Litterae manent : Ciceronian oratory and the written word

Autore: Butler, Michael
Titolo: Litterae manent : Ciceronian oratory and the written word
Luogo edizione: New York
Editore: Columbia University, Department of Classics.
Anno edizione: 2000
Pagine: IV, 360
Parole chiave: Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence
Descrizione: [Abstract] Thesis (Ph. D.). A persistent view regards Roman oratory as public speaking elevated to the level of an art form, against the backdrop of a culture in which communication was overwhelmingly oral: The successful orator was eo ipso a successful speaker. This dissertation adopts a different point of view. The object of study is the early career of Rome’s most famous orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero. By situating Ciceronian oratory within a broad context of Roman textual culture, the author arrives at the thesis that Cicero’s first successes as an orator depended, to a degree hitherto underestimated, on his ability to manipulate written texts of diverse kinds. The evidence considered comprises two categories. First, Cicero’s earliest surviving speeches, the Pro Quinctio, Pro S. Roscio Amerino, and the collection of speeches In Verrem, are considered from several different perspectives: the expanding role of written texts in Roman law and procedure, the growing importance of documentary evidence in Roman trials, and the increasing significance of published speeches for an orator’s reputation for eloquence. Second, a previously unexamined characteristic of the earliest surviving manuscripts of Cicero’s speeches, the division of the texts into small sections known as capita, is shown to derive from Cicero himself, suggesting a greater complexity and importance of written copies of speeches than scholars formerly have recognized.
Sigla autore: Butler 2000