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De Oratore

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In On the Ideal Orator, (De oratore), Cicero, the greatest Roman orator and prosewriter of his day, gives his mature views on rhetoric, oratory, and philosophy. Cast in the lively, literary form of a dialogue, this classic work presents a daring view of the orator as the master of all language communication while still emphasizing his role at the heart of Roman society and ...more
ebook, 309 pages
Published (first published -55)
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Mark Adderley
This is not an easy book to read. Although it contains a lot of valuable information on rhetoric, it's all hidden behind a dialogue that Cicero obviously finds much more entertaining than I do. The contemporary references are largely lost on me, not being a classical historian, and the repartee between the various characters is probably funnier in Latin.

On the other hand, it's a valuable source of information about rhetoric, even if you have to dig for it, and contains a wealth of information to
Cicero sets up his text as a dialogue between two famous Roman orators he much admired: Antonius and Crassus. The dialogue is set in the garden of Crassus’ villa, with minor figures (Scaevola, Cotta, Caesar, etc.) coming and going as the two-day discussion unfolds. Central to the dialogue is the question of whether oratory--and rhetoric, by extension--is an art. References are made to Plato’s Phaedrus and Gorgias--particularly Plato’s Socrates’ argument that rhetoric is not an art because it has ...more
Dans cette excellente lettre que Cicéron écrit à son ami Brutus, le célèbre avocat et politicien républicain tente de répondre à la question du style le plus complet, le plus achevé, le plus parfait. Cicéron analyse donc le problème sans omettre de s'appuyer sur les épaules de Platon, d'Aristote, car si la philosophie décrie la rhétorique, elle est aussi un excellent entrainement pour ceux qui pratiquent cette dernière. On retrouve donc l'analyse d'Aristote en moins fouillé, moins systématique, ...more
An excellent translation as far as coherence goes. Granted, I don't speak or read Latin, but I found it cogent. The arrangement on the page was excellent, particularly the way subjects were divided into sections. The outline of sections in the introduction is incredibly useful. Historiography and explanations of concepts as clarified by the introduction and footnotes were also helpful to my understanding of the text. Not to mention, Cicero was just plain logical about the way he wrote this stuff ...more
One of the greatest literary achievements of all time. Here, the full force of Cicero's intellect is unleashed. Using a form similar to Plato's "Symposium," he explores the obligations, perogatives, and ultimate goals of the "ideal orator"--the man who has both wisdom and eloquence, and who cultivates the practical and speculative virtues. Contained here is the most compelling and profound definition of rhetoric ever produced.
This was for class, so for me a decent amount of background knowledge on Cicero and On the Ideal Orator is necessary, but beyond that I generally find classical dialogues tedious, and this was no exception. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the section on wit and humor was both interesting and relevant.
Kirk Kittell
Scanned copy on Google Books: De Oratore
(I only read Book I, but this looks quite useful indeed)
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January 3, 106 BCE – December 7, 43 BCE

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. Cicero is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.
More about Marcus Tullius Cicero...
Selected Works On the Republic/On the Laws Selected Political Speeches On the Good Life On Duties (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)

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