Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Stacie Raucci




man, rhetoric, time


In the present political arena, prominent politicians deliver speeches that have been adapted to the constant media coverage and the representative democratic system. Thus, modern American political discourse differs obviously from that of ancient Rome where such conditions did not exist. According to mainstream beliefs, rhetoric, the art of effective communication aimed at persuasion, appears, at best, to have vanished from modern political oratory and, at worst, to have degraded into a hollow design intended to manipulate the American public. Nevertheless, ancient rhetoric persists; the American audience simply may not be as conscious of it. Through careful translations of selected oratorical works by famed orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, prime examples of deft and effective rhetorical strategies were analyzed in their original context. Next, in order to obtain a comprehensive aesthetic and functional understanding of ancient rhetoric in modern politics selected oratory from presidential candidates were recomposed in Latin. Translations from English to Latin require more than just words; they require going beyond the words to the thought and purpose behind it all. These prose compositions illustrate that ancient rhetoric is not lost from modern political oratory.