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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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Literature, History, and Philosophy: The Example of De re publica

Literature, History, and Philosophy: The Example of De re publica

(p.80) 4 Literature, History, and Philosophy: The Example of De re publica
Cicero's Philosophy of History

Matthew Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter is the first in a series of detailed readings of individual philosophical dialogues. De republica is examined as an attempt to ground political theory in Roman history, but one that produces ambiguous results. Close reading of the work suggests that although Cicero can conceive of an idealized Rome where political decisions and philosophical insight work together, he also makes clear that the realities of Roman history do not support such an idealization. The notion of ironic history is introduced to describe historical representations that question their own validity.

Keywords:   De republica, irony, historical idealization, political theory, Scipio Aemilianus

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