A feature of Roman rhetorical education under the early empire was the dominance of the declamatio - the declamation on a mythological, historical or quasi-legal theme designed in the first place to train students for the law courts and political debating but indulged in for its own sake by amateurs as well as students and teachers of rhetoric. The elder Seneca, father of the philosopher and dramatist, compiled an anthology of the often bizarre utterances of the declaimers. Janet Fairweather's 1981 book is a detailed study of the anthologist's literary criticism. From Seneca's prefactory descriptions of declaimers and passing remarks on their work, she derives evidence for all the stages in the preparation and delivery of declamations; and from the same source, in conjunction with select declamatory extracts, she shows that rhetorical taste in Seneca's time was not so uniform as is commonly supposed.
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(216mm x 138mm x 24mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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