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Reading Republican OratoryReconstructions, Contexts, Receptions$
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Christa Gray, Andrea Balbo, Richard M. A. Marshall, and Catherine E. W. Steel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Of Fragments and Feelings

Of Fragments and Feelings

Roman Funeral Oratory Revisited

(p.263) 15 Of Fragments and Feelings
Reading Republican Oratory

Hans Beck

Oxford University Press

Drawing on the tenets of the emotional or affective turn in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the article revisits the topic of Roman funeral orations (laudationes funebres). Several funeral speeches from the Republican period survive in fragments. These have become the object of in-depth philological and historical scholarship. Beyond the typical approach to fragments and corresponding orations, which is characterized as content-based, Beck zooms in on the moment when the speeches were delivered. In doing so, he captures the full breadth of the sensory experience of funeral orations in the Forum: their visual display, their soundscape and issues of audibility, as well as the scents that magnified the emotional experience. The article concludes that it was through emotional economies rather than authentic contents that funeral oratory wielded a lasting impact over Roman society.

Keywords:   funeral oration, laudatio funebris, emotional experience, Forum, fragments

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