Comparison Of Cicero And Augustine

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Comparison of Cicero and Augustine


Cicero's prose and Virgil's poetry were so profoundly stamped on Augustine's mind that he could seldom write many pages without some reminiscence or verbal allusion. In youth he also read with profound admiration Sallust's somber histories of the Roman Republic and the comedies of Terence. These too were part of the literary air he naturally breathed, and into his prose, he would frequently work some turn of phrase taken from classical Latin literature. Many such allusions have been identified only comparatively recently, and it is certain that there are more yet to be located.

This paper will discuss the relation between Cicero and Augustine in terms of rhetoric, and then narrow down the issue into immorality of rhetoric through philosophical quarrel happened in the ancient rhetoric history up to Augustine. This paper will examine their similarity and dissimilarity in order to get their sophisticate intertextuality and interstructurality, and further their continuity and discontinuity and instrumentalization and sublimation.


Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman politician, lawyer, writer and philosopher, the most famous orators of Rome and office of consul in 63 BC. Measured by the influence upon the thinking, writing, and speaking of subsequent centuries, Cicero was clearly the most influential figure of the late Roman Republic. Sometimes simply called “Tully” in the later literature of the West, he was among the most powerful and learned men in his own time. His range of achievements was truly remarkable. It encompassed his much revered oratorical ability and writings on rhetoric, his legal and political career marked by holding key offices reaching the highest office of consul in 63 BC, his extensive correspondence (more than 900 extant letters), and his rich and varied philosophical writings at the center of which is his work as a political theorist. Decisions made by him in the politically tumultuous circumstances of his life, notably his handling of the Catilinarian conspiracy and his opposition to Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and forms of agrarian legislation, made him a highly controversial figure. The ire of his political opponents then and down through the years, along with the very personal revelations of his correspondence, have at times created obstacles to a fair-minded study of his writings on moral philosophy and political theory.


Aurelius Augustine was born in ad 354 and died in 430. He lived all but five years of his life in Roman North Africa, and for the last thirty-four years was bishop of a busy seaport, Hippo, now Annaba in Algeria. At Hippo, only bishop Augustine had books, and his own family background was not one of high culture. That culture he acquired through education. Through his writings, the surviving bulk of which exceeds that of any other ancient author, he came to exercise pervasive influence not only on contemporaries but also in subsequent years on the West (Barlow, 357).

Augustine wrote the first homiletic textbook in the preaching history of Christianity. From this fact, Augustine and his De doctrina christiana deserve to be examined and illumined modern ...
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