Oratory

From Academic Kids

Oratory is the art of eloquent speech. In ancient Greece and Rome, oratory was studied as a component of rhetoric (that is, composition and delivery of speeches), and was an important skill in public and private life. Aristotle and Quintilian discussed oratory, and the subject, with definitive rules and models, was emphasised as a part of a "complete education" during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, although this was generally confined to the church.

The development of parliaments in the 18th century saw the rise of great political orators; the ability to wield words effectively became one of the chief tools of politicians, and often made the greatest difference in their positions. By the mid 20th century, oratory became less grandiloquent and more conversational; for instance, the "fireside chats" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The term oratory has generally fallen into disuse; used mostly as a historical or subject term. See public speaking and orator.

In the Roman Catholic Church, an oratory is a semi-public place of worship constructed for the benefit of a group of persons (Code of Canon Law, can. 1223). Other faithful may attend the church under certain circumstances. An oratory is more private than a church, since in a church everyone has a right to attend. It is, however, more public than a chapel since only the owners of a chapel have the right of entrance.

Oratorians are responsible for the construction of many oratories.

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