Advanced

Making Enemies: The Logic of Immorality in Ciceronian Oratory

Hammar, Isak LU (2013)
Abstract
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... (More)
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. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Edwards, Catharine, Birkbeck College, University of London
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ancient Rome, late Republic, political culture, Cicero, oratory, immorality, cultural logic, rhetoric, cultural history, invective
pages
381 pages
defense location
Sal 3, historiska institutionen, Magle stora kyrkogata 12, Lund
defense date
2013-10-18 10:15
ISBN
978-91-7473-613-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f93c3e39-6b52-495d-98dc-9c510d656b09 (old id 4057564)
date added to LUP
2013-09-20 16:14:59
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:19
@misc{f93c3e39-6b52-495d-98dc-9c510d656b09,
  abstract     = {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. <br/><br>
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       = {Hammar, Isak},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-613-7},
  keyword      = {Ancient Rome,late Republic,political culture,Cicero,oratory,immorality,cultural logic,rhetoric,cultural history,invective},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {381},
  title        = {Making Enemies: The Logic of Immorality in Ciceronian Oratory},
  year         = {2013},
}