This introductory chapter presents the subject of the book and its methodology. The approach to Cicero's philosophical writings is a literary one, focussing on historical representation to unlock the ideological complexities of Cicero's thinking. The ambition to bring philosophy from Greece to Rome was bound to cause tensions, and these tensions can be seen clearly if we look at the historical dimension of some of Cicero's philosophical texts. The aim of the book is to reinterpret Cicero to show that he was by no means aiming to provide a solid ideological definition of Rome, but rather his aim was to explore possibilities. By focussing on later traditions of reading Cicero, the obstacles to accessing such a reading will be made apparent. Cicero's interest in Academic philosophy will play a central role in this reassessment.
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