Many of the central issues connected with verbal persuasion were being examined in great detail by the Greeks and Romans over two thousand years ago. Indeed, rhetoric — a topic they defined as ‘the art of persuasion’ — constituted the main focus of the ancient educational system. After the age of 15 or 16, students would spend virtually all their time with a teacher of rhetoric, who would give very sophisticated instruction on how to make speeches of different types: speeches in the law courts, in political debates and on ceremonial occasions.
"Persuasion in Ancient Greece and Rome,"
ADR Bulletin: Vol. 9
, Article 2.
Available at: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/adr/vol9/iss10/2