Immortal designs : Cicero and the rise of deification at Rome

Auteur: Cole, Spencer
Titre: Immortal designs : Cicero and the rise of deification at Rome
Lieu èdition: New York
Éditeur: Columbia University, Department of Classics.
Annèe edition: 2006
Pages: 198
Mots-clès: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy, Religion - Religione - Religion
Description: [Abstract] Thesis (Ph. D.) This dissertation proceeds chronologically, considering how Cicero’s approximations of mortals and immortals are in dialogue with contemporary artifacts and ritual practices that were closing the divide between humans and gods in late Republican Rome. The first chapter discusses how Cicero’s earliest orations position him as a primary channel for the reception of Hellenistic religious developments. A pivotal moment is the Pro lege Manilia, where Cicero carefully experiments with bringing Pompey’s eastern divine honors onto Italian soil. This early encounter with a Hellenistic praesens deus becomes a road not taken as Cicero starts to explore merit-based posthumous divinization in his consular speeches (Agr. 2.95; Rab. Perd. 29-30) as a means of increasing the ethical content of the formalistic ancestral religion. The second chapter applies recent theories of metaphor to argue that Cicero’s incessant comparison of humans with gods in his post-exilic speeches helped naturalize new ideas about mortals reaching immortal status. This chapter also looks at how Cicero develops his Roman model for divinization in the Pro Sestio and makes Romulus into a viable Roman precedent for deification based on civic virtus in the De re publica. Chapter three presents the innuendo-laden Caesarian orations as Cicero’s attempt to counter Caesar’s increasingly brazen praesens deus overtures by offering the possibility of posthumous divinity contingent upon Republican restoration. This chapter also considers how Cicero continues to work out a logic of divinization for Rome in the Tusculan Disputations. The fourth and final chapter concentrates on the De senectute and De amicitia , analyzing how Cicero alters his sources to fit the scheme for merit-based divinization traced out in the Tusculan Disputations. I also show how Cicero orchestrates a multi-year speculative conversation in which the dialogues themselves operate as interlocutors when he has Laelius of the De amicitia carry over and respond to ideas on immortality from earlier discussions that he took part in (Rep.; Sen). In a phase of accelerated theological change Cicero inculcated the notion that people could become gods and installed merit-based apotheosis as time-honored Roman tradition. In doing so, he helped create the conditions that gave rise to deification at Rome.
Sigle auteur: Cole 2006