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Dossier : Serments et paroles efficaces

Dossier : Serments et paroles efficaces

Ritualization and Political Agency in the Late Roman Republic

Thomas Habinek

Résumé

Les Philippiques de Cicéron nous fournissent un utile terrain pour étudier la relation entre différents modes de ritualisation : linguistique, religieuse et politique. Dans la perspective de Cicéron, la maîtrise des protocoles ritualisés établit l’efficacité politique, et leur violation par Marc Antoine marque son opposition au projet républicain. L’exercice par Cicéron de l’agentivité politique à un moment d’extrême tension rend évidente sa vision de la République comme une entité ritualisée. L’analyse des Philippiques complique ainsi les distinctions modernes entre religion, action politique et discours éloquent imposées rétroactivement sur les données romaines ; elle nous permet à la place d’interpréter la République romaine comme un ensemble de pratiques ritualisée interdépendantes en accord avec l’analyse anthropologique et évolutive de la formation des communautés.

Cicero’s Philippics provide a useful case study of the interrelationship of different modes of ritualization: linguistic, religious, and political. In Cicero’s view mastery of ritualized protocols establishes political agency, and their violation by Antony marks his opposition to the entire project of republicanism. Cicero’s exercise of political agency at a moment of extreme duress makes clear his understanding of the republic as a ritualized entity. Analysis of the Philippics thus complicates the modern distinctions between religion, political action, and eloquent speech retroactively imposed upon the Roman material and allows us instead to interpret the Roman republic as a set of interlocking ritualized practices in accord with anthropological and evolutionary accounts of community formation.

Texte intégral

  • 1 John L. Austin, How to do things with words, 2d edition, edited by James O. Urmson and Marina Sbisà(...)

1Vows and oaths are specific instances of the more general phenomenon of ritualized practice whereby everyday utterances and actions acquire authority through institutional affiliation and formal distinctiveness. With vows and oaths, so with prayer, poetry, sacrifice, and artistic production, efficacity and authority are co-constitutive. A vow uttered the right way binds the votary and the one to whom the vow is made because the very features that make the vow «right» (or «happy» in Austin’s terminology)1 summon and generate the authority that guarantees its efficacy. Often this authority will be understood by participants to be pre-existent (i.e. institutional), but in reality there can be no such authority without the ritualized practices that invoke it. In other words, there are no gods of the Underworld to whom a Roman general devotes himself in formal speech and action except to the extent that there are Roman generals (or others like them) who devote themselves to gods of the Underworld. So too for political authority. The state may authorize the consul to utter the words that open a meeting of the senate, and in any given instance we may rightly say that the consul’s performative speech is efficacious because it is supported or authorized by the institution of the state. But in fact there would be no state to authorize the consul’s performance without the consul’s repeated utterance of the words that open the senate, the priest’s ritualized slaughter of the sacrificial victims, the soothsayers’ official responses to inquiries, and so forth.

  • 2 Further studies offering support for Rappaport’s key ideas include Merlin Donald, A Mind so Rare: T (...)
  • 3 Manfred Fahle and Mark Greenlee, The Neuropsychology of Vision, Oxford, 2003. Also Thomas Habinek, (...)

2The co-constitution of authority and efficacity has been well-analyzed by the anthropologist Roy Rappaport in his posthumous magnum opus Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity (Cambridge 1999)2. There Rappaport identifies ritualization of practice, including utterance, as an evolutionary imperative for the survival of human communities over time. The distinctively human capacities of language and full body imitation that allow for concerted action, social learning, and off-line storage of acquired knowledge also generate the disruptive possibilities of lying and representing otherwise. On Rappaport’s view, ritualization of language and bodily practice (and, a point he develops less fully, of artifact production as well) generates the unifying truths of a community that sustain and coordinate it over time. And these truths (what he calls «Ultimate Sacred Postulates»), fossilized as deities, beliefs, laws, and other institutions, in turn legitimize the utterances and practices that have generated them while providing contexts or protocols for their variation in response to contingent pressures. Rappaport’s evolutionary approach to ritualization receives support from neuroscientific research which indicates that a sensation is only a sensation until it is organized into a perception through ritualized pathways constructed in symbiosis with other human subjects3. Infinitely varied sensory input needs to be focused, organized, and ritualized in processes beyond the control of the individual subject (in effect, by cultural authority) if communication between subjects is to take place. And yet the cultural authority in question is only generated through the ongoing participation of individual subjects in shared perceptual regimes. At the risk of sounding pretentious, we might say that ritualization is both an ontogenetic and a phylogenetic necessity, that without it there is neither human cognition nor human community, and that human cognition and human community are the ultimate authorities to which a given instance of ritualized speech or practice appeals for legitimation.

