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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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Giving and Getting Advice by Letter

Giving and Getting Advice by Letter

(p.117) 5 Giving and Getting Advice by Letter
Cicero in Letters

Peter White (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The exchange of advice is a face‐threatening act for both giver and receiver, yet it plays a major part in Cicero's correspondence. Romans felt bound to dispense advice by virtue of social positions that they occupied as friends or civic leaders. The process of consultation also reinforced the hierarchy of Roman society. But individuals had good reasons to seek as well as give advice. It enabled them to poll opinion about actions they might take before they acted, and to position themselves advantageously against future criticism. The content of advice consisted of moral assessment rather than practical information.

Keywords:   advice, face‐threatening act, position, hierarchy, opinion, criticism, moral assessment

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