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Chapter 2 - The Orator as Friend

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 August 2020

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Summary

Effusive and earnest gratitude was a trait Cicero identified as foundational in his character, particularly when playing the role of a friend. He expressed this particularly through enthusiastic and even hyperbolic praise of his friends, especially after his return from exile. When he applied this treatment to Pompey in Pro Balbo and to Caesar in De Provinciis Consularibus and Pro Marcello, the result was extravagant panegyric. He frames his praise of Pompey and Caesar as a show of gratitude in return for their support and friendship, an act of reciprocity rather than sycophancy. The persona of friend is also used to justify his surrendering of previously held positions in favor of compromise and reconciliation. He also sought to exert pressure through “friendly” advice combined with praise, to Caesar in Pro Rabirio Postumo and Pro Marcello, and to Dolabella and other young men in his letters and the First Philippic.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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