Cicero in Heaven

The Roman Rhetor and Luther’s Reformation


In Cicero in Heaven: The Roman Rhetor and Luther’s Reformation, Carl Springer traces the historical outlines of Cicero’s rhetorical legacy, paying special attention to the momentous impact that he had on Luther, his colleagues at the University of Wittenberg, and later Lutherans. While the revival of interest in Cicero’s rhetoric is more often associated with the Renaissance than with the Reformation, it would be a mistake to overlook the important role that Luther and other reformers played in securing Cicero’s place in the curricula of schools in modern Europe (and America). Luther’s attitude towards Cicero was complex, and the final chapter of the book discusses negative reactions to Cicero in the Reformation and the centuries that followed.

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Carl P.E. Springer, Ph.D. (1984, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is SunTrust Chair of Excellence in the Humanities at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. He has written extensively on the relationship between Martin Luther and the Classics, including Luther’s Aesop (Kirksville, 2011).
“Finely tuned and sensitively presented insights like those in the author’s treatment of rhetorical elements in church music appear throughout the book. Its elegant prose is eminently readable; the wide variety of tidbits of information offered is pleasantly surprising as well as entertaining. As far as Luther is concerned, the book also dazzles with a copious selection of quotations which will be useful for the future researcher. The educated public as well as the specialist reader will find enlightenment and entertainment in this book.”
Johann Ramminger, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018.07.03.

“learned and engaging”
Neal Leroux, University of Minnesota. In: Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer 2019), pp. 231-233.

List of Abbreviations

1 Cicero and Christian Latin Eloquence
 1  Non Hominis Nomen Sed Eloquentiae
 2 “Spoiling The Egyptians”
 3 Renaissance Humanism
 4 Reformation Latin

2 “The Real German Cicero”
 1 “I Love Cicero”
 2  Optimus Philosophus
 3 Parrhesiastics

3 Cicero and Wittenberg Education
 1 Humanist Educationand Cicero
 2 Luther’s Latin House of Learning
 3  Praeceptor Germaniae

4 “Cicero Refused to Die”
 1 Johann Sturm and The Ratio Studiorum
 2 The Teacher of Modern Europe
 3 Bach, the Latin Teacher
 4 Cicero, Illinois

5 Lutheranism and anti-Ciceronianism
 1 The Vernacular Reformation
 2 “One word of Paul’s likely has three ciceronian orations in it”
 3 Anti-Ciceronianism, Flacius, and Bengel
 4 Cicero in Hell
 5  Cicero Americanus and the American Adam

Works Cited
Classicists, church historians, theologians, intellectual and cultural historians, historians of education and rhetoric, as well as educated laypersons interested in the relationship between Christianity and the Classics in general.