Senso del passato e paradigma dell’antico: per una rilettura del 'De legibus' di Cicerone
In 'De legibus' II, 19-22 and III, 6-11 Cicero puts together a corpus of laws, imitating the Twelve Tables, which are indeed considered as a symbol of antiquity during the late republican culture: the ancient legislative Roman text can be interpreted as a guide-text that underlies the whole dialogue. The complex network of references and allusions to the Twelve Tables suggests a possible reading key that picks out the main feature of this ciceronian work in the conceptual field of the ‘ancientness’ and of the ‘antiquity’ (antiquus, antiquitas, uetus, uetustas). The linguistic analysis of the quoted chapters, which are characterized by an archaizing extremism, leads us to the heart of the problems of 'De legibus’ interpretation: what is the idea of antiquity that this strong archaism seeks to convey? What is the final purpose of this revival of the ancient world? The present article investigates the manifold forms of the antiquity pattern in 'De legibus'. The ending chapters of Book II are of particular interest, because they constitute a philological-antiquarian essay, delineating Cicero’s attitude towards the study of the antiquity. Their analysis high-lights the relationship between the author and the contemporary antiquarianism. Further, the analysis points out Cicero’s reflection on historical knowledge, historiography and antiquarianism, developed in the 50s BCE.
Incontri Triestini di Filologia Classica
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Elisa Romano, "Senso del passato e paradigma dell’antico: per una rilettura del 'De legibus' di Cicerone", in: Incontri Triestini di Filologia Classica, 9 (2009/10), pp. 1-44.