Making Enemies: The Logic of Immorality in Ciceronian Oratory

Autore: Hammar, Isak
Titolo: Making Enemies: The Logic of Immorality in Ciceronian Oratory
Luogo edizione: Lund
Editore: Lund University
Anno edizione: 2013
Pagine: 381
Parole chiave: Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence, Politique - Politica - Politics, Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Descrizione: The duel between Cicero and Antonius might also leave us with several questions about how we are to understand theseattacks on Antonius’ morality and character. Emphasizing moralfaults could, from a modern standpoint, be seen as politically irrelevant and inappropriate, petty even; certainly unworthy of aman of eloquence and philosophy such as Cicero. We might won-der, then, why Rome’s greatest orator chose character abuse as arhetorical strategy. What part did such a “portrait of immorality” play for the decision of the Senate? Furthermore, in what way didmoral corruption relate to the political question? What place didimmorality have in Roman political culture? Questions such asthese are the focus of the following study. This thesis examines the role played by the topic of immorality in the extant speeches of the Roman politician Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)and subsequently in the Roman political culture of the late Republic. It traces the portraits of immorality that Cicero made of his political and forensic enemies throughout his political career and his use of immorality as an argument in the Roman Senate, public assembly, and the courts. Inspired by perspectives from New Cultural History as well as New Historcism, the study approaches accusations of depravity and vice in Cicero's oratory as both culturally coherent and politically relevant, and by searching for the cultural logic behind the use of immorality in Roman oratory seeks to demonstrate the link between immorality and Roman politics. The study shows how Cicero relied on the multifaceted portraits of immorality that he painted of his adversaries and his frequent and varied use of the immorality argument as a means to influence political and forensic decisions. The study furthermore argues that rather than beside the point, claims that rivals were morally depraved were of political importance in ancient Roman oratory and that the immorality argument was employed not only to ridicule or humiliate personal enemies, but was also seen as relevant to political outcomes. Moreover, it is argued that there was an underlying cultural logic on which the orator's arguments relied and that ensured that the topic of immorality made sense to audiences. [Author].
Sigla autore: Hammar 2013