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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.177) 7 Brutus
Cicero's Philosophy of History

Matthew Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Brutus, Cicero's late dialogue on the history of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a teleology for Cicero's own achievements, the work reinforces the difficulty of interpreting rhetoric as the cornerstone of Rome's political history. Details of the work demonstrate Cicero's ironic attitude to such teleology, and sometimes that irony is inflected with a grim humour. Cicero's self-presentation is explored. The chapter concludes that this work represents clearly the problematic quality of Cicero's exploration of Rome's history. As a record of political process, as an arena for exercising rhetorical skill, and as a validation for Cicero's own career, Rome's history provides little comfort at the point where the Republic is collapsing.

Keywords:   Atticus, rhetoric, history, Hortensius, irony, despair, grief, orator, chronicle

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