Chapter

Foreign Eloquence in the Roman Senate

Francisco Pina Polo

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/9780199641895.003.0015
Foreign Eloquence in the Roman Senate

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This chapters explores the intense diplomacy that developed in Rome as it became a Mediterranean power. Embassies from countries, cities and territories from all over the Mediterranean came to Rome to obtain peace or make an alliance with Rome; to defend themselves from accusations made by other states or cities; to seek forgiveness from Rome for behaviour considered inappropriate by Romans; to reclaim territories; to request Rome’s arbitration regarding domestic disputes. Ambassadors arriving in Rome had to engage oratorically with the Roman senate, who members regularly attended debates regarding very varied issues, at times genuine contests in oratory, in which excellent orators from the Greek world or much more inexperienced orators from Hispania, Gallia and the north of Africa, took part and were heard through the filter of interpreters. Along with the unquestionable symbolism of the ceaseless diplomatic activity assembled in Rome, listening to the best orators from each community also meant senators had a genuine practical school of foreign eloquence.

Keywords: oratory; diplomacy; Roman senate; ambassadors; interpreters

Chapter.  10062 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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