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Cicero as EvidenceA Historian's Companion$
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Andrew Lintott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216444.001.0001

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Reading Events

Reading Events

(p.3) I Reading Events
Cicero as Evidence

Andrew Lintott (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of why students cannot treat Ciceronian texts as authentic records of history. Cicero's statements about his own lifetime, especially in his speeches, contain bias and misrepresentation, which at times displays downright fantasy. Most accounts of history in his works also have a persuasive element that tends to overshadow his devotion to the truth as he knows it. Two letters are discussed as historical events to stress the importance for Cicero and Atticus of the parts of the letter that historians themselves do not often stress — a redressing of the balance. Two speeches are also examined: a speech of thanks to the senate, Cum Senatui Gratias Egit or Post Reditum in Senatu Habita; and another speech in senate advocating negotiations with Pompey over a bill that would entrust him with managing the corn-supply.

Keywords:   history, letters, speeches, texts

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