Cicero's Pro Archia has historically been taken as a bona fide expression of humanism. In this article, I demonstrate how this reading of the Pro Archia has allowed the political and cultural tensions in the speech to remain hidden. Cicero's vision of Archias as an idealized amalgam sanitizes both the poetic and the cultural identity of his Syrian client in favour of a projection which combined generic “Greekness” with a politicized invocation of the Roman poet, Q. Ennius. Contextualizing the Pro Archia within its contemporary political moment reveals that Cicero is consciously constructing a narrative of Archias as a “good immigrant.”

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