Texas Tech University

Cicero, Greek Learning, and the making of a Roman Classic



Book Description:

The Roman statesman, orator, and author Marcus Tullius Cicero is the embodiment of a classic: his works have been read continuously from antiquity to the present, his style is considered the model for classical Latin, and his influence on Western ideas about the value of humanistic pursuits is both deep and profound. Cicero, Greek Learning, and the Making of a Roman Classic demonstrates how Cicero's strategic adaptation of classic Greek texts first allowed him to position himself as a classic author, envisioning and creating texts with comparable authority for a parallel Roman canon. Ranging across a variety of genres—including philosophy, rhetoric, oratory, poetry, and letters—this close study of Cicero's literary works juxtaposes incisive analysis of how Cicero consciously adopted classical Greek writers as models and predecessors with detailed accounts of the reception of those figures by Greek scholars of the Hellenistic period. A ground-breaking work in Ciceronian research, it not only offers new insights into Cicero's ascension to canonical status, but also provides a new account of Greek intellectual life and its effect on Roman literature.


Author Bio:

Caroline Bishop is Associate Professor of Classics at Texas Tech University. She specializes in Greek and Roman intellectual history, Cicero and Latin prose, and the mechanics of reception in the ancient world, with a particular focus on classicism, canon formation, and cultural exchange from Greece to Rome. Her current research centers on questions of reading and interpretation in antiquity, and the ways in which ancient intellectual culture intersected with ancient literary production.