Marcus Tullius Cicero, Orator [The Orator]

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Cicero composed his


in 46 BC, following upon the earlier publication of


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 (


14. 20. 3). The


, as Fantham notes (1989: 237), represents “a sort of utopian counterpart to the historical account of


”, and while the treatise certainly searches for the ideal orator of

De Oratore

, it shifts the focus from an…

2465 words

Citation: May, James. "Orator". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 February 2014 [, accessed 18 July 2024.]

35072 Orator 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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