Cornelius Tacitus, Dialogus de oratoribus [The Dialogue on Orators]

Steven Rutledge (The University of Maryland)
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Tacitus’

Dialogus de oratoribus

[

Dialogue on Orators

] is one of three so-called minor works (along with the

Agricola

and

Germania

) undertaken prior to his better known historical narratives, the

Historiae

and the

Annales

. The dating of the work is problematic, but probably belongs to between 100 and 102 (scholars base the date, in part, on the addressee, Fabius Justus, who held the consulship in 102). It takes as its literary exempla not only Ciceronian dialogues, but also appears closely modeled on Plato’s

Symposium

; as Plato’s renowned dialogue on love is occasioned by the victory of the comic poet Agathon, Tacitus’ work is likewise set on the occasion of a similar reading, and is the only other dialogue from antiquity (of which we are aware) to use such a setting. Like…

1679 words

Citation: Rutledge, Steven. "Dialogus de oratoribus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 October 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=19583, accessed 05 March 2024.]

19583 Dialogus de oratoribus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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