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The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore$
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Elaine Fantham

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263158.001.0001

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Into Action: The Orator as Public Figure

Into Action: The Orator as Public Figure

(p.287) 12 Into Action: The Orator as Public Figure
The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore

Elaine Fantham

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the extent to which Roman orators were expected to speak from memory. From the beginning of De Oratore Cicero stresses the urgent need for memory ‘since unless it is set to guard the ideas and language we have devised, all the orator's talents, however splendid, will be wasted’. And when Crassus discusses the selection of future orators, he includes among essential natural gifts ‘an accurate and lasting memory’. The chapter then discusses the orator's debut.

Keywords:   Cicero, De Oratore, orators, memorization

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