- Sep 2018
Sometimes called "forensic" oratory, judical oratory originally had to do exclusively with the law courts and was oriented around the purposes of defending or accusing. The judicial orator made arguments about past events, and did so with respect to the two special topics of invention described by Aristotle as appropriate for this branch of oratory, the just and the injust (or the right and the wrong).
Sample Rhetorical Analysis: JUDICIAL ORATORY In his famous speeches against Catiline, Cicero blatantly and forcefully accused Catiline of forming a conspiracy that would undermine republican Rome. Although speaking to the senate, he might as well have been speaking in a legal court, for he employed the methods and topics of judicial oratory, as though he were the prosecutor and Catiline the hapless defendant. Although Cicero lacked the solid evidence we would expect in today's courtroom, his dynamic summoning of witnesses (including the personified Rome herself!) secured popular sentiment against Catiline, and the conspirator fled the city.