The rhetoric of Pliny the Younger



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Pliny the Younger was a prominent orator and gentleman o£ the lust century A.D. He became Roman consulman December of 98 AD. On this occasion he delivered one of the two extant non-Ciceronian Roman rations delivered before the third century. The Panegyricus to Trajan- He developed the speech by praising Trajan's good qualities and thereby defining the ideal emperor- This epideictic speech served as a basis for future Panegyricus Latini. In addition to the Panegyricus, Pliny wrote a substantial volume of letters, published in the nine-book form, the epistles. These letters serve both as a means of gaining insight into the period and as a basis of abstracting the rhetoric of Pliny. The purpose of this study is to examine the rhetoric of Pliny the Younger. The study emphasizes Pliny's basic principles of invention, arrangement, style, and delivery. Invention, arrangement, and to a lesser extent delivery are largely abstracted from both the Panegyricus and the Epistles, while style is taken from the Epistles alone. The center of attention of Pliny's rhetoric was arrangement, style, and delivery. In other words, Pliny seemed more concerned with the manner in which something was said than he was with the content. He stands as a transition between the classical rhetorician and the Neo Sophist of second century Rome, removing the precepts but adjusting to the changing environmental and rhetorical situation.