8. Study Questions Copy

We suggest that you try to answer the study questions before viewing the answers (answers can be seen by clicking on the numbers below). 

1. discedit a Melino Cluentia: what tense is Cicero using here, and why?

2. Note, as in the previous section, Cicero tends to refer to the antagonists by their family titles, rather than their names. Besides emphasising the wrongness of the sexual relationships, what other effect does Cicero seem to be striving for?

3. o mulieris scelus incredibile, et, praeter hanc unam, in omni vita inauditum! o libidinem effrenatam et indomitam! o audaciam singularem!


What literary device is being used here, and why?

4. Identify an example of a tricolon in this section and explain why you think it is being used.


The tense being used is the historic present. often used to make the narrative more vivid.

Certainly, by referring to Sassia as ‘the woman’, he is dehumanizing her.


This is known as exclamatio and is being used to express Cicero’s disgust at the situation.

  1. There are several to choose from:
  2. a) nullis auspicibus, nullis auctoribus, funestis ominibus omnium.
  3. b) pudorem libido, timorem audacia, rationem amentia.
  4. c) tulit hoc commune dedecus iam familiae, cognationis, nominis, graviter filius

All show the increasing magnitude of what is at stake.



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