ABSTRACT. Educated in the spirit of the Republican ideals of the military oratory and admirer of Cicero, Seneca, the Rhetor, is witness to the Roman eloquence’s decay at the beginning of the Empire, when the oratory practice seemed to have become a completely outdoor and modern genre. During his last years he wrote Oratorum et rhetorum sententiae, divisiones, colores, a collection of declamations on juridical (Controversiae) and deliberative subjects (Suasoriae), oratory exercises practiced in the Rhetors’ schools of Augustus’ and Tiberius’ times. His prodigious memory allowed him to reproduce, after more than fifty years, the topic of exercises, plans, formula, and even long quotations by the main rhetors he used to listen to in his youth. Along with Tacitus, Seneca, the rhetor, marks the end of the classic eloquence, even if the art of speech does not diminish its force of influence, not only in the oratory’s benefit but also in the Latin prose’s one. In the new imperial world that imposed major conditions to the freedom of speech, they looked for different speech formula that juxtaposed in different tonalities, while the eloquence interferes with poetry. pp. 85–87

Keywords: argumentation, controversy, deliberative speech, judicial speech, oratory, persuasion, rhetoric, rhetoric manners

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