Roman Oratory & Society

Classics 60a/Speech 60a
Spring 1995

Instructor: Robert W. Cape, Jr.
Office: Admin. 310 Phone: 813-2241 Box: 61539 Email:
Office Hours: MWF 9:00-10:00 am & by appointment

In this course we shall examine Roman oratory within its social and cultural context. Our special focus will be on the moral, social, and cultural values Roman oratory helped promote and change. Our purpose is to understand better how public speaking fashions and refashions value systems. We will have cause to comment on contemporary oratory and orators (in context) as a stylistic and cultural "control" for Roman oratory. Moreover, by discussing and critiquing Roman oratory, where stylistic and cultural norms are demonstrably different, we may develop a critical process that will enhance our appreciation of contemporary oratory and orators.

Class meetings will consist of group discussions, group and individual presentations on a specific topic, and lectures. Each class session will usually focus on one text. Students will read the work before class, take notes, and be prepared to discuss the text in detail in the class meeting. Lectures and reading assignments will provide background for these discussions. Some class time will be given over to small group discussions to help the groups prepare to present their projects. There will be several projects due during the semester (the exact number will be worked out in the first two weeks of class, depending on enrollment and students' special interests). The format of these presentations is described below; four such projects will be revised and handed in at or before the regularly-scheduled final exam. A longer research paper is also due at the time of the final exam. Participation and the analyses (short and long) provide the primary means of assessing student progress in the course, although there is one midterm examination.

The readings for this course will include--should you choose to read them (and you should)--not some crummy, outrageously overpriced textbook, but several delightful ancient speeches and a whimsical, almost jocular dialogue.

Books Available in the Bookstore: (These should be purchased, borrowed, or whatever, as long as you read them)

  • Cicero: Selected Political Speeches, translated by Michael Grant (Penguin 1969)
  • Cicero: Murder Trials, tr. M. Grant (Penguin 1975) (better than Perry Mason!)
  • Cicero: On Oratory and Orators (So.Ill.Univ.Press 1970) (just a friendly chat)
  • Kennedy, George A., A New History of Classical Rhetoric (Princeton University Press 1994)
  • Critical Questions: Invention, Creativity, and the Criticism of Discourse and Media, ed. by W. L. Nothstine, et al. (St Martin's Press 1994)

  • Supplementary Readings (on Reserve in Abell Library)
  • L'Année philologique (Paris 1926- ) [for bibliography] [in Reference Section]
  • Clarke, M. L., Rhetoric at Rome (London 1953)
  • Habicht, Christian, Cicero the Politician (Johns Hopkins University Press 1990)
  • Kennedy, George A., The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World (Princeton UP 1972)
  • Leeman, A. D., Orationis Ratio: The Stylistic Theories and Practice of the Roman Orators and Historians and Philosophers. 2 vols. (Hakkert 1963)
  • May, James M., Trials of Character: The Ethos of Ciceronian Oratory (University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill 1988)
  • Oxford Classical Dictionary, ed. N. G. L. Hammond and H. H. Scullard, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press 1970) [in Reference Section]
  • Rawson, Elizabeth, "Cicero," in Ancient Writers: Greece and Rome, vol. II, ed. T. J. Luce (New York 1982) [in Reference Section]
  • ----------, Cicero: A Portrait (Cornell University Press 1983)
  • Stockton, David, Cicero: A Political Biography (Oxford University Press 1971)
  • Vasaly, A. Representations: Images of the World in Ciceronian Oratory (Univ. of California Press 1993)

  • Photocopied Materials:
  • #1 Polybius, History, selection from book 6. (Read only the English)
  • #2 Fragments of early Roman funeral orations and Cato's speeches
  • #3 Cicero's speeches Thanks to the Senate and Thanks to the People

  • Grading:
    Attendance and Individual Participation.....................20%
    Participation in Group Work.................................10%
    Midterm Exam (Wed., March 15)...........................10%
    4 short analyses of speeches (revised)......................10% each
    Paper (due by the time of the scheduled final, May 19)...20%

    Preparation, attendance, and participation are crucial to success in this course. There is an attendance policy: each student is allowed three (3) absences with excuses; each absence after the third will result in 5% being deducted from the final grade points. Specific assignments for short analyses (in-class presentation of a written analysis) will be made during the course of the semester.

