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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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Civilization and its Discontents

Civilization and its Discontents

Chapter:
(p.196) 7 Civilization and its Discontents
Source:
Creative Eloquence
Author(s):

Ingo Gildenhard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291557.003.0008

This chapter explores the sociological equivalent of Cicero's anthropological distinction between ‘good men’ and ‘the naturally wicked’, i.e. his conceptions of Roman society and, more generally, human civilization, as the larger spheres of action in which the struggles between the good and the bad play themselves out. Special attention is given to his idiosyncratic reconfiguration of Roman geo‐politics and his rhetoric of crisis as an enabling condition for his heroic interventions against ‘enemies within’, as well as his investment in the notion of humanitas and his endorsement of (lethal) violence as a means of last resort to safeguard society and civilization.

Keywords:   civilization, crisis, enemy within, geo‐politics, humanitas, rhetoric, society, violence

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