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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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Human Beings

Human Beings

Chapter:
(p.50) 2 Human Beings
Source:
Creative Eloquence
Author(s):

Ingo Gildenhard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291557.003.0003

This chapter focuses on how Cicero constructs specific human beings and human ‘types’, to which individuals are assigned. It first discusses the factors that underwrote the constitution and reproduction of Rome's ruling elite, with particular emphasis on how Cicero combated what he stigmatizes as the ‘class racism’ of the nobility. Further sections consider how the category ‘nature’ was used in late republican rhetorical thought, as foil for an exploration of how Cicero deployed the lexemes natura and homo to construe persons as, first and foremost, human beings, quite irrespective of their historical identities. The chapter further illustrates Cicero's penchant for thinking in anthropological categories, and his reasons for doing so.

Keywords:   anthropology, homo, human being, identity, natura, nobilitas, nobility, rhetorical handbooks, stereotypes

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