This paper examines how Cicero forges a late style in the Second Philippic that reflects the political stance he adopts in the face of existential crisis. The fluidity of Cicero’s trademark, consular hypotactic style hardens into a paratactic, rigid crisis style in the Philippics, where Cicero’s arguments for extra-legal measures reveal his shift towards a Catonian view of reality in which, he, his style, and Rome itself must be sacrificed in order to be preserved. Nevertheless, and reflecting the Machiavellian paradox that republics must often be destroyed in order to be saved and renewed through re-founding, Cicero preserves stylistic continuity through variation. His late style is the paradigmatic classical republican response to the crises that republics, then and now, inevitably engender.

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