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CALL. 14.02.2018: [PANEL 8] Reading Cicero’s 44 BC through the ages (Panel at the CCC) - St Andrews




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: St Andrews University (St Andrews, Scotland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Bram van der Velden; Christoph Pieper; Leanne Jansen (Leiden University)

INFO: web - -


The works in which Cicero recounts the events of the Ides of March of 44 BC and their aftermath have fascinated readers from Antiquity up to the present. Not only have his Philippics, De Officiis and his letters of this period strongly influenced later conceptions of the death of Caesar and the subsequent rise of Antony; they have also shaped later thinking about concepts such as tyranny, justifiable murder and free speech. In Seneca the Elder’s Suasoriae 7, for example, orators fictitiously advise Cicero, who is deliberating whether he should burn his writings in exchange for a pardon by Marc Antony. Later in the tradition, we find Petrarch writing a letter to Cicero (Ad familiares 24.3) in which he chastises him for his treatment of Marc Antony and his friendship with Octavian. Worth mentioning, too, is Montesquieu’s Discours sur Cicéron, in which he praises Cicero for his acumen after the death of Caesar.

In this panel, we are interested in charting the ways in which later readers of Cicero have thought about, responded to or reworked Cicero’s version of these events. Inspired by the format of the Celtic Conference (12-15 speakers over the course of three days, with ample time for discussion), we would like to invite people to present papers on the reception of this part of Cicero’s oeuvre from Antiquity to the present. We hope that this format will allow us to go beyond the individual case studies in the discussion: ideally, participants will become more aware of the interrelatedness between the various forms of reception.

In thinking about these, we would be interested in questions such as the following:

- In which genres and/or periods has the reception of these works been especially prominent?

- Have processes of canonisation played a role in the reception of these works?

- To what extent is it relevant for the reception of these works that they span across different genres?

- How do later responses to these works view them as part of Cicero’s oeuvre as a whole?

- Are these responses primarily interested in Cicero the politician or Cicero the writer, or can the two not be untangled?

- How influential was Cicero’s eventual death at the hands of Marc Antony for the reception of these works?

For the purposes of this panel, the ‘aftermath of the Ides of March' would also include political events of the next year, such as those recounted in Cicero’s Philippics 5-14 and his letters of 43 BC.

We are hoping to have 35-minute papers with 15 minutes for discussion. Please submit abstracts (not more than 300 words) to Bram van der Velden ( by February 14th at the latest. Confirmed speakers include Caroline Bishop (Texas Tech), Tom Keeline (Washington University in St. Louis), Giuseppe La Bua (La Sapienza, Rome), Gesine Manuwald (UCL) and Andrew Sillett (Oxford).

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