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The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore$
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Elaine Fantham

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263158.001.0001

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Res Pervolgatae: Words and their Manipulation in Standard Rhetorical Theory

Res Pervolgatae: Words and their Manipulation in Standard Rhetorical Theory

Chapter:
(p.267) 11 Res Pervolgatae: Words and their Manipulation in Standard Rhetorical Theory
Source:
The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore
Author(s):

Elaine Fantham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263158.003.0011

As was noted in the previous chapter, Crassus is openly reluctant to gratify Sulpicius with an account of formal rhetorical instruction on style, since so many rhetoricians had converted their teaching into manuals: there is some irony, surely in his descriptions of these men as auctores et inventoresharum sane minutarum rerum (3.149), mocking their proud claim to be ‘originators’ of what was in fact a mass of trivial detail. But the fourth book of the anonymous teacher of Herennius, on elocutio, confirms the author's pride in originating even such detail, and his near indifference to underlying principles. This chapter addresses the following questions: Why does Cicero let Crassus oblige Sulpicius, and why should Catulus and his friends, or any modern readers, pay any attention to these hackneyed ‘elements of style’?

Keywords:   Cicero, Crassus, De Oratore, Sulpicius, Herennius, Catulus

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