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20-02-'12 | Ancient World Seminar | Christoph Pieper | Memoria saeptus. The power of memory and rhetoric in two of Cicero’s “finest hours”

Wanneer:ma 20-02-2012 16:15 - 17:30
Waar:zaal 130

Two glorious moments of Cicero's life are central in this talk: during his consular year he dismantled the Catilinarian conjuration (Cicero at least saw this event as one of his finest hours), and at the moment of his death, he is said to have died bravely (modern biographers tend to describe this as Cicero’s finest hour). But for the rest, these moments do not seem to have much in common. This talk will try to frame them by looking at the role which rhetoric and especially memory played to memorize them. For the biggest part of the paper, Ciceronian eloquence will be in the centre of attention, but as even he could not talk about his own death, we will switch to the Elder Seneca for that…

Dr.C.H. Pieper studied Latin, German and Italian language and literature at the universities of Bonn and Florence, and completed his Bonn PhD on the Renaissance poet Cristoforo Landino and his elegiac collection "Xandra" in 2007. He currently works at Leiden University as lecturer and researcher. Although his research interests range widely - from Republican rhetoric to Renaissance poetry - his focus is on a prestigious VENI-project on Roman oratory, titled: "Shaping Roman virtue: Early Roman oratory and the fashioning of aristocratic identity in the Empire". This project investigates the role that pre-Ciceronian  Roman oratory, which has only survived in fragments, plays in shaping the identity of Roman aristocrats from the late first century BC to the second century AD. This approach to the fragments acknowledges the near impossibility of trying to comprehend them on their "own" terms. Because of their survival in later literary texts by partial authors fashioning an ideal concept of Roman eloquence, these fragments can only be understood through and within the context of their later reception.

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