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Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic
 9781107051935, 2016021100

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Table of contents :
Half-title
Title page
Copyright information
Dedication
Table of contents
Preface
List of abbreviations
Frontispiece
Introduction
Part I The role of oratory in Roman politics
1 Oratorical settings and career possibilities
The courts
The contio
The senate
Oratorical settings and career moves
2 Other routes to political success
Ancestry
Wealth
Patronage and networks
Military career
Intangible factors
Factors for electoral and political success in context
Part II Themes and oratorical careers
3 Tribunician oratory and family inheritance
Stepping onto the political scene: Gaius’ early career
Emulation and innovation: the first tribunate
Oratorical competition and fading popularity: the second tribunate
Gaius’ final speech
Conclusion
4 Politics behind the scenes
The returning general and the rhetoric of self-praise
Oratory in the face of opposition
The politics of ambiguity and abstention
Conclusion
5 The oratorical springboard
The young prosecutor
A friend of the people
Towards the consulship
The choice of career
The oratorical springboard
6 The oratory and career of Piso Caesoninus
Piso’s early career: the power of ancestry
The ambitious consul in Epicurean clothes
The average orator?
The moderate and moderating censor
The senior consular after the Ides
Conclusion
7 Powerful profiling
Early career
Establishing a career and persona
The great filibusterer
Fame and electoral defeat
The approaching civil war and second electoral defeat
Conclusion: Cato’s public profile
8 Career-making in a time of crisis
From quaestor to consul
Consul
Proconsul
Conclusion
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Gaius Gracchus’ public speeches
Appendix 2: Pompeius’ public speeches
Appendix 3: Caesar’s public speeches
Appendix 4: Piso’s public speeches
Appendix 5: Cato’s public speeches
Appendix 6: Marcus Antonius’ public speeches
Bibliography
Index locorum
Subject index

Citation preview

O R ATO RY A N D P O L I T I C A L C A R E E R I N T H E L AT E RO M A N R E P U B L I C

Oratory and Political Career in the Late Roman Republic is a pioneering investigation into political life in the late Roman Republic. It explores the nature and extent to which Roman politicians embraced oratorical performances as part of their political career and how such performances influenced the careers of individual orators such as Gaius Gracchus, Pompeius Magnus and Julius Caesar. Through six case studies, this book presents a complex and multifaceted picture of how Roman politicians employed oratory to articulate their personal and political agendas, to present themselves to a public obsessed with individual achievement and, ultimately, to promote their individual careers. By dealing specifically with orators other than Cicero, this study offers much-​needed alternatives to our understanding of public oratory in Rome. Moreover, the assessment of the impact of public speeches on the development of political careers provides new perspectives on the hotly debated nature of republican political culture. henriette van der blom is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. An expert in the fields of Roman republican history, politics and oratory, her research focuses on political life, the ways in which Roman politicians presented themselves to the public and the complex role of oratory in politics. She is involved in a project to collect, translate and comment on the surviving fragments of all non-Ciceronian oratory from the republican period, and she has previously published Cicero’s Role Models: The Political Strategy of a Newcomer and Community and Communication: Oratory and Politics in Republican Rome (edited with C. Steel).

O R ATO RY A N D POLITICAL CAREER I N T H E L AT E RO M A N REPUBLIC H E N R I E T T E VA N D E R   B L O M University of Birmingham

University Printing House, Cambridge cb2 8BS, United Kingdom Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/​9781107051935 © Henriette van der Blom 2016 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2016 Printed in the United Kingdom by Clays, St Ives plc A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data Names: Blom, Henriette van der, author. Title: Oratory and political career in the late Roman republic / Henriette van der Blom, University of Birmingham. Description: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016021100 | ISBN 9781107051935 (hardback) Subjects: LCSH: Political oratory – Rome. | Rome – Politics and government. | BISAC: HISTORY / Ancient / General. Classification: LCC DG82.B55 2016 | DDC 320.93701/4–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016021100 ISBN 978-​1-​107-​05193-​5 Hardback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls for external or third-​party Internet web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For my family

Contents

Preface page viii List of abbreviations xi Frontispiece xiii Introduction

1

P art I: T h e role of oratory i n Roma n p o l itics

23

1

Oratorical settings and career possibilities

25

2

Other routes to political success

46

P art II: T h e m es and oratori cal care e r s

67

3

Tribunician oratory and family inheritance: Gaius Gracchus’ political career

4

Politics behind the scenes: Pompeius’ oratory and political career 113

5

The oratorical springboard: Caesar’s political career

146

6

The oratory and career of Piso Caesoninus

181

7

Powerful profiling: Cato the Younger and the impact of self-​presentation

204

8

Career-​making in a time of crisis: Marcus Antonius’ oratory

248

69

Conclusion: towards a new Brutus

280

Appendices Bibliography Index locorum Subject index

290 328 363 365 vii

Preface

This study examines the role of oratory in political career-​making during the late Roman republican period through a close analysis of the nature and extent to which Roman politicians embraced oratorical performances as part of their political career and how such performances influenced the careers of these politicians. The aim of this study is to present the multifaceted ways in which oratory was used by elite politicians in their careers and, at the same time, to showcase alternatives to Cicero’s model of what oratory could and should be used for in politics and in a political career. The study begins with a discussion of the role of oratory in Roman republican politics, the possibilities and limitations of oratory, and the ways in which we can approach the orators of the republican period through the extant source material. This leads into a discussion of the oratorical situations and locations available to politicians and the ways in which politicians could exploit these situations to push forward their careers:  the courts, the contio (popular assembly) and the senate offered different possibilities in terms of audience, timing and accessibility which ambitious politicians could exploit to their own advantage. There were other routes to political success, and factors such as ancestry, wealth, patronage and networks, military exploits and intangible factors such as charisma shall be discussed as potential factors for a politician’s success. The second part of the book offers six case studies of politicians active during the late Republic: C. Sempronius Gracchus, Cn. Pompeius Magnus, C.  Julius Caesar, L.  Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, M.  Porcius Cato (the younger) and Marcus Antonius (the triumvir). The analyses of their oratorical activities within the context of their political careers demonstrate the sheer variety in oratorical skills, approaches to oratory, the effects of oratory and the complexities of public oratory for career-​promoting purposes. They also show that there was no standard way of forging a political career because each politician had to work with the career factors and viii

Preface

ix

constantly changing possibilities available to him. These case studies ultimately show the crucial importance of creating and maintaining a credible and powerful public profile to promote a political career. In the case studies, the references to biographical studies of the six orators in question have been limited for three reasons: the lives of these orators are well known already and it would be straightforward for anyone interested to identify the relevant biographies; second, the scholarship on, for example, Caesar is vast and would clutter up the footnotes unnecessarily; and, finally, the focus in this study is not to provide a full biography of these orators’ lives but rather to analyse their oratory as part of their careers. This book was, for the most part, written when I was a Carlsberg Fellow and recipient of a post-​doctoral award by Carlsbergfondet in Denmark. This award allowed me to continue my research as senior member of the Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford, and, first, lecturer at Merton College, Oxford, and later research fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. I am most grateful to all four institutions and their members for their generosity and unfailing support of research. The book was finished after I had taken up a post at the University of Glasgow, and I should like to thank the institution and my colleagues for believing in me and my project. My work has also benefited greatly from the excellent library collections at the British School at Rome, the library at the University of Glasgow and, especially, the Sackler and Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. I have been fortunate in receiving feedback on some of the ideas in this book from conference and seminar audiences in Zaragoza, Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Amherst and Münster. I  should like to thank the organisers of these events for the kind invitations to speak and the audiences for their questions and suggestions. During the period in which I worked on the book, a project of crucial importance for the book was set in motion. The Fragments of the Roman Republican Orators (FRRO) project, conceived years before its formal start in 2012, aims to provide scholars and students of republican Rome with the material necessary to reassess the role of non-​Ciceronian oratory. As such, writing this book would have been quite a lot easier if FRRO had been completed before I  started writing, but I  have been fortunate enough to have been on board the project from its start as editorial board member, advisory board member and (for 2012–​13) Research Fellow. This book has benefited enormously from the research and discussions we have had on the FRRO project, especially but not exclusively with Catherine Steel. Catherine also generously read the entire book in draft and offered

x

Preface

characteristically honest and incisive suggestions, for which I am tremendously grateful. I am also grateful to Chris Pelling who read several chapters in early draft and kindly allowed me to read parts of his commentary on Plutarch’s Life of Caesar in advance of publication; Lindsay Driediger-​ Murphy for help with religious aspects; Lynn Fotheringham, Miriam Griffin and Kit Morrell for commenting on my work on Cato; Carsten Hjort Lange for help with aspects of the Roman triumph; Annelies Cazemier for reading and discussing various parts of my work; Robert Morstein-​Marx for sharing with me his views on promulgation of laws; Karl-​J. Hölkeskamp for advising me on Caesar and the late Republic more generally; Erich Gruen for reading through several draft chapters and giving support and helpful advice; Henrik Mouritsen for positive and helpful feedback at a time when the project needed it; Martin Jehne for a wonderful discussion of the project and Caesar’s career in front of Dresden’s beautiful Frauenkirche; Wolfgang Blösel for sharing with me central chapters of his unpublished Habilitationsschrift on the demilitarisation of the Roman elite; and Chris van den Berg for sharing with me his book on Tacitus’ Dialogus before publication. At the final stage of writing, Francisco Pina Polo, Kathryn Tempest and Amy Russell generously read the entire typescript and offered typically sound suggestions and cheerful support. Needless to say, none of these experts are to blame for any infelicities or errors in the book. Michael Sharp and his team at Cambridge University Press as well as the anonymous readers have offered generous and professional advice throughout the process. Nicholas Cole has been involved with the project from the very beginning as a source of inspiration, critical questions and encouragement, and as a good friend willing to spare time for yet another discussion over coffee and cake of what the Romans were really up to. My friends and family have offered unfailing support of all kinds during the years it took to write this book. I  would have wished my wonderful father-​in-​law, Rolf Norstrand, to have seen this book, but at least he knew of its beginnings. It is to my family that this book is dedicated.

Abbreviations

References to ancient authors and texts follow the conventions of the Oxford Classical Dictionary (4th edn) followed by Arabic numerals. All references to Cicero’s letters are given with vulgate numbers and, in parentheses, the numbering provided in Shackleton Bailey’s editions of the letters –​for example, Cic. Fam. 12.4.1 (SB 363). Quotations are taken from the most recent edition in the Oxford Classical Texts series unless otherwise stated or, in the case of quotations, from later grammarians or Fronto where the relevant editions are given under the abbreviations below. Translations are my own except when indicated otherwise. References to modern literature follow the Harvard style (‘Author (Date)’); the full bibliographic data are to be found in the Bibliography. Abbreviations of periodicals follow the conventions of L’Année Philologique. In addition, the following abbreviations have been adopted: ANRW

Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt. Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung (1972–​). Berlin. CAH IX2 J. A. Crook, A. W. Lintott and E. Rawson (eds.) (1994) The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. ix, 2nd edn Cambridge. Char. K. Barwick (1925) Charisius: Ars Grammatica. Leipzig. CIL Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. Berlin. FRHist T. J. Cornell et al. (2013) The Fragments of the Roman Historians, vols. i–​iii. Oxford. GL H. Keil (1857–​80) Grammatici Latini, vols. i–​viii. Leipzig. Gloss. Lat. W. M. Lindsay (1926–​31) Glossaria Latina. Paris. Insc. Ital. Inscriptiones Italiae (1931/​2–​) ILLRP A. Degrassi (1957–​63) Inscriptiones Latinae Liberae Rei Publicae. Firenze. ILS H. Dessau (1892) Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae. Berlin. xi

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xii LTUR MRR RE RhL RRC St. v. d. Hout

Abbreviations E.  M. Steinby (ed.) (1993–​9) Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae. Rome. T.  R.  S. Broughton (1951–​2, 1986) The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vols. i–​iii. New York and Atlanta. A. Pauly, G.  Wissowa and W.  Kroll (eds.) (1893–​) Real-​ Encyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft. Stuttgart. K. Halm (1963) Rhetores Latini Minores. Leipzig. M.  H. Crawford (1974) Roman Republican Coinage, vols. i–​ii. Cambridge. T. Stangl (1912) Ciceronis orationum scholiastae. Vienna. M. P. J. van den Hout (1954) M. Cornelii Frontonis Epistulae. Leiden.

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Mark Antony’s Oration by George Edward Robertson, oil on canvas, reproduced with kind permission from Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Introduction

quin immo sibi ipsi persuaserant neminem sine eloquentia aut adsequi posse in ciuitate aut tueri conspicuum et eminentem locum. nec mirum, cum etiam inuiti ad populum producerentur, cum parum esset in senatu breuiter censere nisi qui ingenio et eloquentia sententiam suam tueretur, cum in aliquam inuidiam aut crimen uocati sua uoce respondendum haberent, cum testimonia quoque in publicis non absentes nec per tabellam dare sed coram et praesentes dicere cogerentur. Ita ad summa eloquentiae praemia magna etiam necessitas accedebat, et quo modo disertum haberi pulchrum et gloriosum, sic contra mutum et elinguem uideri deforme habebatur. Moreover, they [the Romans of the Republic] believed firmly that without eloquence nobody could either reach or maintain a position of distinction and prominence in society. It is no wonder that they thought so when they were brought forward at public meetings even when reluctant, when it was regarded as insufficient to express an opinion only briefly in the senate, unless one defended one’s opinion with talent and eloquence, when those summoned for some kind of offence or crime had to give a reply in person, when also testimony in criminal trials had to be given not in absence or in writing, but in person and face to face. In this way eloquence not only led to great rewards, but was also a sheer necessity, and just as it was thought splendid and glorious to be regarded as a good speaker, so it was considered shameful to be seen as inarticulate and incapable of speaking.1

Tacitus’ Dialogus de oratoribus (c. AD 100–​110) presents a picture of the Roman Republic in which speeches had a central role in public life.2 The 1 Tac. Dial. 36.6–​7. 2 Good introductions include Syme (1958) 100–​11; Luce (1993); Mayer (2001) 1–​50, esp.  12–​18 and 22–​7 (date of work); Dominik (2007). Van den Berg (2014) 118–​207 (201–​2 for passage quoted here) offers a detailed discussion of Maternus’ message from the viewpoint of imperial, rather than republican, practice. Manuwald (2001) discusses Maternus specifically.

