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A Written RepublicCicero's Philosophical Politics$
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Yelena Baraz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153322

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153322.001.0001

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Reading a Ciceronian Preface

Reading a Ciceronian Preface

Strategies of Reader Management

(p.150) Chapter Five Reading a Ciceronian Preface
A Written Republic

Yelena Baraz

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the preface as an interactive process, a journey during which the author strives to win over the reader so as to obtain a favorable reception for his text before the reader actually encounters the body of the work. It considers the importance of Cicero’s insertion of his project into the social institution of amicitia and the way in which texts associated with circles of amicitia establish relations between an author and his readers. It also discusses Cicero’s invoking of tradition in the form of quotations, allusions, and the choice of dialogue characters. To illustrate Cicero’s overall rhetorical strategy and to reconstruct the step-by-step progression that he creates for the ideal reader approaching his work, the chapter offers a reading of the prefaces to Topica and De Senectute.

Keywords:   prefaces, Cicero, amicitia, readers, rhetoric, Topica, De Senectute

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