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Cicero's Reception in the Juristic Tradition of the Early Empire

Wibier, Matthijs (2016) Cicero's Reception in the Juristic Tradition of the Early Empire. In: Du Plessis, P., ed. Cicero’s Law: Rethinking Law in the Late Republic. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 100-122. ISBN 978-1-4744-0882-0. E-ISBN 978-1-4744-0883-7. (doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.003.0007) (KAR id:70000)

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This chapter surveys the reception of Cicero’s writings as well as of the figure of Cicero in the juristic literature excerpted in Justinian’s Digest. The analysis consists of three parts. The first traces the engagement on the part of several jurists with legal passages from Cicero’s oeuvre. On this basis, I argue that jurists mined Cicero’s works to some extent for useful material; this finding challenges the strict dichotomy between jurists and orators (including their prototype Cicero) posited in Cicero’s own work, reinforced by e.g. Quintilian, and often accepted by modern scholars. Secondly, the chapter studies how Pomponius’ history of jurisprudence assesses the role of Cicero in legal history. I demonstrate that Pomponius takes up and rewrites several passages from the Brutus that are highly polemical against the jurists, and that Pomponius’ narrative turns Cicero into a character largely irrelevant in intellectual terms. The chapter’s third part explores the issue of Cicero’s reception as a legal philosopher. As far as we can see, the jurists credit Labeo for his philosophical contributions to law at the complete expense of Cicero; there is some evidence to suggest that polemics are at play here.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.003.0007
Uncontrolled keywords: Cicero, reception, Latin literature, Roman Empire, Roman law, Classical and Archaeological Studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D51 Ancient History
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Matthijs Wibier
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 20:20 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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