oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Staatsdenken und rhetorik in Cicero's Marcelliana
The oration in defence of Marcus Claudius Marcellus was delivered in September 46 at a session of the senate. The title of Cicero's work (which suggests a statement of the defence before a court of justice), however, does not reflect its real genre or rhetoric since it was produced as a political oratio. Although the Pro Marcello, one of the important works of the late phase of Cicero's oeuvre and the first item of the so-called orationes Caesarianae, was seemingly presented to senate as a defence, it was, in fact, a political oration. In this article, the historical background of the speech is outlined and its place determined in Cicero's philosophy of the state. The role of the political virtue sapientia, attributed to the dictator in the oration, is discussed with reference to the warnings and wishes formulated in political life by Cicero with regard to Caesar. And, finally, the image of Caesar as outlined in the oratio is compared with the reality of the politics of the period, pointing out the impact on public life in Rome of a ruler with no virtues as formulated by Cicero at this point.
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