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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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Truth and Fiction in the Speeches

Truth and Fiction in the Speeches

(p.33) III Truth and Fiction in the Speeches
Cicero as Evidence

Andrew Lintott (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that historians must not only consider what the texts of the speeches actually represent, but also the orator's preference for persuasiveness over truthfulness. It is shown that in the speeches, Cicero does not signal possible inventions by marks of diffidence. One example of falsehood in a forensic speech is Cicero's account in his defence of Milo with regard to the death of Clodius at Bovillae. The technique of inserting a relatively brief and unadorned lie into a mass of other narrative or argument, which may itself be a misrepresentation of the facts, is identified. Another technique is the falsehood by implication through tendentious description.

Keywords:   persuasiveness, truthfulness, Milo, Ciceronian speeches, forensic speech, falsehood

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