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Philosophers and Gentlemen: The Orator Crassus’s Quaestorship, Philosophers’ Deaths, and Historical Realities in Cicero’s De oratore

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jakob Wisse


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Crassus, main interlocutor in Cicero’s De oratore, “reports” that after his quaestorship in Asia he returned via Athens, and mentions the philosopher Clitomachus and the Eleusinian Mysteries. This allows us to date this quaestorship to 111 BCE. The nature of the Athenian and Roman calendars in the period presents complications, but detailed examination shows that this dating can stand. And while Cicero’s dialogue was partly fictional, he was also able, and keen, to be chronologically precise; his curious treatment of Philo of Larissa shows that he was especially interested in this date. A more precise dating of Panaetius’s death follows.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wisse J

Editor(s): Anne H. Groton

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Ab omni parte beatus: Classical Essays in Honor of James M. May

Year: 2017

Pages: 121-159

Print publication date: 27/03/2017

Acceptance date: 12/10/2016

Publisher: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers

Place Published: Mundelein, IL


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780865168435


Link to this publication