Cicero, Rhetoric and Empire | Judaism and Rome
He accepted the governorship of Cilicia, a province located in present-day Turkey, and then returned to Rome in late Striving for control of Rome, neither Caesar nor Pompey wanted Cicero for an enemy, and both men appealed to him for his allegiance. Cicero chose to side with Pompey. In 46 B. Caesar was declared Dictator perpetuo , dictator for life. Despite siding with Pompey, Cicero was pardoned by Caesar, who allowed him to return to Rome.
Cicero began another period of intensive writing, creating many works defending republican values. Although the plotters were close associates of Cicero—including Marcus Brutus whom Cicero had mentored—they kept their plans secret from the great orator. In his writings he expressed horror at the violence but supported the actions of the assassins:. Our tyrant deserved his death for having made an exception of the one thing that was the blackest crime of all.
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The man who maintains that such an ambition is morally right is a madman, for he justifies the destruction of law and liberty and thinks their hideous and detestable suppression glorious. A few days after the murder, he advocated amnesty for the assassins in the Senate. To take advantage of his position, Antony orchestrated a spectacular funeral for the fallen leader.
His stirring eulogy roused the passions of the crowd and turned public opinion against the assassins. Fearing for his life, Brutus fled from Rome. Cicero remained convinced that he had a part to play in the survival of the republic. He knew that his close political associations with Brutus and other conspirators would hurt his cause, so he needed a strong political ally to counter that factor.
He thought he had found just the person—a youth of 18, who was in the early days of what would turn out to be an impressive career. That young man was Octavian, a great-nephew of Julius Caesar. Caesar had named Octavian as his heir in his will. Cicero was encouraged to observe later in Rome, Octavian presented himself, unaccompanied by Antony, to the veterans of two legions and reiterated their rights.
Beginning in September and continuing into the spring of 43, Cicero delivered scathing speeches against Antony in the Senate that fanned outrage against him.
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These 14 orations were called the Philippics because they were modeled after warnings that the Athenian Demosthenes delivered about Philip of Macedon in the fourth century B. Perhaps harkening back to his famed orations against Catiline, Cicero argued for the restoration of the republic, advocated for Octavian, and framed Antony as a tyrant. When news of the victories reached Rome there was jubilation in the Senate. Cicero, the man of the hour, was borne in triumph from his home on Capitoline Hill to the Forum.
There he mounted the rostrum and delivered an exultant address to the people of Rome. Antony managed to salvage a sector of his legions. Octavian, instead of pursuing Antony, decided to claim the vacant consulship for himself. When the Senate refused, Octavian lost no time in crossing the Rubicon—as Julius Caesar had before him—and marched on Rome with his legions. The senators were powerless to resist, and had to give in to his demands.
Devastated that the republican cause was now lost, Cicero withdrew from Rome to spend time in his rural retreats in southern Italy. From there he looked on powerlessly as Octavian, reconciled with Antony, eventually formed the Second Triumvirate with him and Lepidus. Not only did Cicero feel this was a step backward politically, it also posed a serious personal threat to his life. But at one point, Quintus retraced his steps in order to pick up provisions for the journey.
Betrayed by his slaves, Quintus was killed a few days later along with his son. Cicero, by now in Astura, was wracked with fear and doubt as to what he should do. He set off by boat but after just a few miles he amazed everyone by disembarking and walking toward Rome in order to return to his Astura villa and from there be taken by sea to his villa at Formiae. There, he planned to rest and gather his strength before the final push onward to Greece.
Too hesitant. Too late. The soldiers, led by Herennius, a centurion, and Popilius, a tribune, who had once been prosecuted for parricide and defended by Cicero, found his villa already abandoned but a slave called Philologus showed them which way Cicero had gone. They had no trouble catching up with him and performing their murderous deed.
Antony ordered that the severed head and right hand be displayed as trophies on the rostrum in the Forum so that all Rome could contemplate them. The rostrum was the very platform from which Cicero had been acclaimed by the crowds for his oratory. The force of arms had prevailed over the power of words. History Magazine.
III. De Oratore
In 43 B. Read Caption. Lawyer, Statesman, Philosopher Cicero is remembered for his strong defense of the values of the Roman Republic and rejection of the tyranny he believed Julius Caesar, and then Mark Antony, embodied. Bust from the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. MacKendrick, P. The Philosophical Books of Cicero.
New York May, James M. Leiden: Brill, Mitchell, T. New Haven Narducci, Emanuele ed. Interpretare Cicerone. Percorsi della critica contemporanea. Arpino 18 maggio Florence Cicerone e i suoi interpreti: Studi sull' Opera e la Fortuna.
Pisa: Edizioni ETS, Powell, Jonathan, and Jeremy Paterson, eds. Cicero the Advocate. Rawson, E. Bristol Rowland, R. Steel, C. Cicero, Rhetoric, and Empire. Reading Cicero. Genre and Performance in Late Republican Rome. Duckworth Classical Essays. London: Duckworth, Stockton, D. Wood, N.
California Achard, A. Leiden Albrecht,Michael von. Mnemosyne Suppl. Alexander, Michael C. The Case for the Prosecution in the Ciceronian Era. Berger, D. Forensische und literarische Strategien in den Gerichtsreden.
Character Attack and Invective Speech in the Roman Republic: Cicero as Target
Bern Cerutti, S. Cicero's Accretive Style. Rhetorical strategies in the Exordia of the Judicial Speeches.
University Press of America Classen, C. Darmstadt Corbett, E. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student 4 th edition.
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However, it contains a concise and useful discussion of rhetorical theories and terms and, most importantly, illustrates them with examples from various speeches or essays in English. In short, Corbett does more than merely define the terms; he shows how they may be used and the effects they can achieve. Particularly helpful: pp.
Craig, C. Form as Argument in Cicero's Speeches.