“Clausulae” in context: uses of prose meter in Cicero’s speeches

Author: Brown, Bartley Joseph
Title: “Clausulae” in context: uses of prose meter in Cicero’s speeches
Place edition: Columbus
Editor: University of Ohio
Year edition: 1998
Pages: 612
Keywords: Stylistique et genres littéraires - Stilistica e generi letterari - Stylistics and literary genre
Description: [Brown, Bartley Joseph] [Abstract] While most studies of Ciceronian prose meter have focused on classifying meters according to their closure strength, this dissertation studies the rhetorical, structural, and thematic contexts where two paradigmatic meters occur: the resolved cretic + trochee, or "esse videatur", and the dactyl + trochee, or adoneus, which are diametrically opposed in inherent closure strength. Esse videatur appears most frequently in strong closures, and the adoneus in weak closures, but in a considerable number of "exceptional" cases Cicero uses these meters in closure types that do not correspond to their inherent closure strength. Here context is a crucial factor. The esse videatur is used both in strong and weak closures as a thematic marker, as seen in Cicero's early attempts at narrationes o m a t a e where he "prematurely" imputes guilt or injects his interpretation of the facts of the case. This same function appears in other contexts, as the conclusion of the first of two parallel cola to emphasize contrast or the comparison of contemporary issues with the practices of the maiores. The adoneus is used in seemingly strong closures to mark thematic continuity, but also in strong closures in passages ii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. PREVIEW of great emotional force such as perorationes or indignationes. In the Third-Period speeches this usage often appears in the context of delicate subjects such as Cicero's exile. These uses of the adoneus in strong closure do not differ from those of other weak meters. When the adoneus possesses a typology characteristic of hexameter verse, however, an heroic ethos emerges. Unlike other weak meters, the dochmiac in strong closure nearly always displays a pathetic ethos. Although Cicero is far more reserved with his use of the esse videatur in the two earliest speeches, the pro Quinctio and pro Roscio A m e r i n o, he is surprisingly consistent in his use of the adoneus throughout his career. It is true that the two speeches contain a greater number of adonei in strong closure than later ones, yet the contexts in which they appear are the same, with many of the same markers of strong emotion, such as anaphora, epizeuxis, parataxis and short energetic statements. iii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. 
Author initials: Brown 1998