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Keeping up Appearances: Shame and Oratory in Cicero's Thought
Unformatted Document Text:  that “to know what is appropriate at each time is a matter of intelligence.” 22 Speaking appropriately – that is, in keeping with decorum – is thus a matter of judgment, not rules. Cicero’s Orator, written in 46 B.C.E. and dedicated to Marcus Junius Brutus, takes up themes present in the earlier On the Ideal Orator, though focusing largely, as noted, on a quarrel within rhetoric – namely, addressing the criticisms of his Atticist detractors (as had the earlier Brutus, also written to M. Brutus). 23 This group of orators, which seems to have emerged in Rome between 60 and 50 B.C.E., found Cicero’s style to be “swollen, turgid, even degenerate and ‘Asian’.” 24 Their model of style was a classicizing speech, based on their understanding of Attic oratory. This style eschewed bombast and emotional appeals, and sought to meet expert standards of excellence rather than look to the judgment of the many to decide its worth. 25 Foremost among their models, in this regard, was the Attic orator Lysias and the historian Thucydides. 26 22 Ibid. III.212. 23 Jakob Wisse, "The Intellectual Background of Cicero's Rhetorical Works," in Brill's Companion to Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric, ed. James M. May (Leiden: Brill, 2002). 364. 24 James M. May, "Cicero as Rhetorician," in A Companion to Roman Rhetoric, ed. William J Dominik and Jon Hall (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007). 256. May dates the emergence of Atticism to c. 60 B.C.E.; Kennedy, based on Cicero’s silence on Atticism in On the Ideal Orator (55 B.C.E.), suggests it emerged around 50 B.C.E. George A. Kennedy, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World, 300 B.C. - A.D. 300 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972). 242. 25 Kennedy, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World, 300 B.C. - A.D. 300. 243. 9

Authors: Kapust, Daniel.
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that “to know what is appropriate at each time is a matter of intelligence.”
Speaking
appropriately – that is, in keeping with decorum – is thus a matter of judgment, not rules.
Cicero’s
Orator, written in 46 B.C.E. and dedicated to Marcus Junius Brutus,
takes up themes present in the earlier On the Ideal Orator, though focusing largely, as
noted, on a quarrel within rhetoric – namely, addressing the criticisms of his Atticist
detractors (as had the earlier Brutus, also written to M. Brutus).
This group of orators,
which seems to have emerged in Rome between 60 and 50 B.C.E., found Cicero’s style
to be “swollen, turgid, even degenerate and ‘Asian’.”
Their model of style was a
classicizing speech, based on their understanding of Attic oratory. This style eschewed
bombast and emotional appeals, and sought to meet expert standards of excellence rather
than look to the judgment of the many to decide its worth.
Foremost among their
models, in this regard, was the Attic orator Lysias and the historian Thucydides.
22
Ibid. III.212.
23
Jakob Wisse, "The Intellectual Background of Cicero's Rhetorical Works," in Brill's
Companion to Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric, ed. James M. May (Leiden: Brill, 2002).
364.
24
James M. May, "Cicero as Rhetorician," in A Companion to Roman Rhetoric, ed.
William J Dominik and Jon Hall (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007). 256. May dates
the emergence of Atticism to c. 60 B.C.E.; Kennedy, based on Cicero’s silence on
Atticism in On the Ideal Orator (55 B.C.E.), suggests it emerged around 50 B.C.E.
George A. Kennedy, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World, 300 B.C. - A.D. 300
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972). 242.
25
Kennedy, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World, 300 B.C. - A.D. 300. 243.
9


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