Beyond (Dis)belief: Rhetorical Form and Religious Symbol in Cicero’s de Divinatione

Author: Krostenko, Brian A.
Title: Beyond (Dis)belief: Rhetorical Form and Religious Symbol in Cicero’s de Divinatione
Review/Collection: Transactions of the American Philological Association - Volume 130
Year edition: 2000
Pages: 353-391
Keywords: Religion - Religione - Religion
Description: [Abstract] In Cicero’s de Divinatione, Marcus and his brother Quintus present cases against and for the idea that divination is possible.1 The work has received mixed and sometimes conflicting interpretations. Older commentators, subscribing in various degrees to the view that Roman religion was progressively declining, or that it had become a mere tool in the hands of corrupt politicians,2 have seen the case made by the skeptical M. as a genuine refutation of the possibility of divination, with the pietistic Q. as the straw man.3 More recent commentators *My special thanks are owed to the graduate students on whom I tried out a rudimentary form of these ideas in a seminar at Berkeley: David Engel, Jedediah Parsons, Sarah Stroup, and Heather Wood. The subsequent paper was endured, in many forms, by Dan Sheerin, to whose generous advice my debt is considerable. Catherine Schlegel and Bob Vacca offered helpful comments on an oral version. Richard Saller kindly reviewed the final draft. Portions of this paper were presented at the 1996 annual meeting of the American Philological Association and at the University of Chicago, where I am grateful for the comments of the audiences. The paper was considerably improved by the acute suggestions of the editor and the anonymous...
Author initials: Krostenko 2000