Cicero, the Secrets of His Correspondence - Vol. 1

Cicero, the Secrets of His Correspondence - Vol. 1

Cicero, the Secrets of His Correspondence - Vol. 1

Cicero, the Secrets of His Correspondence - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Even before he has finished the last page of the Introduction to Gaston Boissier Cicero and his Friends, anyone who has had the pleasure of reading it will realise that Cicero Letters are the finest document of Roman history, one of the finest documents of all history.

From the artistic point of view they are brilliantly successful. No other epoch, no other language can show memoirs or letters which by the quality of their form can rival Cicero's Correspondence. It surpasses them all in the value and profusion of its material; it eclipses them by the dazzling variety of gifts it combines, gifts elsewhere found only in dispersion. Cicero Letters are now as clear and vivid as Voltaire's, now as picturesque and light-hearted as Madame de Sévigné's, now as tantalising and enigmatic as Mérimée's, now as bitter and corrosive as Saint-Simon's. At one moment they skilfully exploit all the conscious devices of the orator who seeks to bewitch public opinion far outside the circle of his immediate audience; at another, the shock of some occurrence gives them the more intimate appeal, the quiver of irrepressible emotion, the inspiration of a first enthusiasm. They present us with a masterpiece which is a perfect blend of every quality and every style: narrative and portrait, argument and anecdote, maxim and metaphor, invective and irony, seductive coquetry and stinging sarcasm.

Lastly, and above all, the Letters are a mine of information whose wealth overwhelms the miner. The Correspondence which we possess comprises 931 letters ranging from 68 to 43 B.C. In something under 19 months the pace increases to as many as three letters . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.