Esuli e dissidenti: Cicerone come modello del principe A.M. Kurbskij
In April 1564 the Prince Andrej Michajlovič Kurbskij, one of the Tsar’s generals engaged in the Livonian war (1558-1583), defected to Lithuania and entered the service of King Sigismund II. Immediately afterwards there ensued a polemical correspondence between him and Ivan the Terrible, in which the deserter tried to defend his behavior, claiming to be a victim in exile rather than a traitor to his country. Within the exchange of accusations and offenses, an important part is played without any doubt by Ciceronian textual material: Kurbskij inserted the Slavonic translation of Paradoxa Stoicorum II and IV into his third and last letter to the Tsar. In this way he strove to assert his cultural superiority
over his less educated rival and at the same time to show that he was suffering from the same tragic destiny as his literary and philosophica-lrhetorical model. The present paper deals with some historical and cultural aspects of Cicero’s reception in the sixteenth century, with particular attention to the currently less known Paradoxa Stoicorum and its major influence on Renaissance epistolography.
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