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Res Publica and the Roman Republic'Without Body or Form'$
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Louise Hodgson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777380.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 July 2021

Pro Re Publica

Pro Re Publica

(p.221) 6 Pro Re Publica
Res Publica and the Roman Republic

Louise Hodgson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 examines Cicero’s euphemism for the illegal behaviour of his preferred champions after Caesar’s assassination: privatum consilium on behalf of the res publica, which was afterwards appropriated by Augustus for the Res Gestae. This chapter looks at how Cicero wrenched what was originally an uneasy justification of political homicide (thanks to P. Scipio Nasica, whose example was generally commended but not imitated) into a justification of civil war activities. It is clear both that Cicero faced opposition and that he risked this particular argument rushing off in unwelcome directions. Cicero was playing catch-up with events during a confused and difficult period; although it may be unfair to blame him too much for the things he said, RG 1.1 shows how Cicero’s claims were later picked up by Augustus in a very different climate that Cicero would not have approved at all.

Keywords:   res publica, Cicero, privatum consilium, Augustus, Res Gestae, Scipio Nasica, civil war

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