Cicero in Letters. Epistolary Relations of the Late Republic

Autore: White, Peter
Titolo: Cicero in Letters. Epistolary Relations of the Late Republic
Luogo edizione: Oxford & New York
Editore: Oxford University Press
Anno edizione: 2010
Pagine: 256
Parole chiave: Biographie - Biografia - Biography
Descrizione: [Publisher abstract] The first part of this study analyzes effects of the milieu in which the letters were written. The lack of an organized postal system limited the correspondence that Cicero and his contemporaries could conduct and influenced what they were willing to write about. Their chief motive for exchanging letters was to protect political relationships until they could resume their customary, face-to-face association in Rome. Romans did not normally sign letters, much less write them in their own hand. Their correspondence was handled by agents who drafted, expedited, and interpreted it. Yet every letter advertised the level of intimacy that bound the writer and the addressee. Finally, the published letters were not drawn at random from the archives that Cicero left. An editor selected and arranged them in order to impress on readers a particular view of Cicero as a public personality. The second half of the book explores the significance of leading themes in the letters. It shows how, in a time of deepening crisis, Cicero and his correspondents drew on their knowledge of literature, the habit of consultation, and the rhetoric of government in an effort to improve cooperation and to maintain the political culture which they shared. The result is a revealing look at Cicero’s epistolary practices and also the world of elite social intercourse in the late Republic.
Table of Contents
I. Reading the Letters from the Outside In
1. Constraints and Biases in Roman Letter-Writing
2. The Editing of the Collection
3. Frames of the Letter
II. Epistolary Preoccupations
4. The Letters and Literature
5. Giving and Getting Advice by Letter
6. Letter-Writing and Leadership
Afterword: The Collection in Hindsight
Appendix 1: Quantifying the Letter Corpus
Appendix 2: Contemporary Works Mentioned in the Letters
Sigla autore: White 2010