Our understanding of the role that oratory played in Roman society and politics and the criteria applied to measure an orator’s performance and career, is partly based on ‘positive’ material: contemporary opinions on good oratory, positive instructions in the rhetorical handbooks, portrayals of the ideal orator. This chapter demonstrates what a systematic examination of such negative views reveals about Roman oratorical practice and attitudes to oratory. The ‘bad orator’ emerges as a figure who can be criticised on both technical and moral grounds.
Keywords: oratory; rhetorical handbooks; ideal orator; bad orator; technical failure; moral failure
Chapter. 17078 words.
Subjects: Classical History
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