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Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic


  • Date Published: July 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107687219

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About the Authors
  • Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic is a pioneering investigation into political life in the late Roman Republic. It explores the nature and extent to which Roman politicians embraced oratorical performances as part of their political career and how such performances influenced the careers of individual orators such as Gaius Gracchus, Pompeius Magnus, and Julius Caesar. Through six case studies, this book presents a complex and multifaceted picture of how Roman politicians employed oratory to articulate their personal and political agendas, to present themselves to a public obsessed with individual achievement, and ultimately to promote their individual careers. By dealing specifically with orators other than Cicero, this study offers much-needed alternatives to our understanding of public oratory in Rome. Moreover, the assessment of the impact of public speeches on the development of political careers provides new perspectives on the hotly debated nature of republican political culture.

    • Provides detailed discussions of the oratory of six of the most influential politicians of the late Roman Republic, most of which has never been discussed in detail before
    • Includes appendices listing oratorical performances of case study figures, providing an overview of an oratorical career and the source references for each oratorical performance
    • Focuses on orators other than Cicero and provides a corrective to the current understanding of Roman oratory through Cicero's speeches
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Henriette van der Blom's new monograph is an exciting and important contribution to a new wave of scholarship on Roman oratory and rhetoric. She has gathered a trove of useful information about well-known figures of the late Republic, but much of that information will be new to her readers, who know figures like Pompey, Caesar, and Antony better as military leaders than as practitioners of oratory.' Joanna Kenty, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107687219
    • length: 391 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.524kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Role of Oratory in Roman Politics:
    1. Oratorical settings and career possibilities
    2. Other routes to political success
    Part II. Themes and Oratorical Careers:
    3. Tribunician oratory and family inheritance: Gaius Gracchus' political career
    4. Politics behind the scenes: Pompeius' oratory and political career
    5. The oratorical springboard: Caesar's political career
    6. The oratory and career of Piso Caesoninus
    7. Powerful profiling: Cato the Younger and the impact of self-presentation
    8. Career-making in a time of crisis: Marcus Antonius' oratory
    Conclusion: towards a new Brutus
    Appendix 1. Gaius Gracchus' public speeches
    Appendix 2. Pompius' public speeches
    Appendix 3. Caesar's public speeches
    Appendix 4. Piso's public speeches
    Appendix 5. Cato's public speeches
    Appendix 6. Marcus Antonius' public speeches.

  • Author

    Henriette van der Blom, University of Birmingham
    Henriette van der Blom is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. An expert in the fields of Roman republican history, politics and oratory, her research focuses on political life, the ways in which Roman politicians presented themselves to the public and the complex role of oratory in politics. She is involved in a project to collect, translate and comment on the surviving fragments of all non-Ciceronian oratory from the republican period, and she has previously published Cicero's Role Models: The Political Strategy of a Newcomer (2010) and Community and Communication: Oratory and Politics in Republican Rome (edited with C. Steel; 2013).

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