Contrary to the two other major Augustan writers who discussed the origins of Rome, Vergil's Roman prehistory centers on the presence of Evander. An involuntary exile from the East (Greek Arcadia) who settled in Latium and instilled civilization and laws among the Italians, Evander is a duplicate of Aeneas, a cultural ancestor and a model of leadership. Aeneas is instructed by the deities of Italy (Tiberinus) to pay a visit to Pallanteum, Evander's capital and the primordial site of Rome, in order to learn about the past and receive instructions about the future. His tour of proto-Rome, led by Evander, carries Aeneas through a series of monuments that span through Rome's entire history. Aeneas is guided to follow Evander's example, and Vergil, urging reevaluation of widespread anti-Hellenic prejudices, prominently underscores the seminal contribution of Greece to the cultural and political origins of Rome.
The Theatre of Justice contains 17 chapters that offer a holistic view of performance in Greek and Roman oratorical and political contexts. This holistic view consists of the examination of two areas of techniques. The first one relates to the delivery of speeches and texts: gesticulation, facial expressions and vocal communication. The second area includes a wide diversity of techniques that aim at forging a rapport between the speaker and the audience, such as emotions, language and style, vivid imagery and the depiction of characters.
In this way the volume develops a better understanding of the objectives of public speaking, the mechanisms of persuasion, and the extent to which performance determined the outcome of judicial and political contests.
Persuasion has long been one of the major fields of interest for researchers across a wide range of disciplines. The present volume aims to establish a framework to enhance the understanding of the features, manifestations and purposes of persuasion across all Greek and Roman genres and in various institutional contexts. The volume considers the impact of persuasion techniques upon the audience, and how precisely they help speakers/authors achieve their goals. It also explores the convergences and divergences in deploying persuasion strategies in different genres, such as historiography and oratory, and in a variety of topics. This discussion contributes towards a more complete understanding of persuasion that will help to advance knowledge of decision-making processes in varied institutional contexts in antiquity.