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Cicero's Philosophy of History$
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Matthew Fox

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211920.001.0001

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(p.304) 11 Conclusions
Cicero's Philosophy of History

Matthew Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter draws together the recurrent themes of the book. Rethinking Cicero's reception can reveal the obstacles to an easy appreciation of his sceptical and ironic treatment of Rome's history. The dialogic quality of his writing can then emerge more clearly. As a result, Cicero appears as a figure interrogating the ideological dilemmas of his own day, rather than as one determined to exploit his rhetorical accomplishments to place himself at the centre of Rome's history. Nevertheless, Cicero's engagement with history does provide a picture of the model citizen: it is one inflected by Cicero's own scepticism, who can simultaneously understand the need for a sense of identity grounded in history, but also step back and observe the problems of that process. This citizen is not engaged in the positive performance of identity emphasized in much recent scholarship on Roman rhetoric.

Keywords:   John Toland, reception, Academic philosophy, scepticism, identity, performance

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