The ability to speak persuasively, whether in the law courts, a political assembly, or on formal occasions, such as a state funeral or a reception for a visiting potentate, was highly prized in the ancient world. Greco-Roman rhetoricians developed an elaborate, but sophisticated system to train students in that ability; increasingly the educated person was distinguished by mastery of rhetoric. This system retains value to this day. In this course we will study ancient rhetoric, including the categories of speeches and instructions for their composition, rhetorical analysis of style, and the appropriate means to teach, charm, or move an audience. We will analyze examples of oratory from the ancient and modern worlds, study the development of rhetoric and some of its ancient critics, and (if time permits) its modern reception. Students will try their hand at short compositions, following rhetorical precepts.