Relations between ancient Oratory and ancient Prose
The relation between ancient oratory and ancient prose, philosophical, historical or literary, is necessarily of the closest kind. Here our unfortunate word ‘oratory,’ with its arbitrary and perplexing associations, is a standing impediment to clearness of view. The proposition will be more evident if it is stated thus:—In Greek and Roman antiquity, that prose which was written with a view to being spoken
stood in the closest relation with that prose which was written with a view to being read.
Hence the historical study of ancient oratory has an interest wider and deeper than that which belongs to the study of modern oratory. It is that study by which the practical politics of antiquity are brought into immediate connexion with ancient literature.
The affinities between ancient and modern oratory
Relation between Ancient and Modern Oratory.
have been more often assumed than examined. To discuss and illustrate them with any approach to completeness would be matter for a separate work. We must try, however, to apprehend the chief points. These shall be stated as concisely as possible, with such illustrations only as are indispensable for clearness.