Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome by Kathryn Tempest

By Kathryn Tempest

On the again of his common expertise for oratory, Cicero set out at the route to a wonderful popularity - his earliest speeches introduced the identify of Cicero out of the shadows and hurled him into the spotlight.

Cicero was once 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 good fortune much more impressive. His 12 months of workplace witnessed occasions of the sort of scale that he was once granted the intense honour of the identify 'pater patriae' - he was once the daddy of his fatherland.

Following the Civil battle, and with renewed hopes for the recovery of the Roman Republic, Cicero introduced a fierce assault on Mark Antony through offering a sequence of speeches that can't be matched for his or her energy. It used to be those speeches that may be the reason for Cicero's demise, and his loss of life was once to be as dramatic as his lifestyles. Kathryn Tempest's lifetime of Cicero and his occasions is as attractive because it is informative.

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Extra resources for Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome

Sample text

He was fired by such ambition that his devotion to his studies burned brighter than anything I have ever seen. He could not let one day pass without either speaking in the forum or practising outside it. More often than not he would do both on the same day. He brought a style of speaking to the forum that was quite unordinary; indeed, he was unique in two respects: first, he would divide up what he was going to say under headings and, second, he provided summaries of what had been said by his opponents.

This is the stage of his education which Cicero does feel worthy of record, and it begins shortly before the time when he assumed the toga of manhood (the toga virilis). This was an event of great significance, which normally took place on or around a boy’s sixteenth birthday. He cut his youthful locks, shaved his facial hair and abandoned the lucky charm (the bulla) which he had worn from birth. More important, he exchanged the purple-banded toga, which he had worn as a boy, for the plain white toga worn by male citizens.

Yet a politician could not expect to sit on the sidelines either, for the Romans’ pride in their country, traditions and achievements was deep-rooted. The men calling for change challenged the traditional system, and criticized the monopoly of Rome’s leading families. Their concerns were justified, yet their methods were often radical and destructive; some of the most dominant personalities in Cicero’s lifetime – men like Pompey, Crassus and Caesar – were also the leaders of great armies, and their power launched an attack against the central tenet of republicanism, which prevented one man from having too much control at Rome.

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