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Cicero, Greek Learning, and the Making of a Roman Classic$
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Caroline Bishop

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829423.001.0001

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(p.259) 6 Cicero
Cicero, Greek Learning, and the Making of a Roman Classic

Caroline Bishop

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates Cicero’s desire to enshrine himself as a classic from a different perspective than the rest of the book. It analyses Cicero’s appropriation not of a classical Greek figure but of himself, by examining his self-quotation of his earlier poetry (primarily the Aratea) within his late philosophical dialogues De Natura Deorum and De Divinatione. While Cicero likely found the Greek source for his poem, Aratus, quoted within the Greek philosophical works he used as sources for these dialogues, quoting his own poetry obviously carried a different charge. The chapter concludes that by staging the reading of his earlier works within these dialogues, Cicero was modelling the proper way to read his corpus: namely, as a set of works every bit as authoritative as the Greek classics he had adapted throughout his literary career.

Keywords:   Cicero, Posidonius, De Natura Deorum, De Divinatione, Aratea, Aratus, Stoicism

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