Chapter

Bilingualism in Cicero? The Evidence of Code-Switching

SIMON SWAIN

in Bilingualism in Ancient Society

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780199245062
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191715129 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245062.003.0006
 Bilingualism in Cicero? The Evidence of Code-Switching

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This chapter explores the problem of Roman Latin-Creek bilingualism in the Late Republic. There is an abundance of evidence to show that Romans at this time knew classical Greek literature well enough. Some of them, like Cicero, knew key parts of it extremely well. Cicero himself was able to compose Greek prose and verse and to deliver set speeches in Greek before a Greek audience. No one would deny that he could speak Greek well. It is a commonly held view that Cicero’s peers were fluent in Greek and regularly used it in conversation with each other. There are, however, no grounds for the latter belief. This chapter places Cicero’s choices against the general background and function of bilingualism in Rome.

Keywords: bilingualism; Cicero; Greek; Latin; Rome; Greek literature

Chapter.  17114 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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