A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or The Causes of Corrupt Eloquence (Illustrated with TOC and Original Commentary)by Tacitus
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Most likely born in the south of modern France on the Mediterranean, Tacitus is one of the most famous Roman historians. Tacitus is best known for The Annals and Histories, covering the history of Ancient Rome in very minute detail, and he also wrote Germania, a fascinating description of the Germanic people as seen from the Roman point of view circa 100 A.D.
One of the works attributed to Tacitus is A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence. The dialogue follows the tradition of Cicero's speeches on philosophical and rhetorical arguments. The beginning of the work is a speech in defence of eloquence and poetry. It then deals with the decadence of oratory, for which the cause is said to be the decline of the education, both in the family and in the school, of the future orator. After an incomplete section, the Dialogus ends with a speech delivered by Maternus reporting what some believe is Tacitus's opinion. Maternus thinks that great oratory was possible with the freedom from any power, more precisely in the anarchy, that characterized the Roman Republic during the civil wars. It became anachronistic and impracticable in the quiet and ordered society that resulted from the institution of the Roman Empire.
This edition of A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and images of Tacitus and the people and places he covered.
- Charles River Editors
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