1

2

Introduction

interlocutor providing this picture, Curiatus Maternus, was himself an advocate and senator and used this description to support his main point that the role of eloquence changed, even disappeared, under the emperors.3 His argument of the centrality of oratory in the Republic rested upon the view that under the Republic, eloquence was considered a necessity for public activity in the popular assemblies, the senate and in the law courts. The focus on eloquence, that is, oratorical skill rather than simply speaking in public, as necessary for personal political success in the Republic has been taken for granted because our chief source for republican oratory was the foremost advocate and embodiment of this view.4 Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–​43 BC), recognised as Rome’s greatest orator by contemporaries and subsequent generations, built his political career almost exclusively on his rhetorical talent  –​first in the law courts and later in the senate and the contio too –​thereby exemplifying how far oratorical successes could forward an aspiring politician and, in his case, a homo novus. Cicero emphasised time and again in his rhetorical works the necessity of oratorical skills for a public career.5 Cicero made himself the example par excellence of the Roman orator-​statesman, and his career and self-​presentation may have inspired Tacitus to present the argument of oratory as a necessity for political success in the Roman Republic. However, not all successful Roman politicians relied on their oratory. C.  Marius (cos. 107, 104–​100, 86 BC), who secured himself an unprecedented seven consulships, relied instead on military exploits and clever politicking. The three times consul, triumphant general and Cicero’s contemporary, Cn. Pompeius Magnus (cos. 70, 55, 52 BC), used oratory to advertise his achievements in other fields but was otherwise reluctant to speak in public. L.  Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus (cos. 58 BC), the object of Cicero’s invective In Pisonem and Caesar’s father-​in-​law, became both 3 For discussions of the possible decline in oratory under the emperors, see Brink (1993); Goldberg (1999) with references to earlier scholarship. 4 And Cicero’s dialogues were inspirational to Tacitus’ Dialogus: Levene (2004); van den Berg (2014). Hölkeskamp (1995) 25 takes Tacitus’ claim seriously to underline the importance of oratory in the Republic. 5 In Cicero’s rhetorical works, especially the De oratore, the fundamental role of oratory in politics is used as a premise throughout, and oratory forms the necessary element in his ideal of the Roman orator-​statesman expounded in these works (see, e.g., Cic. De or. 1.34; Brut. 7–​9, 23). In Cic. Orat. 141–​2; Off. 2.65–​7, Cicero places eloquence above any other civil pursuit, and in Mur. 24 includes it in his list of must-​haves for a consular career. See also Cic. Leg. Man. 42 where Cicero includes oratorical skill alongside his praise of Pompeius’ military and political skills. See Hölkeskamp (2011b) 12 for other examples in which Cicero makes past Romans appear as great orators in order to underline the central role of oratory.

Introduction

3

consul and censor less through his speeches and more through his ancestry and strong networks in the elite. Other politicians, such as C. Julius Caesar (cos. 59, 48, 46, 45, 44 BC) and M. Porcius Cato (pr. 54 BC), were known as good, even excellent, orators, but the turns and developments of their careers were not exclusively founded on oratorical skills. There were clearly other routes to political success apart from oratory, yet  all these politicians had to deliver speeches when magistrates and senior senators. To what extent did a politician have to be an orator, even a good orator? How problematic was it not to be (perceived) as a good orator or, worse, being (perceived) as a bad orator? Before we begin to address these questions, it is necessary to highlight that Tacitus’ Maternus was right in thinking oratory a central aspect of public life. This observation is broadly shared by scholars working on public life in republican Rome. Current scholarship in the field now operates with a model in which the political decision-​making process was conducted in public, in front of and with the people, and where public speeches formed the main means of communication.6 The precise role of the people in this decision-​making process, however, remains disputed. Although the Roman people, as represented in the electoral and legislative assemblies, elected their magistrates and either passed or rejected bills for new legislation, the precise circumstances under which these decisions took place still pose more questions than answers. Millar’s ‘democratic’ model, in which the Roman people’s electoral and legislative prerogative demonstrates their ultimate dominance in politics, transformed the field in moving attention away from senatorial factionalism and focusing instead on the communication between senatorial elite and the crowd in the popular assembly  –​the contio.7 However, Millar’s central argument about the people’s political power has received sustained attack. Mouritsen has questioned the composition of ‘the Roman people’ addressed in the contio and argued that the contional crowd was fundamentally unrepresentative of the Roman people at large.8 From another angle, Hölkeskamp has argued that the policy discussions in the contio were not real policy discussions but rather symbolic displays of a collective 6 As opposed to earlier scholarship, dominated by Gelzer (1912); Münzer (1920); Syme (1939) and Taylor (1949), which offered a model in which decision-making was conducted in private between members of the senatorial elite, who were organised in factiones. 7 Millar (1984), (1986) and developed into Millar (1998). For central studies on the contio, see Pina Polo (1989); North (1990a); Tan (2008); Hiebel (2009) and the following footnotes. Further discussion of contional oratory follows in Chapter 1 with further references to scholarship. 8 Mouritsen (2001).

4

Introduction

consensus about the fundamental hierarchical and reciprocal relationship between senatorial speaker and mass audience.9 Jehne’s explorations of the relationship between people and elite support the model of a symbolic exchange of benefits, services and recognition, while Morstein-​Marx’ depiction of the ‘ideological monotony’ in Roman politics emphasises the lack of real popular influence.10 The debate is far from over. In this study, ‘the people’ generally means the collective Roman people as represented by those individuals who came to the contio, courts and other public venues in the City of Rome, unless I have expressly included other groups.11 These and other studies into the political culture of the Roman Republic recognise and incorporate the crucial role of oratory within this culture, but this observation has limited impact in itself. One important line of inquiry is the use individuals made of oratory because the range of ways in which oratory could be employed was vast and complex. This multifaceted reality opens up a number of questions related to the individual orator and the ways in which his oratorical actions reflect upon the political culture. One central question is whether we can distinguish between being a speaker and an orator, where a speaker denotes anybody addressing a public audience and an orator signifies a speaker with a certain level of oratorical skills and a reputation for being an orator. Were there politicians who were not considered orators because their speaking powers were no more than functional? This question links to a question of choice, because a politician faced with a vast and complex range of ways to use oratory would have to make crucial choices about how best to use his oratory to promote his own agendas, whether political, ideological or self-​promotional. Which factors influenced these choices and how were they perceived? This question leads on to another issue, namely that of limitation of choice for specific (groups of ) individuals, since in a society of privilege some would always have more and better opportunities than others –​even within a social elite. This question relates to the claim that we must cease to take Cicero as normative for republican oratorical practice, because he was a man with both limited and outstanding opportunities when compared with his peers. 9 Hölkeskamp (1995), (2004), (2006), (2010), (2011a). 10 Jehne (1995), (2000a), (2000b), (2006), (2011a), (2013); Morstein-​Marx (2004). See also Flaig (2003) on the symbolic element of the contio. 11 This group must have been composed of a wide range of socio-​economic groupings: citizens and non-​citizens, rich and poor (and those in between), senators and non-​senators, men and women, free and slaves. Obviously, a number of these individuals did not have any voting rights (only adult male Roman citizens registered in a tribe did), but might still have had some, if minor, influence on politics and general opinion through gossip and networking.

Introduction

5

If Cicero is unrepresentative, we need to consider the extent to which a politician needed oratorical skills and how far a reputation for good oratory or bad oratory influenced his chances for political success. Wisse’s analysis of the bad orator (malus orator) concludes that such a man was at a real disadvantage in Roman republican politics.12 That ‘bad’ could refer to both technical weaknesses and cultural/​political failing suggests, firstly, that the designation was subjective and, second, that any designation operated on a sliding scale from bad to good. Moreover, this designation could refer to one single episode with one outcome, such as acquittal in a trial or the passing of a legislative bill, but it could also refer more generally to an orator, based on the perception of several oratorical occasions with a variety of outcomes. Although one can get a rough idea about the technical skill and reception of certain orators, whose speeches survive in fragments and testimony, it would be very difficult to determine exactly how bad or good an orator had to be (in technical terms) in order to have an impact on politics, because any political situation and decision depended on a number of factors in which the oratorical skill of a politician was just one. A different way to address this problem is to ask whether there was a perceived dividing line between performing oratorically and being an orator. Was ‘an orator’ more than simply someone delivering a speech at some point, or did all those many politicians who spoke in public count as orators? In his rhetorical treatise, the Brutus, Cicero operates with two criteria for inclusion into his history of Roman orators: oratorical activity and no longer living at the time of writing (46 BC).13 This very inclusive approach suggests that anybody who delivered a speech in public could count as an orator. Yet, in his earlier treatise, De oratore (55 BC), Cicero used a much more exclusive approach and stated that only a small number of orators can be found, suggesting a criterion of quality when defining an orator.14 Both these works have complex backgrounds and agendas, but the dividing line between ‘an orator’ and somebody delivering a speech is evidently not clear from Cicero’s point of view. 12 Wisse (2013) 192. The real test of an orator was his reception with the people, as pointed out by both Demosthenes (18 (De cor.) 277) and Cicero (Brut. 186 –​discussed at the start of Chapter 1); see Plut. Cic. 51 with Lintott (2013) 212–​13. 13 With some exclusions of deceased prominent politicians whom we know spoke in public: Marius, Sulla, Catiline and Clodius being the most obvious; see Steel (2003) for discussion. See also van den Berg (2014) 208–​12 for Tacitus’ adoption of the Ciceronian topos of lack of real orators in his Dialogus de oratoribus. 14 Cic. De or. 1.16. See Steel (2013b) for further discussion.

6

Introduction

Yet, it is possible to approach this problem by distinguishing between politicians who spoke only when necessary and politicians who sought out oratorical occasions. For a magistrate, certain speech occasions were unavoidable and the higher his office, the higher the frequency and importance of such speeches. But other speech occasions were open to choice, for example, most contiones and forensic speeches. Some politicians hardly spoke at such occasions, while others frequently looked for any available opportunity to address an audience. Were those eager to speak considered orators to a higher degree than those who only spoke when necessary? Gaius Gracchus, Caesar and Cato the Younger, for example, were all considered good orators in their lifetime and beyond, and they all actively sought out occasions to speak and made the most of these occasions to further their political agenda and their personal profile. Politicians in a more reactive mode to oratory include Pompeius, Calpurnius Piso and Marcus Antonius. While these three politicians had to deliver speeches in the capacity of magistrate (especially as consuls), they let possibilities for public speeches pass and used other channels to communicate their thoughts and concerns. This may help to explain why none of these three politicians were designated good orators by their contemporaries or subsequent generations. A further clear example is that of Marius, who was never hailed as a good orator, was not included in Cicero’s history of Roman orators (the Brutus), has no entry in Malcovati’s collection of Roman republican oratorical fragments and testimonia,15 and whose oratory survives only in ancient testimonia.16 Yet, he spoke at a number of occasions as a magistrate and we even have evidence of some of the speeches he delivered as tribune of the plebs (119 BC) and during some of his seven consulships. Delivering public speeches was an unavoidable aspect of public office. But Marius did not actively seek out oratorical occasions and instead he, at times, made supporters deliver his message in public, or simply avoided oratory as the channel for communication. However, when put on the spot, he could be an effective speaker:  he surfed on the general perception that the senatorial generals of the 110s and 100s were incompetent and presented himself as a preferable alternative as an untainted new man with military victories under his belt,17 and he silenced the riotous crowd after the shocking murder of Memmius in 100 BC.18 This suggests that 15 Malcovati (1976). 16 Cic. Red. pop. 20; De or. 2.194–​9; Balb. 49; Leg. 3.38; Off. 3.79; Sall. Iug. 84.5–​85; Val. Max. 2.2.3, 5.2.8, 6.9.14, 8.2.3; Plut. Mar. 8.5–​9; Oros. 5.17.6. 17 Cic. Off. 3.79; Sall. Iug. 84.5–​85; Plut. Mar. 8.5–​9; cf. Tatum (2013). 18 Oros. 5.17.6.

Introduction

7

his decision to speak or not was not necessarily linked to oratorical ability. While Marius in his tribunate took up certain causes and delivered speeches in support or opposition of these causes, he seems to have chosen to canvass for the tribunate for reasons other than to obtain the possibility for frequent public speaking. The tribunate of the plebs was never an obligatory or even standard element of a public political career. While there were attempts to regulate the order and frequency of the other public magistracies, the plebeian tribunate was always considered as being outside the standard cursus honorum.19 Therefore, any candidate for the tribunate had a particular motivation for seeking this office. Apart from its relative accessibility, owing to the ten places available in each year and the limited number of candidates from both formal (patricians could not stand for election) and informal reasons (the office did not attract all eligible candidates), the tribunate offered many optional chances for public speaking: the right to call a popular assembly and address the people, as well as the right to present tribunician bills to the people, provided almost unlimited access to oratorical occasions. A candidate for the tribunate could therefore have been driven by the wish to use oratory to present himself as a capable orator and future good praetor. Others might have sought the office from more ideological motives, often but not exclusively including a stance related to the interests of the people. The Gracchi brothers exemplify the latter group, while also being very effective orators. A careful examination of each individual’s choice to stand for the tribunate or not, along with his actions once he had become tribune, can therefore help to explain what republican politicians aimed to do with their careers and to what extent they wanted oratory to play a part. There were, however, restrictions on the choice available to the individual politician. Patricians were not eligible to the tribunate (a fact which helps to explain Caesar’s choices), certain priesthoods were open to patricians only, both formal rules and informal customs regulated appearances in court cases (for example, odium against repeated prosecutions), and men who lacked the necessary or right connections (for example, homines novi) had fewer choices: they would have less chance to be asked to appear in the courts as advocate early in their careers, fewer invitations to address a contio from the summoning magistrate, and much less of a public profile on which to build a candidacy for a magistracy. 19 Astin (1958). The Sullan reforms of the late 80s BC meant that the tribunate was a political dead end until 70 BC. Those seeking it in spite of this must have had an even greater reason for their candidature.

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For election to the public magistracies, oratory played a role too. While there was no tradition of election speeches as we know them from modern politics, candidates still had to follow certain norms for electioneering, and they could still create occasions at which they could promote themselves through oratory.20 Trials timed with the canvassing period offered the chance to perform in the Forum, a friendly magistrate could invite a candidate to speak in a contio, and if fairly senior already, a senator could also address his fellow senators. At all these occasions, the candidate could not speak explicitly about his own qualities as a candidate, but instead had to display these through his engagement with the issue at hand or in connection with another public role.21 Alongside physical expressions of suitability for the office through morning salutationes and throngs of supporters escorting a candidate down to the Forum, oratory remained a central means of communication with the electorate.22 Therefore, an ambitious (would-​be) politician would always speak to, at least, two purposes: the immediate question at hand and a further purpose of self-​ presentation. Any speech delivered in front of the people –​forensic and contional –​could potentially influence an orator’s public image and have an impact on his chances of election.23 Even speeches delivered at senate meetings, which were attended by senators only, could be reported to the people subsequently, sometimes immediately afterwards, and thereby have an indirect effect on the people’s perception of an orator.24 This study centres around oratory and political elite, around ways of using oratory in career-​making and around the potential for teaching successors; it also looks at how public life worked in Rome and how the actions of individuals and specific issues had further repercussions for public life in general. In doing so, this study offers new perspectives on the role of oratory in republican politics and on the nature of republican political culture. 20 No election speeches: Mommsen (1887) 3.1, 392; Pina Polo (1989) 115–​18 (listing some exceptions); Jehne (1995) 60; Tatum (2007), (2013). Norms for electioneering: Yakobson (1999) 211–​25. A brief discussion of the nature and procedures of elections: Feig Vishnia (2012) 105–​49. 21 Jehne (1995) 60–​2 underlines the difficulty of accessing a larger crowd as electoral candidate. 22 Less common was the use of appeals and supplications in relation to elections; see discussion in J. Hall (2014) 64–​73. 23 Hölkeskamp (1995) 22–​3, (2011a) 26–​8 emphasises too that every speech was a self-​presentation of the orator as uir bonus and a tool in the intense competition for offices, power and prestige. 24 While the senate was for senators only, the assemblies and the courts were conducted in the Forum, open to all onlookers who wanted or happened to be present. While such onlookers could not deliver speeches unless invited by the magistrate in charge of the assembly or by an advocate in a trial, the audience could respond to speeches through shouts, murmurs and physical activity. The people also had some form of choice, but it is the choices of politicians which remain at the centre of the present discussion.