  • 4 On the «spillover» effect of ritual mastery into other domains, see Catherine Bell, Ritual Theory, (...)

3For purposes of understanding efficacious speech in particular, and ritualized action more generally, in ancient Greece and Rome, Rappaport’s formulation of the dialectic between diversification and fossilization offers several advantages. First, it helps to explain the universal existence of special speech and action without presupposing the form they will take in any given context. We can thus compare processes on bases other than formal resemblance. In addition, Rappaport’s approach allows us to focus on the relationship between practice and group identity without assuming the priority of any one category of identity — political, ethnic, sectarian, communal, and so forth. The agencies generated by a particular instance of ritualization need not be limited in their operation to the immediate context: in Rome, for example, priestly authority can carry weight in political debate4. Finally, an emphasis on ritualization allows us to leave open the cause-and-effect relationship between belief and action, allowing for the possiblility that in any given situation either might take precedence over the other. The latter two points — concerning identity and belief — are especially important for the study of Roman religion. They invite us in the one instance to understand ritualized speech as a broad sphere of action potentially encompassing law, politics, poetry, and prayer, rather than treating it as a subset of religion, and in the other to study ritual speech and action of whatever sort without undue anxiety as to the presence or absence of explicit theological justification.

  • 5 The World of Roman Song: from Ritualized Speech to Social Order, Baltimore-London, 2005. For an ana (...)
  • 6 Andreas Bendlin, «Looking beyond the civic compromise: Religious pluralism in late Republican Rome» (...)
  • 7 Bendlin, art. cit. (n. 6).

4I have argued at length elsewhere that what is normally called Latin literature can equally well be understood as a version of ritualized speech, and have considered the implications of such a reorientation for our understanding of agency, mastery, and embodiment in Roman culture5. My concern in the present essay is with the category of politics, which, like literature, tends to be imposed uncritically on a set of texts and practices that could easily — and perhaps with greater historical validity — be organized in different ways under different rubrics. For politics, like religion, like literature, is also a species of ritualized practice, entailing the establishment, exercise, and transmittal over time of particular linguistic and corporal regimes. Viewed from this perspective, the so-called «civic compromise» between politics and religion in the Roman republic is nothing of the sort, since there are not yet distinct conceptual or pragmatic entities between which compromise could be negotiated6. Indeed, the notion of a civic compromise, by ignoring or minimizing the constitutive force of ritualized speech and action in the Roman republic, contributes to a continuing misrecognition of the essentially ritualized nature of republicanism, in antiquity as in other periods of time. Modern republics’ abjuration of religious affiliation does not exempt them from analysis as ritual communities, with attendant issues of identity, agency, authority, and (often violent) exclusion. The historical power of the Roman example is that the ideological guise of enlightened secularism has not yet been fully developed, so that the ritualized nature of communal action, including political action, is still apparent to the outside observer, provided we stop trying to deny its existence or reduce it to a «marketplace of ideas»7.

  • 8 Cesare Letta, «L’Italia dei mores romani nelle Origines di Catone», Athenaeum 62, 1984, p. 3-30, p. (...)

5This understanding of the Roman republic as an entity brought into being and sustained in large part through mastery of special or ritualized speech is perhaps most evident at the moment of the republic’s demise. Precisely when the ritual community of the Roman people is threatened from within, defenders of the old order call attention to the unity of language, practice, and belief that had previously allowed a relatively stable process of cultural and social reproduction. Although this unity, sometimes known as the mos maiorum, may well have been a fiction in its particulars, the fact that there was a mos is a logical necessity — if there hadn’t been, then there would be no recognizable res publica, no Roman thing, over time8. Speaking of a mos maiorum is, among other things, recognition, on the part of the Romans, of the relationship between ritualization and political agency described in more abstract terms by modern scholars. We should take the anxieties articulated by the ancient defenders of the mos maiorum seriously as evidence of what they regarded as most in need of preservation in a moment of extreme duress.

  • 9 Reference throughout is to the Oxford Classical Text of Arthur Clark, Oxford, 1918. Translations ar (...)

6Not surprisingly, I turn to the speeches of Cicero, especially the Philippics, for their clear articulation of the stakes of the struggle between pro- and anti- republican forces, and thus, by implication, their understanding of the republic as a community sustained over time through a variety of ritualized practices, including the very ritualization of speech enacted by Cicero himself9. The definition of Roman community implied by Cicero in his active defense thereof is just as useful an indicator of how the republic functioned as the many pages of idealization, anecdote, and prescription found in works such as De Republica and De Legibus, notwithstanding their intrinsic interest and historical importance.

7Of the fourteen speeches against Antony delivered or circulated by Cicero in the last year of his life, at least nine hinge on issues of ritual practice — that is to say, religion in the narrow sense. A brief review conveys the persistent nature of such concern.

  • 10 On the significance of the auspices, see the concise remark of Jörg Rüpke, op. cit. (n. 6), p. 228: (...)
  • 11 Quae est igitur in medio belli causa posita? Nos deorum immortalium templa, nos muros, nos domicili (...)
  • 12 Cf. Anthony Corbeill, «The function of a divinely inspired text in Cicero’s De haruspicum responsis(...)

8In Philippics I, Antony has attacked Cicero for avoiding a senate vote on supplications for Caesar, and Cicero responds by denouncing the unprecedented mingling of supplications with parentatio and the decree of a supplicatio to a dead man, describing the new procedures as inexpiable sacrilege (inexpiabiles religiones, I, 13). Philippics II opens with a repudiation of Antony’s misuse of the office of augur (II, 2-5) and culminates in a critique of the religious honors awarded Julius Caesar, which Cicero identifies as pulvinar, simulacrum, fastigium, and flamen — all suited to a god rather than a mortal (II, 110). Philippics III identifies Antony’s actions as «criminal warfare against altars and hearths» (bellum nefarium contra aras et focos, III, 1) and proceeds to denounce him for disregarding auspices that even the kings of yore respected (III, 9)10. Philippics VI contains a lengthy denunciation of the improper placement of a statue of Antony’s brother Lucius in the forum near the temple of Castor (VI, 12-14). In Philippics VIII we are explicitly told that the struggle with Antony is no longer a civil war over control of the republic, but a fight over the very sacrificial system that defines the Roman community — the altars, temples, tombs, and hearths as well as the laws, courts, and family structures that characterize the Roman people. The parallel lists of the objects of Antony’s assault elevate divine and human, religious and legal to an equivalent level of significance11. Philippics IX in its entirety is devoted to discussion of the ritually appropriate commemoration of the recently deceased Servius Sulpicius: statue or tomb? public grieving or private consolation? In Philippics X Brutus is defended for his decision to absent himself from the ludi apollinares, which nevertheless resounded with chanting and applause on his behalf (X, 7-8). Philippics XI describes the sacrilegious treatment of the corpse of Trebonius on the part of Antony’s supporters, a violation, according to Cicero, surpassing in heinousness any of the acts of Cinna, Marius, or Sulla, because it entailed pursuing the victim beyond the grave (XI, 1). In Cicero’s rhetoric, the mangling of Trebonius’limbs and decapitation of his corpse become comparable to the pillaging of religious sanctuaries (direptione fanorum, XI, 6). In the same speech we learn that Jupiter himself has sanctioned (sanxit, XI, 28) Cassius’pursuit of Dolabella, who is judged guilty of «new, unprecedented, inexpiable crime» (novo inaudito inexpiabili scelere, XI, 29) against gods and men, while in speeches XII and XIII we are reminded that Antony’s laws were passed «against the auspices» (contra auspicia, XII, 12), that he wages war against country, penates, altars, hearths, and consuls alike (XIII, 16). In speech XIII Cicero even summons personified wisdom, or sapientia, to advise the senate, and in an echo of familiar practice, her responsa are cited verbatim and at length (XIII, 6)12.

