Cicero and Dionysios the Elder, or the End of Liberty

Auteur: Verbaal, Wim
Titre: Cicero and Dionysios the Elder, or the End of Liberty
Revue/Collection: Classical World - Volume 99, Number 2
Annèe edition: 2006
Pages: 145-156
Mots-clès: Politique - Politica - Politics
Description: Latin writing often conceals more than might be uncovered by a mere philological and historical approach. To understand the message of a text, traditional analyses ought to be supported by the more recent requirements of the fields of textual criticism and literary science. Close reading, combined with a more structural textual analysis, may offer insights which, from a historical point of view, perhaps, might have no implications, but which, nonetheless, can contribute to a better understanding of an author’s writing technique and of his intentions in writing the text under discussion. This article proposes a more complex reading of Cicero’s Tusculanae disputationes, especially of the fifth book, taking as a point of departure Cicero’s handling of Dionysios of Syracuse as a prototype of tyranny. The extraordinary emphasis put on this particular example can, in my opinion, only be understood in its connection to the contemporary political situation, dominated by Caesar’s victory. Close reading thus renders a striking actuality to the text and the writing of Cicero’s philosophical masterpiece. At different places in his oeuvre, Cicero mentions Dionysios the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse (406-367). The frequency of Dionysios’...
Sigle auteur: Verbaal 2006