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WHY RES PUBLICA IS NOT A STATE: THE STOIC GRAMMAR AND DISCURSIVE PRACTICES IN CICERO'S CONCEPTION

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Abstract:

While most scholars took Cicero's Stoicism to be reflected in the content of his theories, this article tries to examine the 'how' rather than the 'what' of his statements. The article starts with the privileging of the verb in what the Stoics termed lekta, then considers how the term res publica fared in full lekta, pronounced by Cicero and his republican contemporaries (first and second sections). Then a Stoic theory of definition is analysed to elucidate an incorporeal quality of the res publica and stresses the particularity of Cicero's theoretical achievement (third and fourth sections). Section V compares the uses to which the term res publica was put in the speech acts of republican and imperial days, while Section VI evaluates the implications of the findings for our contemporary theory of the state.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Political Science and Sociology, European University at St Petersburg, 3 Gagarinskaia Street, 191187 St Petersburg, Russia, Email: kharkhor@eu.spb.ru

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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