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The discussion focuses on politicians with exceptional careers in the late Roman Republic who all delivered public speeches as part of their political career. The oratorical activities of C. Sempronius Gracchus, Cn. Pompeius Magnus, C.  Julius Caesar, L.  Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, M.  Porcius Cato the Younger and Marcus Antonius (the triumvir) show an enormous variety in oratorical technique, in attitudes to oratory and the possibilities it offered, in outcomes and in the complexities of using public oratory as part of a political career. These politicians also show a range of career choices which highlight the scale of possibilities open to an ambitious politician and the limitations imposed on politicians. Although all present exceptional career progressions, the oratorical activities and career choices of these politicians highlight the sheer complexity and diversity of political life in the late Republic, and rather what could be done as opposed to what was commonly done. In selecting these orators as case study figures, I  have aimed to illustrate different approaches to public speaking and the ways in which oratory could influence individual careers and advertise career choices. The selection has necessarily also been determined to some extent by evidence, that is, where it is possible to reconstruct an oratorical career in sufficient detail. The six figures represent great variety in oratorical activities and career progressions, but not all possibilities available. Other politicians could have been chosen, such as M. Porcius Cato the Elder or P. Clodius Pulcher, but while the oratorical fragments and testimonia for Cato are substantial, he operated in a different time and would have presented a problem of comparability, while Clodius’ oratory has been dealt with to a considerable extent by Tatum.25 By contrast, the oratory of the six politicians analysed here have not received sufficient attention in scholarship. One of the reasons for this neglect is the relative inaccessibility of the sources for their oratorical activity. Enrica Malcovati’s Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta (first edition 1930, fourth edition 1976), which collected the fragments and testimonia of Roman republican oratory, was a major step forward in the study of republican oratory and has been an essential reference work since its first appearance.26 However, Malcovati’s selection and categorisation of fragments and testimonia is at times confusing, misleading or lacunose.27 A second look at these six politicians and 25 Tatum (1999). 26 Malcovati (1976). 27 Badian (1956); van der Blom (2013) 300–​1. For each of the six orators presented here, Malcovati’s collection presents omissions, misidentified passages (testimonia appearing as fragments, inclusion

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their oratory show not just the potential for a systematic re-​examination of (non-​Ciceronian) oratorical activity in the Roman Republic, but also the enormous variety in speech occasions available, oratorical techniques adopted, purposes for speaking and the effects of oratory. This study therefore also aims to put some of Cicero’s most important fellow senators back into the picture as orators. Owing to the survival of Cicero’s speeches  –​the only republican speeches to survive in full  –​much scholarship has focused on Cicero’s oratory and many have taken his oratorical activity and his claims about oratory as representative for his time, sometimes even generations before and after. Yet, not only is his claim about the necessity of oratorical skills for a successful political career not applicable on a general scale, his career itself appears increasingly exceptional as the careers of other Roman politicians are subjected to closer scrutiny. Cicero’s use of oratory as his main means to promote his career can mislead as it pointed forward to his claim about the necessity of oratorical skills for a successful political career. Not only were there other routes to success, but a combination of different approaches –​oratory, military career, charisma, claim to elevated position owing to ancestry, wealth, patronage –​seems more common than a steely focus on only one route. Moreover, Cicero began his career in the courts, developed a public profile as a forensic orator, and used his fame as an advocate as the platform for his political career. But this forensic route may not have been common as he embarked on his first major prosecution at the later age of thirty-​six and he carried on his advocacy when a senior consular.28 Finally, Cicero’s decision to continue his forensic career alongside his political career may say more about his need to bank on his oratorical brilliance in as many oratorical settings as possible than about what other politicians did once they had secured their first magistracies, especially since the political circumstances and leading politicians had changed from when he first used oratory to this end. We need to know the details of other oratorical careers, entwined with political choices, to

of passages which should not count as fragments or testimonia) and lack of context. I have not compiled a detailed list of variations between Malcovati (1976) and my own findings, but a comparison between my Appendices of the public speeches of the case study figures and Malcovati’s collections will show the variations. The coming new edition of the fragments and testimonia of all Roman republican speeches and speech acts, The Fragments of the Roman Republican Orators, will, it is hoped, provide a replacement of Malcovati’s work. 28 Cic. Off. 2.49–​ 50; cf. Cicero’s excuses for prosecuting Verres when no longer a very young man: Cic. Div. Caec. 1, 70; Tempest (2011b) argues this a central part of Cicero’s rhetorical strategy. See discussion in Chapter 1, pages 26–33.

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put Cicero’s claims and career in its proper context and provide a fuller picture of political life in the Roman Republic.

The sources for oratorical activity Historia de Papirio Praetextato dicta scriptaque est a M.  Catone in oratione, qua usus est ad milites contra Galbam, cum multa quidem uenustate atque luce atque munditia uerborum. ea Catonis uerba huic prorsus commentario indidissem, si libri copia fuisset id temporis, cum haec dictaui. The story of Papirius Praetextatus is recorded and written down by Marcus Cato [the Elder] in the speech he delivered to the soldiers and against Galba, with much charm, clarity and elegant choice of words. I would have recorded Cato’s words in this commentary, if I had had access to the work when I was dictating the words.29

Aulus Gellius’ (c. AD 125–​post 177)  commonplace book Attic Nights is a mine of anecdotes and many relate to the republican period.30 He holds a special status to scholars of oratorical fragments because he read and quoted from a great number of public speeches, often apparently verbatim, which would otherwise have been lost. We have him to thank for quoting substantial fragments from the speeches of, for example, Cato the Elder and Gaius Gracchus, and other smaller fragments from the speeches of orators such as C. Julius Caesar. His many passages on republican oratory formed part of his assessment of Latin literature, and his linguistic interests often led him to quote passages with specific or unusual terminology. This focus is likely to have made him omit passages of historical and political importance. Yet, this is also the advantage of Gellius’ work:  because his focus is not political, he gives us oratorical samples which may not otherwise have survived, providing us with new material on which to build our interpretations. Gellius’ sources and the manifold ways in which he used them have been discussed at length in scholarship, but he was clearly well read in both Latin and Greek authors. He did not simply copy out passages blindly from his sources, but at times created a fitting setting for his discussions (with interlocutors or a narrator in first-​ person singular) and adjusted his anecdotes to his own agenda. Scholars 29 Gell. NA 1.23.1–​2. 30 For the summary of Gellius’ work and its relevance to the study of republican oratory, I have used Holford-​Strevens (1988) (especially 47–​58, 143–​5), who generally does not question Gellius’ verbatim quotes from Roman republican orators. See also Heusch (2011) 117–​62 for a discussion of the authenticity and function of verbatim quotations in Gellius.

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have shown that he is likely to have quoted directly from a work when mentioning the name of both author and title of the work, less so when only the author is mentioned. Indeed this is confirmed, at least in one instance, by the passage quoted above. Gellius’ statement –​that if he had had the actual text of Cato’s speech to hand when compiling his notes, which in turn formed the basis for his work, he would have recorded the passage verbatim –​suggests that when he quoted passages, he would have had the written version of the speech to hand, or, perhaps, another source quoting the speech. This is a striking insight into Gellius’ quoting habits and it lends credibility to the authenticity of his compiled material. In fact, the snippets of republican oratory generally appear genuine, although Gellius may be quoting from an intermediary source such as Pliny the Elder, an author whom he did read.31 The extent to which copies of republican speeches circulated in the second century AD has not been mapped out precisely, but it is likely that Gellius read such copies, although he will have supplemented them with second-​hand information. This passage from Gellius highlights one of the major problems faced by scholars of oratory, namely that the circumstances under which speeches were circulated are not entirely clear. If we think of the journey of an oration from oral speech to quotation, paraphrase or mention in a written text, sometimes centuries later, it is evident that much could have been lost or altered along the way. Usually, orators did not speak from a manuscript (although they could have prepared and memorised notes), and therefore an oration would have had to be written down after it had been delivered, by the orator himself or by others.32 The precedent of Cato the Elder’s frequent circulation of written versions of his public speeches meant that by the time of Gaius Gracchus, the first case study figure in the present study, such an activity was not unusual and probably increasingly widespread.33 Indeed, Marcus Antonius’ (cos. 99 BC) famous remark on how he abstained from circulating his own speeches shows the need to 31 He also read Cicero; but Cicero’s extant works do not suggest that Cicero was in the habit of quoting passages verbatim from speeches delivered by others. He rather paraphrased his version of what was said. 32 Cic. Brut. 91 on speeches written down after delivery. We know of only one instance when Cicero delivered a speech from manuscript, namely the Post reditum in senatu (Cic. Planc. 74). Cicero’s In Clodium et Curionem was written down and circulated by someone else three years after delivery and for political reasons. Cicero tried to pass it off as a forgery because it criticised people he did not want to offend at the time of circulation: J. W. Crawford (1994) 233. 33 Fantham (1997) 115–​17 on Cato’s speeches; Sciarrino (2007) on Cato and Gaius Gracchus. Cato was perhaps the first to record his speeches in his own literary works: Astin (1978) 18–​19, 131–​56. Narducci (1997) 157–​60 discusses the level of written versions of speeches in circulation.

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explain his reasons for not following a growing trend.34 The precise relationship between delivered and written versions of a speech is impossible to define for the orators presented in this study, but even for Cicero’s speeches  –​where the material is abundant  –​much remains disputed.35 Once a text of an oration was out in public, the orator could do little to control it. The transmission often took place in private households, where slaves were ordered to copy a text –​more or less expertly –​and the text could be used for a variety of purposes such as political propaganda, private archives, social enjoyment or education. We know that Cicero, Pliny the Elder and Quintilian had access to written versions of speeches by Cato the Elder and Gaius Gracchus, but not exactly how these texts were transmitted.36 Even when a speech was carefully transmitted, we cannot be sure that the quoting author followed the text. Yet, Gellius’ remark about his quoting habits inspires confidence, at least for the passages quoted in his work. Fragments, that is, passages taken verbatim from written versions circulating of speeches or speech acts delivered in public, provide crucial insights into the speech at hand. Gellius’ largish fragments are unusual, as most extant fragments are very short and taken out of context. These are often quoted in the later grammarians who sought them out to illustrate a linguistic point. For such quotations to have made any sense, they had to be correct –​at least correct in relation to the text extant in the second to fifth centuries AD, long after the speech had been circulated –​and we can presume with some confidence that the grammarian read the text, from which he quoted, possibly through an intermediary, and endeavoured to get the precise wording right. But the circulation of written texts forms just one aspect of the evidence. Apart from the fragments, the sources contain a wealth of testimonia to oratorical activity:  paraphrases of speeches, discussions of the content or style of specific speeches, reference to oratorical occasions, 34 Cic. Clu. 140; supported by Cic. Brut. 91 where Cicero notes that some orators did not write down their speeches after delivery because it demanded an extra effort. 35 Powell and Paterson (2004) 52–​7 sum up the scholarly discussion and offer a conclusion. Manuwald (2007) 54, n. 148 updates the bibliography on the question and (54–​90) offers discussion in relation to the Philippic speeches. See also Ledentu (2000) for the relationship between delivered and written versions. 36 Cato: Cic. Brut. 60, 65; Plin. HN 7.100, 29.13–​14; Quint. Inst. 12.3.9, 12.11.23. Gaius Gracchus: Cic. Brut. 125–​6; Tusc. 3.48; Plin. HN 8.33; Quint. Inst. 11.3.115 (possibly through Cicero, though). See brief discussion in Chapter 3 on Gaius Gracchus, pages 70–1. There were also professional bookshops in Rome, but our knowledge of their business and titles on stock is very limited. White (2009) 278–​80 argues for the circulation of some contio speeches through bookshops.

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mentions of the reception of a particular speech, and evaluations of a particular individual’s oratorical abilities. The problem lies in how to test the quality of the evidence for this broad category of testimonia. This can only be done by taking into account the context for any testimonium, both the historical and the literary context:  what material was available to the quoting author, what was his purpose for writing and selecting this particular oratorical testimonium, and how far can we test the information given against other sources? To take a major source as an example, Cicero’s personal involvement in late republican politics makes him a crucial observer of republican oratory and political life, but also a one-​sided witness to events. His own quite spectacular and probably unrepresentative rise to political power and influence, his advocacy of oratory as a necessity for a political career, and his own interests in oratory and daily politics create the risk of bias. Moreover, he will have tailored his material and presentation to the specific context and his specific purpose for speaking. If we know the background to the source mentioned by Cicero, the factors behind Cicero’s composition and his own agenda, it is possible to minimise the impact of partiality. Although the method is by no means foolproof, looking at each passage or piece of information relating to oratory in its context often makes it possible to understand Cicero’s motives for writing the way he does and thereby to evaluate the possible impact on his description. For example, Cicero’s narrative of Pompeius’ first speech in the contio after his return from the East is an instance where Cicero’s disappointment with Pompeius colours his evaluation in a negative way, as we shall see. Cicero’s evaluation therefore says more about himself than about the quality of Pompeius’ performance, but his description of the event is still evidence of the existence of Pompeius’ speech, the context in which it was given and Cicero’s reaction to it.37 In this instance, Ciceronian bias rests on the immediate political situation. Plutarch’s (ante AD 50–​post AD 120)  Parallel Lives illustrates another authorial bias, namely, the effect of overall compositional purpose on the description of specific orators and the ways in which they used oratory. This effect is only understood when considering each biography as a whole, in conjunction with its Greek counterpart, and within Plutarch’s overall purpose for writing the Lives.38 It is well known that 37 See discussion in Chapter 4 on Pompeius, pages 126–8. 38 For the close relationship between the pairs of Plutarch’s parallel lives, see Tatum (2010) and the volume in which his article belongs. For Plutarch’s understanding of Roman politics, see Pelling (1979); de Blois (1992).

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Plutarch focuses on the character of the portrayed person, often highlighted through small incidents and anecdotes, and that he was influenced by, and in turn himself influenced, the reception of the portrayed person.39 In Plutarch’s depiction, Pompeius has an almost regal character and public profile which makes Plutarch underplay Pompeius’ oratorical performances, Cato the Younger is steered by philosophical beliefs, Gaius Gracchus is a manipulator of the people manifested in his oratory, Marcus Antonius a friend of the soldiers and Caesar the people’s hero as seen in his public displays of support to popular causes. These depictions are not entirely incorrect, but Plutarch at times gives his portrayal an extra notch which can be misleading. Cato, for example, was not only a man of high principle but could be pragmatic too when he deemed it useful, yet Plutarch steers away from those occasions where Cato delivered this message in public.40 Marcus Antonius, to take another example, may have been popular with his soldiers, but not always and he was crucially unable to convince the deserting Fourth and Martian legions in the autumn of 44 BC to remain loyal.41 Once we are aware of Plutarch’s overall portrayal and his angle on the Life, we can try to take his slant out of the equation by contrasting his more general statements with particular incidents and by comparing his version with other sources on the same event (when available), and thereby allow a more complex image of a politician, his oratory and career, to emerge. Comparing two sources of very different natures is not straightforward. For instance, the information found in Cicero’s works is not always immediately comparable to that found in Plutarch because they focus on different aspects and provide different interpretations of the same oratorical event. Plutarch may even have based his depiction on Cicero (directly or through an intermediary); if we knew this for certain, Plutarch’s account could be discounted as a source for historical fact as we still have Cicero’s account. But usually the picture is more complex, as illustrated by the case of Marcus Antonius’ activities in the lead up to the civil war in 49 BC, discussed in Chapter 8.42

39 Character:  Plut. Cat. Min. 37.10; small incidents:  Plut. Alex. 1.2. See Hägg (2012) 268–​77 on Plutarch’s aims and methods. 40 Moreover, Cato’s image as a Stoic was beefed up immediately after his death and beyond to serve the purposes of those writing about him. See discussion in Chapter 7 on Cato, pages 243, 245–6. 41 See discussion in Chapter 8 on Antonius, pages 277–8. 42 See discussion in Chapter 8 on Antonius, pages 256–8.

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This sense of authorial bias holds true, of course, for all texts. More problematic is the assessment of the availability and usage of sources by these ancient authors. Among the relevant and surviving authors for the political life of the late Republic, only Cicero, Caesar, Varro and Sallust had the advantage of experiencing the events and oratorical occasions personally. Autopsy presents its difficulties too, such as personal bias and specific purposes as well as dependence on memory which historians and scientists have shown to be seldom objective. By contrast, none of the imperial writers could rely on autopsy but had to use other sources for their descriptions of speeches, orators and public performances. While these sources are at times known to us, it is more often the case that they are not, making it difficult to evaluate how the author in question used any particular source. In the case of Plutarch’s Lives, some of which provide the main source for the case study figures (for example, Cato the Younger), Pelling’s detailed yet concise discussion in his commentary on Plutarch’s Caesar suggests both the range and limitations of Plutarch’s sources on the late republican Lives:  many Latin sources, and especially different types of history (almost no apparent use of the poets and little of written versions of speeches), such as Asinius Pollio, Cicero, Livy, Caesar (often mediated through Pollio) and Greek sources such as Strabo.43 Because of the close relation in time between the composition of the six ‘Roman lives’ of Pompeius, Crassus, Caesar, Cato Minor, Brutus and Antonius, and because of frequent overlaps in detail, we must assume that the sources Plutarch used for writing the Caesar were also employed for the other works. It is clear that Plutarch made only limited use of circulated speeches and relied more heavily on narrative historical accounts, which described oratorical events rather than cited or paraphrased particular speeches. The history of Asinius Pollio started in 60 BC and covered, at least, the triumviral period.44 Pollio’s eyewitness account was no less biased than Cicero’s, but provided a different viewpoint from that of Cicero, and Plutarch used both:  Pollio’s possibly through an intermediary source and Cicero in selection only.45 The growing number of commentaries and detailed discussions of particular Roman lives of Plutarch makes an evaluation of specific pieces of

43 Pelling (2011) 42–​56. A more general discussion of Plutarch’s sources is Desideri (1992). 44 Pelling (2011) 36 with references to earlier discussions of this suggestion. 45 Pelling (2011) 52–​3.

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information relating to oratory less problematic, although by no means straightforward.46 Apart from Asinius Pollio’s history, other historical works now lost would have included references to oratorical occasions. For the period covered in this study, Sallust’s Histories (now in fragments only) and the part of Livy’s history which dealt with the late Republic (now surviving in ultra-​brief summaries, the epitome) would have mentioned speeches delivered, activities of orators and politicians, and probably also some of the arguments brought forward in the speeches by the most prominent politicians. Moreover, the various autobiographical writings by central figures such as M. Aemilius Scaurus, P. Rutilius Rufus, Q. Lutatius Catulus and Sulla, as well as the laudatory works written to famous politicians, including Theophanes’ work to Pompeius, would have made reference to the oratory of these figures as part of their public career.47 Although now lost, these works are likely to have played a role in the transmission of material on oratory and picked up by later authors whose works still survive. A further problem is the interpretation of the full speeches offered in the historical narratives.48 While Plutarch does not place full-​scale speeches in his Lives but tends rather to report speeches seemingly second hand and spice them up with shorter passages appearing as quotations, Appian (born at the end of the first century AD) and Dio (c. AD 164–​post  229) include longer speeches in direct or indirect speech. Such speeches have long been suspected of being the invention of the historian rather than a faithful reproduction of a real speech. Analyses of the speeches in Appian’s work suggest that Appian only included speeches at occasions in his narrative where he knew that a speech had been delivered, but also that these speeches were never simply copied from his source (which was usually a historian rather than a written version of speech), but always reworked to serve a function in the narrative and to compress material.49 Dio also 46 Valgiglio (1956) on Marius; Geiger (1971) on Cato Minor; Pelling (1988) on Antony; Swain (1990a) and (1990b) discusses a number of Lives; de Wet’s (1990) on sources for the Antony; Ingenkamp’s (1992a) analysis of the Gracchi; Brenk’s analysis of the Antony; Bearzot, Geiger and L. Ghilli (1993) on Phocion and Cato Minor; Heftner (1995) on Pompeius; Pelling (2011) on Caesar; Lintott (2013) on Cicero (and Demosthenes) –​and the collection of essays by Pelling (2002). 47 For these fragments, see Peter (1906–​14) and FRHist. For Theophanes’ work, see Chapter  4 on Pompeius, pages 125–6. 48 The contributions in Pausch (2010) deal with speeches in historians, but mainly from literary and historiographical perspectives rather than assessing levels of authenticity. 49 Gowing (1990), (1992) 225–​45, esp. 245.

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inserted speeches, but his purpose was broader, namely to exploit a political or moral issue of his own interest and potential instruction to his reader. Therefore his speeches are generally longer and more complex than those in Appian. Like Appian, Dio constructed the speeches according to his own purposes, but also invented speeches where none such was known to have been delivered.50 Speeches in Dio and Appian must therefore not be taken at face value, but always be considered as integral elements in the overall composition. However, if Appian inserts a speech, there is a good chance that a speech was delivered around that time, although it may have been transposed in time, and certainly altered in terms of style and content to suit Appian’s narrative. In light of this, references in Dio and Appian to speeches of the case study figures have, whenever possible, been compared to other sources. When unsupported, as, for example, a number of battle speeches, these have not been included in the discussion without the necessary caveat about credibility, and they are placed separately in the Appendices. In cases where other sources also mention the speeches in question, a comparison has been made of the information and the overall credibility of the passages. Sallust (c. 86–​35 BC) presents another case of a historian including full speeches in his narrative, but again scholars have shown these to be mainly of Sallust’s own invention.51 We know for a fact that Cato and Caesar delivered speeches in the debate on the fate of the Catilinarian conspirators on 5 December 63 BC, and comparison with especially Cicero’s account suggests that Sallust conveys the major issues fairly correctly, but the details and the style seem more Sallust’s own. The speeches of Catiline in the Bellum Catilinae are impossible to verify, supposedly delivered at a private meeting and on the battlefield, but it seems likely that he did deliver some form of speech to his conspirators at some point and to his supporters before the final battle –​but that is as far as we can get with these two speeches. It also seems likely that Marius delivered a speech in connection with his election to his first consulship of 107 BC, but whether before or after election and whether the content resembled that which Sallust made him say in the Bellum Iugurthinum is uncertain. Certainly, the content fitted very well with Sallust’s overall messages in this work, as 50 Millar (1961); Gowing (1992) 225–​45, esp. 244–​5; Lintott (1997); Burden-​Strevens (2015). 51 Syme (1964) 156; McGushin (1992) 113; McGushin (1994) 86; Tannenbaum (2005); Fantham (2009) 147. Batstone (2010a) and Marincola (2010) 279–​86 analyse the speeches of Catiline in Sall. Cat. from a historiographical rather than historical viewpoint.

Introduction

19

did the content of Memmius’ speech in the same work.52 For this reason, these speeches in Sallust should be confirmed in an alternative source (not relying on Sallust) to make sure they took place. Moreover, any content should be considered Sallustian unless otherwise confirmed by another source, and certainly the style cannot be taken for anything other than that of Sallust. Oratory was not only of interest to the authors of history and biography, but also to later imperial authors of rhetorical works or lexicographical collections of miscellaneous material. Authors such as Quintilian (c. AD 35–​90s) and Gellius as well as later grammarians such as Charisius (late fourth century AD) and Priscian (fifth–​sixth century AD) preserve important fragments and testimonia about speeches, speech acts and occasions of public speaking. However, when imperial writers of especially the first and second centuries AD discussed republican oratory, they did so with the added complication that oratory was often seen as the symbol of political change and as the organ for free speech. Tacitus and Quintilian in particular voiced this view, and although it was not unique to this period, it nevertheless adds a further filter to our interpretation of their texts.53 Certainly the views Tacitus placed in the mouth of Maternus (cited at the start of the Introduction) involve the complication that the republican period could be seen as one in which free speech and the free Republic went hand in hand. Cicero’s presentation of the crucial role of oratory in political life in general and career development in particular has certainly been read as proof of the central role of oratory in public life. Moreover, his presentation has coloured the reception of his period, especially the notion that the liberty of the Republic was embodied in free public speech. But although oratory was central to public life and although Cicero would like us to believe this picture of free speech, the reality of public speaking in republican Rome was more complex:  restraints of social status, networks, hierarchy and promises would always influence an orator’s public expressions. Though not delivered in the knowledge of an all-​powerful emperor’s attention, orators of the late republican period had to take into 52 Syme (1964) 166–​9; Paul (1984) 24, 43–​4, 54, 97, 207; Comber and Balmaceda (2009) 16, 251; Egelhaaf-​Gaiser (2010). Pina Polo (1989) no. 204 and (2011a) 97 thinks Marius spoke after the election, as consul-​elect. 53 Quint. Inst. 12.11.18; Tac. Dial. See Fantham (1978) 112–​15; Goldberg (2009) for discussions of this topos and its history, and David (2012) on the differences between the republican and imperial oratorical contexts.

20

Introduction

account the powerful men of the day, such as the consuls, the senior senators and individuals such as Pompeius and, later, Caesar. Yet, this is not the picture we get in the imperial writers. In order to use their depictions of republican orators and oratory, it is necessary to take into account this idealisation of the Republic. Quintilian’s magisterial discussion of rhetorical education, the Institutio Oratoria, includes a large number of references to republican oratory, mainly to illustrate particular points. Across this work and its coverage of all aspects of rhetoric and oratory, Quintilian included fragments, testimonia and other mentions of speeches and speech acts from the republican period which reflected his enormous knowledge on the subject after four decades of teaching it in Rome. Quintilian’s sources were both historical and contemporary, practical and theoretical, and this makes it difficult to set down a precise overview of his quoting practice. But there were speeches in circulation, also from the republican period, and it is clear that Quintilian responded to and reflected on written versions of speeches rather than the delivered version, which could be very different.54 This holds true for other authors writing about republican oratory, such as Gellius and the grammarians.55 Apart from the instances in which an orator’s delivery was so striking or the audience reception so noteworthy to warrant mention, these imperial authors based their discussion on circulated versions which tidied up (or even heavily edited) the delivered version in the hope of broadening the audience and promoting the orator’s message and public profile. The material relating to the oratory of an individual republican politician therefore potentially derives from a large number of very different sources, in which the transmission of the oratorical material is often uncertain. Therefore, each and every piece of information must be set in its authorial and historical context to ascertain the extent to which it can be used to reconstruct an oratorical career. But the potential for insights into republican oratorical practices and its political impact easily outweighs these difficulties. There is so much more to be learnt about the ways in which oratory was used in republican politics and about the role played by oratory in the late Roman Republic. The present study does not claim to cover all known republican politicians and all possible career trajectories;  far from it. In addition to the practical limitations of our sources, as discussed above, the narrow focus 54 Steel (2006) 28. 55 For Gellius see Holford-​Strevens (1988) 145.

Introduction

21

on six case study figures is driven, primarily, by the wish to analyse in depth specific oratorical career trajectories in order to show a variety of ways in which oratory could be used in politics and how it could influence a political career. For each of these six politicians, all instances of public speech acts recorded have been collected in the Appendices and analysed for context, purpose and outcome. The chapters present and discuss a generous selection of these speech occasions and offer an analysis of the role of public speech in each individual’s career trajectory.

P a rt   I

The role of oratory in Roman politics

1

Oratorical settings and career possibilities

An censes, dum illi uiguerunt quos ante dixi, non eosdem gradus oratorum uulgi iudicio et doctorum fuisse? De populo si quem ita rogauisses:  Quis est in hac ciuitate eloquentissimus? in Antonio et Crasso aut dubitaret aut hunc alius, illum alius diceret. Nemone Philippum tam suauem oratorem, tam grauem, tam facetum his anteferret, quem nosmet ipsi, qui haec arte aliqua uolumus expendere, proximum illis fuisse diximus? Nemo profecto; id enim ipsum est summi oratoris summum oratorem populo uideri. Would you think that, at the time when those whom I spoke of earlier were active, the status of orators in the judgement of the people and that of the experienced were not the same? If you had asked someone from among the people: ‘who is the most eloquent person in this state?’ he would have considered whether it was Antonius or Crassus or one person would have named the one, and another the other. Would no one have preferred Philippus over them, Philippus who was such a charming, serious and whimsical orator, and whom I (wanting to evaluate this against some form of technical measure) argued should be next to those two? Not at all; for this is the characteristic feature of the greatest orator that he is considered the greatest by the people.1

The oratorical settings in which a Roman politician could address the public  –​the courts, the contio and the senate  –​entailed different rules and audiences, and therefore also different expectations of the speaker and his relationship with the audience. The differences between these settings resulted, at times, in certain styles being associated with a particular setting, as we shall see below. Each oratorical setting offered different kinds of political, oratorical or personal advantages and disadvantages to an ambitious politician.

1 Cic. Brut. 186. See Hölkeskamp (1995) 26–​7 for discussion of this passage.

25

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The role of oratory in Roman politics

This chapter deals with the different contexts in which a Roman politician could address the public in order of availability to a politician on the rise. It discusses how the oratorical content and style he employed differed according to these contexts, and how these differences played into his attempts to promote his career. Did a politician on the rise prefer to address the people (and potential electorate) in contiones or was the delivery of successful speeches in prosecution or defence more advantageous? Would a senior senator foster his continued political influence through speeches and shorter sententiae in the senate rather than delivering speeches in contiones? How can we evaluate a politician’s attitude to oratory as a career-​enhancing factor? The discussion of the various oratorical settings for public speaking includes a consideration of tribunician oratory and appeal to popular causes against senatorial policy, thereby pointing forward to the chapters on C. Gracchus and Caesar. The current chapter concludes by pulling together these various strands in relation to the various strategies for fostering a successful political career through public speeches.

The courts The first opportunity for addressing a public audience available to a young man of the Roman upper class was usually in the courts. The courts presented the first real opportunity to test the rhetorical training and oratorical practice which the young man would have received as part of his education.2 The surviving Latin rhetorical handbooks, the Rhetorica ad Herennium, Cicero’s De Inventione and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, focus heavily on forensic oratory and so a young man would most likely have focused on forensic oratory in his rhetorical education. Alongside the study of rhetoric, he would often have followed a mentor –​a senator performing his duties in the forum and especially as a patron giving advice and defending his clients –​in the so-​called tirocinium fori. 2 Powell and Paterson (2004) 29–​36; Lintott (2004); Powell (2010) discuss court procedure and the nature of speeches in the Roman republican courts from a mainly Ciceronian viewpoint. See Cic. De or. 1.147 where Crassus explains that early career orators will have to practice forensic oratory. On rhetorical and oratorical education in the Republic, see Marrou (1956/​1977); Bonner (1977); Steel (2006) 63–​78; Corbeill (2010); Bloomer (2011). David (1983c); (1992) 572–​84 argues that oratory offered an ambitious man of Italian background possible entry to the Roman political elite; David (2011) sets forensic oratory within the wider context of public careers. Delivering a funeral speech over a prominent relative before entering the courts was rare; the later Augustus was unusually young when delivering the funeral oration for his grandmother when he was about twelve years old: Quint. Inst. 12.6.1; Suet. Aug. 8; although Nicolaus of Damascus (F Gr Hist 90 F 127) says he was nine.

