Serving the times: Cicero and Caesar the dictator

Author: Hall, Jon
Title: Serving the times: Cicero and Caesar the dictator
Review/Collection: In W. J. Dominik, J. Garthwaite & P. A. Roche (Eds.), Writing politics in Imperial Rome. (pp.)
Place edition: Leiden
Editor: Brill
Year edition: 2009
Pages: 89-110
Keywords: Biographie - Biografia - Biography, Histoire - Storia - History
Description: In 46 Julius Caesar secured for himself the post of dictator of Rome for ten years. Ambitious aristocrats such as Cicero had been raised on the republican ideal of the independent and autonomous senator, free to speak his mind in the senate and law courts. This chapter shows that the challenges that confronted Cicero under Caesar's autocracy provide some instructive parallels to the dilemmas faced by poets and politicians in the following decades; he now had to find rather different ways of writing politics under this new regime. It is clear from Cicero's correspondence that Caesar's dictatorship significantly curtailed freedom of expression in Rome. He did not have the stomach for open confrontation; but his moral conscience bridled at Caesar's regime and tempted him to minor acts of resistance. The chapter highlights the constraints imposed by Caesar's autocracy on the freedom of expression in Rome. [Author]
Author initials: Hall 2009