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oratory

oratory, the art of swaying an audience by eloquent speech. In ancient Greece and Rome oratory was included under the term rhetoric, which meant the art of composing as well as delivering a speech. Oratory first appeared in the law courts of Athens and soon became important in all areas of life. It was taught by the Sophists. The Ten Attic Orators (listed by Alexandrine critics) were Antiphon, Andocides, Lysias, Isocrates, Isaeus, Aeschines, Demosthenes, Lycurgus, Hyperides, and Dinarchus. Classic Rome's great orators were Cato the Elder, Mark Antony, and Cicero.

The theory of rhetoric was discussed by Aristotle and Quintilian; and three main classes of oratory were later designated by classical rhetoricians: (a) deliberative—to persuade an audience (such as a legislature) to approve or disapprove a matter of public policy; (b) forensic—to achieve (as in a trial) condemnation or approval for a person's actions; (c) epideictic— "display rhetoric" used on ceremonial occasions. Rhetoric was included in the medieval liberal arts curriculum. In subsequent centuries oratory was utilized in three main areas of public life—politics, religion, and law. During the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation, oratory was generally confined to the church, which produced such soul-searing orators as Savanorola, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox.

With the development of parliaments in the 18th cent., great political orators appeared—Charles James Fox, Edmund Burke, Henry Gratten, and Daniel O'Connell in England and Ireland; Patrick Henry and James Otis in the United States; and Danton and Mirabeau in France. Because these politicians usually spoke to men of their own class and education, their orations were often complex and erudite, abounding in classical allusions. In the 19th cent., the rise of Methodism and evangelical religions produced great preachers like John Wesley and George Whitefield who addressed a wide audience of diverse classes of people. Their sermons, replete with biblical allusions and appeals to the emotions, profoundly influenced the oratorical style of many politicians. Famous 19th cent. orators included Disraeli and John Bright in England, Charles Stewart Parnell in Ireland, Lamartine in France, Ferdinand Lasalle in Germany, Louis Kossuth in Hungary, and Joseph Mazzini in Italy. Great American orators included Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, and Henry Ward Beecher.

In the 20th cent., orators made frequent use of the "catch phrase" (e.g., William Jennings Bryan's "cross of gold" speech). Noted orators in the first half of the 20th cent. were Bryan, Eugene Debs, Susan B. Anthony, and Woodrow Wilson in the United States, Lenin and Trotsky in Russia, and David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill in England. The bombastic oratorical style of Hitler and Mussolini, inevitably associated with their discredited political ideologies, brought grandiloquent oratory into disrepute. The advent of radio forced oratory to become more intimate and conversational, as in the "fireside chats" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Television forced additional demands on the orator (usually now called the public speaker), who not only had to sound good but also had to look good. Still, most politicians, notably Adlai E. Stevenson and John F. Kennedy, succeeded in utilizing the ubiquitous television camera to heighten the impact of their speeches. The particular effectiveness of great oratory was movingly demonstrated in 1963 when the civil-rights leader Martin Luther King delivered his "I have a dream" speech to an audience of 200,000 people in Washington, D.C., and to millions more listening to him on radio and watching him on television.

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Oratory

ORATORY

ORATORY. Although Indian orators like Pontiac and Red Jacket had stirred their people to action, eloquence among colonists lay dormant until the Revolution aroused Samuel Adams, James Otis, and Patrick Henry. In Henry's great speeches on the "Parson's Cause" (1763), on the Stamp Act (1765), and in the "Liberty or Death" speech (1775), he left his mark upon U.S. history. John Randolph's invective reigned in Congress until Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster emerged in times of crisis. Clay was remarkable for frequent and fluent remarks; Calhoun for subject mastery and logical presentation; Webster for magnificent voice, memory, and presence. In the middle period, eminent speakers included John Quincy Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, Thomas Corwin, Seargent Smith Prentiss, Robert Toombs, and William Yancey. Stephen A. Douglas's sonorous voice and superb confidence matched Abraham Lincoln's admirable directness in their debates (1858), the apogee of this style of political campaigning. Lincoln's inaugural addresses are the best of their kind.

Except for Charles Sumner, Albert J. Beveridge, and the elder Robert La Follette, the greatest orators since the Civil War have not been in Congress. Wendell Phillips achieved popular success in unpopular causes. George W. Curtis fought for civic reform; Robert G. Ingersoll defended agnosticism; and Henry W. Grady championed the "New South" (1886). The greatest pulpit orators have been Henry Ward Beecher, Phillips Brooks, and Harry Emerson Fosdick. Foremost among legal advocates have been William Pinkney, Rufus Choate, and Clarence Darrow. The Populist orators anticipated William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson as molders of public opinion, effective phrasemakers, and persuasive moralists. Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose clarity of expression suffused his first inaugural address (1933) and "fireside chats," remained unrivaled among U.S. public figures during his lifetime. Since World War II, the emphasis on oratory has declined, although a few notable orators, such as civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., have appeared. King's speech "I Have a Dream" (1963) caused many Americans to give their support to him and to his movement.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gustafson, Sandra M. Eloquence Is Power. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Mann, Barbara Alice, ed. Native American Speakers of the Eastern Woodlands. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Warren, James Perrin. Culture of Eloquence. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.

Harvey L.Carter/c. w.

See alsoCivil Rights Movement ; Cross of Gold Speech ; "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" ; Indian Oratory ; Lincoln-Douglas Debates ; March on Washington ; Parson's Cause ; South, the: The New South ; Stamp Act ; Webster-Hayne Debate .

