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Frigidus Rumor:The Creation Of A (Negative) Public Image In Rome

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Chapter Summary

In a hierarchical and competitive society like republican Rome, public opinion about an individual had considerable relevance. The formation of public opinion about an individual was influenced by various factors. It was obviously possible to manufacture public opinion, both through written and oral media. Horace masterfully expressed the process of the circulation of rumours in one sentence which indirectly confirms what Caelius said: Frigidus a rostris manat per compita rumor. In the 50s of the 1st century BC, Clodius and Cicero were engaged in a competition to discredit each other - both used all the weapons available to them. Clodius was particularly strong on the streets of Rome due to the revival of the collegia that he had undertaken, which allowed him to mobilise a significant part of the plebs to demand social and political initiatives.

Keywords: Cicero; Clodius; Frigidus rumor; public opinion; republican Rome



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