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Cicero: The Verrine Orations I: Against…
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Cicero: The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I;…

by Cicero

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Cicero, The Professor and the Artist

Cicero's writings need little or no introduction. His erudition, eloquence and fluid writing style give the readers instant familiarity with the historical and political background of his times. His defense and prosecution speeches are like lectures given in court. Cicero the Professor teaches the jury and his opponents the meaning of justice and propriety, and demonstrates how to execute justice, by arguments of moral principles, precedent and custom, and proper interpretation of the law.

Cicero the Artist, on the other hand, delivers his speeches as if he were painting a masterpiece, a vivid picture of another man's whole life in the minds of his hearers. There are contrast of light and darkness (e.g., stories of heroes and villains), ascending and descending gradation (e.g., levels of acceptable behavior), anticlimaxes and climaxes (e.g., twists and turns in the unfolding of events, and the exhilarating finale).

(Read full review at booksontrial.wordpress.com) ( )
  booksontrial | Jan 4, 2013 |
Basic and classic Latin expression of Roman law, well-worth the read and interesting that such a long work is an attack on one corrupt individual. If only we had such ethical leaders of our own country and not the decadent immoralists running around today.

In Verrem is a series of speeches made by Cicero in 70 BC, during the corruption and extortion trial of Gaius Verres, the former governor of Sicily. The speeches, which were concurrent with Cicero's election to the aedileship, thrust Cicero into the public view.

During the Civil War between Gaius Marius and Sulla, Verres had been a junior officer in a Marian legion under Gaius Papirius Carbo. He saw the tides of the war shifting to Sulla, and so, Cicero alleged, went over to Sulla's lines bearing his legion's paychest.

At the same time, Marcus Tullius Cicero was an up-and-coming political figure. After defending Sextus Roscius of Ameria in 80 BC on a highly politically-charged case of parricide, Cicero left for a voyage to Greece and Rhodes. There, he learned a new and less-strenuous form of oratory from Molon of Rhodes before rushing back into the political arena upon Sulla's death. Cicero would serve in Sicily in 75 BC as a quaestor, and in doing so made contacts with a number of Sicilian towns. In fact a large amount of his clientele at the time came from Sicily, a link that would prove invaluable in 70 BC, when a deputation of Sicilians asked Cicero to level a prosecution against Verres for his alleged crimes on the island.
The first speech was the only one to be delivered in front of the praetor urbanus Manius Acilius Glabrio. In it, Cicero took advantage of the almost unconditional freedom to speak in court to demolish Verres' case.

Cicero touched very little on Verres' extortion crimes in Sicily in the first speech. Instead, he took a two-pronged approach, by both inflating the vanity of the all-senator jury and making the most of Verres' early character. The second approach concerned Verres' defense's attempts to keep the case from proceeding on technicalities.

The first speech had touched more on the sharp practice of Verres and his attorney, Hortensius, in trying to derail or delay the trial. In the second, infinitely more damning speech, Cicero laid the out the full charge sheet. The second speech apparently was meant to have been his rebuttal speech had the trial continued, as it alludes to witnesses as already having testified in front of Glabrio's court.

Of the planned orators, only Cicero had an opportunity to speak. Cicero detailed Verres' early crimes and Verres' attempts to derail the trial. Soon after the court heard Cicero's speech, Hortensius advised Verres that it would be hard for him to win at this point, and further advised that the best course of action was for Verres to essentially plead no contest by going into voluntary exile (an option open to higher-ranking Romans in his situation). By the end of 70 BC, Verres was living in exile in Massilia, modern-day Marseilles, where he would live the rest of his life (history records he was killed during the proscriptions of the Second Triumvirate over a sculpture desired by Mark Antony). Cicero collected the remaining material, including what was to be his second speech dealing with Verres' actions in Sicily, and published it as if it had actually been delivered in court. Further, due to the legal system in Rome, Senators who won prosecutions were entitled to the accused's position in the Senate. This gave Cicero's career a boost, in a large part because this allowed him a freedom to speak not usually granted to a newly-enrolled member of the Senate.
  gmicksmith | Jun 15, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674992431, Hardcover)

Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106–43 BCE), Roman lawyer, orator, politician and philosopher, of whom we know more than of any other Roman, lived through the stirring era which saw the rise, dictatorship, and death of Julius Caesar in a tottering republic. In his political speeches especially and in his correspondence we see the excitement, tension and intrigue of politics and the part he played in the turmoil of the time. Of about 106 speeches, delivered before the Roman people or the Senate if they were political, before jurors if judicial, 58 survive (a few of them incompletely). In the fourteenth century Petrarch and other Italian humanists discovered manuscripts containing more than 900 letters of which more than 800 were written by Cicero and nearly 100 by others to him. These afford a revelation of the man all the more striking because most were not written for publication. Six rhetorical works survive and another in fragments. Philosophical works include seven extant major compositions and a number of others; and some lost. There is also poetry, some original, some as translations from the Greek.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Cicero is in twenty-nine volumes.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:54 -0400)

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