    Assignments will be due on the days listed. Since many people write assignments on the computer and we all know that computers are liable to malfunction in some way (usually right before an assignment is due), students are urged to keep extra and backup copies of their assignments as they prepare them. No excuses for late or lost papers will be accepted. No makeup exam will be given without a valid medical excuse presented in writing within 24 hours of the time the exam is scheduled. The Austin College Standards of Academic Integrity are assumed to apply to your work for this course.

    Coarse Course Outline of Subjects and Primary Readings
    Mon. Feb. 6 Introduction; Establishing Guidelines
    Wed. Feb. 8 Oratory in Early Rome
    Fri. Feb. 10 Funeral Oratory [Photocopies in Library]
    Mon. Feb. 13 Funeral Oratory [Photocopies in Library]
    Wed. Feb. 15 Oratory & Rhetoric in the Mid to Late Republic
    Fri. Feb. 17 Cicero: On the Orator
    Mon. Feb. 20 Cicero: On the Orator
    Wed. Feb. 22 Cicero: On the Orator
    Fri. Feb. 24 Political Oratory: Cicero: On the Command of Pompey
    Mon. Feb. 27 Political Oratory: Group analyses of On the Command of Pompey
    Wed. Mar. 1 Political Oratory: General discussion
    Fri. Mar. 3 Political Oratory: Cicero: Against Catiline I and II
    Mon. Mar. 6 Political Oratory: Cicero: Against Catiline III and IV
    Wed. Mar. 8 Political Oratory: Interpretations of the speeches Against Catiline
    Fri. Mar. 10 Political Oratory: Group analyses of Against Catiline I-IV
    Mon. Mar. 13 Political Oratory: Cicero: Philippic I
    Wed. Mar. 15 Midterm
    Fri. Mar. 17 Spring Break Begins
    Mon. Mar. 27 Research resources; Judicial Oratory in the Late Republic
    Wed. Mar. 19 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Sextus Roscius
    Fri. Mar. 31 Judicial Oratory: Interpretations of For Sextus Roscius
    Mon. Apr. 3 Judicial Oratory: Individual analyses of For Sextus Roscius
    Wed. Apr. 5 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Cluentius
    Fri. Apr. 7 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Cluentius
    Mon. Apr. 10 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Rabirius
    Wed. Apr. 12 Judicial Oratory: Group projects on For Rabirius
    Fri. Apr. 14 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Archias
    Mon. Apr. 17 Judicial Oratory: Reading day
    Wed. Apr. 19 Judicial Oratory: Interpretations and analyses of For Archias
    Fri. Apr. 21 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Caelius
    Mon. Apr. 24 Judicial Oratory: Individual Analyses of For Caelius
    Wed. Apr. 26 Judicial Oratory: Interpretations of For Caelius
    Fri. Apr. 28 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For Milo
    Mon. May 1 Judicial Oratory: Interpreting For Milo
    Wed. May 3 Judicial Oratory: Individual & group analyses of For Milo
    Fri. May 5 Judicial Oratory: Cicero: For King Deiotarus
    Mon. May 8 The Social Functions of Oratory in Rome and the United States
    Wed. May 10 Presentations on Research Projects
    Fri. May 12 Presentations on Research Projects
    Mon. May 15 Some last words
    Rewrites of four analyses and research paper due May 19
    Guidelines for Group and Individual Analyses and Presentations
    Each group/individual analysis will focus on a single text, usually a single speech. The analysis will concern a narrow aspect of the speech and will include a clearly articulated thesis, logically reasoned argumentation, and a cogent conclusion. The short analyses are not intended to be full-blown research papers. They are meant to represent sustained inquiry into a specific problem and a serious attempt to reason toward an answer to that problem. Examples of suitable topics will be given for each speech.

