Born to Speak: "Ingenium" and "Natura" in Tacitus's "Dialogue on Orators."

Syson, Antonia
January 2009
Arethusa;Winter2009, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
This article analyzes the use of Latin words ingenium and natura, with reference to Roman historian Tacitus Cornelius' "Dialogus de Oratoribus" or "Dialogue on Orators." It relates that the word ingenium refers to the personality, intellect and creative power that a person is born with, and it can also serve as a near synonym for natura. It indicates that the use of natura helps emphasizes the perceptible artifice involved in separating present and past. Cornelius heightens the generic effect of his Dialogus' genre by verbally connecting the act of writing a dialogue with the questions of eloquence and identity that drive the discussion. Moreover, each speech reveals how the search for intrinsic and essential truth gets embroiled in the contingent experiences of a community.


Related Articles

  • TACITUS ON ORATORY AND RHETORICS. CAZACU, AUREL M. // Economics, Management & Financial Markets;Jun2011, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p614 

    In Dialogus de oratoribus (Dialogues on Orators), Tacitus analyzes the causes of eloquence decadence in his times. If such decline had probably been a serious concern during the Republic, under the Imperial regime the orator should have had a less important part in the state leadership, and the...

  • LIVY AND TACITUS. Brickel, Alfred G. // America;10/9/1920, Vol. 23 Issue 25, p593 

    The article discusses the implication of the literary works of historians Livy and Cornelius Tacitus on the social planning in 1921. Both authors have successfully established a very strong reputation in the literary industry with their excellent works of art and integration of social life and...

  • Tacitus as the Historian of the Principate. Verzhbitskiy, K. V. // Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. History;2009, Issue 3, p60 

    This article deals with some aspects of the works by the ancient Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus, whose books are the main sources on the Roman history of the period of early Principate. The author focuses on the problem of reliability of his account of Roman history, represented by Tacitus in...

  • Jesus Christ: The Non-Biblical Records.  // Senior Life;May/Jun2011, Special section p5 

    The article provides several facts related to Christianity and existence of Jesus Christ as its founder. It mentions the writings of various historians which include Cornelius Tacitus, Durant and Lucian. It also cites information on the existence of Jesus Christ according to anti-Christian...

  • Jesus Christ: The Non-Biblical Records.  // Oklahoma Woman;May2011, p5 

    The article offers historical facts on the existence of Jesus Christ. It mentions some philosophers and historians who asserted that Jesus and/or Christianity were real including Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Celsus. It identifies Celsus as the first great anti-Christian writer who authored a...

  • IS MACHIAVELLI OR TACITUS MORE RELEVANT FOR CONTEMPORARY POLITICS? Melleuish, Greg // Policy;Summer2012/2013, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p39 

    The article offers information on the political theories of Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus and Italian historian Niccolo Machiavelli. It mentions that in this age of democratic caesarism, beliefs of Cornelius Tacitus are considered to be more relevant in Australian political system. It...


    The article examines the character of Agrippina the Elder in "Annals" by Tacitus, senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The prologue offers Agrippina's main attributes such as being the granddaughter of Emperor Augustus, gave Germanicus several children, and a passionate woman of...

  • Tacitean sidelights on The Master and Margarita. West, Stephanie // International Journal of the Classical Tradition;Spring97, Vol. 3 Issue 4, p473 

    Bulgakov's use of Tacitus' "Annals" in "The Master and Margarita" repays attention. Tacitus inspired his invention of Pilate's pre-Judaean career, the governor's physical courage being illustrated by flashbacks to the battle of Idistaviso (Ann. 2.16-18), while Tacitus' description of the...

  • FiNdiNG THE CHRiST iN HiS ApOSTLES. HSiA CHANG, MARiA // New Oxford Review;Dec2013, Vol. 80 Issue 10, p24 

    The article focuses on the quest for Jesus Christ and his apostles. It states that the search for the historical Jesus has two problem of historical sources such as the three Synoptic Gospels and historians of the time. It notes that Tacitus, Josephus, and Suetonius are the three most...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics