Sunday, October 18, 2020

M/M: We Both Go Down Together: Orestes & Pylades, Cicero de Fin. V.22.63

"Ego sum Orestes", contraque ab altero: "Immo enimvero ego sum, inquam, Orestes!" Cum autem etiam exitus ab utroque datur conturbato errantique regi, ambo ergo se una necari cum precantur, quotiens hoc agitur, ecquandone nisi admirationibus maximis?

 --Cicero, De Fin. V.22.63, quoting a work by Pacuvius

One says, “I am Orestes!”

The other responds, “No—it is I who am Orestes!”

And when both give an opportunity for the other to escape from the confused king, both beg that they be killed together.

Every time this scene is done, it receives the highest applause.



Name:  Marcus Pacuvius

Date:  220 BCE – 130 BCE

Works:  [tragedies]



Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions



 Although only fragments of his works survive, we know from later authors that Pacuvius was an early Italian tragedian whose works included episodes from the Trojan War. He is one of the earliest Roman dramatists, and was successor to Ennius, Rome’s first literary author.

Timeline of Latin Literature with "EARLY ROMAN" era highlighted



Name:  Marcus Tullius Cicero

Date:  106 BCE – 43 BCE

Works: de Amicitia

               de Divinatione*


               In Catilinam

              Pro Archiam, etc.



Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions



 Cicero was an Italian-born Roman statesman and author who lived during the complexities of Rome’s transition from Republic to monarchy. Cicero spent most of his life in service of his country, serving as both a lawyer, senator, and even consul [Roman equivalent of president]. He is known for his suppression of the failed governmental coup in 63 BCE known as the Catilinarian conspiracy that occurred during his consulship. After the rise of Octavian [later known as the first Roman emperor Augustus], his views fell out of favor and he was eventually put to death during the proscriptions under the Second Triumvirate (Octavian, Marc Antony and Lepidus). He was a prolific author with a wide range in genres, and his literary style was adopted by Petrarch as the default model for the Latin language.


Timeline of Latin Literature with "GOLDEN AGE" era highlighted

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