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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses public speaking in Roman society, and introduces the term contio, which is the rough equivalent of a modern town hall meeting. It was also the only institutionalized venue where an orator could directly address the public as his main audience. It states that the contiones were central elements of Roman political life, where one could acquire popularity and contact either the senators or the people. This article shows that the contio was a source of communal information, as well as the principal place of official public debate.

Keywords: public speaking, contio, contiones, political life, communal information, public debate

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