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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

Vis and Seruitus

Vis and Seruitus

The Dark Side of Republican Oratory in Valerius Maximus

(p.95) 6 Vis and Seruitus
Reading Republican Oratory

S. J. Lawrence

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the representation of oratory in chapter 8.9 Quanta Vis Sit Eloquentiae: ‘How Great is the Force of Eloquence’, of Valerius Maximus’ Facta et Dicta Memorabilia. While Valerius’ text is frequently used as a source of fragments of Republican oratory, this chapter argues that readers need to be acutely aware of the way that these extracts are framed in the structure of the wider chapter, as Valerius is certainly an author with his own, distinctive ideas. This is evidenced by the fact that traditional exemplary models of oratory such as Cicero and Demosthenes are ignored in 8.9. Valerius instead creates a dark vision of Republican oratory that links eloquence inextricably to the loss of freedom and the development of tyranny and despair under Julius Caesar and his heirs.

Keywords:   exemplarity, Valerius Maximus, Republican oratory, Cicero, Julius Caesar

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