The Introduction presents the main argument of this book, namely that Cicero presented himself as a follower of specific role models from the past in an attempt to make up for his lack of politically influential ancestors in his claim to political offices and power. This argument is set in the context of the main themes covered in the book: ancestral tradition as a foundation of Roman culture and society and as a claim to political power; the situation Cicero faced as an aspiring politician; and his various rhetorical strategies to overcome this lack of senatorial ancestors. The Introduction furthermore gives a brief overview of modern scholarship on the subject, an explanation of the sources and methods used in the book, and a presentation of the structure of the argument as it develops over the course of the book.
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