Suasoria is an exercise in rhetoric; a form of declamation in which the student makes a speech which is the soliloquy of an historical figure debating how to proceed at a critical junction in their life.
The exercise was used in ancient Rome, where it was, with the controversia, the final stage of a course in rhetoric at an academy. One famous instance was recalled by Juvenal in the first of his Satires:
Et nos ergo manum ferulæ subduximus: et nos
Consilium dedimus Syllæ privatus ut altum
Dormiret. Stulta est clementia cum tot ubique
Vatibus occurras perituræ parcere chartæ.
I too have felt the master's cane upon my hand. I too
have given Sulla advice to retire into a deep
sleep. No point in sparing paper which is doomed to
destruction as you meet all those 'bards' everywhere.
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