Classics Association Lecture: A Talk with Katie East

Wednesday 5th June | 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

LIVE Lit & Phil Event | FREE

[[File:Marcus Tullius Cicero by Bertel Thorvaldsen.jpg|Marcus_Tullius_Cicero_by_Bertel_Thorvaldsen]]
640px-Marcus_Tullius_Cicero_by_Bertel_Thorvaldsen – wikicommons

Image | Sourced from WikiCommons | Marcus Tullius Cicero, by Bertel Thorvaldsen as copy from roman original, in Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen.

Wednesday 5th June | 6pm

“The same corruptions among us, that were among Them”: eighteenth-century receptions of Cicero’s Catilinarians

In eighteenth-century England a marked fixation with political corruption developed. The more active parliamentary landscape resulting from the disorders and reforms of the preceding century placed the character and conduct of politicians in England under a greater microscope than ever before.

Struck by a series of crises and controversies which demanded answers, accusations of corruption abounded. A precedent which proved enlightening for those wrestling with corruption in the eighteenth century was the Catilinarian Conspiracy of 63 BC, the apex of Cicero’s political achievements (as told by Cicero). This crisis in the Roman Republic brought together the issues of how political corruption could threaten the state and how the government could wield its strength in response.

As a result, the speeches delivered by Cicero in defence of the Republic received renewed editorial attention, while also providing useful parallels for expanding on contemporary events, whether the South Sea Bubble, the Jacobite Rising, or the radical politics of figures such as Charles James Fox.

This lecture will explore the rich eighteenth-century fashion of using the Catilinarian Conspiracy to confront the threat of political corruption to a vigorous and stable state.

LIVE Lit & Phil Event | FREE

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