Reading Cicero : genre and performance in late republican Rome
Part of the Duckworth Classical Essays series
M. Tullius Cicero was a prolific writer, his writing covering an astonishingly wide spectrum: oratory, letters, epic and didactic poetry, pamphlets, philosophical and rhetorical treatises.
He was also a major political figure at Rome during the Late Republic.
The relationship between these two facets of his career is the subject of this book, which argues that our understanding both of Cicero's oeuvre and of the practice and theory of public life in the Late Republic is transformed if Cicero's writings are read as a unified whole in the context of Roman politics.
Writing offered Cicero a huge range of opportunities to impress himself upon an audience much wider than could be reached through the traditional mechanisms of politics at Rome; it also enabled him to construct a distinct identity in the public sphere as a substitute for his lack of political ancestry.
A chapter on genre sites Cicero's writing in the late Republican context and stresses both his inventiveness and his flexibility; then the ways in which Cicero's public personas and his relationships with others are articulated in his works are considered; the book concludes with a consideration of the connections between wr