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The Roman Ambassador’s Speech: Public Oratory on the Diplomatic Stage

Elena Torregaray Pagola

in Community and Communication

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199641895
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746130 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641895.003.0014
The Roman Ambassador’s Speech: Public Oratory on the Diplomatic Stage

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This paper considers the use of oratory by Roman politicians outside Rome in the presence of an assembly of non-Romans. The figure of the legatus, envoy, became increasingly important from the third century bc onwards, with distinctly different characteristics from those demanded by oratorical performance in Rome. Legati had the senate’s instructions; they often faced a hostile audience; in response, they developed a new type of oratory intended to present Roman identity persuasively. This paper argues that Roman legati had to develop specific elements of diplomatic rhetoric, which show a clear dependence on the Greek tradition, but which, in turn, contain original ideological aspects, typical of Roman political thought.

Keywords: oratory; diplomacy; envoys; Roman identity

Chapter.  8279 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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