The Rhetoric of Performance in the Roman World
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: University of Michigan Press
EVERYONE KNOWS WHERE BABIES COME FROM. The same cannot be said for men. Presumably they come from babies. The standard recipe is rather vague: just add time. The theorists of ancient oratory were not content to sit by idly and to wait for nature to take its...
WHAT DID ANCIENT ORATORY LOOK LIKE? This study started with this question, but it does not end by answering it with a collection of bodily facts. I offer neither a catalog of gestures nor a script to be used for reproducing the ancient orator. At least, I hope...
CHAPTER 1: Reading and Writing
ANCIENT RHETORICAL THEORISTS TEND TO RECOGNIZE five branches of study requisite to the proper study of the art. While some Greeks may have divided the question up differently,1 the Latin tradition is marked...
CHAPTER 2: Discovering the Body
AN ORATOR MUST STUDY DELIVERY. 1 In order to perform effectively, the orator needs to have a thorough knowledge of every physical aspect of performance: vocal qualities, movements, even dress and grooming. In the process of acquiring this knowledge, the orator...
CHAPTER 3: Self-Mastery
QUINTlLIAN OPENS HIS INSTITUTIO ORATORIA with a confession that his work does not aspire to novelty. Indeed, many of the finest minds of both Greece and Rome have already treated oratory in great detail (l.pr.l). And while Quintilian despairs of being able to...
CHAPTER 4: Actors
IN THE RHETORICAL TRADITION THE ACTOR is a vexed character.1 Sometimes he serves as a point of comparison when discussing the orator's own performance; elsewhere he is an example of behavior to be avoided.2 This doubling of the actor makes him a figure who...
CHAPTERS 5: Pleasure
IN SEVERAL OF THE PRECEDING CHAPTERS, the orator has constructed himself via an aggressive relationship to his own body and soul and to the bodies and souls of others. This relationship allows him to establish himself as himself in vigorous contradistinction to a...
CHAPTER 6: Love
THIS CHAPTER BRINGS US BACK to the problems of reading, writing, and textuality that we took up in the first chapter. At the same time, this will be the occasion for seeing the good body and good...
Conclusion:We Other Romans
I WISH TO END WITH A READING of a reading of rhetoric. I have chosen as an example a piece by a leading scholar on Roman oratory. This essay is worth reading because its author is the master of a prevalent scholarly mode that others often only imperfectly execute...
Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2000
Series Title: The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism
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