Oratorical settings and career possibilities

27

The educational background of rhetorical theory and oratorical practice through imitation helps to understand the well-​developed sense and expectation of highly polished forensic speeches. Rhetorical handbooks and works on oratory all emphasised the importance of choosing the right style for a speech to be persuasive, and much of the oratorical education focused on the stylistic elements.3 None of these works, however, argued the existence of a style particular for forensic oratory, because a skilled forensic orator would need to know and be able to use all kinds of styles and stylistic elements depending on the case to be made.4 Although Cicero’s career as a regular advocate alongside his senatorial career appears unusual, his many forensic speeches show that a wide range of styles could be used in the courts, depending on the case in point, the message to be given and the position of the advocate and his client.5 In spite of this broad spectrum of style and indeed of argument and delivery, the young advocate would have to perform within a set of expectations and conventions in order to be successful. The court cases took place in the Forum and therefore in public. Anybody could come and listen to the proceedings and the more prominent cases could attract a ring of spectators, called the corona. Although advocates and prosecutors would principally address the judge or jury in the trial, they were also mindful of taking this public audience into consideration when delivering their speeches and engaging in witness examination or altercations with the opposing counsel.6 It was therefore the expectations of the combined audience of client, opposing counsel, judge or jury, and the corona which the advocate had to satisfy and it was their assessment of an advocate’s performance which could help to create and maintain an advocate’s reputation and could influence an advocate’s future forensic and political possibilities. There was no official minimum age for advocates and some were still in their teens when pleading for the first time, but more often in their early twenties.7 Nevertheless, a young man intent on appearing in court would have to be either asked to defend a client or put himself forward 3 Rhet. Her. 4; Cic. De or. 3.19–​212; Orat.; Quint. Inst. 8–​9. 4 Quint. Inst. 3.9 argues that forensic oratory presents the greatest variety. 5 Some works on Cicero’s oratorical styles: Stroh (1975); May (1988); Wisse (1989); Gotoff (1993); von Albrecht (2003). On systems for organising the discussion of style, see May and Wisse (2001) 35–​6. But see Cicero’s claim (Arch. 3) to be speaking against a conventional forensic style; surely special pleading here. 6 Lintott (2004) 76; Powell and Paterson (2004) 32. 7 Hortensius was nineteen (Cic. Brut. 229, 301), L.  Sempronius Atratinus was seventeen (Jerome Chron. 2.143g Schoene/​247F.23 Helm), L.  Licinius Crassus twenty-​one (Cic. Off. 2.47; Brut.

28

The role of oratory in Roman politics

as prosecutor of a particular individual.8 Therefore, men known through earlier appearances in court or through their social networks would stand a better chance of becoming defence advocates, while prosecution was, in principle, independent of these factors. This means that a young man with few connections in the city might be better off starting with a high-​ profile prosecution than hoping to be asked to defend a client in a minor private suit. Once a reputation was established, the forensic orator had a choice between prosecution or defence. Whether to plead in defence or prosecution was a general consideration.9 On the one hand, to speak in prosecution was considered more onerous than speaking in defence because the prosecutor spoke first and therefore had to explain the case whereas the defence advocate could draw out only what was necessary to make the prosecution fall apart.10 On the other hand, the prosecutor could plan his speech in advance whereas the defence advocate had to some extent to respond ex tempore to the prosecutor’s speech, which was a clear advantage to the prosecutor; overall Quintilian judges it easier to prosecute than defend.11 It was considered morally better to defend than to prosecute; however prosecution was necessary to keep up the authority of the law since there was no public prosecutor.12 The motives for taking up a defence included the glory of winning a case and showing off oratorical skills (likewise for taking up a prosecution), but also the hope of winning the client’s gratitude. Although Roman advocates of the senatorial elite were not expected to accept fees for their services, a moral debt might pay out in terms of support and financial advantages at a later stage.13 As for prosecution, 159)  and P.  Clodius Pulcher possibly prosecuted at twenty-​one (see Alexander (1990) no.  167); Quintilian Inst. 12.6 argues that usually first-​time advocates were in their early twenties. See David (1992) 49–​226 on the relationship between (defence) advocate and client, including recruitment of the advocate; pages 432–​41 discusses recruitment of the advocate depending on social background. 9 Discussions in David (1992) 525–​47; (2009); Alexander (2002) 38–​51. References to Cicero’s and Quintilian’s works follow in subsequent footnotes. 10 Quint. Inst. 4.1.36. 11 Quint. Inst. 5.13.2–​4; Cic. Part. or. 14–​15. For specific advice on building up a speech for the prosecution or defence, see Rhet. Her. 1.18–​24, 2.3, 2.21–​4 and Cic. Inv. rhet. 2.12–​154. The hearing of witnesses produced a further complication, as the timing of the production of witnesses depended on the court used, even if the advocate should have known what his own witnesses were going to say and the opposing advocate would have some knowledge from the sealed wax tablets of the testimonies with a summary on the outside: Lintott (2008) 19–​21. 12 Quint. Inst. 12.7.1; Cic. Off. 2.49, and Cicero explicitly argues this in a few speeches:  Cic. Div. Caec. 1; Rosc. Am. 56–​7. 13 For some criminal trials, rewards could be offered to the successful prosecutor (such as Roman citizenship, the rank of the prosecuted if higher, change of tribe, toga praetexta associated with curule 8

Oratorical settings and career possibilities

29

Cicero lists four acceptable motives: creating a name for oneself; defending the state or the public good; seeking revenge over a (family) enemy; and shielding provincials against the more extreme cases of extortion.14 These four motives fit well with the evidence of trials in the late Republic.15 The first motive, in particular, applies to young men hoping to start their public career with court appearances, while the third motive of family revenge can explain other instances of young prosecutors.16 Nowhere is a maximum age given for being counted among young prosecutors; the sources simply point out that some were adulescentes and therefore young. According to Varro, adulescentia was the period from fifteen to thirty years of age.17 This fits well with the minimum age at election to the lowest magistracy in the cursus honorum (‘the ladder of magistracies’), the quaestorship, at least from Sulla’s time.18 At election, the young man would be regarded as among the senators, hence no longer a young man, even if a junior senator. Therefore, it makes sense to apply twenty-​nine years as a maximum age for defining ‘young prosecutors’. Cicero and Quintilian provide some of these examples of young prosecutors, most of whom were successful, but not all, and most of whom were indeed young –​among them Caesar who prosecuted Dolabella at the age of twenty-​two.19 We can also add a few further names of prosecutors in their late teens or early twenties.20 magistracies), but it seems mostly to have been a motivating factor for trials against electoral bribery (de ambitu), or, for non-​Roman citizens, for trials de repetundis: Alexander (1985) who qualifies the term ‘successful prosecutor’, and goes against the classic view presented by Mommsen (1899) 723, n. 2 and Taylor (1949) 112–​16 (accepted by David (1983b) 102). Ferrary (1998) 41–​6 argues that Sulla abolished the reward of citizenship in repetundae trials. 14 Cic. Off. 2.49–​50. 15 Collected and presented in Alexander (1990). 16 E.g. biological brothers L. Licinius Lucullus and M. Terentius Varro Lucullus (Alexander (1990) no.  71); L.  Manlius Torquatus (Alexander (1990) no.  201); L.  Sempronius Atratinus (Alexander (1990) no. 275). Cf. Cic. Cael. 73 on Caelius’ wish to create a name for himself through prosecution. David (1983b) discusses the context of prosecutions by young men. Cicero (Div. Caec. 1, 70) justified his own first prosecution (of Verres) on the second and fourth ground, suggestive of the rather unusual nature of his prosecution. 17 Censorinus, DN 14.2. 18 Astin (1958) 19–​20. 19 Cic. Off. 2.47, 2.49–​50:  L.  Licinius Crassus (twenty-​one years old), M.  Antonius (thirty-​one at second prosecution), P. Sulpicius (age uncertain), the brothers Luculli (late teens or early twenties), Cicero himself (twenty-​six) and L. Fufius (twenties); Quint. Inst. 12.7.4: Hortensius (nineteen), the brothers Luculli, Sulpicius, Cicero, Caesar (twenty-​two, unsuccessful against Dolabella), the two Catos (Cato the Younger, thirty-​two, unsuccessful against Murena). See Alexander (1990) nos. 30, 47, 71, 84, 90, 140, 177, 224. David (1992) 532–​6 discusses young prosecutors. 20 A. Aurius Melinus (Alexander (1990) no. 124 –​family reasons); Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer and brother Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos (Alexander (1990) no. 131); M. Aemilius Scaurus (Alexander (1990) no. 135); App. Claudius Pulcher (Alexander (1990) no. 158); P. Clodius Pulcher (Alexander

30

The role of oratory in Roman politics

When looking down a list of known prosecutors in the late Republic (149–​50 BC as Alexander defines it), the number of trials in which such young prosecutors perform is quite high, and most of them acted as lead prosecutor (nominis delator). Statistics should perhaps be applied with caution to material with many uncertainties, but out of approximately 168 trials with known prosecutors in the period 149–​50 BC, around thirty-​ seven saw a man under thirty years among the prosecutors (c. 22 per cent) and most of them leading the prosecution team. To compare, from the same number of trials, thirty-​four involved a functioning tribune of the plebs among the prosecutors (c. 20 per cent). The rest of the prosecutions were conducted by senators of varying seniority and some equites who did not go on to a political career. If more than one-​fifth of all trials were driven by men under the age of thirty, we must conclude that it was not uncommon for a young man to start off his forensic career, and perhaps his public career proper, with a prosecution. By contrast to private suits, where legal knowledge and argumentation was crucial and public attention not necessarily high, criminal trials offered a better chance to show off oratorical brilliance and gain maximum attention.21 An example is L. Licinius Crassus’ successful prosecution (probably de repetundis) of the recent consul Carbo in 119 BC, when Crassus was only nineteen years old.22 Winning this high-stakes and very public trial meant that Crassus was since then known as a formidable (forensic) orator. After Crassus, we have evidence (most likely lacunose) of about one young prosecutor in every decade until the 70s BC, when about five prosecutions were led by young men. The 60s seems to have had fewer such prosecutions, but the 50s saw about seven trials where young men were involved as prosecutors. In most of these cases, the prosecution was on a criminal charge and more often than not attracted public attention. Crassus’ prosecution of Carbo may have been seen as a model of the young prosecutor, but his example did not become a trend until the 70s BC, where a string of repentundae trials were led by young prosecutors.23 (1990) no.  167); T.  Attius (Alexander (1990) no.  198  –​family reasons); L.  Manlius Torquatus (Alexander (1990) no. 201 –​family reasons); C. Licinius Macer Calvus (Alexander (1990) no. 255); L. Sempronius Atratinus (Alexander (1990) no. 275 –​family reasons); P. Valerius Triarius (Alexander (1990) no. 295). The ages of these prosecutors have been assessed or taken from the RE; RE numbers to be found in Alexander (1990). 21 Fantham (1997) 120–​1. Steel (forthcoming) emphasises public attention as main motivation for these high-​profile criminal prosecutions of young men. 22 Sources in Alexander (1990) no. 30. 23 Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer and brother Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos (Alexander (1990) no. 131); M.  Aemilius Scaurus (Alexander (1990) no.  135); C.  Julius Caesar (Alexander (1990) no.  140);

Oratorical settings and career possibilities

31

As these prosecutors were all Roman citizens, they could not have been motivated by a potential reward of citizenship; one wonders whether they saw a prosecution of a high-​profile senator as an alternative route to public attention in a decade in which the tribunician route was a dead end. The boom in the 50s BC seems not to be a response to Cicero’s presentation of Crassus as a role model of brilliant oratory and advocacy in his De oratore from 55 BC, because about half of the prosecutions took place before 55 BC and the rest were conducted by repeat prosecutors such as C. Licinius Macer Calvus or for the sake of a family vendetta (for example by P. Valerius Triarius); only the prosecutions of Asinius Pollio may have been inspired by Crassus’ performance.24 Although prosecution, especially in criminal trials, provided a high-​ profile entry to the public stage for an eloquent young man, the odium felt towards prosecutors meant that a politically ambitious man had to limit his appearances as prosecutor.25 Only few known politicians went on to prosecute repeatedly, and some regular prosecutors acquired the nickname accusator (‘prosecutor’).26 This epithet suggests not simply some repeat prosecutions undertaken alongside other activities, but rather that these men were regarded as something close to expert prosecutors without a parallel political career. Certainly, we know of no political offices held by three men termed accusator: M. Junius Brutus (RE 50), L. Caesulenus (RE 1) and Servius Pola (RE 5).27 This odium against repeat prosecutors explains why prosecutors were often younger than the defending advocates; most prosecutors abandoned this type of legal activity before the odium stuck.28 possibly App. Claudius Pulcher (Alexander (1990) no. 158); M. Tullius Cicero (Alexander (1990) no. 177). 24 For Crassus and Antonius as Cicero’s role models, see van der Blom (2010) 173–​4, 177–​80, 226–​30, 251–​4. 25 Epstein (1987) 90–​126 discusses inimicitiae in relation to prosecution. 26 Repeat prosecutors (from Alexander (1990)):  M.  Junius Brutus (RE 50)  ‘accusator’ prosecuted at least twice; Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus (21) twice; M. Aemilius Scaurus (140) twice plus in the Mamilian inquest; T. (Betutius?) Barrus (Betitius 1) twice; Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos (96) three times; P.  Clodius Pulcher (48) four times; C.  Appuleius Decianus (22) twice; M.  Caelius Rufus (35) three times; Servius Pola ‘accusator’ (5); C. Licinius Macer Calvus (113) six times; C. Asinius Pollio (25) twice; Ap. Claudius Pulcher (298) twice or three times; Ap. Claudius Pulcher (299) three times; L. Cassius Longinus (65) twice; P. Cornelius Dolabella (141) twice. Cf. Goldberg (2009) 77 on the depiction of repeat delatores in Tac. Dial. 27 Cicero (Cic. Brut. 130, 131; Off. 2.50) termed Brutus and Caesulenus each an accusator in the Brutus and described how especially Brutus sullied his good family name by never seeking public office and instead making prosecution his career. Caelius describes Servius Pola as someone Appius Claudius Pulcher consults in preparation of a prosecution of Caelius: Cic. Q Fr. 2.4.6; 2.11.2; Fam. 8.12.2–​3. David (2011) 163–​5 proposes that L. Licinius Crassus played a major role in this defamation of accusatores. 28 Jehne (2000b) discusses this as an element of ‘Statusdissonanzen’ in the late Republic. Given the risk of being found guilty of undertaking malicious or sham prosecutions, the prosecutor’s

32

The role of oratory in Roman politics

Certainly, defence offered a more congenial public appearance, if more demanding, as Quintilian argued.29 But although Cicero and Hortensius acted repeatedly as defence advocates, the index of advocates (for defence) in Alexander suggests that usually one would act as defence advocate a couple of times at most and otherwise appear as character witness instead.30 Moreover, the names in the index compared with those in the index of prosecutors and plaintiffs suggest that more (later) high-​ranking politicians acted as defence advocates than as prosecutors in their early career.31 This is possibly influenced by a bias in the sources: it is likely that those who are recorded as defence advocates in the sources are those who went on to hold (high) political office, while those who did not obtain such offices were simply not recorded to the same extent. The higher number of political non-​starters among the prosecutors may reflect the attraction of prosecution for a budding but eventual unsuccessful politician, but probably also the more attention-​grabbing aspect of prosecution when compared to defence, which meant that the names of prosecutors were recorded. It therefore seems that more individuals undertook defence than prosecution but also that each one did it less often. The courts offered good opportunities for politicians on the make to publicly display oratorical talents and general suitability for public office. Aside from the chance to gain great attention and to show off, prosecution could help define yourself not only by your friends but also by your enemies. The unpopularity attached to prosecution meant that it was never a regular element in a political career. Defence was less dramatic and more acceptable, carried less risk and the good chance of securing the client’s good will, especially if the defence was successful. Therefore, defence advocacy could be undertaken alongside a political career, although Cicero’s and Hortensius’ parallel careers as advocates and politicians appear anomalous. Rather, senior politicians moved on to act as character witnesses for the defendant, which was a less onerous yet still effective task. Often, a senior politician would be bound to appear as witness because of friendship and other network ties, and his authority and needed to persuade the jury of his sound motives; see Powell and Paterson (2004) 12–​13; Tempest (2011a) 49. 29 Cicero (Off. 2.49–​51) argued the advantages of defence, also guilty defendants, because it was expected and acceptable to do so, and because defence offered the best chance of glory and popularity. Cf. Dyck (1996) 432–​6. See also Tatum (2013) 138–​9 with further references. 30 Alexander (1990) 220–​1. 31 Alexander (1990) 220–​5. David (2011) 165–​7 also emphasise that these big name advocates or character witnesses brought with them not only eloquence but also, and crucially, their grauitas (authority and status).

