The noise-lovers: cultures of speech and sound in second-century Rome
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Citation (published version)Uden, J. 2020. 'The Noise-Lovers: Cultures of Speech and Sound in Second-Century Rome', in A. König, R. Langlands and J. Uden (eds) Literature and Culture in the Roman Empire, 96-235: Cross-Cultural Interactions, Cambridge. pp. 58-74. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108637336.005
This chapter provides an examination of an ideal of the ‘deliberate speaker’, who aims to reflect time, thought, and study in his speech. In the Roman Empire, words became a vital tool for creating and defending in-groups, and orators and authors in both Latin and Greek alleged, by contrast, that their enemies produced babbling noise rather than articulate speech. In this chapter, the ideal of the deliberate speaker is explored through the works of two very different contemporaries: the African-born Roman orator Fronto and the Syrian Christian apologist Tatian. Despite moving in very different circles, Fronto and Tatian both express their identity and authority through an expertise in words, in strikingly similar ways. The chapter ends with a call for scholars of the Roman Empire to create categories of analysis that move across different cultural and linguistic groups. If we do not, we risk merely replicating the parochialism and insularity of our sources.
RightsThis material has been published in revised form in Literature and Culture in the Roman Empire, 96–235 edited by Alice König, University of St Andrews, Scotland, Rebecca Langlands, University of Exeter, and James Uden, Boston University https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108637336.005. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press.