Cicero on the Goal of the Rhetorician

Roman Orator
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kindle the feelings of his hearers, or quench them when kindled . . . it is in this that the orator’s virtue and range are chiefly discerned.7

A long career and experience in the most weighty affairs have taught us, by this time, to hold fast to the ways of stirring the feelings of mankind.8

There is to my mind no more excellent thing than the power, by means of oratory, to get a hold on assemblies of men, win their good will, direct their inclinations wherever . . . wishes.9

Who . . . does not know that the orator’s virtue is pre-eminently manifested either in rousing men’s hearts to anger, hatred, or indignation, or in recalling them from these same passions to mildness and mercy?

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