Oratorical settings and career possibilities

33

status could have a significant effect on the outcome of the trial. In this perspective, the expectations and the performances of senior politicians in the courts differed from that of junior colleagues. While a younger prosecutor or defence advocate had to rely on his skills as an orator and only to a limited extent the status associated with a family name should he happen to come from a prominent family, the senior advocate and especially the senior character witness could base his performance more on his auctoritas and standing and less on his oratory.32 A  case in point is Pompeius’ frequent appearances on behalf of prosecuted supporters during the 50s BC.33 A prosecution by a young man which led to conviction would certainly be termed a success, but conviction was not a necessity for oratorical fame: Caesar’s unsuccessful prosecution of Dolabella established his name as a great orator.34 Caesar understood the conventions of the court and the expectations of a young prosecutor, and he succeeded in turning the trial into a display of his oratory and political abilities. For a young man planning to use oratory as a substantial element in his political career, forensic oratory offered great opportunities.

The contio The contio –​the informal public meeting at which magistrates addressed the people –​of all oratorical occasions provided the most flexible access to an oratorical venue and a public audience. It was also the most direct access to the Roman citizenry, which had the ultimate say in elections and in votes on legislation, and was therefore a crucial opportunity for a politician to communicate directly with the people.35 Only a magistrate could call a contio, and he decided who was to address the audience.36 Anybody 32 For Cicero’s case, see May (1988). 33 At Milo’s trial (56 BC), Balbus’ (56 BC), Scribonius Libo’s (55 BC), Ampius Balbus’ (55 BC), Scaurus’ (54 BC). For details, see Appendix 2 on Pompeius’ oratorical activity. 34 Alexander (1990) no. 140; see discussion in Chapter 5 on Caesar, pages 153–6. 35 The nature of the contio, the different contional occasions, and the kind of oratory performed in the contional setting has seen much debate since Millar’s ground b​ reaking articles:  Millar (1984), (1986) and developed into Millar (1998); Pina Polo (1989), (1995), (1996); North (1990a); Hölkeskamp (1995), (2000b), (2004), (2006), (2010), (2011a), (2013b); Jehne (1995), (2000a), (2000b), (2006), (2011a), (2013); Yakobson (1999); Mouritsen (2001); Flaig (2003); Morstein-​ Marx (2004); Tan (2008); Hiebel (2009). The debate is not yet over as the related discussion of the ancient usage and meaning of the term popularis shows:  Robb (2010) argues that the term popularis was used so flexibly that it was effectively without meaning, but Arena (2012) 79–​168 has argued that it contained important ideological and political meaning. For the military contio, see Pina Polo (1989) 199–​218, and for some discussion of soldiers’ freedom of speech, see Chrissanthos (2004). For the unpredictability of Roman elections, see Jehne (2010c). 36 On the right to call a contio, see Pina Polo (1989) 43–​53, (1996) 16–​18.

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could be called to address the contio, but it would have to be someone whom the convening magistrate deemed to have relevance for the issue discussed, often an ex-​magistrate.37 When outside office, a well-​connected politician could arrange for one of his political contacts in office to call a meeting and ‘produce’ him to address the audience, or he could be summoned to address the contio against his will.38 The contio was an assembly of the Roman citizenry, but not a voting assembly. Instead, contiones were used to present and debate legislative bills, to discuss current matters, and –​more or less obliquely –​to promote individuals as trustworthy and capable politicians in the hope of support for their views and proposals, and in the hope of further office. The immediacy of the contio was useful for explaining to the public the proceedings of a senate meeting immediately afterwards (as Marcus Antonius did in the aftermath of the murder of Caesar in 44 BC), but a contio could also be planned in advance as was often the case if a legislative proposal was to be discussed. We also have evidence that tribunes prepared their contiones in an attempt to control their running and outcome.39 Yet, as in the courts and the senate, the speech situations in the contio contained an element of unpredictability: the crowd could respond differently than expected and the invited speakers might not behave or speak as predicted or agreed.40 The more skilled and prepared, the more a politician could avoid negative outcomes of unpredictable events and perhaps even exploit the element of unpredictability to his advantage. A politician could instruct and organise supporters to appear and act within the crowd attending the contio, arrange for suitable and effective guest speakers to support his case, and prepare his own speech in an attempt to limit the level of unpredictability. Access to the contio and an audience was, however, not necessarily easy. A budding politician without office or a political network might not be called to speak unless he offered something of particular relevance to the convening magistrate or the public. A  junior magistrate calling a contio might find the audience small or lacking if he could not pull in the crowds 37 On being called to address a contio, see Pina Polo (1996) 48–​52; on the proportion of ex-​magistrates to non-​ex-​magistrates called to address a contio, see Pina Polo (1996) 34–​8. 38 Piso Caesoninus’ appearance in Clodius’ contio of spring 58 (see discussion in Chapter 6 on Piso, pages 185–8) suggests some reluctance on Piso’s part. Also Marcus Antonius was brought into a contio seemingly unwillingly in March 45 (see discussion in Chapter 8 on Antonius, page 260). 39 Tan (2013) on Clodius’ contio preparations. 40 Millar (1998) 130–​1 on the unpredictability in the people’s reactions as a factor in Roman politics. Cic. Att. 2.21.5 (SB 41) on Caesar’s unsuccessful attempt in a contio in 59 BC to stir up the people against his consular colleague, Bibulus. See discussion in Chapter 3 on Gaius, pages 85–6, for Gaius Gracchus’ failure to control a contio.

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with the promise of an attractive topic for debate, star speakers or some other incentive. Even prominent magistrates could find their audience drawn away to a competing and, at times, even simultaneous contio in the Forum, as happened to Gaius Gracchus through the counter-​contiones assembled by Livius Drusus in 122 BC.41 The contio was not a single oratorical setting (as was the senate) but a flexible institution with the possibility of parallel meetings and competing claims to the people’s attention and backing. The attractiveness of the contio for politicians lay exactly in the flexibility it offered for addressing the Roman public. Any topic could be discussed at a contio and there seems not to have been any rules about a formal agenda. Therefore it was a very effective forum for communicating any political agenda or political views; although the speaker formally addressed the Roman people, proposals or views which were not traditionally popular favourites were not excluded from discussion in the contio. This setting meant that a speaker could use the opportunity not only to publicise his political views but also to show off his oratorical skills and political talent  –​in short his political credibility and claim to political influence. Many young politicians first had the chance to convene their own contiones when they were tribunes of the plebs. For a young politician ambitious for a public audience, the office of tribune of the plebs was a promising option (with the exception of the decade following Sulla’s reforms), because it was relatively easy to obtain election with ten tribunes elected every year, and because it offered the right to convene and address meetings in the contio, as mentioned in the Introduction.42 Of the known convenors of contiones about half were called by tribunes, and the other half by all the other magistrates together, while the tribunes also dominate the record of known speakers in contiones;43 evidently, the access to the contio was a significant attraction of the office. As discussed in the Introduction, these candidates for office could have an ideological aim, or hoped to use the oratorical occasions offered with the office to position 41 On parallel contiones, see Pina Polo (1989) 65–​7. For the possible geographical locations of contiones, see Morstein-​Marx (2004) 42–​59. Plut. C. Gracch. 9–​11; App. B Civ. 1.23. See discussion in Chapter 3 on Gaius, pages 98–100. 42 Kondratieff (2003) 74 on the average age of a tribune as thirty-​four, hence older than the young prosecutors. The tribunate was usually sought after the quaestorship and before the aedileship, but candidates could be in their forties and fifties. Yakobson (1999) 173–​6 discusses the tribunes’ possible motivations and later career prospects. 43 Pina Polo (1996) 52–​6.

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themselves for further office, or sought to use the legislative initiative to foster links with important political groups.44 Those with only limited interest or talent in oratory would be unlikely to choose the route of the tribunate. Yet, Marius went for the tribunate, even though he has often been judged to be lacking in oratorical talent. Marius’ tribunate suggests that he was acting on the third type of motivation suggested above, namely, that of using his right to present legislation to build up new political networks: his bill to narrow the voting bridges was understood as a populist initiative, while his opposition to a grain distribution bill was seen as popular with the senate.45 He was using the tribunate and his legislative activity to ally himself with both senate and the people and to carve out a niche for himself in the public awareness, which was necessary if a tribune wanted to stand out against his nine colleagues.46 The only people who could not seek the tribunate were members of a patrician gens, as the tribunate was the tribunate of the plebs, and they therefore had to use other routes to further their political career, as did Caesar.47 The speech itself was central to the contio; indeed the word contio can also mean the speech itself.48 Politicians speaking at a contio usually had previous experience of oratory, for example, forensic oratory, and therefore had some grasp of what was needed on the occasion. However, studies of Ciceronian speeches delivered in contiones in parallel with speeches delivered in the senate or the courts show that addressing the crowd in a contio demanded a different style, sense of the past and political outlook from the other oratorical venues.49 Indeed, Cicero’s performances in and observations on the contio, in combination with analyses of contional performances by other orators, has led scholars to identify a special style, termed either a popularis style, a tribunician style or a contional style  –​ depending on focus –​but all of which partly overlap in their relation to the contio.50 This style is characterised by a strongly performative delivery 44 Pina Polo (2012b) 54 emphasises the optional element of the contio and the possible ideological motivation for choosing the contio as a career-​enhancing venue. 45 Cic. Leg. 3.38–​9; Plut. Mar. 4.2, 4.4. With ‘populist’ I  mean a proposal which could be seen to favour the interests of the people, rather than those of the senate. 46 Russell (2013) discusses this aspect of carving out a niche through tribunician activity. 47 See Chapter 5 on Caesar. 48 Increasingly in the late Republic, the contio acquired the further meaning of the written version of the contio speech: Pina Polo (1996) 26–​33; Mouritsen (2013). 49 Mack (1937); Classen (1985) 304–​67; Morstein-​Marx (2004) 28–​9; Ramsey (2007b) 131–​4 (from the view of senatorial speeches). Hölkeskamp (2013a) discusses ways to address the public, and Manuwald (2012) Cicero’s contio speeches. 50 David’s (1980) conclusion  –​that eloquentia popularis (the act of speaking vehemently through tone of voice, choice of words and themes, and gestures) was used to describe a behaviour and

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with variations in tone and strength of voice, attempts to engage the audience through appeal to emotions rather than rational argument, and animated gestures such as facial expressions, gesticulation with arms and walking about on the rostra. Not all of these features were necessarily used in every contional speech, but the differences between Cicero’s parallel speeches to the senate and in the contio suggests that late republican orators addressing a contio would have to take audience expectations of such a style into account. Gaius Gracchus was seen as a major innovator of this style through his tone of voice, gestures and movements.51 The stir created by his oratorical performances in the contio suggests some expectation of a certain contional style already at this time.52 The fact that later tribunes would adopt aspects of his performative style shows how he changed these expectations. Plutarch’s remark that Cato the Younger practised the type of speech which was effective with the people may be an indication that a contional style formed part of rhetorical education in the 70s BC, and was not simply a style learnt by observing orators addressing the people.53 Cato’s contional appearances are characteristic for the theatrical elements which he adopted, and during his later career the crowds would be drawn to his contiones in expectation of a good show.54 Certainly, this style was not limited to tribunes, prosecutors or other contional orators, but could be tapped into whenever an orator wished. The associations of this style, however, remained with the contio, the tribunes and with those who challenged the political or social status quo.55 Indeed, Cicero contrasts the appearance which could be adopted by all kinds of orators irrespective of political outlook when speaking in the capacity of tribune or prosecutor  –​is linked to the contional setting but not exclusively so. Yet, many of his examples derive from tribunes addressing the contio and this style of speaking evidently had some impact in this setting. David (1983c) discusses orators of Italian descent adopting a popularis style as a method by which to gain public attention. P. M. Martin (2000) uses the term popularis oratory more specifically to designate the kind of rhetoric adopted by tribunes to discuss the deaths of the brothers Gracchi. Kondratieff’s (2003) 277–​321 exploration of some of the same material, albeit from the angle of the tribunes and hence called ‘tribunician style’, further underlines the phenomenon of addressing a popular audience with a powerful delivery, heavy use of emotional appeal (pathos), elaborate gestures and walking on the rostra as forming its own style employed often in relation to the contio. Morstein-​Marx’s (2004, especially pp. 270–​3) vantage point, the contio itself, is clear from his terminology of ‘contional oratory’, yet he describes the same phenomenon and suggests that its emergence in the late second century BC was linked with the tribunes’ move from addressing the crowd within the enclosed comitium to the much greater space of the Forum: the potentially larger audience demanded a different style. 51 See discussion in Chapter 3 on Gaius, page 92. 52 Flower (2013) 88 on Tiberius’ oratorical style as a precursor to Gaius’ innovations. 53 Plut. Cat. Min. 4.2. 54 See discussion in Chapter 7 on Cato, pages 226, 229–30, 244–5. 55 Wisse (2013) 271–​7 discusses aspects of this style in relation to bad oratory and criticism of orators.

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contional speech with the senatorial speech by pointing out that ‘contio capit omnem uim orationis et grauitatem uarietatemque desiderat’ –​ ‘the contio allows the full powers of oratory and requires dignity and variety’.56 Finally, a subgenre of the contio should be mentioned. A contio could also be a meeting in which a laudatio funebris, funeral speech, was delivered. It could take place in connection with a senate-​approved public funeral, or it could be a private occasion where a magistrate convened a contio and delivered a funeral speech to the audience assembled.57 Caesar took advantage of the timing of his quaestorship with the death of his aunt Julia and his wife Cornelia to convene contiones in which he spoke of their qualities and, implicitly, promoted himself as a pious Roman with impressive ancestry and connections and the ability to speak eloquently.58 The flexibility of the contio offered great opportunities to those politicians able and willing to take them.

