Cicero and Early Dramatic Latin

Author: Manuwald, Gesine
Title: Cicero and Early Dramatic Latin
Review/Collection: Cambridge University Press
Place edition: Cambridge, UK
Year edition: 2023
Pages: 453-465
Keywords: Stylistique et genres littéraires - Stilistica e generi letterari - Stylistics and literary genre
Description: Cicero is well known to provide information about early Roman drama through his frequent references to performances, biographical details and characteristics of playwrights, motifs in dramas, language and style. Most of these comments are integrated into a specific context and therefore reflect Cicero’s argumentative aim. Yet, at the same time, they reveal insights into the nature of Roman Republican drama and its assessment in Cicero’s time. This chapter explores Cicero’s comments on the language, style and rhythm of early Republican dramas as well as his taking up of linguistic features of these plays. By looking at a selection of representative passages, this contribution examines what Cicero says about the language and idioms of early Roman playwrights and analyses whether Cicero takes up any of the linguistic features highlighted or instead opts for alternative versions. Such a study enables a better understanding of the Romans’ own view of the language of their early dramas as well as of any differences and developments between the various playwrights and dramatic genres [Author].
Author initials: Manuwald 2023