Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Les Morts de Ser. Sulpicius Rufus et de C. Trebonius dans les Philippiques de Cicéron

François Prost


In the 9th and 11th Philippic Cicero strives to give a heroic character to the death of Ser. Sulpicius Rufus (who died as an envoy sent by the Senate to Antony at Mutina) and that of C. Trebonius (murdered by Dolabella in Syria). The heroization of Sulpicius Rufus death relies first on a conception of cause similar to the one attributed to Chrysippus in the De fato: Antony is the primary cause of the heroic death of Sulpicius Rufus and in that sense killed him. It also relies on a parallel with the qualities of Octavianus, the new Republican hero. In the case of Trebonius, Dolabella had meant his death as an infamous punishment for betraying Caesar. Cicero turns it into an example of moral heroism, whereas Dolabella embodies monstrosity, and thus foreshadows the fate that the Romans would face in case Antony wins the war. The heroization of both deaths is part of Ciceros strategy that demanded that the Senate declare Antony hostis.

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