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Cicero's LawRethinking Roman Law of the Late Republic$
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Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408820

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.001.0001

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Law’s Nature: Philosophy as a Legal Argument in Cicero’s Writings

Law’s Nature: Philosophy as a Legal Argument in Cicero’s Writings

(p.50) Chapter 4 Law’s Nature: Philosophy as a Legal Argument in Cicero’s Writings
Cicero's Law

Benedikt Forschner

Edinburgh University Press

The paper deals with the use of philosophical arguments in Cicero's legal writings, in particular his forensic speeches. It tries to demonstrate that Cicero developed a unique, holistic theory of law, which is not based on a juxtaposition of natural law and positive law, but tries to deduce the nature of law from the nature of men. Even though this theory probably did not influence the writings of the later classical jurists in a direct way, Roman law was open enough for philosophical arguments to allow Cicero to make use of this theory within the legal discourse. Using examples from Cicero's forensic speeches, the paper demonstrates how Cicero refers to his philosophical concept in order to develop specifically legal arguments.

Keywords:   Natural law, natura iuris, Tyranny, Tyrannicide, pro Milone, de legibus, Oikeiosis

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