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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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Being Human

Being Human

Chapter:
(p.32) 1 Being Human
Source:
Creative Eloquence
Author(s):

Ingo Gildenhard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291557.003.0002

This chapter discusses figures of thought in Cicero's speeches to do with being human and the human condition. Special attention is given to the notions that human beings are inherently fallible and that human life unfolds in an unpredictable environment (personified in Fortune, goddess of happenstance and caprice) and is thus subject to random, i.e. amoral disasters. Both notions found articulation in new comic scripts, before appearing in other genres of discourse, such as rhetorical handbooks and public oratory. Against this background, the chapter explores how Cicero uses them to fashion models of the human self and of the universe, not least to address the problem of social accountability.

Keywords:   accountability, being human, contingency, fallibility, Fortune, human condition, models of the self, unpredictability

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