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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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Definitions of historical exemplum and personal exemplum

Definitions of historical exemplum and personal exemplum

(p.65) 5 Definitions of historical exemplum and personal exemplum
Cicero's Role Models

Henriette van der Blom

Oxford University Press

The term exemplum has a broad range of meanings in Latin, but this chapter offers definitions of ‘historical exemplum’ and ‘personal exemplum’ which support the use of these terms throughout the book. While Cicero (and other ancient authors) did not distinguish between the various kinds of exempla in either terminology or usage—all could be applied in oratory and written work—here a distinction is attempted between a moralizing historical exemplum, and a more technical legal precedent. The functions of historical exempla are also discussed to illustrate the wide‐ranging applicability.

Keywords:   definitions, exemplum, historical exemplum, personal exemplum, legal precedent

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