What are the best speeches by Cicero

Knowledge - Talking like Cicero: ancient rhetoric for the present

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Roman rhetoric still plays an important role today. Many politicians like Cicero are still talking. “Talk like Cicero” is the name of a course on Swiss Latin Day. Course leader Dominik Humbel explains the rules of rhetoric and why the art of Cicero is so important to this day.

A speech is about unraveling a problem in such a way that you can tackle it and that you are no longer afraid of it. This is what the Latin and Greek teacher Dominik Humbel says about the rhetoric of Cicero. "It's a rational approach that suppresses emotions."

Reason creates security

A speech can make the audience feel safe. This arises on the one hand from the worldview presented by the speaker and on the other hand from the method that he approaches a problem rationally. Reason creates security.

The ancient “Yes We Can”, so to speak, “We can do it”. Dominik Humbel finds elements of ancient rhetoric everywhere in today's political speeches. Without Cicero there would be no election campaign, no parliamentary debate.

But Humbel also says: Faithfulness to facts and rationality were central to the Roman statesman and philosopher. In those troubled times of the first century before Christ, he was concerned with truthfulness, with the strength of the better argument.

The ABC of rhetoric

Dominik Humbel names three aspects of Cicero's oratory. If you follow this classic Roman structure, you will succeed in a speech that can really convince the audience.

The three aspects of rhetoric according to Cicero

Speaking situation
First, it is about the relationship between the speaker, the audience and
the problem. A speech is made in a clearly defined situation
held: A person speaks to a group of people about a problem.
Role of the speaker
Second, the speaker has certain tasks towards the audience he wants to win for his opinion: teaching, exciting and delighting.
Teaching means conveying facts. To excite means to generate emotions. To delight means to entertain and involve the audience.
construction
An ideal Roman speech is divided into seven parts: introduction, problem analysis, solution formulation, illustrative story, argumentation, refutation of counter-arguments and conclusion.

Broadcast: Radio SRF 2 Kultur, Kultur Kompakt, November 4, 2016, 12:10 p.m.

Latin day and month

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The Latin language is currently being made public twice in Switzerland: on the one hand at the “Latin Culture Month” in St. Gallen. On the other hand, in Brugg in Aargau, where the Swiss “Latin Day” will take place on November 5th. With music, theater, wine, books - and with workshops. One of them is called “Talking like Cicero”.

zehr / funt

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