    The analysis will be presented orally in class and must be in written form in order to be handed in after the presentation is finished. The analysis/presentation should be between 10-15 minutes, which translates to between 4.5-7.5 pages of double-spaced text. There is no need to make presentations longer than this, but if the individual/group has more to say they should included it in the written version and then summarize it in the presentation. For group analyses the group will also submit a "Group Evaluation Form" outlining who was responsible for what parts of the project and how well the group worked together.

    The written analysis will be handed in and the instructor will return it with comments and suggestions toward possible revision. Each presentation will also be evaluated by the members of the class according to criteria agreed upon at the beginning of the semester.

    Portfolio of Four Analyses to be Presented at the End of the Course:
    From the individual and group analyses you do throughout the semester you select four to revise according to the suggestions made 1) by the students in the class who commented on the presentation, 2) by the instructor on the written version, and 3) in line with your own revised thinking after you made the presentation. You may submit these revisions to the instructor throughout the semester (i.e. you need not wait until the last week of school!) for further comment. This process allows you to choose which analyses you wish to form the basis for your grade. It also emphasizes your development throughout the course rather than rewards or punishes you for analytical skills developed or not before you entered the course.

    Of the four presentations to be revised and turned in two must be individual analyses and at least one must be the result of a group project. For all submissions that are done by a group you will need to attach a copy of the "Group Evaluation Form". You must also attach an evaluative statement of at least one page to each revised presentation you include in your portfolio. In that statement you may answer one or more of the following questions:

    1. What problems did you face in writing this paper and what did you do to overcome them?
    2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this paper in your own mind? What do you wish you had added or done differently?
    3. How does your thinking, argument, or expression in this paper represent an advance over previous papers? How does it relate to your own broad educational goals?
    4. Were you helped in thinking through this paper by work you have done in another course? If so, how?

    Research Project:
    The research project will be a research paper on one or more speeches which are not covered in class. Help with research materials and specific instructions on the paper will be provided in class and during a trip to Abell Library on March 27.

    Selected supplementary reading (articles). This is a very arbitrary selection. For more, see L'Année philologique.

    Cicero, On Oratory:

  • E. Rawson, "Lucius Crassus and Cicero: The Formation of a Statesman," Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 17 (1971) 75-88.

  • Cicero, For Sextus Roscius of Ameria:
  • F. Solmsen, "Cicero's First Speeches: A Rhetorical Analysis," Transactions of the American Philological Association 69 (1938) 542-556.
  • A.A. Imholtz, Jr., "Gladiatorial Metaphors in Cicero's Pro Sex. Roscio Amerino," Classical World 65 (1972) 228-230.
  • A. Vasaly, "The Masks of Rhetoric: Cicero's Pro Roscio Amerino," Rhetorica 3 (1985) 1-20.

  • Cicero, For Gaius Rabirius:
  • W.B. Tyrrell, "The Trial of C. Rabirius in 63 B.C.," Latomus 32 (1973) 285-300.

  • Cicero, For Murena:
  • A.D. Leeman, "The Technique of Persuasion in Cicero's Pro Murena," in Eloquence et rhétorique chez Cicéron (Vandoeuvres-Geneva 1982) 193-228.
  • C. Craig, "Cato's Stoicism and the Understanding of Cicero's Speech for Murena," Transactions of the American Philological Association 116 (1986) 229-239.

  • Cicero, Against L. Sergius Catilina:
  • M.C. Leff, "Redemptive Identification: Cicero's Catilinarian Orations," in Explorations in Rhetorical Criticism, G.P. Mohrmann et al., Eds. (Penn. State Univ. Press 1973) 158-77; reprinted in Critical Questions, W. L. Nothstine et al., Eds. (New York 1994) 323-42.
  • D.A. March, "Cicero and the Gang of Five," Classical World 82 (1989) 225-234.
  • W.W. Batstone, "Cicero's Construction of Consular Ethos in the First Catilinarian," Transactions of the American Philological Association 124 (1994) 211-266.

  • Cicero, For the Poet Archias:
  • S.P. Haley, "Archias, Theophanes, and Cicero: The Politics of the Pro Archia," Classical Bulletin 59 (1983) 1-4.

