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"When People Knew How to Speak: Oratory in the 19th Century" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2020 9:36 p.m. PST

"At a time when the quality of public discourse is often complained of, it's interesting to look back to when people took oratory, or eloquence in public speaking, seriously. One such period was 200 years ago, in the early 19th century. Inspired by Greek and Roman ideals, politicians, lawyers, religious leaders and other public speakers sought to stir emotions, change minds and inspire action by speaking so masterfully that people would pack rooms just to hear what they said.

Orators were held in high esteem in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, where citizens participated in government. Rhetoric (the art of persuasive speaking) was formally taught to boys, and politicians were expected to be good speakers. Cicero, one of Rome's most famous orators, wrote of the "incredible magnitude and difficulty of the art" of oratory…"
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