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A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence

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In this insightful and thought-provoking work, Publius Cornelius Tacitus engages in a dialogue about the art of oratory and the decline of eloquence in society. Through the discussions between various characters, Tacitus explores the factors that contribute to corrupt rhetoric and the loss of persuasive speaking skills.

The author's deep understanding of rhetoric and language shines through in this dialogue, as he delves into the manipulation of language for political gain and the ways in which eloquence can be used to deceive and manipulate the masses. Tacitus raises important questions about the role of oratory in shaping public opinion and the responsibilities of speakers to use their skills ethically.

Overall, A Dialogue Concerning Oratory is a fascinating and thought-provoking read that sheds light on the power and pitfalls of persuasive speech. Tacitus' insights are as relevant today as they were in ancient Rome, making this a timeless and valuable work for anyone interested in the art of persuasion.

Book Description:
The scene of the Dialogus de Oratoribus, as this work is commonly known, is laid in the sixth year of Vespasian, 75 a.D. The commentators are much divided in their opinions about the real author; his work they all agree is a masterpiece in the kind; written with taste and judgement; entertaining, profound, and elegant. It is normally considered to have been written by Tacitus, even though some ascribe it to Quintilian. The main subject is 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. In a certain way, it can be considered a miniature art of rhetoric.

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