Campaign Rhetoric

W. Jeffrey Tatum

in Community and Communication

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199641895
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746130 | DOI:
Campaign Rhetoric

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Roman elections, and the canvassing that preceded them, were the traditional environment for an annual collision between the paired and dynamic principles of the republic, the people’s majesty and the aristocracy’s authority. Though volatile, this political physics directed itself toward consensus and stability, even if at a very real cost to a dispensable few, inasmuch as the indisputable proof of the meritocratic element in Rome’s aristocracy was the failure of individual candidates. Repulsae, and the losers who suffered them, made it plain that the people had a choice that was real enough. Nonetheless, formal oratory played a surprisingly small part in election campaigning. This chapter explores the reasons for this absence and the methods which some politicians used to circumvent it.

Keywords: oratory; Roman elections; electoral defeats; consensus; electoral oratory; election campaigning

Chapter.  9521 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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