Cicero composed his Orator in 46 BC, following upon the earlier publication of Brutus in that same year. It stands as the last major critical rhetorical work of his life. Internal references in the treatise (1, 3, 52, 174), as well as a letter to Atticus (14. 20), make it clear that it was written to comply with Marcus Brutus’ insistent requests, and, from Cicero’s point of view, perhaps even to counter the younger orator’s Atticist leanings in terms of style—an objective that Cicero subsequently admits with regret he failed to achieve (Att. 14. 20. 3). The Orator, as Fantham notes (1989: 237), represents “a sort of utopian counterpart to the …

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May, James. "Orator". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 February 2014; last revised .
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]