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Cicero, Philippic 2, 44–50, 78–92, 100–119

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Ingo Gildenhard

Commentary

§ 46: Family Therapy: Cicero as Counselor

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Excerpt

After the delusional image of marital stability that concluded § 44, matters fell apart in § 45: Curio pater and Curio filius have both been reduced to tears, even though the reasons for their emotional incontinence differ drastically: the former is laid low by a bout of depression at his inability to check his son’s self-destructive infatuation with Antony (a case of senile dementia), the latter wails at Cicero’s feet in an effort to protect his beloved (call it penile dementia). For the day of reckoning appears nigh: if Curio pater were to refuse to pick up the bill, both young men might end up in exile. It is worth noting that not all of the problems that the Curio family faces are down to the lurid sex-appeal of Antony who has clearly addled the mind of Curio Junior. When patria potestas breaks down, all hell tends to break loose, and Curio Senior is in clear need of a guide who can tell him what to do: Cicero to the rescue!

In § 46, Cicero features himself as a steady and compet...

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