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Chapter 5 Notes: Rhetoric at Rome

by: Caleb Booker

Chapter 5 Notes: Rhetoric at Rome COMM 3006

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This is all the notes I took regarding chapter 5
Intro To Rhetorical Theory
M. Sharp
Rhetorical, Theory
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This 7 page Bundle was uploaded by Caleb Booker on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Bundle belongs to COMM 3006 at University of Cincinnati taught by M. Sharp in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
I. Roman Society and the Place of Rhetoric Rome experienced 2 systems of government:  Roman Republic (Limited Democracy)  Roman Empire (Monarchy/Tyranny) A. Rhetoric and Political Power 1. To vote, one had to own land or be a part of an important group. 2. As the Republic grew, agreed upon ways to communicate became crucial to governing and maintaining unity. 3. Joy Connolly says that for Cicero, rhetoric and civilization are together when “a great man becomes aware of man’s potential and he compels and gathers the men scattered in the fields in one place by means of reason and speech. Eloquence is thus the original transporter of men; it collected them in the first political society. Without it’s power, politics is literally unimaginable…” B. Rulers and Ruled 1. Power belonged to men that belonged to a gens  Gens- clan; group of influential families 2. Romans believed that character was closely tied to the system of gens 3. Character was thought to be a fixed quality that determines a person’s actions.  Character was even thought to run in families. 4. Most public speeches were given by the elected officials of Rome  Contio- gathering of citizens C. Rhetoric and Roman Government 1. The Senate was the most powerful political body in Rome and had power over domestic and foreign policies.  Senatus- council of elders 2. In the Roman system of checks & balances, it was possible for a group (or even an individual) to stop the progress of government by objecting to a policy. 3. Being good at speaking was thought to be essential to political success D. The Republic’s Decline 1. Rhetoric and policymaking were just as important as military might were important to the success of the Republic 2. Eventually, the tensions between the rich and poor grew, and the government relied on the military more and more to maintain peace. 3. The Roman Empire came to be around 100 B.C.  During this time cicero became prominent in the Senate E. Rhetoric and Roman Education 1. Just like our own educational methods rely heavily on written texts, ancient Greek and Roman education may have been similar. 2. Education developed mostly in the oral sense. 3. Eloquence was key to success and influence  Eloquence: skill with the spoken word 4. Rhetoricians and philosophers provided education in rhetoric. 5. Rhetorical education stressed speaking and ingenuity in a debate. 6. Controversia was used to practice judicial speech.  Controversia- mock judicial speech for the advanced students  Suasoria- mock judicial speed for the younger students 7. Rhetorical training in Rome also stressed style and diction. F. De Inventione 1. Cicero’s De Inventione and Rhetorica ad Herrenium relected the Greek rhetorical education in Rome.  Rhetorica ad Herrenium was used with De Inventione to introduce rhetoric to novices. 2. Teaching rhetoric in Latin was considered very suspicious because the upper classes were taught in Greek. 3. Both works stress judicial argument, which suggests a preference of sophistic rhetoric over Aristotelian. 4. De Inventione is not a mature work on the practice or nature of rhetoric. 5. De Inventione further shows Cicero’s main idea of his career— the union of eloquence and wisdom  “I have led by reason itself to hold this opinion first and foremost, that wisdom without eloquence does too little for the good of the states, and eloquence without wisdom is generally highly disadvantageous and is never helpful” 6. Cicero believed that rhetoric was the civilizing force that makes human social life possible.  Rhetoric’s great power is only useful when tempered with wisdom. G. The Canons of Rhetoric 1. Cicero introduced the 5 canons of oratory:  Invention (inventio)- the discovery of valid or seemingly valid arguments  Arrangement (dispositio)- distribution of arguments thus discovered in the proper order  Expression (elocutio)- the fitting of the proper language to the invented material o Asyndeton- the elimination of conjunctions  Memory (memoria)- the firm, mental grasp of words and matter  Delivery (pronunciatio)- the control of voice and body in a matter of the subject matter and style H. Studying and Memory 1. The Romans came up with the concept of jurisprudence.  Jurisprudence- the science or philosophy of law I. Stasis Systems 1. Cicero discussed a method for thinking that involved anticipating stasis  Stasis- likely points of conflict 2. Another point of stasis is that once issues of fact were argued, issues of definition would emerge.  “The controversy about a definition arises when there is agreement as to the fact and the question is by what word that which has been done is to be called” 3. Issues of definition may be followed by issues of quality. 4. Issues of procedure could produce moments of stasis if either side wished to raise objection to how the case was being pursued. 5. Cicero then subdivides these points of stasis (fact, definition, quality, procedure) into additional issues that may arise under each point J. Loci: From Memory to Invention 1. Loci systems offered advocates a supply of potential arguments by cataloging and organizing the most common ones.  Loci Systems- location systems; system of remembering parts of a speech based on location 2. Loci systems began as memory devices and evolved into inventional methods. 3. Loci were not an aorator’s artificial gimmick, for quickly discovering n argument, but rather tended to stimulate and discipline natural thought processes. K. Attributes of 1. Judicial arguments were often arranged in two ways: The attributes of the accused The attributes of the act in question 2. Questions surrounding the accused person’s reputation were always likely to arise. 3. Questions surrounding the act were also expected to arise. L. Cicero’s De Oratore 1. De Oratore was a response to Plato’s Gorgias. M. Union of Wisdom and Eloquence 1. Cicero believed the perfectus orator was a leader manifesting the values of the state each time we spoke.  