Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Cicero And The Sophists

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This chapter explores Cicero's apprehension, assessment, and exploitation of sophistic rhetoric in prosecuting his theoretical agenda concerning oratory. Cicero makes at least 119 historical and critical references to sophistic rhetoric in treatises and letters. From 35 critical references, Cicero recognized artistic merit in sophistic rhetoric and especially stylistic innovations in rounding sentences and prose rhythm. However, he complained about the sophists' claim to speak on any subject and their tendency toward an excessive and impractical style. Cicero applied the sophistic doctrine that the orator must speak on all subjects in De oratore, but, in correction of the sophists, he required that the orator must know the matters whereof he speaks. Likewise, he theorized about rounded sentences and prose rhythm in De oratore and Orator, but unlike the sophists, he envisioned their typical application in the courts and deliberative assemblies.

Keywords: Cicero; De oratore; Orator; sophists



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    New Chapters in the History of Rhetoric — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation