Paideia Romana: Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations

Author: Gildenhard, Ingo
Title: Paideia Romana: Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations
Place edition: Cambridge
Editor: Cambridge Classical Journal Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society Supplementary Volume
Year edition: 2007
Pages: 325
Keywords: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries

Guillaumont, Fr., "Revue des études latines", 87, 2009, 416-417.

Description: [Abstract] Paideia Romana: Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations takes a new look at an unloved text of the western canon to reveal it as a punchy and profoundly original work, arguably Cicero’s most ingenious literary response to the tyranny of Caesar. The book shows how the Tusculans’ much lambasted literary design, critically isolated prefaces, and overlooked didactic plot start to cohere once we read the dialogue for what it is: not a Latin treatise in Greek philosophy, but a Roman drama in education, with a strong political subtext. The first chapter (The form enigmas and answers’) tries to make sense of those features of the work that scholars have found baffling or disappointing, such as the nondescript characters, the uncertain genre, or the lack of setting. Chapter 2 (the prologues in tyrannum and cultural warfare’) analyses how Cicero in his prologues to the five individual books situates his desire to create and teach a Latin philosophy’ within wider contexts, in particular the dictatorship of Caesar and the intellectual traditions of Greece and Rome. The final chapter 3 (The plot teacher and student’) explores the pedagogy enacted in the dialogue as a form of constructive outreach, addressed to a future generation of Roman aristocrats. With its emphasis on rhetoric, literary artistry, and historical context, the present volume breaks with earlier scholarship on the Tusculans and thereby makes a significant contribution to the on-going reassessment of Cicero’s thought and authorial practice.
Author initials: Gildenhard 2007b