9Finally, Philippics XIV takes the form of a lengthy reminder to the senate that a vote for supplications in honor of the senatorial forces is in effect a declaration that Antony is an external enemy. So important is this ritual/political act in Cicero’s view that he moves that the days of prayer be tripled in number, and interlaces his speech with echoes of earlier invocations of the gods, going back at least to the prayers preserved in Cato’s De Agricultura (XIV, 29, 37, echoing Cato De Agricultura 134, 139, 141). Indeed the last of the Philippics closes with a bravura series of «whereas» clauses extending over several pages of Oxford text replete with all the devices of alliteration, asyndeton, and tricolon that characterize both religious and political speech at Rome, culminating in the recommendation that supplications and monuments be awarded even to the dead consuls Hirtius and Pansa. It really is the moment the whole of the Philippics has been moving toward. Even the memorable depictions of Antony’s wanton conduct throughout the speeches have an air of ritual violation about them — his appearance as a naked Lupercal (II, 84-85), his housing of bandits and cutthroats in the temple of Concord (V, 18), his failure to perform the proper sacrifices and vows when he sets forth from Rome (V, 24), his choice to host a birthday party for a parasite rather than attend a meeting of the senate in a temple (II, 15-16).

  • 13 Thomas Habinek, The Politics of Latin Literature, Princeton, 1998, p. 69-87.

10In other words, in the midst of rallying the senate, advancing the cause of Octavian, and fighting the enforcement of Caesar’s will, Cicero fills the airspace with extended reflection and argument on proper modes of commemoration, the boundaries between sacred and profane, accusations of ritual impropriety, and claims of divine sanction. There is no sense that one type of argument, one category of concern is mere window-dressing for the other. Without the ritualized practices of the republic, there is no political agency; and without the right sort of political action, the ritual community will cease to be. Performative speech acts and authorized performers require one another. Far from being overwrought rhetoric, Cicero’s concern with piety, impiety, commemoration, omens, and the favor or disfavor of the gods paints a coherent picture of Antony as a proponent of a rival ritual community rather than a mere usurper of political power. Only Catiline among Cicero’s earlier enemies (such as Piso or Clodius) receives quite this treatment13.

11And not even Catiline is charged with the further violation of abuse of the protocols of political speech. For interspersed among Antony’s alleged ritual or sacral violations and omissions are accusations of verbal or rhetorical failure as well. Individually they may seem like trivial debating points, even pedantic scolding, but cumulatively the effect is substantial. Unlike his earlier opponents, whom Cicero wishes to silence (e.g. Cicero, In Pisonem 98-99) or exclude from public life, Cicero recognizes in Antony the representative and proponent of an altogether different mode of communication.

  • 14 Cf. John Ramsey, «Debate at a distance: A unique rhetorical strategy in Cicero’s Thirteenth Philipp (...)
  • 15 Sean Gurd, «Cicero and Editorial Revision, 61-46 BCE», Classical Antiquity 26, 2007, p. 49-80.

12For example, we are told that Antony’s teacher got a lot of money for failing to teach him proper rhetorical procedure (II, 8-9). Antony confuses the categories of laudation and invective (laudari… vituperari, II, 19). Antony makes a mockery of declamatory training through his drunken performance in front of his friends at another man’s villa. «You declaim» says Cicero «not to sharpen your wits but to exhale your wine» (II, 42). Despite seventeen days of practice, Antony only dares to denounce Cicero publicly while accompanied by armed supporters — and in Cicero’s absence! (V, 20-21). Nor is Antony much better as a writer: in speech III the style of his edicts is called aggressive and barbaric (quam contumeliosus… quam barbarus, III, 15), while more than half of speech XIII is devoted to Cicero’s recitation and line-by-line critique of a letter from Antony, which is found deficient in both substance and form14. Is it an accident that whereas for Catiline Cicero’s chief term of abuse is bandit, or terrorist (latro), Antony comes to be described as belua, or beast — mute, cruel, belligerent (e.g. XIII, 22)? Antony’s reliance on edicts and missives from afar marks him, like Caesar before him, as a tyrant, reluctant to participate in the give and take of senatorial debate15. On Cicero’s telling, Antony challenges the senate to decide whether it is «more elegant and advantageous to the disputants to avenge the death of Trebonius or of Caesar» (utrum sit elegantius et partibus utilius Treboni mortem persequi an Caesaris… XIII, 38). To which Cicero responds — «as if this war was being fought over elegance! As if disputes were to be settled anywhere but in the forum and the senate house!» (XIII, 38-39).

