Introduction to Rhetoric
EN 1007 – Fall 2009 – Carol Poster
Lecture 6 – Issue Theory and Parts of Oration – Oct 26
- Cicero – brief biography.
- Ad Herennium not by Cicero.
- Ancient pseudo – epigraphy [how do we know who wrote what, ways, means and
motives of pseudonymnity].
- Terminology: ps.-Cicero [pseudo-Cicero], auctor ad Herennium.
o Formal ways to refer to in print to a pseudo author.
- Authorship: 90-80 BC. Many passages quoted by Quintilian from Cornificius are
can be found in this text but details don’t match precisely.
- Roman cultural background
o Rome until JC took over, was a republic.
o The senate was a functioning active body that reflected the laws.
o Citizens participating in political process,
o Significant verbal protests.
o Rome became an empire after JC.
o Rhetoric became nature to focus more on forensic and epideictic.
o Three types of oratory.
Forensic oratory would be used in court.
Epideictic – public lectures, mass’ – display – poems at festivals.
Legislative – in the legislature.
o Continue to get court cases.
- Republic, principate, empire (Cicero and Caesar)
o Town of long nosed fish – throw rubbish on carpets.
o Tetanus – treated crocodiles are divine – when they died, they were
wrapped and made into papery.
o Pig stealing – neighbours would steal pigs.
o Inheritance fights.
- Class system: legal status: citizen, freedman, perigrinus, slave, ranks: royalty,
senator, equestrian, plebeian. Patronage system.
o Increase of lit skills.
o Professions devoted to lit skills.
- Graeco-Roman relations: Rome conquered Greece militarily but Greece
conquered Rome culturally.
- Roman occasions for literacy: cursus honorum (magistracies). City councils,
senate, increasing professionalization of various literate skills.
o Cursus Honorum – imp gov position that required you to judge legal
- Writing in professions and writing as profession. Professions which required
writing/speaking skills: business manager, bureaucrat, military. Reading and
writing not widely diffused outside upper classes, because literacy services widely available. Writing/speaking as profession; scribe, secretary, copyist,
calligrapher, stenographer, advocate, lector.
o To send a letter from Egypt – you could walk down the street to find a
scribe to write for you.
o Calligraphers – beautiful writing without printing as an art.
o Dictation at high speeds – people did this.
o Lawyers – advocates.
o Lector – people to read out loud to you.
- Legal system: unlike Athens, advocate spoke in court for clients. Advocacy
evolving out of patronage system. Expert jurists, assorted advocates, amateur
judges, and politician-magistrates.
- Roman education and the audience for ad Her.
- Literacy/numeracy, grammar, rhetoric. Specialized training in law or medicine.
Basic training in elementary lit/num.
o Middle grammar.
o Last – rhetoric; law and medicine.
o Ars recte loquendi – art of correct speech.
o Ars enarratio poetarum – reading passages and what they meant.
- Very narrow courses in stenography and business skills [often aimed at freedmen
o Liberal ed for gentlemen.