The State of Speech: Rhetoric and Political Thought in by Connolly, Joy; Cicero, Marcus Tullius

By Connolly, Joy; Cicero, Marcus Tullius

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Over the years I have leaned heavily on the knowledge and encouragement of members of the Department of Classics at the University of Washington in Seattle, and I thank them warmly for welcoming me into my first faculty position and maintaining strong collegial links over the years. And I would not be writing these acknowledgments at all were it not for Bridget Murnaghan, Joseph Farrell, and Ralph Rosen, of the University of Pennsylvania, who guided my first forays into rhetoric and gender studies with keen criticism and goodwill.

The drive to claim nature as both property and origin for the citizen orator grows out of a political fantasy of Roman purity and power. The key to the citadel of the self, for Cicero and centuries of republican theorists after him, is oratory. But here an objection immediately interposes itself. Can a good orator be a good man? Cicero insists that he can, but a long tradition, beginning with Plato’s Gorgias and Republic, stands against him. But where Aristotle, in his critical response to Plato’s approach to politics, turned back to the household to cement “natural” channels of domination that retained sharp distinctions between male and female, Cicero chooses a more challenging course: the rewriting of masculine civic ideals in an ideal republican sensibility that embraces many of rhetoric’s potentially unmanly, unfree aspects: its corporeality, its reliance on passion, and its fostering of multiple voices in the eloquent citizen.

Latin language—Rhetoric. 5. Rhetoric, Ancient. 6. Political science—Philosophy. I. Title. 00937—dc22 2007007150 British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This book has been composed in Sabon Printed on acid-free paper. edu Printed in the United States of America 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 For Michael, my particular friend Art, great art, transformed courage, right decisions, magnificent oratory into something different and superlative . . Neither action nor style could have accomplished the result alone.

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