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Title: 'Cicero Illustratus' : John Toland and Ciceronian scholarship in the early Enlightenment
Author: East, Katherine
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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In 1712 the radical intellectual John Toland wrote a treatise entitled Cicero Illustratus, which proposed a new edition of Cicero's complete works. In this text Toland justified and described his plans; as a result such varied issues as the Ciceronian tradition in eighteenth century culture, the nature of scholarship in this period, and the value of Ciceroni an scholarship to Toland's intellectual efforts were encompassed. In spite of the evident potential of Cicero Illustratus to provide a new perspective on these issues, it has been largely neglected by modern scholarship. This thesis rectifies that omission by establishing precisely what Toland hoped to achieve with Cicero lllustratus, and the significance of his engagement with Ciceronian scholarship. The first section of the thesis addresses Cicero IlIustratus itself, discovering Toland's aims by evaluating his proposals against both the existing Ciceronian editorial tradition and his immediate scholarly context. This reveals that Toland used his engagement with scholarship to simultaneously construct authority for his professed rehabilitation of the real Cicero, and for himself as an interpreter of this 'real' Cicero. The second section of this thesis demonstrates the broader purpose of this exploitation of erudition; it allowed Toland to construct Cicero as a vital weapon in his radical discourse on politics and religion. The active role of the Ciceronian tradition in the formation ofToland's radical thought thereby demonstrated, this thesis contributes to the intellectual history of this period. It will both support narratives in modem scholarship which emphasise the on-going influence of humanist scholarship on modem thought, and challenge readings of the early Enlightenment which emphasise its rejection of tradition by demonstrating the importance of the classical tradition to the work of one of its foremost thinkers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available