Cicero, the Poor, and Roman Rhetoric

Autore: Carlà-Uhink, Filippo
Titolo: Cicero, the Poor, and Roman Rhetoric
Rivista/Miscellanea: in: Carlà-Uhink, Filippo & Cecchet, Lucia & Machado, Carlos (Ed.), Poverty in Ancient Greece and Rome. Discourses and Realities
Luogo edizione: Londra
Editore: Routledge
Anno edizione: 2022
Pagine: 166-183
Parole chiave: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence, Histoire - Storia - History
Descrizione: [Carlà-Uhink, Filippo] [Abstract] This chapter argues that in Cicero's speeches poverty and wealth are in themselves neither automatically positive nor negative: what is loaded with value and really constitutes the bulk of Cicero's representational strategy concerning individual and family wealth is rather the ways and forms in which – to use a modern vocabulary – economic capital interacts with social capital and cultural capital. Stories such as the one of Cincinnatus, who renounced political power to go back to ploughing his small field, belonged thus to the most basic repertoire of exempla, meant to inspire and transmit moral and civic values, and generated as a discursive mechanism to stabilize aristocratic identity. The same applies, quite obviously, to wealth – which can be the sign of a positive conduct and of positive values in the administration of finances, or as a sign of rapacity and greed.
Sigla autore: Carlà-Uhink 2022