Article

Public Speaking in Rome: A Question of <i>Auctoritas</i>

Francisco Pina Polo

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195188004.013.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Public Speaking in Rome: A Question of Auctoritas

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  • Ancient Roman History
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This article discusses public speaking in Roman society, and introduces the term contio, which is the rough equivalent of a modern town hall meeting. It was also the only institutionalized venue where an orator could directly address the public as his main audience. It states that the contiones were central elements of Roman political life, where one could acquire popularity and contact either the senators or the people. This article shows that the contio was a source of communal information, as well as the principal place of official public debate.

Keywords: public speaking; contio; contiones; political life; communal information; public debate

Article.  8244 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Historical Archaeology

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