  • Cicero, Thanks to the Senate and Thanks to the People:
  • A. Robinson, "Cicero's References to His Banishment," Classical World 87.6 (1994) 475-480.

  • Cicero, For P. Sestius:
  • W.K. Lacey, "Cicero, Pro Sestio 96-143," Classical Quarterly n.s. 12 (1962) 67-71.

  • Cicero, For T. Annius Milo:
  • M.E. Clark and J.S. Ruebel, "Philosophy and Rhetoric in Cicero's Pro Milone," Rheinisches Museum 128 (1985) 57-72.

  • Cicero, For M. Caelius:
  • K.A. Geffcken, Comedy in the Pro Caelio. Mnemosyne Suppl. 18 (Leiden: Brill 1973).
  • M. Volpe, "The Persuasive Force of Humor: Cicero's Defense of Caelius," Quarterly Journal of Speech 63 (1977) 311-323.
  • H.C. Gotoff, "Cicero's Analysis of the Prosecution Speeches in the Pro Caelio: An Exercise in Practical Criticism," Classical Philology 81 (1980) 122-132.
  • M.R. Salzman, "Cicero, the Megalenses and the Defense of Caelius," American Journal of Philology 103 (1982) 299-304.
  • E.S. Ramage, "Clodia in Cicero's Pro Caelio," in Classical Texts and Their Traditions: Studies in Honor of C. R. Trahman, ed. D.R. Bright and E.S. Ramage (Chico: Scholars Press 1984) 201-211.
  • C.P. Craig, "Reason, Resonance, and Dilemma in Cicero's Speech for Caelius," Rhetorica 7 (1989) 313-328.

    Historical Background to the speech For Caelius:

  • M.R. Lefkowitz, "Invective Against Women," in Heroines and Hysterics (London: Duckworth 1981) 32-40.
  • M.B. Skinner, "Clodia Metelli," Transactions of the American Philological Association 113 (1983) 273-287.
  • T. Hillard, "Republican Politics, Women, and the Evidence," Helios 16.2 (1989) 165-182.

  • Cicero, For Marcellus:
  • R.R. Dyer, "Rhetoric and Intention in Cicero 'Pro Marcello,'" Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990) 17-30.

  • Cicero, For Ligarius:
  • H.W. Montague, "Advocacy and Politics—The Paradox of Cicero 'Pro Ligario,'" American Journal of Philology 113.4 (1992) 559-574.

  • Cicero, Philippics:
  • S. Cerutti, "Further Discussion on the Delivery and Publication of Cicero 'Second Philippic,'" Classical Bulletin, 70.1 (1994) 23-28.

  • Cicero, General:
  • U. Heibges, "Religion and Rhetoric in Cicero's Speeches," Latomus 28.4 (1969) 833-849.
  • ----------, "Cicero, A Hypocrite in Religion?" American Journal of Philology 90 (1969) 304-312.
  • J.M. May, "The Rhetoric of Advocacy and Patron-Client Identification. Variations on a Theme," American Journal of Philology 102 (1981) 308-315.
  • J. Axer, "Tribunal-Stage-Arena: Modelling of the Communication Situation in Cicero's Judicial Speeches," Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 7.4 (1989) 299-311.
  • A. Leen, "Cicero and the Rhetoric of Art," American Journal of Philology 112 (1991) 229-245.

  • Modern and General:
  • M. Osborn, "Archetypical Metaphor in Rhetoric: The Light-Dark Family," Quarterly Journal of Speech 53 (1967) 115-126.
  • R.P. Hart, "The Function of Human Communication in the Maintenance of Public Values," in Communication Theory, ed. by C.C. Arnold and J.W. Bowers (Boston and London: Allyn and Bacon 1983) 749-791.
  • C. Waddell, "The Role of Pathos in the Decision-Making Process: A Study in the Rhetoric of Science Policy," Quarterly Journal of Speech 76 (1990) 381-400.
  • G.N. Dionisopoulos and S.R. Goldzwig, "'The Meaning of Vietnam': Political Rhetoric as Revisionist Cultural History," Quarterly Journal of Speech 78.1 (1992) 61-79.

