Eloquence under the Triumvirs

Author: Osgood, Josiah
Title: Eloquence under the Triumvirs
Review/Collection: American Journal of Philology - Volume 127, Number 4 (Whole Number 508)
Year edition: 2006
Pages: 525-551
Keywords: Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence
Description: [Abstract] This paper explores oratory at Rome after the death of Caesar. It examines the three main sources for the period, Plutarch, Appian, and Dio, who suggest that an outspoken oratory on affairs of state was no longer possible, and then less familiar sources, which reveal that speeches still were made, sometimes concerning affairs of state. Though it was difficult to criticize the triumvirs (as the few known efforts at protest show), aspiring orators managed to showcase talent and display doctrina and diligentia, if not libertas. Oratory did not so much decline in the triumviral period as adapt to new circumstances. Nec ullus Asinii aut Messallae liber tam inlustris est quam Medea Ovidii aut Varii Thyestes. --Tacitus, Dialogus 12.6 Editus hic ego sum, nec non, ut tempora noris, cum cecidit fato consul uterque pari. --Ovid, Tristia 4.10.5-6 For all their turbulence, the fifteen years between the death of Cicero and the Senate meeting of 13 January 27 B.C.E., when Imperator Caesar Divi filius acquired the additional name Augustus, witnessed, as Ronald Syme (1964, 274-75) remarked, "a remarkable flowering" of literature at Rome that included many "novel types of writing." During this time, Vergil crafted the first pastorals in Latin,...
Author initials: Osgood 2006