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Cicero as Orator and Philosopher: The Value of the "Pro Murena" for Ciceronian Political Thought

Rex Stem
The Review of Politics
Vol. 68, No. 2 (Spring, 2006), pp. 206-231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20452778
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cicero as Orator and Philosopher: The Value of the "Pro Murena" for Ciceronian Political Thought
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Abstract

This essay seeks to demonstrate that the different generic parts of Cicero's corpus are but different sides of the mind of the same man, and, thus, that all parts of the corpus--including the forensic speeches, once they have been corroborated by other passages in his corpus--should be regarded as valuable evidence for understanding Ciceronian political thought. A comparison of Cicero's Peripatetic criticism of the Younger Cato's Stoicism in the "Pro Murena" to the view of Cato's politics expressed in his private correspondence of 61-60 BC and in De Finibus 4.61 reveals that this criticism is more than just a humorous digression to win the case. As an extended expression of Cicero's belief that the inflexible moral certainties of Cato's Stoicism could be detrimental to the managing of the consensus necessary to political life in a republic, the "Pro Murena" should also be recognized as an articulation of Cicero's philosophical approach to the practice of politics.

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