  • Funeral Oratory:
  • A. Gowing, "Lepidus, the Proscriptions and the Laudatio Turiae," Historia 41 (1992) 283-296.
  • G. Kennedy, "Antony's Speech at Caesar's Funeral," Quarterly Journal of Speech 54 (1968) 99-106.
  • E.S. Ramage, "Cicero's Cato: Form and Purpose," Atene e Roma 34 (1989) 14-25.
  • P. Walcot, "The Funeral Speech, a Study of Values," Greece and Rome n.s. 20.2 (1973) 111-120. —— applies to Greek funeral oratory and focuses on women in Pericles' speech.
  • K.R. Walters, "Rhetoric as Ritual: The Semiotics of the Attic Funeral Oration," Florilegium 2 (1980) 1-27.

  • Useful books in Abell Library for Roman Oratory and Society Research (not on reserve)
  • Wood, Neal. Cicero's Social and Political Thought. California 1988.
    PA 6320 .W66 1988
  • Clark, Donald Lemen. Rhetoric in Greco-Roman Education. Columbia UP 1957.
    PA 3265 .C55
  • Bonner, S. F. Roman Delamation in the late Republic and Early Empire. California 1949.
    PA 6083 .B6 1949
  • Wooten, Cecil W. Cicero's Philippics and their Demosthenic Model. UNC 1983.
    PA 6280 .W66 1983
  • Shackleton Bailey, D. R. Cicero. Scribners 1972.
    DG 260 .C5 .B27 1972
  • ---------- Cicero: Philippics. UNC 1986.
    PA 6280 .A1 1986
  • Earl, Donald. The Moral and Political Traditon of Rome. Thames & Hudson 1967.
    DG 78 .E217 1967b
  • Dorey, T. A., Ed. Cicero. Routledge & Kegan Paul 1964.
    DG 260 .C5D6 1965a
  • Smith, R. E. Cicero the Statesman. Cambridge 1966.
    DG 260 .C5S6
  • Mitchell, Thomas N. Cicero: The Ascending Years. Yale 1979.
    DG 260 .C53 .M57
  • ---------- Cicero: The Senior Statesman. Yale 1991.
    DG 260 .C53 M58 1991
  • Wiseman, T. P., Ed. Roman Political Life, 90 BC--AD 69. Exeter Studies in History No. 7. University of Exeter 1985.
    DG 254 .2 .R66 1985
  • Beard, Mary, and Michael Crawford. Rome in the Late Republic. Cornell 1985.
    DG 254 .B37 1985
  • Abbott, Frank F. Roman Politics. Cooper Square 1963.
    DG 81 .A3 1963
  • Taylor, Lily Ross. Party Politics in the Age of Caesar. California 1949.
    DG 81 .T38
  • Astin, A. E. Scipio Aemilianus. Oxford 1967.
    DG 253 .S4A8
  • Astin, A. E. Cato the Censor. Oxford 1978.
    DG 253 .C3 .A87

  • Articles of interest may be found in the following books:
  • West, David, and Tony Woodman, Eds. Creative Imitation and Latin Literature. Cambridge 1979. ARTICLE: D. A. Russell, "De Imitatione," pp. 1-16, notes pp. 201-2.
    PA 6011 .C7
  • Woodman, Tony, and Jonathan Powell, Eds. Author and Audience in Latin Literature. Cambridge 1992. ARTICLES: R.G.M. Nisbet, "The Orator and the Reader: Manipulation and response in Cicero's Fifth Verrine," pp. 1-17, notes on pp. 216-18; Niall Rudd, "Strategies of Vanity: Cicero, Ad familiares 5.12 and Pliny's Letters," pp. 18-32, notes pp. 218-19.
    PA 6011 .AB 1992

  • [Bob Cape's Homepage] [Classics Program Homepage]

    Robert W. Cape, Jr., Assistant Professor of Classics
    Classical & Modern Languages
    900 N. Grand, Suite 61539
    Sherman, TX 75090-4440
    phone: (903) 813-2241  fax: (903) 813-3197

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