Perfectus Orator- complete orator 2. Cicero viewed eloquence as nothing less than civilization’s foundation 3. He also believed that character was shaped by actions and experiences over one’s lifetime. 4. He said character was comprised of:  Dignity (dignitas)  Achievements (Res Gestae)  Solid Reputation (existimatio) 5. Cicero wanted to “reunite the tongue and brain” N. The Audience’s Centrality 1. The audience was a central concern in Cicero’s rhetorical theory. Res Publica- ordinary citizens  Sensus Communis- sense of community 2. Cicero viewed the audience as an important fact rather than a fatal flaw O. The Orator’s Qualities 1. A complete orator must understand law, politics, domestic and foreign economics, military affairs, and international issues. 2. Emotions were part of an orator’s study. 3. A great orator elicits emotion and also feels the emotions 4. Cicero named 3 functions: Docere:to teach Delectare: to delight  Movers: to persuade 5. An orator had to have wit, charm, and the stage presence and vocal control of an actor. P. Cicero on Humor 1. Cicero observed two dilemmas of humor for the orator:  There is great and frequent utility in humor  It is an absolute impossibility to learn wit by studying it 2. It is vital to maintain dignity when using humor in a speech 3. Humor helps the orator in many ways:  Wins good will for the orator  Reveals the orator to be a person of finish, accomplishment, and taste  Shows the orator is quick witted enough to repel or deliver an attack in a debate  Relieves dullness in a speech 4. The rhetor must be wary of speaking ill of the well beloved. 5. One who uses humor runs the risk of looking foolish if the joke becomes excessive. 6. Cicero named many sources of humor, one of which is wit (facetiae). 7. The most difficult part of humor is knowing when to use it and when not to.  Ioci: jokes 8. Cicero warned that imitatio must be avoided or used sparingly  Imitatio: mimicry of persons 9. Humor demonstrates mental agility and also attracts and holds audience attention. Q. The End of Cicero’s Life 1. 44 B.C.- Mark Antony ordered the death of Cicero. His hands and head were hung in the forum. 2. Cicero felt it was the orators’ duty to bring moral and politely leadership to the state. 3. He also believed one person had the potential to shape the course of a civilization through speech. II. Quintilian A. The Toga 1. Quintilian said even the toga had to be worn properly for an effective speech.  Sinus: arm sling  Balteus: belt B. Rhetoric and the Good Citizen 1. Quintilian defined rhetoric as the art of the good citizen speaking well 2. He said the orators’ role was to employ Rhetorical powers to benefit Rome 3. A true orator had to be a good person 4. One with questionable character cannot fake morally good eloquence through rhetorical training C. Educating the Citizen-Orator 1. He wrote “eloquent speeches are not the momentary inspirations, but the products of research, analysis, practice, and applications. D. Indefinite and Definite Questions 1. Quintilian believed that rhetoric answered 2 questions:  Indefinite: without specific people, times, places, or other particular limitations  Definite: with specific people, times, places E. Bases 1. He identified 3 bases of rhetoric:  Existence: questions of what had occurred; fact  Definition: categorizing an event  Quality: concerned the severity of the act once defined F. Proof 1. He also found proof to come from 4 sources:  Sense perceptions are admissible as evidence  Things that had a general agreement were admissible as evidence  Proof can be drawn from the laws and common agreement  What both parties to a dispute have admitted may be a source of proof G. Loci 1. Quintilian found the “authentic function” of loci was to “help promote the argumentative skills of the student, to foster the development of natural talents and to sharpen insight into cases that arise in the public arena” 2. In one loci system, loci of the act were arranged according to spatial and temporal considerations:  What preceded the act (ante rem)  What occurred in the act itself (in re)  What circumstances surrounded the act (circa rem)  What events followed the act (post rem) H. The Parts of a Judicial Speech 1. Quintilian taught his students to think of judicial speeches in 5 parts:  Exordium: introduction to dispose the audience to listen to the speech  Narratio: statement of facts essential o to understanding the case  Confirmatio: a section designed to offer evidences to support the claim  Confutatio: where counter arguments are answered  Peroratio: conclusion III. Longinus: On The Sublime A. Language, Style, and Power 1. Longinus believed language was a form of power and the purpose for studying texts from the past is to acquire the skills that enable one to wield power B. Five Sources of Great Writing 1. Longinus wrote that the 5 sources are:  Vigor of mental conception  Strong inspired emotion  Benefit by artistic training  Adequate fashioning of figures  Dignified and distinguished word arrangement C. Figures of Speech 1. Rhetorical figures can be powerful enhancements to writing and speaking, but the author or orator must be subtle in their use for audiences. 2. Longinus’ principal concern was the power of words to invoke powerful emotions in the audience. 3. He also adds that the emotional impact of writing is always to be governed by a refined concern for decorum for what is dignified or proper and in keeping with the subject at hand. 4. Longinus may be viewed as the inventor of literary criticism IV. Rhetoric in the Later Roman Empire A. The Second Sophistic 1. The Second Sophistic is the period during which some oratorical elements associated with original Greek Sophists were reintroduced in parts of the Roman Empire (50-100 AD) 2. Dio Cocceianus (Chrysostomos) was a wandering Stoic philosopher that spoke on many apolitical subjects. 3. Aelius Aristedes also spoke on apolitical subjects. 4. The way these two orators spoke suggested that rhetoric has greatly demoted from shaping public opinion to entertainment. 5. The rhetoricians of this period still held important roles: They were working to preserve Greek culture in a Roman world. They were also educators 6. When democracy flourishes, so does rhetoric, and when the democracy declines, rhetoric follows.


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