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2. Public Speech and Political Careers
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the importance of oratory in an elite Roman’s political career, focusing in particular on: (i) the importance of being a good public speaker to one’s political career; (ii) oratory in the Senate; (iii) oratory in public meetings (contiones); (iv) Cicero’s contributions in both the Senate and in public meetings; (v) his shifting political leanings; (vi) his defence speeches and their importance to his political career; and (vi) the range of Cicero’s writing more generally.
In this course, Professor Catherine Steel (University of Glasgow) explores Cicero as an orator in a set of lectures designed to be used alongside the OCR A Level Classical Civilization option, ‘Politics and the Late Republic’. In the first module, we think about the genre of oratory as a whole, its importance in the political culture of the late Republic, and the various different contexts in which oratory might be delivered/heard. After that, in the second module, we think about the importance of oratory to an elite Roman’s political career, before turning in the third and final module to look more closely at Cicero’s first speech against Verres (In Verrem 1).
Catherine Steel is Professor of Classics and Head of the Department of Classics at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests relate to the Roman Republic, the writings of Cicero and Roman oratory. Her recent publications include Reading Cicero: Genre and Performance in Late Republican Rome (2005), The End of the Roman Republic, 146-44 B.C.: Conquest and Crisis (2013) and (with Dr Henriette van der Blom) Community and Communication: Oratory and Politics in Republican Rome (2013).
Cite this Lecture
Steel, C. (2020, September 05). Politics of the Late Republic: Cicero the Orator - Public Speech and Political Careers [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/politics-of-the-late-republic-cicero-the-orator/public-speech-and-political-careers
Steel, Catherine. "Politics of the Late Republic: Cicero the Orator – Public Speech and Political Careers." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Sep 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/politics-of-the-late-republic-cicero-the-orator/public-speech-and-political-careers