By Maridien Schneider
This monograph explores Marcus Tullius Cicero's expertise and interpretation of latest political occasions as mirrored in his inner most correspondence over the last years of either the Roman republic and his personal lifestyles. Cicero's correspondence offers a close view of present political occasions in Rome and constitutes, including Caesar's writings, our significant modern proof for the situations of the civil battle of forty nine BC. The theoretical enter of Cicero's predecessors, their perceptions of constitutional improvement (in specific of Roman politics) in addition to Cicero's conception in their political theories are scrutinized to figure out the level of Cicero's know-how of a bigger trend of political occasions.
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Additional resources for Cicero 'Haruspex': Political Prognostication and the Viscera of a Deceased Body Politic
13. See below. 88 Att. 1. 89 Att. 1. Cf. 5). 90 Att. 1: quod sit vides: ita civile est ut non ex civium dissensione sed ex unius perditi civis audacia natum sit. is autem valet exercitu, tenet multos spe et promissis, omnia omnium concupivit (You see the nature of this war: It is a civil war in the sense that it has arisen not from conflict between citizens, but from the audacity of one unscrupulous individual. He gets all his power 86 87 42 ORIGINES Cicero sees Caesar as a very real threat to the res publica of old, but is unsure of precisely what to expect from him.
96 Cf. 82-3. 12-18), welcome his victory. Cicero, however, was of a different opinion at the time and preferred to see Caesar as a second Hannibal (Att. 1) rushing through the Italian landscape, intent on the destruction of Rome. Cicero’s correspondence serves not only as a corrective, in some instances, for Caesar’s De bello civili, but also as confirmation of events mentioned in the literary tradition on the civil war. Taking that as a given, we need also to consider the broad philosophical framework at Rome against which these events, which both authors’ report, could have been judged of by either, before concentrating on Cicero’s own position within the field.
Cicero’s description during the late fifties of the res publica as a faded picture, nothing more than a mere word (Rep. 2), forestalling Caesar’s remark that the res publica has become a name without a body (Suet. Iul. 77). Cf. Chapter Six section two. 83 Cicero’s array of historical exempla in De republica may very well seem like the imagines of a funerary procession. 84 Collins (1972), Hayne (1995). 85 Collins (1972:945) likens De bello civili to ‘a good epic poem’. 81 82 THE EVIDENCE 41 events) some of its nuancing lends itself to interpretation as an attempt at the application of ancient historiographical conventions to his narrative.