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Cicero, Documents and the Implications for History

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Chapter Summary

Cicero’s speeches provide numerous models of how documents could be interpreted publicly (and thus accountably) to reach conclusions about the past. The available means are diverse and powerful, and they allow a motivated interpreter considerable opportunity to reach any expected or desired conclusion. There is reason to believe that similar strategies would have been used in historical contexts and thus that use of documentary evidence might have constrained Roman historians less than has sometimes been imagined.



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