The senate Speaking in the senate was the oratorical opportunity which was most restricted by rules and tradition. Only senators, magistrates not yet formally admitted by the censors but permitted to deliver their opinion in the senate, and those invited to address the senate (for example, foreign ambassadors) could speak in the senate.59 Although all senators could be asked to speak by the convening magistrate,60 there was a tradition for following a certain speaking order when a topic was debated. This started with the consuls in office (traditionally the one elected first would speak before his colleague), then the praetors and then other senior senators, usually consulars and other prominent politicians.61 (Sometime during the late Republic, this changed as the convening magistrate might choose the order of speakers more freely and according to political and personal concerns, although the order adopted at the start of the year would usually be followed for the remainder of the year.) After the elections had taken place, the consuls elect would be called to speak before the consuls 56 Cic. De or. 2.334. 57 Pina Polo (1989) 165–​8 introduces this with further references to scholarship. 58 See discussion in Chapter 5 on Caesar, pages 160–2. 59 On the membership to the senate, see Willems (1885) vol. i, 381–​581; Lintott (1999b) 68–​72. On the foreign ambassadors addressing the senate, see Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 294–​320; Pina Polo (2013a). 60 Gell. NA 14.7.4: Varro’s handbook on the senate listed possible convening magistrates as dictator, consuls, praetors, tribunes of the plebs, interrex, and the praefectus urbi. 61 Gell. NA 14.7.9 with Lintott (1999b) 78.

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in office, likewise the praetors elect before the praetors. In the pre-​Sullan period, when the consular and praetorian elections took place late in the year, this invitation to the newly elected magistrates to address the senate made sense from an administrative and political point of view, especially when the consuls in office left Rome after the elections to rejoin their armies.62 In the period after Sulla’s reforms, the consuls usually stayed in Rome during their term in office and were therefore much more active in city politics and in the senate. Moreover, the move of the consular elections to July meant that there were consuls designate in place for about half of the year, alongside the consuls.63 A striking illustration of the importance of magistrates elect in senatorial debates is the major impact of the speeches delivered by Caesar and Cato during the Catilinarian debate on 5 December 63.64 As praetor-​elect, Caesar spoke early in the debate (just after the two consuls elect Silanus and Murena) and influenced the general opinion towards imprisonment of the captured conspirators. After numerous speakers, Cato was called to speak –​as tribune-​elect –​and he completely turned the opinion over towards execution. When a vote was taken after Cato’s speech, the senate decided to advise execution. This meeting illustrates that the speaking order did favour the higher-​ranking magistrates and that they would have a better chance of making their opinion known, but a speaker later in the debate (such as Cato) could come in at a decisive moment before the vote and effect a turnaround. The rules and traditions for senate meetings gave some structure, but the actual speeches could change the dynamic of the meeting and sometimes dramatically. Another way in which Cato was later to change the dynamic of senate meetings was his adoption of the filibuster technique, for by speaking continuously until sunset when the meeting had to end, he blocked not only others from speaking –​going against the norm of sharing opinions –​but also held back a dynamic flow of opinion exchange which otherwise characterised the senate. The speaking order limited who could speak, and many senators would, in fact, never address the senate or, at most, express their agreement with a previous speaker.65 In reality, only the most prominent senators would 62 Pina Polo (2011a) 218–​19. 63 Pina Polo (2011a) 225–​48 (especially 242–​3) for the consuls’ presence in Rome, and 284 for the timing of the consular elections. For the place of the consuls designate in the senate’s speaking order, see Pina Polo (2013b). 64 See discussion in Chapters 5 and 7 on Caesar and Cato, pages 164–6 and 216–17. 65 These were at times and informally called the pedarii; see Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 655–​82; Ryan (1998) 52–​95; Lintott (1999b) 79.

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have the chance to speak in the senate.66 Evidence from Cicero’s letters on senatorial debates, compared with the number of extant senatorial, forensic and contional speeches, suggests that such senior senators would probably speak much more frequently in the senate than in the courts or the contio.67 Indeed, the evidence suggests that a senator such as Piso Caesoninus appeared mainly in the senate and only rarely in the courts or the contio. Although this was probably Piso’s choice, a senior senator in Rome would need to find good excuses not to appear in the senate and speak when asked his opinion.68 According to Cicero, ideally the senate speech should not show off the orator’s eloquence in the same way as in the courts or the contio, because, firstly, the senatorial audience is a wise one, that is, it knows all the rhetorical tricks in the book, and, second, others should also have the chance to speak.69 Indeed, the senators invited to speak were expected to express their opinion in shorter sententiae. We know, for example, of a number of shorter expressions from Pompeius, and Caesar is said to have been especially skilled in thinking up effective sententiae.70 It should also be noted that networking and lobbying in advance of the meeting diminished the debate at the meeting itself. Given the less public nature of this pre-​meeting activity, it is not always possible to trace it in the sources. However, Pompeius’ lobbying is revealed through his practice of dealing with senate debate at a distance: because of his high consular status, he was almost certain of being asked his opinion during senatorial debates during the 50s and into early 49 BC. This near certainty helps to explain his absence from some important senate meetings, where publicising his opinion might have compromised his position.71 Yet, he often seems to have attempted to manipulate these debates by sending junior magistrates to meetings in the senate to offer an opinion under their own name, yet really from himself. In this way, he could test the attitude of the senate without committing himself, and still send an implicit message to the senate of his opinion.72 66 Although, the high mortality rate ensured a relatively high turnover among senior senators: Hopkins (1983) 69–​107. 67 Ramsey (2007b) 125. 68 Cic. Dom. 8. See discussion in Chapter 6 on Piso page 202. 69 Cic. De or. 2.333. 70 See discussion in Chapters 4 and 5 on Pompeius and Caesar, pages 132–4 and 148, 172. 71 In some periods of the decade, Pompeius’ imperium prohibited his crossing of the pomerium, but often the senate meetings would take place outside the pomerium precisely to allow Pompeius to attend. 72 See discussion in Chapter 4 on Pompeius, pages 138–9. For Pompeius’ lobbying in 49 BC, see Caes. BCiv. 1.1.3, 1.6.1.

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Although the sententiae were usually short, a senator could take the opportunity to develop his sententia into a larger speech, either prepared for the occasion (having had, at most, a few days to prepare it) or ex tempore, and in such cases he would be able to adopt a more elaborate style.73 It is not possible to discern a senatorial style per se, because different situations and aims demanded different styles. For the usual discussion of a proposal or issue in the senate, a straightforward and factual style (under the deliberative genre) was used, while more heated debates might see aspects of invective or encomiastic styles (under the epideictic genre) adopted by the speakers. From the activities of Cato the Younger we get the impression that certain topics were more effective with the senate than with the contio audience. Cato’s usage of philosophical language and concepts when addressing the senate was even used to ridicule him during the trial of Murena.74 Evidently, such display of intellectualism was not thought to be appreciated by the people in the contio or the corona around the trials. The debates in the senate sometimes resulted in altercationes where two speakers would argue back and forth, with wit and invective. The attention given to this type of public speaking in the rhetorical works of the time suggests that the skill of effective performance in an altercatio was considered important for the orator.75 Caesar, for example, was involved in such an exchange in the senate when his boasting of his achievements in 59 BC spurred his critics to ridicule him. His quick-​witted reply probably stopped the issue from being discussed further at the meeting, and it added to his oratorical reputation.76 In another instance, we can see that Piso Caesoninus had to respond immediately and effectively to Manlius Torquatus’ allegations of provincial mismanagement in an exchange in the senate during the summer of 55.77 Such altercations and longer sententiae show that in spite of lobbying before the meeting, there would always be an element of unpredictability. The nature of senatorial speeches, their relative brevity and usually unadorned style, helps to explain why most senatorial speeches were not recorded and circulated by the orator after the event.78 Indeed, most of 73 Cicero’s Pro Marcello is such an ex tempore speech. 74 See discussion in Chapter 7 on Cato, pages 214–15, 220–1. 75 Cic. De or. 1.17, 2.230; Quint. Inst. (in a court context) 6.3.46, 6.4.1, 12.3.3. 76 Suet. Iul. 22.2 with discussion in Chapter 5 on Caesar, pages 171–2. 77 See discussion in Chapter 6 on Piso, page 192. 78 Cic. De or. 2.333–​4; see Ramsey (2007b) 129–​32. Some senators could speak at length and ex tempore (e.g. Crassus: Cic. Att. 1.14.3–​4 (SB 14)) but most speeches were probably more straightforward

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our knowledge of senatorial debates stem from testimonia in Cicero’s letters and later historians. Written versions of such speeches may not have been considered helpful in promoting an orator’s reputation or political views in the same way as did a forensic or contional speech in which an orator could pull out all the oratorical devices to effect persuasion. But once a politician had reached the higher rungs on the political ladder, senatorial speech was an activity which he had to take seriously and which could offer substantial chances of networking, influence on political decisions and further career opportunities.

Oratorical settings and career moves In the opening quotation to this chapter, Cicero argued that an orator’s reputation rested on his performances in front of the people.79 He went on to explain that the ability of an orator was judged on his achievement of three distinct purposes for speaking: to instruct his audience, to give pleasure to his audience and to rouse the emotions of his audience; and that only the approbation of the people could be used as a measure of his success in fulfilling these purposes. The popular element was crucial.80 Cicero’s message can be interpreted as a rejection of senatorial oratory for any orator wishing to be regarded as great. While the corona of onlookers around the trials and the people in the contio could help establish an orator’s reputation, the senatorial audience counted for little. Cicero’s focus in the Brutus is on the orator, his skills and experiences, and in the passage quoted he is thinking of the reputation of an orator as orator. But what Cicero does not discuss here is for what purposes an orator could use his reputation. Alongside building up a reputation as an orator, a politician addressing an audience could communicate a short-​term message in the hope of influencing politics and a long-​term message that he was an apt advocate of a particular political stance and a suitable office holder. The people constituted the crucial audience as the potential voters in elections and legislative assemblies, but for the further political purposes, speeches in the senate could play a role too. and to the point. Caesar, when consul in 59 BC, introduced a record of senatorial meetings (Suet. Iul. 20) but the longevity of this record is uncertain. 79 Cic. Brut. 186; cf. 183–​200 (with Iodice Di Martino (1987)); De or. 2.159; Orat. 117. 80 Hölkeskamp (1995) 26–​7 emphasises this fact too.

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If we were to take Cicero at face value (never advisable except as an experiment), Roman politicians ought to have preferred delivering speeches in the contio and, to some extent, in the courts over the senate. Certainly, the access to the two former settings came at an earlier stage in a politician’s career than access to the senate and coincided with the point at which it was most important for a politician to make a name for himself if he had hopes of a further political career. Therefore some younger politicians such as Caesar and Cato may be seen to have preferred the contio and the courts over the senate. But a reputation must be nurtured in order to remain, and the test of Cicero’s dictum would be to consider preferences of oratorical settings among senior senators who had access to all three settings. Did senior senators prefer to speak in the contio and the courts or did they rely on senatorial appearances? As later chapters will show, not all senators regarded the contio or the courts as crucial for their political advancement. Yet, Cicero may be right about the reputation as an orator, because absence from the public oratorical settings helps to explain the fact that such absentees were not often considered great orators. Cicero’s depiction in the Brutus also leaves out the other side of the coin, namely the problem of keeping up a reputation and avoiding it being pulled down. Indeed, there was more at stake for a senior senator, who had built up a reputation over years but saw challenges to it through the intensifying political competition. The chapter on Pompeius shall illustrate that a senior senator could employ oratory differently than junior colleagues who had more to gain than to lose: while a senior politician certainly could adopt a forceful oratorical style, he always had his grauitas and auctoritas as senator on which to rest a more dignified and calm style. Moreover, a senior senator could have a more selective attitude to oratory as his career progressed, while his younger colleagues rather had to take the opportunities offered. While it was possible for a senior senator to operate through the senate alone, it was not possible to focus on the contio only. Senators were expected to turn up to senate meetings when in Rome and to give their opinion when asked; even a master in evasion like Pompeius turned up and offered his opinion when necessary. By contrast to the senate, appearance in the courts and contiones was based more on a voluntary basis, except when a senior senator felt obliged to support friends in court or when summoned to address the contio. Those politicians who operated through both contio and senate were those who had a special interest in or rapport with the people, such as Gaius Gracchus and Pompeius, and those who knew how to use the contio politically, such as Cato.

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Yet, as we shall see, Cato seems not to have used the contio mainly or explicitly to promote his own person or candidature for political office. This would nevertheless have been a major reason for other politicians to address the people in the Forum. A politician hoping to promote his political agenda and his career would engage with the different oratorical settings according to availability, agenda and ability. Availability has been discussed above, and it is clear that senior politicians had better access to oratorical opportunities but a more selective attitude. Oratorical ability mattered too. Orators considered good by their contemporaries (Gaius Gracchus, Caesar and Cato, for example) sought out oratorical occasions, exploited opportunities arising and often used all the different settings available. Merely competent orators such as Pompeius, Piso and Marcus Antonius, would rather take up those opportunities which offered themselves or which they thought necessary to take up. Very few senior politicians continued to operate as advocates in the courts and even good orators did not often sustain their careers through forensic oratory. When looking closely at individual politicians’ oratorical careers, it becomes clear that their engagements with the contio show the starkest differences. Some preferred the contio over other oratorical settings, while others had a broader approach to oratorical occasion, such as Caesar whose oratorical career presents the most wide-​ranging use of oratorical settings: prosecutions in his early twenties, funeral speeches in the contio, contio speeches when called to address the people on specific legislative proposals, appearances in various judicial roles in the courts, senate speeches, contio speeches when magistrate, and military contiones when general. If he had stayed in Rome after his consulship, he might have offered further insights into the activities of consulars. The contio presented a special setting with certain expectations of oratorical and performative style, and a willingness to engage with topics relevant to the concerns of the people. Not all politicians were prepared to engage directly with the people or to adopt the expected contional style in order to make good use of the contio. But those who did could turn the contio into an effective vehicle for their own political agenda and for their own career progression. A politician’s attitude to and engagement with the contio provides the most telling aspect of his usage of oratory to move forward his political agenda and career. Oratory offered unique opportunities for any politician to engage directly with the electorate and peers, to showcase political, oratorical, social and economic skills and thereby illustrate suitability for political

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office (which in turn provided a gateway to further prestige and further career in Rome and the provinces), and to articulate individual opinions and preferences explicitly to the audiences possessing real power in Rome. There were other ways to promote a career, which shall be discussed in the next chapter, but oratory provided the most immediate access to the political workings in which a political career had to take place.

2

Other routes to political success

The oratorical route to electoral and political success was theoretically available to anybody willing to put in the hours to study and practice public speaking, irrespective of social and economic background. Admittedly, access to good teachers and opportunities for practicing delivery increased with wealth and good connections in the Roman upper class, but the lack of such advantages would not necessarily block an oratorical career for an ambitious young man intent on learning the trade of public speech.1 Wealth and connections offered further advantages for gaining political office and influence, as did ancestry, patronage, military exploits and personal charisma. Together with oratory, these elements constituted real factors for electoral and political success in the Roman setting. The following discussion sets out briefly the advantages offered by each of these factors and their relative importance in order to put the oratorical route in perspective.

Ancestry erat enim hominum opinioni nobilitate ipsa, blanda conciliatricula, commendatus. Omnes boni semper nobilitati fauemus, et quia utile est rei publicae nobilis homines esse dignos maioribus suis, et quia ualet apud nos clarorum hominum et bene de re publica meritorum memoria, etiam mortuorum. For he was recommended to men’s approving opinion by his family name, a high recommendation indeed. All us good men always favour good birth, both because it is useful for the state that the men of good birth are worthy of their ancestors and because our memory of outstanding men who have served the state well is important to us, even when they are dead.2 1 There is little direct evidence of such orators, but some of the noui tribunes of the early 90s BC may fit the bill: L. Equitius (tr. pl. 99; RE Equitius 3), P. Furius (tr. pl. 99; RE Furius 22), Sex. Titius (tr. pl. 99 BC; RE Titius 23), C. Canuleius (tr. pl. 98; RE Canuleius 3); see Wiseman (1971) nos. 163, 189, 435, 100, and Russell (2013) for discussion. 2 Cic. Sest. 21; cf. Cic. Font. 41; Lig. 12; Fin. 2.74.

