State of the Scholarship in Classics on Ancient Roman Rhetoric

Michele Kennerly, Kathleen S. Lamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Limiting ourselves to scholarly books published in English from 2009–2016, we survey classics scholarship about rhetoric in ancient Rome from the late republic through the early empire. We seek traditional threads and growing trends across those works that advance our understanding of rhetoric’s practical, theoretical, and material manifestations during that time of tumult and transition. We begin broadly, using companion books to delineate three structural pillars in the scholarship: rhetoric as a formal cultural system, the republic as subject to ruptures and reinventions, and Cicero as a foremost statesman of the late republic. Then we move into scholarship that draws upon nontraditional rhetorical objects, such as art, and that moves into increasingly vibrant areas of interest in rhetoric, such as the senses. Overall, we find that classicists writing about ancient Roman rhetorical culture share with their counterparts in rhetoric an urge to test old verities and to add historical depth to larger scholarly turns within the humanities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-112
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in the History of Rhetoric
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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