Orator is a Latin word for speaker (from the Latin verb oro, meaning "I speak" or "I pray").
In ancient Rome, the art of speaking in public (Ars Oratoria ) was a professional competence especially cultivated by politicians and lawyers.
It later was developed into rhetoric.
In the 18th century, 'Orator' John Henley was famous for his eccentric sermons.
In the 19th century, orators and lecturers, such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Col. Robert G. Ingersoll were major providers of popular entertainment.
In some universities the title 'Orator' is given to the official whose task it is to give speeches on ceremonial occasions, such as the presentation of honorary degrees.
Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45