‘A Brief History of Applause’ quotes ancient-worlds scholar Aldrete
Prof. Gregory Aldrete of Humanistic Studies and History is quoted at length in a recent article in The Atlantic dealing with the old-time art of applause. “You can almost think of this as an ancient poll,” Aldrete said. “This is how you gauge the people. This is how you poll their feelings.” Roman leaders and theatre managers also pulled occasional dirty tricks, paying plants to lavishly applaud the preferred choice, or paying the same characters to heckle or disrupt the competition. Aldrete, a scholar of ancient oratory, among other things, suggests the stakes could be high: “”When you get a crowd chanting ‘Hail, Caesar,’ it makes someone Caesar.” Read article.