Chapter

The Common (<i>Mediocris</i>) Orator of the Late Republic: The Scribonii Curiones

Cristina Rosillo López

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/9780199641895.003.0017
The Common (Mediocris) Orator of the Late Republic: The Scribonii Curiones

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This chapter considers the average orators of the Republic, reasonably talented and who had a fair success in politics. Cicero describes in his Brutus orators who had no talent (ingenium) but who gained recognition through their industry (industria). Examples of the ‘common orator’ are the Scribonii Curiones, a three-generation family of orators, grandfather, father and son. Curio pater was sometimes laughed at by his audience and once even abandoned by the bystanders during a trial. However, the three of them could deliver effective political speeches and thus build prestige and authority. This essay explores these three orators in order to understand how the mass of the common orators acted and employed their oratory skills in competitive politics. In the case of the Curiones, the fragments and testimonia of their speeches show their rhetorical strategies and their effectiveness in decision-making from the period of C. Gracchus until the outbreak of civil war in 49 bc.

Keywords: oratory; success; Cicero; Brutus; C. Scribonius Curio; common orator

Chapter.  6207 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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