Sympathetic Rivals: Consolation in Cicero’s Letters

Auteur: Wilcox, Amanda
Titre: Sympathetic Rivals: Consolation in Cicero’s Letters
Revue/Collection: American Journal of Philology - Volume 126, Number 2 (Whole Number 502)
Annèe edition: 2005
Pages: 237-255
Mots-clès: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy, Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Description: [Abstract] Both epistolary rhetoric and the practice of epistolography reflect the fact that competition for prestige was pervasive in Roman culture. Indeed, even Ciceronian letters of consolation, which a modern reader might expect to be exempt from social striving, are shaped by emulation and evaluation. Additionally, consolatory exchanges -- letters of consolation preserved together with their replies -- show that the challenges to a consolatory letter's bereaved addressee to meet or exceed a certain standard of behavior, and specifically to emulate the letter's author, were answered and challenged in turn. 1. Introduction Correspondence between friends in late Republican Rome was a social practice that was ongoing, reciprocal, and potentially beneficial for all participants, and yet familiar letters were steeped in adversarial rhetoric. In many of Cicero's letters, competitive rhetoric and evidence of actual rivalry between friends can be found alongside reference to the mutually beneficial exchange of favors and the sincere expression of affection. The rhetorical one-upmanship that pervades Roman letters is often surprising to modern readers but nowhere more so than in letters of...
Sigle auteur: Wilcox 2005