Sermo and stoic sociality in Cicero's de officiis

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Abstract

In his avowedly Stoic De Officiis, Cicero publicizes the persuasive power of a conversational manner, a communicative style consonant with Stoicism's emphasis on human togetherness. The relationships between and among conversation (sermo), Stoicism, and rhetoric call for scrutiny, especially since in other works Cicero decries the uselessness of Stoicism to orators of res publica. By connecting Stoicism with sermo, and sermo with oratory-glory, Cicero fits Stoicism to Rome's political contours and also ushers future leaders of public affairs into both rhetorical and philosophical conversation - mild-mannered modes of discourse - during a politically turbulent time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-137
Number of pages19
JournalRhetorica - Journal of the History of Rhetoric
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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