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Cicero's Role ModelsThe Political Strategy of a Newcomer$
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Henriette van der Blom

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199582938

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582938.001.0001

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Mos, maiores, and historical exempla in Cicero

Mos, maiores, and historical exempla in Cicero

(p.18) 2 Mos, maiores, and historical exempla in Cicero
Cicero's Role Models

Henriette van der Blom

Oxford University Press

Moving from the place and function of mos maiorum and maiores in Roman culture generally, this chapter looks specifically at Cicero's understanding and employment of the ancestors and their tradition in both a cultural and political context. Cicero's discussions of maiores and their actions reveal him as a man steeped in the traditional culture of ancestral authority, yet his background as a new man made him especially sensitive to the flexibility, inconsistencies, limitations, even dangers, of such claims to ancestral authority. This sensitivity is reflected in his political rhetoric, as the following chapters set out to demonstrate.

Keywords:   mos maiorum, Maiores, historical exempla, ancestral tradition, Cicero's use of maiores

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