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Creative EloquenceThe Construction of Reality in Cicero's Speeches$
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Ingo Gildenhard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291557.001.0001

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Tyranny and the Divine

Tyranny and the Divine

Chapter:
(p.351) 11 Tyranny and the Divine
Source:
Creative Eloquence
Author(s):

Ingo Gildenhard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291557.003.0012

This chapter explores how Cicero configured the supernatural sphere in the light of his experiences with the tyrannies of Sulla and Caesar. After a look at a passage from the pro Sexto Roscio, in which Cicero turned from the protocols of Rome's civic religion to figures of thought derived from philosophical theology, the discussion focuses on his speeches before Caesar, especially the pro Marcello: it shows how the traditional gods, after imposing political apocalypse on Rome, themselves dwindle into mere shadows of their former selves, displaced by the quasi‐divine dictator. If the gods of Rome's civic religion all but died with the republic, they experienced a resurrection after the death of the dictator: the chapter concludes by exploring the idiosyncratic and incoherent fashion in which Cicero configures the divine in the Philippics.

Keywords:   Caesar, civic religion, gods, Philippics, pro Marcello, Sulla, theology, tyranny

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