Claudius als redenaar | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 56, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Abstract

The or , unearthed at Lyon in 1528, preserves part of a speech delivered to the senate in AD 48 by Claudius. The emperor pleads to admit the elites of Gallia Comata to the Roman senate. This article presents a rhetorical analysis of the speech. Modern readers have labeled the style of the speech ‘bombastic’ and ‘pedantic’, while criticizing its many historical examples. An examination of the speech in terms of and , however, demonstrates that Claudius carefully constructs the of a knowledgeable and open-minded authority. It is argued that two moments of rhetorical persuasion could be distinguished: the senate meeting in Rome and the publication of the bronze inscription at the sanctuary of the Three Gauls at Lugdunum. Not much deliberative rhetoric was perhaps needed to persuade the senators to agree with their emperor; the display of the inscription, on the other hand, could be interpreted as a form of epideictic rhetoric, which may have given a significant boost to the confidence of Roman citizens in Gaul. While some senators in Rome may have disliked the lengthy historical as part of the oral speech, visitors of the sanctuary in Lugdunum may have appreciated seeing Gaul included in the long history of Rome.

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