Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome by Kathryn Tempest

By Kathryn Tempest

On the again of his traditional expertise for oratory, Cicero set out at the route to an excellent recognition - his earliest speeches introduced the identify of Cicero out of the shadows and hurled him into the spotlight.

Cicero used to be the 1st 'new guy' in thirty years to arrive the consulship; the truth that he controlled to take action with out bribery or violence makes his luck much more amazing. His 12 months of place of work witnessed occasions of this sort of scale that he was once granted the intense honour of the name 'pater patriae' - he used to be the daddy of his fatherland.

Following the Civil conflict, and with renewed hopes for the recovery of the Roman Republic, Cicero introduced a fierce assault on Mark Antony via providing a sequence of speeches that can't be matched for his or her power. It was once those speeches that may be the reason for Cicero's dying, and his dying was once to be as dramatic as his lifestyles. Kathryn Tempest's lifetime of Cicero and his instances is as attractive because it is informative.

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Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome

At the again of his normal expertise for oratory, Cicero set out at the route to an excellent recognition - his earliest speeches introduced the identify of Cicero out of the shadows and hurled him into the highlight. Cicero was once the 1st 'new guy' in thirty years to arrive the consulship; the truth that he controlled to take action with no bribery or violence makes his luck much more outstanding.

Additional resources for Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome

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For, indeed, a devastating punishment awaited the Marians who had survived: Sulla outlawed them and put their names on ‘proscription’ lists. These lists derived their name from the Latin word proscriptio which simply meant ‘putting up a notice’, but Sulla’s ‘notices’ were particularly shocking. They stated that any man who wanted could kill the ‘proscribed’ men with impunity; moreover, financial rewards offered an incentive to kill. It was legalized murder on a horrific scale. According to one source, at least sixteen hundred men were killed in this way, although the historian Orosius raised the death toll to nine thousand.

Therefore, although he was a member of Rome’s aristocracy himself, this is exactly what he did. We do not know what motivated him most – social reform, the quest for personal power, the unemployment, the army or other factors – but, intentionally or not, he had caused a revolution at Rome. From Tiberius’ time on, the crowd played a crucial role as certain politicians courted popular opinion and support in their personal pursuits of power and reform. 6 The cherished ideal of the unity between the senate and the people of Rome was rapidly descending 16 CICERO into a political nightmare of strife and discord: a tug-of-war between politicians, who claimed to act either in defence of the senate’s authority or of the people’s rights.

The trial revolved around a complicated business partnership between the defendant and his opponent, and Cicero’s mastery of the legal technicalities in this speech clearly stands testament to his ambition, quoted at the beginning of this chapter, to enter the courts fully trained. At the same time, his decision to disseminate a written record of the speech shows the use Cicero made of this medium to advertise his name and build a reputation. And, although the speech itself has not won much favour among Cicero’s modern critics, his strategy evidently worked: just a year later, he was asked to take on the case which launched the beginning of his career – the defence of Sextus Roscius of Ameria.

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