Modern Critical Approaches to Roman Rhetoric

Author: Dugan, John
Title: Modern Critical Approaches to Roman Rhetoric
Review/Collection: In : Dominik, William & Hall, Jon (ed.), A Companion to Roman Rhetoric, Oxford/Malden/Carlton, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007, 528 p. [Dominik & Hall 2007]
Year edition: 2007
Pages: 9-22
Keywords: Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence, Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Description: An essay that promises an overview of modern critical approaches to Roman rhetoric begs basic questions best addressed at the outset. Each of the central terms of this investigation (‘‘modern,’’ ‘‘critical approaches,’’ and ‘‘rhetoric’’) is open to a range of interpretations. After establishing a firmer notion of what these expressions mean (or, at the least, exploring why it is difficult to fix stable definitions to these concepts), I will offer a survey of some of the most influential recent trends in scholarship on Roman rhetoric. Given the dynamism of current work on Roman rhetoric, this survey will be suggestive rather than exhaustive. My goal will be to offer an overview of certain exemplary works of scholarship in order to illustrate some general preoccupations within the contemporary research. [Author]As John Dugan’s discussion makes clear, the critical approaches adopted in many of the following chapters both build upon and react against the methodologies and assumptions of earlier scholars. Recent studies have tended to expand their field of interest so as to consider rhetoric’s significance within a variety of different areas of Roman culture. They interrogate noncanonical as well as canonical texts, and focus on areas where contemporary critical interests coincide with elements of the rhetorical tradition. [Introduction, Dominik & Hall 2007]
Author initials: Dugan 2007