13And yet in a sense the war was being fought over elegance, elegantia, as even Cicero acknowledges, at least if we understand elegance as an unfailing sense of propriety when it comes to choosing a word or a course of action. For Antony’s letter continues with a denunciation of Cicero precisely for his oratorical style: «be careful» Antony warns the senate, «not to be deceived by the ornaments of Ciceronian eloquence, the same ornaments with which he boasted that Caesar was deceived» (ut isdem ornamentis deceperit vos quibus deceptum Caesarem gloriatus est, XIII, 40). Cicero grasps the significance of the charge, not just as an attack on his own factionalism and possible support for the assassination of Julius, but also for the implicit equivalence Antony assigns to speech and action. And so Cicero replies, not with a defense of his own eloquence, but with an attack, once again, on Antony’s violation of ritual: «You dare to claim that Caesar was deceived by me? It was you, you I say, who slaughtered him at the Lupercalia — a man whose priesthood you should never have abandoned» (XIII, 41).

14Cicero’s sensitivity to the charge of abuse of ornament resonates with an earlier passage in which he responds to a similar accusation, this time coming from a source he does not name. As he puts it, «For I have heard it said that Brutus is too much ornamented by me (nimium ornari), that on my advice Cassius is given unsurpassed power. Whom do I ornament (orno)? Surely those who are themselves ornaments (ornamenta) of the republic. And what of that? Did I not ornament (ornavi) Decius Brutus in all my speeches? Did you complain of that? Or am I rather to ornament the Antonys of the world (an Antonios potius ornarem?), a source of shame and disgrace to their households and to the very name of Rome? What of Censorinus, an enemy in war, a pickpocket in peace? I am so far from ornamenting (tantum abest ut ornem) such enemies of peace, concord, laws, justice, liberty that all I can do is hate them as much as I cherish the republic» (XI, 36).

  • 16 For further discussion of Cicero’s notion of ornament, see Thomas Habinek, «Rhetoric, Music, and th (...)

15I use the awkward English verb «ornament» to call attention to the precise nature of Cicero’s self-defense. To ornament something is to make it special, or formal, to set it as a pattern. The Latin verbal complex orno/ornatus/ornamentum unites the fields of religion, rhetoric, and aesthetics, as one may speak of ornamenting a grave or statue, or ornamenting the city with temples of the gods; but also of transforming an ordinary space or activity through some embellishing word, object, or pattern. Thus elsewhere in the Philippics we are told that Trebatius’death will be ornamented through public grief (luctu publico esse ornandam, IX, 5) and that Lepidus is a most highly ornamented man (ornatissimus, XIII, 49). When Cicero – or for that matter, grave inscriptions — describes people as ornamented with various virtues and attainments, he doesn’t mean that a badge has been applied to them, but that they have been reconstituted in a way that makes them special. So too, the ornamenting of Decius Brutus, Marcus Brutus, and Cassius that Cicero defends implies a transformation or reconstitution that differentiates them from the everyday, sets them up as patterns for imitation or emulation. In his rhetorical writings Cicero argues that the power of ornamenting is the special gift of the orator or the eloquent man — by ornamenting language, a topic, or a person, he aligns it with the unifying order of the republic as a whole and ultimately of the cosmos. As Crassus puts it in book III of De Oratore, «the most ornate (ornatissimae) speeches are those that turn from the particular... and thereby allow the audience to understand the specifics in terms of a totality» (Cicero, De Oratore III, 120)16.

