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Cicero in LettersEpistolary Relations of the Late Republic$
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Peter White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388510.001.0001

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Constraints and Biases in Roman Letter Writing

Constraints and Biases in Roman Letter Writing

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Constraints and Biases in Roman Letter Writing
Source:
Cicero in Letters
Author(s):

Peter White (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388510.003.0001

Letter writers of Cicero's day were hampered by the difficulty of communicating at a distance, by problems of maintaining confidentiality, and by a bias against interacting impersonally rather than face‐to‐face. Yet most of Cicero's correspondents were fellow‐Senators and therefore constantly in competition with one another. When they went abroad, they found it essential to keep up good relations with their peers in order to safeguard their own position at home. Security is the concern that underlies requests, recommendations, and many other aspects of their letters to one another.

Keywords:   distance, confidentiality, face‐to‐face, competition, position, security

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