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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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History with Rhetoric, Rhetoric with History: De oratore and De legibus

History with Rhetoric, Rhetoric with History: De oratore and De legibus

(p.111) 5 History with Rhetoric, Rhetoric with History: De oratore and De legibus
Cicero's Philosophy of History

Matthew Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The main focus of this chapter is De oratore, and Cicero's exploration of the idea that the work of the orator is central to Rome's political functioning and history. The discussion of different routes to political success in Pro Murena is examined, before De oratore itself. In that work, conflicting versions of Rome are presented, which differ in the degree to which rhetoric is seen as integral to the political process. The historical setting of the dialogue is discussed. Integrating rhetoric as necessary to the effective functioning of public life at Rome is presented as a historical, as well as a theoretical process. The discussion of historiography in De oratore 2 and the opening of De legibus are examined. The chapter concludes that Cicero observes the need to integrate rhetoric into the Roman political process, but that his presentation is sceptical, rather than validatory.

Keywords:   Pro Murena, Greek historiography, historiography, Crassus, rhetoric, Greece, orator

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