  • 17 Cf. Rüpke, op. cit. (n. 6), p. 18-20, p. 229-230 on the reluctance of the Roman elite to allow a di (...)

16That the Philippics should converge on a dispute over verbal ornamentation between Antony and his supporters on the one hand and Cicero on the other seems to me not accidental. For verbal order and disorder, in Cicero’s view and, more important, as indicated by his rhetorical practice, are just another version of the political and ritual order and disorder that form the more explicit concerns of the speeches. By seeking to defeat Antony through properly ornamented speech and ritual propriety Cicero exposes the deep connection between different types of ritualization or formalization in the constitution and maintenance of the republic. Speaking well, observing ritual, and having the right sentiments with respect to the republic are the bases for political agency. To deny them to your opponent, or show that your opponent has failed at them, is to exclude him from the republic And equally, to challenge the republic is to open oneself to the charge of ritual as well as political violation — a pattern that has redounded to the detriment of the challengers to republican exclusivity in more than one historical instance. In Cicero’s case, the clarity with which he articulates the nexus of ritual, rhetoric, and politics reveals the vulnerability of the Roman republic in the late 40s BC. But it also brings to light a key aspect of its survival for centuries until that time: not a «civic compromise» between religion and politics or religion and skepticism, but an alignment of ritualized practices of speaking, honoring, and doing so powerful as to make an outside perspective virtually unimaginable17. If Cicero’s Philippics have about them an air of desperation, it is because their author recognized that much more was at stake in the struggle with Antony than a simple change of leadership.

  • 18 For the characteristics and significance of tumultus see RE 2.7.2.1344-45; Charles Daremberg et Edm (...)
  • 19 Aliae nationes servitutem pati possunt, populi Romani est propria libertas (VI, 10); Omnes nationes (...)

17One further aspect of the Philippics may be cited in support of my understanding of the overlap of ritualized speech and political agency, and that is Cicero’s barely concealed concern with slaves. Of course there are the expected charges that Antony consorts with the lower classes, with slaves and gladiators, dancers and zither-players (e.g. V, 15). And all the talk of declaring or not declaring a tumultus (e.g. VIII, 2-3), we should remember, is really a question of arming slaves or keeping them weaponless18. But on two occasions Cicero is explicit in calling it a defining characteristic of the Roman people that they cannot endure enslavement. «The gods call upon us to give commands to all nations… others can endure enslavement, for us there is only liberty» from the end of speech VI, and again, in speech X, «our cause is liberty… other nations will do anything to avoid pain and suffering, whereas we welcome death if it means a restoration of freedom» (X, 20)19. It may be an exaggeration to suggest that enslavement is in fact what Antony has in mind. But the inflammatory rhetoric allows Cicero to make the point, for his audience and for us, that libertas — that is to say the seigneurial privilege of speaking for oneself and others — is what makes the Roman republic Roman. The ritualization of speech — in this case, the privileging of some speakers to the exclusion of others — is coextensive with the constitution of political agency. And so it seems always to be, even as the particular forms ritualization takes and the fields in which it becomes manifest are as diverse as the cultures that have populated the earth.

Notes

1 John L. Austin, How to do things with words, 2d edition, edited by James O. Urmson and Marina Sbisà, Cambridge, Mass., 1977, p. 14. On the importance of context in determining the happiness of a performative utterance, Austin insists that «there must exist an accepted conventional procedure having a certain conventional effect, that procedure to include the uttering of certain words by certain persons in certain circumstances» (p. 26).

2 Further studies offering support for Rappaport’s key ideas include Merlin Donald, A Mind so Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness, New York, 2001; and Steven Mithen, The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Brain, and Body, Cambridge, Mass., 2006.

3 Manfred Fahle and Mark Greenlee, The Neuropsychology of Vision, Oxford, 2003. Also Thomas Habinek, «Tentacular Mind: Stoicism, Neuroscience, and the Configurations of Physical Reality», in Barbara Stafford (ed.), A Field Guide to a New Meta-Field: Bridging the Humanities-Neuroscience Divide, Chicago, 2011, p. 64-83. Michael Spivey, The Continuity of Mind, Oxford, 2007, describes thought more generally as a probabilistic trajectory uniting brain, body, and environment.

