Teacher’s Guide to Cicero Download
In the introduction to his libellus on Cicero, A. E. Douglas observes that no one can be dispassionate about Cicero, the man. In my discussions with fellow classicists, I have found that neither is anyone dispassionate about the teaching of Cicero. For a variety of reasons, some are reluctant to include Cicero in the high school curriculum, while others enthusiastically introduce students to the works of Cicero year after year. This teacher’s guide is intended for both groups and the entire spectrum in between. The guide is a response to a frequently articulated need for resources, and for innovative and traditional approaches to the teaching of Cicero’s works.
After an introduction by A. E. Douglas, the guide begins with a section on general approaches to the teaching of Cicero. The next section is devoted to background information, including historical perspectives on the political situation in the late Republican period and an overview of the Roman constitution as it was configured in Cicero’s time. In the section that follows, the significant events and achievements of Cicero’s life and career are featured in a variety of formats to facilitate a deeper appreciation of Cicero, the man behind the speeches and literary works. The goal of the fourth section, to promote greater facility in translating Cicero, is addressed by the inclusion of material on the syntactical structures, idioms, and vocabulary occurring most frequently in Cicero’s works. Material contained in the subsequent section on rhetoric promotes a deeper understanding of the significance of this discipline to the Romans and also facilitates the use of Cicero as a rhetorical model for today’s students. This section leads into a detailed look at one of the most important examples of Ciceronian oratory, i.e., the Catilinarian speeches, which are still the most frequently studied texts at the secondary level.
The Teacher’s Guide to Cicero represents the collaborative scholarship and creativity of university professors and high school teachers across the country. Rather than a singular view or perspective, it represents a broad spectrum of ideas on the teaching of Cicero.