This reading of De Oratore uses Stoic philosophy and rhetoric to trace out a complex Ciceronian theory of rhetoric. Cicero rejected Stoic style, labeling it as meager and unpersuasive. However, he coalesced Stoic philosophy with Greek rhetoric to produce his ideal orator. Cicero described eloquentia as natural public speech that was distinctive to every person, yet he also explained how eloquence, like wisdom, unified aspects of the entire universe. Through these connections, Stoic influences enabled Cicero to negotiate major questions concerning rhetoric, such as the emotional control of the orator, the virtue of eloquence, and the status of rhetoric as an art. Cicero's negotiation is productive of a theory of rhetoric that is useful today, especially as it holds speech and public action as important and fundamental acts of human individuality.

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