4 On the «spillover» effect of ritual mastery into other domains, see Catherine Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, New York, 1992 [2009].

5 The World of Roman Song: from Ritualized Speech to Social Order, Baltimore-London, 2005. For an analysis of visual art along similar lines, see Thomas Habinek, «Ancient Art versus Modern Aesthetics: A Naturalist Perspective», Arethusa 43, 2010, p. 215-230.

6 Andreas Bendlin, «Looking beyond the civic compromise: Religious pluralism in late Republican Rome», in Edward Bispham and Christopher Smith (ed.), Religion in Archaic and Republican Rome and Italy, Chicago, 2000, p. 115-135. For a more holistic approach to the ritualized practices that constitute republican Roman culture see Jörg Rüpke, Religion of the Romans, translated and edited by Richard Gordon, Cambridge, 2007; John Scheid, An Introduction to Roman Religion, translated by Janet Lloyd, Edinburgh 2003; and Mary Beard, John North, Simon Price, Religions of Rome, 2 vols., Cambridge, 1998.

7 Bendlin, art. cit. (n. 6).

8 Cesare Letta, «L’Italia dei mores romani nelle Origines di Catone», Athenaeum 62, 1984, p. 3-30, p. 416-439; Bernhard Linke and Michael Stemmler (ed.), Mos Maiorum: Untersuchungen zu den Formen der Identitätsstiftung und Stabilisierung in der römischen Republik, Stuttgart, 2000.

9 Reference throughout is to the Oxford Classical Text of Arthur Clark, Oxford, 1918. Translations are my own. For the historical context of the speeches see Thomas Mitchell, Cicero: The senior statesman, New Haven, 1991, p. 289-326.

10 On the significance of the auspices, see the concise remark of Jörg Rüpke, op. cit. (n. 6), p. 228: «Political action was embedded in that constant, intensive dialogue with the gods we term taking the auspices». Cf. Scheid, op. cit. (n. 6), p. 112-120.

11 Quae est igitur in medio belli causa posita? Nos deorum immortalium templa, nos muros, nos domicilia sedesque populi Romani, aras, focos, sepulcra maiorum; nos leges, iudicia, libertatem, coniuges, liberos, patriam defendimus (VIII, 8).

12 Cf. Anthony Corbeill, «The function of a divinely inspired text in Cicero’s De haruspicum responsis», in Dominic Berry and Andrew Erskine (ed.), Form and Function in Roman Oratory, Cambridge, 2010, p. 139-154.

13 Thomas Habinek, The Politics of Latin Literature, Princeton, 1998, p. 69-87.

14 Cf. John Ramsey, «Debate at a distance: A unique rhetorical strategy in Cicero’s Thirteenth Philippic», in Berry and Erskine, op. cit. (n. 12), p. 155-174.

15 Sean Gurd, «Cicero and Editorial Revision, 61-46 BCE», Classical Antiquity 26, 2007, p. 49-80.

16 For further discussion of Cicero’s notion of ornament, see Thomas Habinek, «Rhetoric, Music, and the Arts in Ancient Rome», forthcoming Michael MacDonald (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Classical Rhetoric.

17 Cf. Rüpke, op. cit. (n. 6), p. 18-20, p. 229-230 on the reluctance of the Roman elite to allow a distinct sphere of the «religious» to emerge on their watch.

18 For the characteristics and significance of tumultus see RE 2.7.2.1344-45; Charles Daremberg et Edmond Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines, 5 vols., Paris, 1877-1919, vol. 5, p. 532; and Emilio Gabba, Republican Rome, the Army and the Allies, trans. P. J. Cuff, Berkeley, 1976, p. 5, 8, and 24.

19 Aliae nationes servitutem pati possunt, populi Romani est propria libertas (VI, 10); Omnes nationes servitutem ferre possunt: nostra civitas non potest… ita praeclara est recuperatio libertatis ut ne mors quidem sit in repetenda libertate fugienda (X, 20).

Auteur

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

© Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2012

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