Reading Events

Andrew Lintott

in Cicero as Evidence

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216444
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712180 | DOI:
Reading Events

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This chapter begins with a discussion of why students cannot treat Ciceronian texts as authentic records of history. Cicero's statements about his own lifetime, especially in his speeches, contain bias and misrepresentation, which at times displays downright fantasy. Most accounts of history in his works also have a persuasive element that tends to overshadow his devotion to the truth as he knows it. Two letters are discussed as historical events to stress the importance for Cicero and Atticus of the parts of the letter that historians themselves do not often stress — a redressing of the balance. Two speeches are also examined: a speech of thanks to the senate, Cum Senatui Gratias Egit or Post Reditum in Senatu Habita; and another speech in senate advocating negotiations with Pompey over a bill that would entrust him with managing the corn-supply.

Keywords: history; letters; speeches; texts

Chapter.  5839 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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