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Antonius, Triumvir and Orator: Career, Style, and Effectiveness

Trevor Mahy

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/9780199641895.003.0020
Antonius, Triumvir and Orator: Career, Style, and Effectiveness

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This essay examines an often overlooked aspect of M. Antonius, the triumvir, namely, his career as an orator. Despite the rather substantial number of instances on which Antonius is attested to have delivered a speech in public, whether that be in the Senate, in the Forum, or in the legionary camp, and often with great success, his career as an orator has received little scholarly attention. Antonius’ reputation as an orator suffered through Cicero’s relentless attacks in the Philippics, but a close examination of all the available surviving evidence suggests that Cicero’s criticism is unwarranted, and that Antonius should in fact be considered one of the more effective and successful orators of his day. This paper reassesses Antonius’ style as an orator and his effectiveness across a range of different oratorical situations (i.e. in the Senate, at civilian contiones, at military contiones, and his infamous laudatio funebris for Caesar) to arrive at a much needed re-evaluation of Antony the Orator.

Keywords: oratory; M. Antonius; Cicero; Philippics

Chapter.  8031 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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