plays, Accius' Clytemnestra and the Equus Troianus of (we think) Naevius (Fam. 7.1): 2

-166-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Roman Eloquence: Rhetoric in Society and Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 268

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.