Libertination and Tustworthiness in Cicero’s Correspondence

Auteur: Vermote, Kristof
Titre: Libertination and Tustworthiness in Cicero’s Correspondence
Revue/Collection: "Latomus: revue d’études latines", 79, 2
Lieu èdition: Bruxelles
Éditeur: Société d’Ètudes Latines de Bruxelles
Annèe edition: 2020
Pages: 398-421
Mots-clès: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Droit - Diritto - Law, Histoire - Storia - History
Description: [Vermote, Kristof] [Abstract] This article provides an original contribution to the ongoing debate on the social roles of Roman freedmen by examining the performativity of libertination – the explicit reference to an agent by the term libertus – in the epistolary networking of Cicero and his correspondents. Because many ex-slaves were counted among the elite’s most confidential personnel, the discursive use of libertination established a paratextual aura of trustworthiness that smoothed potentially delicate interactions. Contrary to previous studies that consider libertination mainly as a stratifying or even stigmatising label (accentuating an inferior legal status), this contribution suggests that it was, at least in epistolary discourse, a valuable asset readily resorted to by letter writers who were looking for ways to present their messages as reliable representations of their own thoughts and opinions.
Sigle auteur: Vermote 2020