Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic
Henriette van der Blom
Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic is a pioneering investigation into political life in the late Roman Republic. It explores the nature and extent to which Roman politicians embraced oratorical performances as part of their political career and how such performances influenced the careers of individual orators such as Gaius Gracchus, Pompeius Magnus, and Julius Caesar. Through six case studies, this book presents a complex and multifaceted picture of how Roman politicians employed oratory to articulate their personal and political agendas, to present themselves to a public obsessed with individual achievement, and ultimately to promote their individual careers. By dealing specifically with orators other than Cicero, this study offers much-needed alternatives to our understanding of public oratory in Rome. Moreover, the assessment of the impact of public speeches on the development of political careers provides new perspectives on the hotly-debated nature of republican political culture.
Henriette van der Blom is an ancient historian and Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. An expert in the field of Roman Republican history, politics and oratory, her research focuses on political life, the ways in which Roman politicians presented themselves to the public, and the complex role of oratory in politics. Past publications include Cicero’s Role Models. The Political Strategy of a Newcomer (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Community and Communication. Oratory and Politics in Republican Rome (ed. with Prof. Catherine Steel; Oxford University Press, 2013) as well as a string of articles on Cicero and other politicians of his age, new men in Roman politics, the use of historical exempla and invective speech, and the connections between oratory and career making at Rome. She is involved with a project to collect, translate and comment on the surviving fragments of all non-Ciceronian oratory from the Republican period, the Fragments of the Roman Republican Orators (to be published by Oxford University Press). Henriette van der Blom is also Director of the Network for Oratory and Politics.