Libertination and Tustworthiness in Cicero’s Correspondence

Autore: Vermote, Kristof
Titolo: Libertination and Tustworthiness in Cicero’s Correspondence
Rivista/Miscellanea: "Latomus: revue d’études latines", 79, 2
Luogo edizione: Bruxelles
Editore: Société d’Ètudes Latines de Bruxelles
Anno edizione: 2020
Pagine: 398-421
Parole chiave: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Droit - Diritto - Law, Histoire - Storia - History
Descrizione: [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.
Sigla autore: Vermote 2020