Motif of comparison : oratory and music in rhetorical works of Cicero and Quintilian

Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2010, vol. 15, iss. 2, pp. [171]-180
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
The ancients noticed a strong connection between oratory and music, which, as they concluded, was rooted in poetry. The link was made owing to the fact that, originally, music was an element of poetry, since verses were sung to the sound of a string instrument. As for eloquence, although it belonged to prose, it made wide use of poetical language. It is my objective to present and analyse the comparisons that Cicero draws between oratory and music in his rhetoric treaties. He based his texts on the works of the most prominent Greek authors, therefore it is essential to refer to Greek rhetoric thought as well and present their attitude to the role of music in writing about eloquence. The parallels drawn by Cicero between the art of music and the art of rhetoric have been grouped according to their subject matter and it is pointed out what elements of oratory and music were deemed corresponding and to what end.