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Cicero's Philosophy of History$
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Matthew Fox

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211920.001.0001

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Literature, History, and Philosophy: The Example of De re publica

Literature, History, and Philosophy: The Example of De re publica

Chapter:
(p.80) 4 Literature, History, and Philosophy: The Example of De re publica
Source:
Cicero's Philosophy of History
Author(s):

Matthew Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211920.003.0004

The chapter is the first in a series of detailed readings of individual philosophical dialogues. De republica is examined as an attempt to ground political theory in Roman history, but one that produces ambiguous results. Close reading of the work suggests that although Cicero can conceive of an idealized Rome where political decisions and philosophical insight work together, he also makes clear that the realities of Roman history do not support such an idealization. The notion of ironic history is introduced to describe historical representations that question their own validity.

Keywords:   De republica, irony, historical idealization, political theory, Scipio Aemilianus

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