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The Life of Roman Republicanism$
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Joy Connolly

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162591

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162591.001.0001

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Imagination, Finitude, Responsibility, Irony

Imagination, Finitude, Responsibility, Irony

Cicero’s Pro Marcello

(p.173) 5 Imagination, Finitude, Responsibility, Irony
The Life of Roman Republicanism

Joy Connolly

Princeton University Press

With the advent of Julius Caesar came the end times of the republic, and this chapter turns to one of Cicero's Caesarian orations. Several key themes from previous chapters come together: responsibility to the other, the significance of imagination and recognition, the politics of irony, and the limits of self-sovereignty. Interwoven with these themes is an emphasis on the necessity of speech, speech that may retain some element of resistibility even in the face of tyrannical domination. By including in a book about republican political thought a speech that is commonly taken as the starting point of imperial panegyric, the chapter also foregrounds the fact that all the texts under consideration here emerge in conditions of disruptive and disrupted politics. It is the shock of the repeat experience of autocracy (after the “decisive rift” created by Marius' seven consulships in the late second century) that distills the republican vision at the heart of Cicero's speech on behalf of the exile Marcellus.

Keywords:   Roman political thought, Cicero, Caesarian orations, Marcellus

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