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"Oratory." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Oratory

Oratory in the Roman Catholic Church, a religious society of secular priests founded in Rome in 1564 to provide plain preaching and popular services and established in various countries.

The Oratory of St Philip Neri was constituted at Rome in 1564 and recognized by the Pope in 1575. It was so named from the small chapel or oratory built over one of the aisles of the Church of St. Jerome, in which St Philip Neri (1515–95) and his followers, ‘Fathers of the Oratory’, carried on their work for six years before 1564. In 1577 the congregation moved to the new church (Chiesa Nuova) of the Valicella, in which were conducted the musical services thence called, in Italian, oratorio.

Oratory meaning ‘a small chapel, especially for private worship’, is recorded from Middle English, and comes ultimately from Latin orare ‘pray, speak’.

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oratory

or·a·to·ry1 / ˈôrəˌtôrē; ˈär-/ • n. (pl. -ries) 1. a small chapel, esp. for private worship. 2. (Oratory) (in the Roman Catholic Church) a religious society of secular priests founded in Rome in 1564 to provide plain preaching and popular services and established in various countries. DERIVATIVES: Or·a·to·ri·an / ˌôəˈtôrēən; ˈär-/ n. & adj. (sense 2). or·a·to·ry2 • n. the art or practice of formal speaking in public. ∎  exaggerated, eloquent, or highly colored language: learned discussions degenerated into pompous oratory. DERIVATIVES: or·a·tor·i·cal / ˌôrəˈtôrikəl/ adj.

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Oratory

Oratory, Oratorians (Lat., oratorium, ‘place of prayer’). Roman Catholic place of worship other than a parish church, and the name of those belonging to a community based on an Oratory. From the oratory of S. Girolamo in Rome came the Oratory of St Philip Neri, a community of priests whose constitution was ratified by Pope Paul V in 1612. Oratories spread rapidly: they are congregations of secular priests living in community without vows, the more wealthy, therefore, being expected to support themselves.

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oratory

oratory.
1. Domestic chapel or a room in a private house for prayer.

2. Small chapel of any sort, more particularly one for private solitary devotion.

3. Church and buildings belonging to the Congregation (not Order) of St Philip Neri (1515–95), constituted c.1550 and approved by Pope Gregory XIII (1572–85) in 1575, and called the Oratorians.

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oratory

oratory1 place of prayer, esp. a small chapel XIV; title of certain religious congregations in R. C. Ch. (orig. of the O. of St. Philip Neri established in 1564) XVII. — AN. oratorie = (O)F. oratoire, It. oratorio — ecclL. ōrātōrium, sb. use of n. of ōrātōrius, f. ōrāt-; see ORATOR, -ORY1.

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oratory

oratory2 art of the orator, eloquent speaking. XVI. — L. ōrātōria, sb. use of fem. of ōrātōrius, f. ōrātor; see ORATOR, -ORY2.
Hence, or directly f. L. ōrātorius, oratorical XVII.

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oratory

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pulsatory, purificatory, reificatory, revelatory, rotatory •natatory • elucidatory • castigatory •mitigatory • justificatory •imprecatory • equivocatory •flagellatory • execratory • innovatory •eatery, excretory •glittery, jittery, skittery, twittery •benedictory, contradictory, maledictory, valedictory, victory •printery, splintery •consistory, history, mystery •presbytery •inhibitory, prohibitory •hereditary • auditory • budgetary •military, paramilitary •solitary • cemetery • limitary •vomitory • dormitory • fumitory •interplanetary, planetary, sanitary •primogenitary • dignitary •admonitory, monitory •unitary • monetary • territory •secretary • undersecretary •plebiscitary • repository • baptistery •transitory •depositary, depository, expository, suppository •niterie •Godwottery, lottery, pottery, tottery •bottomry • watery • psaltery •coterie, notary, protonotary, rotary, votary •upholstery •bijouterie, charcuterie, circumlocutory •persecutory • statutory • salutary •executory •contributory, retributory, tributary •interlocutory •buttery, fluttery •introductory • adultery • effrontery •perfunctory • blustery • mediatory •retaliatory • conciliatory • expiatory •denunciatory, renunciatory •appreciatory, depreciatory •initiatory, propitiatory •dietary, proprietary •extenuatory •mandatary, mandatory •predatory • sedentary • laudatory •prefatory • offertory • negatory •obligatory •derogatory, interrogatory, supererogatory •nugatory •expurgatory, objurgatory, purgatory •precatory •explicatory, indicatory, vindicatory •confiscatory, piscatory •dedicatory • judicatory •qualificatory • pacificatory •supplicatory •communicatory, excommunicatory •masticatory • prognosticatory •invocatory • obfuscatory •revocatory • charlatanry •depilatory, dilatory, oscillatory •assimilatory • consolatory •voluntary • emasculatory •ejaculatory •ambulatory, circumambulatory, perambulatory •regulatory •articulatory, gesticulatory •manipulatory • copulatory •expostulatory • circulatory 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slavery, wavery •thievery •livery, quivery, shivery •silvery •ivory, salivary •ovary •discovery, recovery •servery • equerry • reliquary •antiquary • cassowary • stipendiary •colliery • pecuniary • chinoiserie •misery • wizardry • citizenry •advisory, provisory, revisory, supervisory •causerie, rosary

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