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CALL. 10.02.2019: Assessing Cicero’s (in)constantia through the Ages - Leiden (Netherlands)


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FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 10/02/2019

FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 21-22/06/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Leiden University (Leiden, Netherlands)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Christoph Pieper

INFO: c.pieper@hum.leidenuniv.nl

CALL:

We invite proposals (for papers of 30 minutes) for a two-day workshop at Leiden University (The Netherlands) on the theme “Assessing Cicero’s (in)constantia through the Ages”. The workshop will be dedicated to the question how later authors reacted to the theme of philosophical, political and oratorical consistency, which was so prominent within Cicero’s oeuvre and his own life. To give just one example per category: (a) philosophy: in De officiis 1.125, Cicero affirms that nothing is more fitting than preserving consistency in every action and plan; (b) politics: long parts of the Pro Sulla are dedicated to Cicero’s self-defence from the charge of not showing political consistency compared to his behaviour as consul; (c) (forensic) oratory: in the Pro Cluentio, Cicero has to explain why his stance is completely opposite to his views during a previous court case involving Cluentius.


Cicero’s (in)constantia has consistently triggered readers in antiquity and beyond. In antiquity, one can think of Velleius Paterculus’ praise that Cicero acted with exceptional constantia in handling the Catilinarian conspiracy and contrast this to the critical remark by Iunius Bassus in Seneca’s Controversiae that Cicero lacked constantia. Famous is Petrarch’s disappointment about the inconsistency between Cicero’s public and private behaviour after having rediscovered his Letters to Atticus or Theodor Mommsen’s biting characterisation of Cicero as a person without any moral compass and without any consistent behaviour.


During the workshop, we would like to examine why the theme continued to interest readers through the ages. We are especially interested in the underlying moral expectations and evaluations with regard to Cicero’s (in)constantia. We especially welcome proposals that investigate the interrelatedness of two or even all three fields mentioned above: philosophy, rhetoric and politics.


Keynote speaker: Matthew Roller (Johns Hopkins University).


The workshop will take place in Leiden on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June, 2019. Hotel costs of the participants will be covered (for two nights), but travel costs will be at personal expense.


The workshop is organised as part of the Leiden research project "Mediated Cicero", funded by the ‘Netherlands Organisations for Scientific Research’ (NWO), principle investigator Christoph Pieper.

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