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Trials of CharacterThe Eloquence of Ciceronian Ethos$
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James M. May

Print publication date: 1988

Print ISBN-13: 9780807817599

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469616322.001.0001

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(p.162) VI Conclusion
Trials of Character

James M. May

University of North Carolina Press

This concluding chapter argues that the study of ethos in Ciceronian oratory is actually the story of the orator's struggle to establish an ethos of authority and exert it when it had been established. If ethos were ever to be diminished, then the orator must re-establish it to the extent that a true and courageous patriot would. The book confirms that a man with auctoritas (authority), gratia (grace or style), dignitas (dignity) and existimatio (esteem or respect) could have considerable influence in a Roman court of law. What characterizes Cicero's speeches was the prominence of his own ethos, exerting his own authority and position in which on his side stood constitutionality, truth, and justice.

Keywords:   Cicero, Ciceronian oratory, auctoritas, gratia, dignitas, existimatio, Cicero's speeches

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