Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Ancient Studies) by browse.metadata.advisor "Claassen, J. M."
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- ItemCicero : 'haruspex' vicissitudinum mutationisque rei publicae : a study of Cicero's merit as political analyst(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2000-03) Schneider, Maridien; Claassen, J. M.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to explore Marcus Tullius Cicero's awareness and interpretation of contemporary political events as reflected in his private correspondence during the last years of both the Roman republic and his own life. Cicero's correspondence gives a detailed view of current political events in Rome and constitutes, with Caesar's own narrative, our major contemporary evidence for the circumstances of the civil war of 49 BC. The dissertation takes as Leitmotiv Cicero's own judgement of the state as 'sacrificial victim' to the ambitions of individual politicians, with as metaphor his examination of a 'dying' body politic in the manner of a haruspex inspecting the entrails of a sacrificial animal. It poses the question whether Cicero understood the message of political decline signalled by the 'entrails' of the 'carcass' of the res publica, and whether this ability in its turn enabled him to anticipate future political development in Rome. In what follows, the theoretical input of Cicero's predecessors, their perceptions of constitutional development, and of Roman politics in particular, as well as Cicero's own perception of their political theories will be considered in order to determine the extent of Cicero's awareness of a larger pattern of political events, and how consistent he was in his analyses of such patterns, that is, to what extent Cicero may be considered seriously as a political analyst.