Civitas secum ipsa discors (II 23, 1)

Political Rhetoric in Livy's First Pentad

Authors

  • Stanisław Śnieżewski Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/CC.19.2016.14

Keywords:

virtutes, vitia, regnum, libertas, moderatio, concordia ordinum, discordia, pudicitia, licentia, libido, audacia, saevitia, patientia

Abstract

Civitas secum ipsa discors (II 23, 1). Political Rhetoric in Livy's First Pentad

Livy tries to judge virtutes and vitia of both patricians and plebeians impartially. Naturally, Livy’s vision of the early republic presented in the first pentad is anachronic and discordant in reference to historical truth. In my opinion he supports an aristocratic republic and Augustus’s principate, but often criticizes patricians and highly estimates valours of the plebs. His observations on regnum, libertas, moderatio, discordia are noteworthy and rhetorically embellished. The language of political rhetoric is extended and close to invective. The struggle between the patricians and the plebeians is a poison (venenum) destroying the city. On the other hand, the best effects are brought out by concordia ordinum (e.g. II 1, 11). As in Vergil’s Aeneid very important are the martial, civil, religious, and familial virtues. The primal role, however, is played by virtus, understood for the most part as military courage (e.g. XXV 14, 1; IX 40, 6; XXIV 38, 2).

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Published

2016-10-31

How to Cite

Śnieżewski, S. “Civitas Secum Ipsa Discors (II 23, 1): Political Rhetoric in Livy’s First Pentad”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 19, Oct. 2016, pp. 221-44, doi:10.12797/CC.19.2016.14.

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Articles