Ann Vasaly introduces representation theory into the study of Ciceronian persuasion and contends that an understanding of milieu—social, political, topographical—is crucial to understanding Ciceronian oratory. As a genre uniquely dependent on an immediate interaction between author and audience, ancient oratory becomes performance art.
Vasaly investigates the way Cicero represented the contemporary physical world—places, topography, and monuments, both those seen and those merely mentioned—to his listeners and demonstrates how he used these representations to persuade. Her exceptionally well-written study deftly recaptures the immediacy of Cicero's oratory and makes a trenchant contribution to an important new area of inquiry in Classical Studies.
Ann Vasaly is Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University.
"This is the first book to undertake a study of how Cicero represented his raw material to the public. It does so in a very readable and attractive way, and none who take it up will find it easy to abandon."—Elaine Fantham, Princeton University
"The kind of study that enriches and enlivens our understanding. . . . There is nothing else like it in Ciceronian studies."—Eleanor Winsor Leach, Indiana University