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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

Plautus and the Tone of Roman Diplomacy of Intervention

Plautus and the Tone of Roman Diplomacy of Intervention

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 Plautus and the Tone of Roman Diplomacy of Intervention
Source:
Reading Republican Oratory
Author(s):

Elena Torregaray Pagola

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198788201.003.0004

This chapter uses a scene in Plautus’ Amphitruo to reconstruct contemporary Roman oratorical practice in the context of the diplomacy of intervention, offering a close reading of a monologue by the slave Sosia (Amph. 186–218). In this extract Sosia describes the composition of a ‘victory speech’ for his master’s wife and, within the speech, recounts the diplomatic activity that preceded the war. Traces of the fetiales formula in the latter can be contextualized in terms of a rhetoric of intimidation, used to establish Roman supremacy even before the outbreak of war. The monologue itself, in depicting Sosia’s doubts and concerns while composing his speech, sheds light on the disposition of speakers in tense situations.

Keywords:   diplomacy of intervention, intimidation, fetiales, victory speech, Plautus

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