Definitions of historical exemplum and personal exemplum

Henriette van der Blom

in Cicero's Role Models

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582938
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723124 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Definitions of historical exemplum and personal exemplum

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The term exemplum has a broad range of meanings in Latin, but this chapter offers definitions of ‘historical exemplum’ and ‘personal exemplum’ which support the use of these terms throughout the book. While Cicero (and other ancient authors) did not distinguish between the various kinds of exempla in either terminology or usage—all could be applied in oratory and written work—here a distinction is attempted between a moralizing historical exemplum, and a more technical legal precedent. The functions of historical exempla are also discussed to illustrate the wide‐ranging applicability.

Keywords: definitions; exemplum; historical exemplum; personal exemplum; legal precedent

Chapter.  3858 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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