External Sources (More Please!)
I have good news and I have bad news.
Reading the secondary is infinitely more appealing to me – I ultimately have no interest to study classical rhetoric to the extent that these authors have, but I also couldn’t appreciate what they are writing or fully what I’m trying to do in my field without reading the base.
Development of Language and Style in the Annals of Tacitus. Author(s): F. R. D. Goodyear Source: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 58, Parts 1 and 2 (1968), pp. 22-31Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman StudiesStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/299692 .
“Whatever has happened in books I3-I6, it is at most a re-adjustment of stylistic technique within a pre-existing genre, not a radical transformation. (4) And this leads on to another difficulty, which is the immense complication of Tacitus’ language and style. There is no one easily detectable pattern of development. For instance, the process is not simply one of accumulation, the adding of more new and colourful features of vocabulary and phraseology. The converse is equally important, the discarding of words and phrases which seem to Tacitus no longer acceptable; we find a continual reshaping and experiment, sometimes bringing in bold and unusual features, sometimes discarding them. No style can develop simply by accumulation. Some linguistic experiments 8 R. H. Martin has raised one or two pertinent objections to the view propounded by will establish themselves permanently, some will not. And the taste of an author may change, producing either a greater refinement of his style or the opposite. In Tacitus there is, I believe, a continual refinement in general: the words and phrases which seem over-rhetorical, over-poetical and over-colourful tend increasingly to be discarded. But in detail there is no simple formula.”
He then goes into evidence of change – this I can nerd out about with him on, but not – in that I have not the passion or patience to achieve what he has on my own – only to benefit from his work.
Where does this leave me for this class? I dunno. But here is his conclusion, another highlight I wanted to provide:
“CONCLUSION The main points I have tried to make are: (i) That Tacitus’ stylistic development is extremely complicated and hardly to be explained by any simple formula. (2) That, while a definite change of vocabulary is found in I3-I6, its importance has been much exaggerated, because it affects only part of Tacitus’ vocabulary, because there is 17 To what extent change of source may have contributed to change of style is hard to assess. Certainly Tacitus’ historical sources could sometimes serve as stylistic models-at least Tacitus seems prepared to borrow from them an epigram or turn of phrase. But I doubt whether change of source could possibly affect the basic material of his language. And, though a partial change of source is likely after book i2, we know nothing of possible stylistic differences between Tacitus’ sources. ”
The highlight/chunk from: Senatorial Speeches and Letters in Tacitus’ Annals Author(s): G. A. Harrer Source: Studies in Philology, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Oct., 1918), pp. 333-343 Published by: University of North Carolina Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4171737
“LANGUAGE AND STYLE IN THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 29 substantial evidence for continuity of style in these same books, because an examination of books I I-I2 shows the change already beginning earlier, and, above all, because the change, which consists essentially in the discarding of various words in favour before, or a diminution in their use, is in no way different from other changes which had occurred previously in Tacitus’ writings. (3) That, this being so, it is mistaken to talk of a reversal of earlier tendencies in books I3-I6: the same process continues, a process of discarding and replacement. (4) That, if there is any one most characteristic tendency, it is a tendency towards greater refinement and subtlety, a movement away from the odd and affected. And this tendency continues right through from beginning to end-the linguistic change in I3-i6 is part of it. In the sense that this tendency does so continue, Wdlfflin’s picture of an un-broken development (however much it may need to be re-interpreted) seems to me nearer the truth than Lofstedt’s picture of a change of direction after book I2.19.”
All ancient historians, Greek and Roman, embellished their works with many and long speeches, put in the mouths of persons of the period concerned, but having often little or nothing in common with the speeches actually delivered. More than this, the historians often composed speeches for occasions on which none were in fact delivered. Many inserted such speeches to break the monotony of the narrative, to present to the reader an interesting piece of rhetoric, in other words, for the sake of the style, not the historical accuracy. Thucydides among the Greek historians took a higher standard. And he alone has stated his method of procedure: ” As to the speeches which were made either before or during the war, it was hard for me, and for others who reported them to me, to recollect the exact words.”
I found myself more and more uncomfortable teaching rhetoric without knowing it; teaching ethos pathos logos without ever having read Aristotle. And, knowing from contemporary rhetoric the western and imperialists, conquerors over the conquered priorities of this rhetoric, so ancient that we still herald – that is, one of my students asked why we wouldn’t talk about Quintilian. His father told him about it and the tie was the ways in which some people are heralded why others are not. It was a racial conversation and situation which I could not do justice.
Victor will tell you, George Kennedy too, that Quintilian is Roman. They are not wrong. From what I read of Kennedy he is assimilated by force and choice in the ways in we are in this life – you could fight it, but why make your life harder? And if you can play the game of those in power, benefit from it in terms of education and quality of life, well then how radical are you really? I am of course talking to myself now – the conforming I justify, the ways in which I easily blend and conform because I am white, the ways in which I want to be different and stand out because I have that luxury, that safety. The last point I learn and relearn regularly from the beautiful people in my life that open up and share, not because I am deserving, but because they like the way I think or maybe, must maybe I made them feel safe, or, maybe because I was demanding or in a position of power that made them feel as if they had no choice.
Important to me about Quintilian as stated by Kennedy:
“The family was certainly not a member of the senatorial aristocracy, and thus lacked not only the advantage but also the prejudices which that entailed;” (Kindle location 184).
This of course because of my interest in working class studies and the ways in which empire “improves” quality of life say – in my life here versus Guatemala – but also forces assimilation and continues on classes and prejudice – think, she/he is a credit to her race – or for women in the workforce. If you perform in a certain way well – Quintilian for rhetoric and oratory say – you are rewarded but also unable to shake a sort of branding.
This assumes a lot in regards to my present-day values on patchy history (talvez, I see what I want to see).
“Quintilian agreed with predecessors that three things were generally necessary: nature, practice, and art. One had to be born with a certain something, and in the right place, at the right time. Native ability could go a long way, especially if supported by wealth, high birth, moral force, or determination, but in Quintilian’s view study was necessary for real perfection. Practice meant self-consciousness and expert criticism. Art meant education, attending lectures, studying books, and learning the system. Both practice and art took teachers, time, and money, but these could be afforded for the future leaders of the state” (Kindle location 115).
Questions: all kinds
Our professor’s filter and choose what books we read – how do we trust and feel about that?
Is the different translations for our benefit, for a close comparison – to notice differences in translation choices?
“My goal in this seminar is to investigate, with you, classical rhetoric in its material
practice: as something smart people did and lived.”
How does this benefit our scholarship? Or, I see our writing as being the bridge gap – I’m hoping yes to this?
Is it (classical rhetoric) important because it’s the earliest written down, because it has universal truths about rhetoric? because some academic once (medieval to renaissance revival) said so?