All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Keeping up Appearances: Shame and Oratory in Cicero's Thought
Unformatted Document Text:  In Cicero’s On Duties, decorum is one of the four core virtues (along with wisdom, justice, and greatness of spirit); it concerns itself with “order and limit in everything that is said and done.” Its particular origin in our rational nature is our perception of “what order there is, what seemliness, what limit to words and deeds.” We naturally perceive beauty and order via reason, the faculty which distinguishes humans from other animals, and because of this we believe “beauty, constancy and order should be preserved…in one’s decisions and in one’s deeds,” shunning what is unseemly, or indecorous. 56 Seemliness entails “a sense of shame and what one might call the ordered beauty of a life, restraint and modesty, a calming of agitations of the spirit, and due measure in all things.” 57 Related to the honorable as a whole, seemliness is manifested in the display of other virtues, each of which it is seemly to possess; it, like the virtue of the orator, “is not seen by esoteric reasoning, but springs ready to view.” He goes on to divide seemliness into two categories: general seemliness, which has to do with the nature of humans qua humans (and not other creatures), and special seemliness, which “agrees with nature in such a way that moderation and restraint appear in it, along with the appearance of a gentleman.” 58 Both aspects of this virtue involve appropriateness, though the latter is especially concerned with appearance and with not giving offense. Cicero uses poetry to illustrates his claim: poets speak in a seemly fashion “when what is said and done is worthy of the role,” though with respect to poetry, what is 56 Cicero, On Duties. I.14-15. 57 Ibid. I.93. 58 Ibid. I.95-96. 19

Authors: Kapust, Daniel.
first   previous   Page 19 of 34   next   last



background image
In
Cicero’s
On Duties, decorum is one of the four core virtues (along with
wisdom, justice, and greatness of spirit); it concerns itself with “order and limit in
everything that is said and done.” Its particular origin in our rational nature is our
perception of “what order there is, what seemliness, what limit to words and deeds.” We
naturally perceive beauty and order via reason, the faculty which distinguishes humans
from other animals, and because of this we believe “beauty, constancy and order should
be preserved…in one’s decisions and in one’s deeds,” shunning what is unseemly, or
indecorous.
Seemliness entails “a sense of shame and what one might call the ordered beauty
of a life, restraint and modesty, a calming of agitations of the spirit, and due measure in
all things.”
Related to the honorable as a whole, seemliness is manifested in the display
of other virtues, each of which it is seemly to possess; it, like the virtue of the orator, “is
not seen by esoteric reasoning, but springs ready to view.” He goes on to divide
seemliness into two categories: general seemliness, which has to do with the nature of
humans qua humans (and not other creatures), and special seemliness, which “agrees
with nature in such a way that moderation and restraint appear in it, along with the
appearance of a gentleman.”
Both aspects of this virtue involve appropriateness, though
the latter is especially concerned with appearance and with not giving offense.
Cicero uses poetry to illustrates his claim: poets speak in a seemly fashion “when
what is said and done is worthy of the role,” though with respect to poetry, what is
56
Cicero, On Duties. I.14-15.
57
Ibid. I.93.
58
Ibid. I.95-96.
19


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 19 of 34   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.