This chapter examines Cicero’s adaptation of Aristotle in his rhetorical works. Cicero considered Aristotle a somewhat remote figure, and associated him with times of political withdrawal and intense study. Yet he also held Aristotle in high esteem as a classic, especially for his contributions to rhetoric: Cicero was taught by his instructor Philo of Larissa that Aristotle invented the debate on both sides of a general rhetorical or philosophical question that for Cicero represented the tangible union of philosophy and rhetoric necessary for the ideal orator. When Cicero faced the prospect of further political inactivity after Caesar’s assassination, he decided to fully embrace Aristotle’s didacticism by composing his Topica, a how-to manual for this sort of debate that would make his ideal orator (who, of course, resembled Cicero himself) into a classic model in Roman rhetorical instruction.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.