Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Start Studying Greek and Latin Now

According to to Charlotte Higgins, a British Classicist, "to understand the next four years of American politics, you are going to need to understand something of the politics of ancient Greece and Rome." Writing for The Guardian, a major British daily, she asserts that Barack Obama is "The New Cicero," (November 26, 2008) an intellectual politician and gifted orator. Ms. Higgins gives concrete examples of the rhetorical techniques employed by the President-Elect. No matter which candidate you may have voted for, it's a fascinating article.

To learn more about Cicero and his discourse on rhetorical technique, you can read his De Oratore ("On the Orator") either in the Latin original or in English translation. An excellent resource for learning more about rhetoric and rhetorical devices is Dr. Gideon Burton's Silva Rhetorica ("the Forest of Rhetoric") at Brigham Young University.