Summary and Info
Cicero's speech on behalf of L. Lucinius Murena, newly elected to the consulship of 62 Bce but immediately prosecuted for electoral bribery, is especially famous for its digressions and valuable for its insights into the complex political wrangles of the late 60s. It is, however, a speech more commonly excerpted and cited than read in its entirety, though whether the absence of an English-language commentary is a cause or effect of that situation remains uncertain. In short, a pedagogical commentary on this important and strange speech is long overdue. Distinguished Latinist Elaine Fantham's commentary is noteworthy for its ability to elucidate not only the rhetorical structure of this speech but the rationale behind Cicero's strategic decisions in creating that structure. It also calls attention to the stylistic features like word choice, rhetorical figures, and rhythmic effects that make the speech so effective, and explains with care and precision the political, social, and historical considerations that shaped the prosecution and defense of the somewhat hapless defendant. This commentary includes the kind of grammatical explication required to make its riches accessible to undergraduate students of Latin.
More About the Author
Elaine Fantham (née Crosthwaite) was a British-Canadian classicist (25 May 1933 – 11 July 2016). She was Giger Professor of Latin at Princeton University from 1986 to 1999. She was chair of the Department of Classics at Princeton from 1989 to 1992 and the President of the American Philological Association for 2004.
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