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Cicero’s statement forms part of an attack on Piso Caesoninus’ failure to live up to his illustrious ancestors. Although Cicero may have played up this argument to make his point, his argumentation built on the fact that family and ancestry played an important role in Roman culture and society at large and in political life too.3 The expectation to live up to the achievements of the maiores generally and personal ancestors specifically was widespread and a powerful argument in politics and the law courts.4 For descendants of families famous of victorious generals and successful magistrates, this expectation was both a spur on the individual politician and a potential recommendation of his qualities to the public. A  man from a family without famous generals and politicians in the past, a homo nouus, had no ancestral deeds to recommend him and his name had less recognition with the electorate. Ancestry clearly mattered. The impact of ancestry for electoral success was significant. Hopkins and Burton’s study of the descent of consuls in the period 249–​50 BC showed that two-​thirds of all consuls had a direct consular ancestor in the previous three generations.5 Although the authors sought to clarify how open the Roman senate was to newcomers, and their results disproved the view that only men of consular ancestry stood a chance, their analysis nevertheless made it abundantly clear that consular ancestry mattered in elections for the consulship. For the magistracy below the consulship, the praetorship, a descendant of a consul also stood a better chance of election. Brennan argues that during the late Republic, about half of all praetors came from consular families. Among those who did not boast a consul in their family, a past praetor was an advantage.6 Although these analyses do not have the advantage of full datasets, their percentages are nevertheless telling: if among the known instances two-​thirds of all consuls and half of all praetors came from consular families, it seems that not only was ancestry a significant factor in election to higher office but also that the advantage of consular ancestry increased with the level of magistracy sought. If this is true, it also suggests that this advantage decreased

3 For maiores in Roman culture and society, see Hölkeskamp (1996); van der Blom (2010) 12–​17. For the symbolic capital associated with famous ancestry, see Hölkeskamp (2010) 107–​24. 4 Some references in van der Blom (2010) 1–​2. 5 Hopkins (1983) 32–​78, especially 32 and Table 2.4 (page 58). See Badian (1990) for similar conclusion, and H. Beck (2005) for the background of the consuls in the period 290–​180 BC. 6 Brennan (2000) 758–​ 9; definition of nobilis on page  32. Gruen (1974) 163–​ 77 for a similar conclusion.

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for the lower magistracies of aedile and quaestor, although such analyses are not yet available.7 That ancestry mattered is shown also by the categories for eulogy and invective listed in the rhetorical handbooks of the time, the anonymous Rhetorica ad Herennium and Cicero’s De Inventione, both of which include descent (genus) as a possible category for both praise and blame.8 Later, Quintilian too would emphasise this point.9 Cicero’s speeches are full of examples of this theme of descent (as in the quotation above), and he was of course himself criticised for his humble birth.10 This kind of rhetoric would not have worked had his case been unique, and we have instances of other politicians using descent as an argument for or against another politician. For example, Marcus Antonius slandered Octavian’s familial background in the autumn of 44 BC by referring to the non-​Roman birthplace of Octavian’s mother and his father’s low birth.11 In a political landscape without election speeches as such (as mentioned in the Introduction12) but where public reputation was crucial, references to personal ancestors were employed across the public sphere:  in public speeches (whether political, forensic or funeral speeches), in material culture of more or less public nature (such as inscriptions, art and architecture) and surely also in more informal exchanges which are more difficult to trace now. I have previously termed such references to personal ancestors ‘family exempla’ and analysed the different media and expressions used of such exempla in a political setting.13 Apart from this deep-​rooted culture of looking to the past and using it for one’s own purposes in the present, it is also clear that the shared nature of the past made family exempla open for use by both descendants and the individuals with whom they interacted. As the rhetorical handbooks advised, such exempla were used for both praise and blame, and we have seen Marcus Antonius’ basic slander of Octavian’s ancestry. More sophisticated usage was possible too, as in 7 The scarce literature on the aedileship and quaestorship does not deal with the social background of the successful candidates:  Mommsen (1887) 2.1, 470–​574; Sabbatucci (1954); Harris (1976); Lintott (1999b) 129–​37. 8 Rhet. Her. 3.10, 3.13; Cic. Inv. rhet. 2.177. 9 Quint. Inst. 3.7–​11. 10 Asc. 86C, 91C, 93–​94C; Cic. Har. 17; Schol. Bob. 80St.; Cic. Att. 1.16.10 (SB 16), 2.1.5 (SB 20); Fam. 3.7.4–​5 (71); Sall. Cat. 31.7, 35.5; App. B Civ. 2.2. Later references to Cicero’s humble background: [Sal.] Inv. in Cic. 1, 4, 7; Quint. Inst. 9.3.89; Juv. 8.236–​44. See Zielinski (1912) 280–​8 for discussion. 11 Cic. Phil. 3.15–​17. See Manuwald (2007) ii, 375, 378–​9 for the context of Antonius’ criticism. 12 See page 8. 13 Van der Blom (2010) 87–​103.

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Lucius Caesar’s suggestion in the debate about the Catilinarian conspirators on 5 December 63 BC that the praetor and conspirator P. Cornelius Lentulus Sura be executed.14 His argument was a complex reference to ancestry which necessitated good knowledge of their internal family relationship and the events around the death of Gaius Gracchus in 121 BC: as a grandson of P. Cornelius Lentulus (cos. 162) who killed M. Fulvius Flaccus (cos. 125) as an adherent of C. Gracchus, Lentulus Sura ought to have followed his grandfather’s exemplum of killing conspirators against the state and not joined Catiline’s plot, while L. Caesar himself, as a grandson of the same Flaccus had gone against the bad exemplum of his grandfather in his opposition to Catiline’s conspiracy and co-​conspirators. With this line of reasoning, Lucius Caesar not only argued that there is a choice involved in using family exempla (as there is for using other exempla) but also that references to such exempla can be used to both denigrate an opponent and advertise one’s own credentials. Although this was not used in an electoral context, L. Caesar here presented himself as a responsible user of the past and a trustworthy politician for the future. The variety in potential uses of ancestry and family exempla is illustrated by most of the orators analysed in Part II. Gaius Gracchus could not avoid making references to his famous and infamous brother, but used these references productively to support a family image bolstered by further references to his and his brother’s parents. Caesar grabbed the chance to boast of his lineage when delivering a funeral oration for his aunt Julia and he set the tone for later claims to divine descent when dictator. Cicero’s criticism of Piso Caesoninus suggests that Piso tried to engender shared character traits between himself and a distant relative for the sake of his public image, while Cato the Younger made his great-​grandfather’s example a fruitful backdrop against which his own deeds were played out. The extant sources do not suggest any family references made by Pompeius and Marcus Antonius, but Antonius was made to think of his grandfather’s example by Cicero, and Pompeius had his own reasons for avoiding associations with his ancestry. Ancestry lurked everywhere as a potent weapon for praise and blame and, if used well, it had the potential for both promoting and harming political careers. 14 Cic. Cat. 4.13 with Schol. Gronov. 290St. apparently quoting L. Caesar verbatim: ‘ “ecce” dixit “qui uiuit et habet sororem meam in matrimonio! auus meus iussu consulis occisus est, et iste uiuit?” ’ (‘ “He [Lentulus Sura]”, he said, “lives and is married to my sister! My grandfather was killed by the order of a consul, and does he live?” ’) L. Caesar’s sister Julia was married to Lentulus Sura. For discussion, see van der Blom (2011b) 56–​7.

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Wealth Senators had to fulfil the minimum requirement for membership of the equestrian order, which was 400,000 sesterces worth in landed property. This requirement ensured that senators did not need to engage in paid work or ask for fees for their services, activities which were seen as disreputable for senators and their families. Within the senatorial class, there was a great variety in fortunes with, at the top, some super-​rich senators and, at the opposite end of the scale, other senators at risk of exclusion from the class because of low funds. At the start of a political career, a young man would usually have to depend on his father’s money and network of supporters, but once he was established in politics, he could generate own funds. The most lucrative source of income in a period of imperial expansion was booty from war and exploitation of provincials.15 These opportunities increased dramatically for those politicians appointed as generals and provincial governors for which a political magistracy was normally a prerequisite. Alternatively, business dealings such as money lending on a large scale, investment in international trade or tax-​farmer businesses were other profitable activities.16 Legacies and inheritances from non-​relatives could also boost a senator’s income, especially that of a senior senator.17 The political advantages offered by wealth were the various opportunities for greasing the network of patrons, associates and supporters, which, in turn, could help to further a political career. Such greasing could take a variety of forms, and the sources talk about throwing dinners and giving gifts and loans.18 This kind of expenditure had to balance the difficult line between generosity and bribery (ambitus), the latter being illegal.19 In the late Republic, the repeated attempts to curb electoral bribery through legislation suggest the lack of success and thereby the widespread nature of the phenomenon.20 Although the risk of prosecution and conviction 15 See Rosenstein (2011) for discussion of the parameters for wealth accrued in war. 16 There were legal and moral restrictions on senators’ financial activities: senators could not act as contractors (mancipes) or partners (socii) in tax contracts, but they could act as guarantors and shareholders, for which service they could be recompensed: Lintott in CAH IX2, 79. Moreover, the senatorial elite of the late Republic seems to have been very active in large-​scale financial activities: Andreau (1999) 9–​29. 17 Cic. Phil. 2.40 suggests that Cicero and Marcus Antonius received substantial legacies from non-​ relatives; Cic. Mil. 48–​9 that Clodius received an inheritance from the architect Cyrus; Cicero also received a number of other legacies; see Shatzman (1975) 409–​11. 18 Comment. pet. 16–​19, 44. 19 Comment. pet. 52, 57; Cic. Verr. 1.22–​5. Shackleton Bailey (1970) discusses some magistrates prosecuted for ambitus, and Yakobson (1999) 22–​42, 59–​64 as well as Rosillo López (2010) 49–​86 discuss electoral corruption. 20 Lintott (1990).

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was always there, there were major advantages in employing money to promote a political career. With the senatorial minimum property requirement there came the expectation of a certain lifestyle. Being a politician necessitated a house in Rome where the political activity took place, and this house had to be large enough to accommodate the morning visits from friends, supporters and clients, and to correspond in decor and furniture with expectations of a senatorial house.21 Cicero famously bought a grand house on the Palatine after his consulship to signal his new consular status, taking the nouus Cn. Octavius (cos. 165 BC) as his example.22 The requirement of landed property also made it de rigueur to possess estates in the Italian countryside, which were (apart from often an agricultural unit) a place for otium: relaxation, visits of guests and engagement in literary studies or hunting. The decor and furniture of these countryside villas were also regulated by intricate and unwritten rules which would indicate the owner’s place in the social hierarchy.23 The long history of sumptuary legislation shows, like the legislation to curb bribery, that there was a concern about luxurious lifestyles and the potential advantages it might bring, especially in politics.24 Exuding wealth was not necessarily helpful for promoting a politician, but displaying membership of select group of politicians was, and that involved a lifestyle seen as senatorial. For some magistracies, use of private funds to boost public funding of magisterial activities could be used to attract positive attention, such as the aediles’ support of public works or the urban praetor’s injection of further funds into the games (the ludi Apollinares and the ludi piscatorii). Non-​magistrates could also put on games in honour of deceased family members, to celebrate the inauguration of public buildings, or simply when it was thought useful to gain popularity with the people. Although

21 See, for example, Wiseman (1987); Wallace-​Hadrill (1988). Stein-​Hölkeskamp (2005) discusses the Roman dinner party as the venue for display of hierarchy and wealth. 22 Cn. Octavius: Cic. Off. 1.138–​40 with Brunt (1982) 12–​13. Cic. Dom. 100 ‘in conspectu prope totius urbis’ –​‘in full view of almost the whole city’; Att. 1.13.6 (SB 13) with Allen (1944); Tatum (1999) 160–​1 on the house and the social implications; Lafon (2001) 188–​204 lists all nine of Cicero’s properties and discusses the sneer of the nobiles. Criticism: Cic. Att. 1.16.10 (SB 16). 23 Cicero’s concerns about the Greek artworks necessary for his villas suggests the importance: Cic. Att. 1.8.2 (SB 4), 1.9.2 (SB 5), 1.10.3 (SB 6); Q Fr. 3.1 (SB 21); Fam. 5.6.2 (SB 4). See C. Edwards (1993) 150–​60 and Wallace-​Hadrill (1988) for the house as symbol of power and status. D’Arms (1970) 18–​72 discusses senatorial luxury villas around the bay of Naples, and Zarmakoupi (2014) Roman luxury villas generally. 24 Daube (1969) 117–​28; Dauster (2003). Wallace-​Hadrill (2008b) 316–​57 discusses the sumptuary legislation and the wider concerns with luxury as marker of social status.

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giving games often had a positive effect on a political career, the effect was probably brief and timing of the games therefore crucial.25 Another activity which could be presented as giving back to society was the erection of public buildings at private expense. Returning commanders could allocate a large part of the booty to build a temple vowed to a god or goddess during the war fought.26 Marius built a temple to Honos and Virtus while Caesar built a temple to Venus Genetrix to celebrate their victory, to show the people that they were favoured by the gods, and to promote themselves as successful generals showing both piety towards the gods and generosity towards their fellow citizens. The most extraordinary example of such ‘competitive aedificatio’ was Pompeius’ theatre complex on the Campus Martius, which he himself may have described as the steps leading up to the temple to Venus Victrix to emphasise the traditional aspect of temple dedication and to downplay the unprecedented scale and ambition of the complex.27 Shatzman has analysed the sources and use of senatorial wealth and detected a rise in the cost of senatorial life overall during the late Republic.28 This trend fits with the increasing competition for political office and the continued expansion of the empire. Pressures rose and men ambitious for political office needed money to contend in this environment of competitive display of wealth and power if they were to embark upon and maintain a successful political career.

Patronage and networks Good connections are useful in a competitive environment in which the formal rules are few, personal reputation is critical, and real power comes with status. Although scholars have long rejected the view that patron–​client relationships effectively dominated Roman elections, the importance of informal networks for Roman politicians has never been doubted.29 Yakobson has suggested that the real importance of networks in politics lay not in building up blocks of client voters, but instead in 25 Shatzman (1975) 164–​6; A. Bell (2004) 190–​2, and at 196 argues against Cicero’s view (Off. 2.55–​6) that such fame from games would be short lived. 26 Churchill (1999) on the possibilities and limitations on the general’s disposal of the booty. 27 For Marius’ temple, see LTUR III.33–​5; for Caesar’s temple, see LTUR II.306–​7; for Pompeius’ theatre complex, see LTUR V.35–​8, and Chapter 4 on Pompeius, pages 130–1. The term ‘competitive aedificatio’ is Purcell’s (1993) 125. For the theatre as ‘steps’, see Gell. NA 10.1.7; Tert. De spect. 10. 28 Shatzman (1975) 84–​98. 29 Yakobson (1999) 65–​123 discusses the implications of scholarship on patronage.

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relationships between members of the social and political elite, including the equestrian order.30 Building on this suggestion, the following shall focus on such intra-​elite networks. Networks involve exchanges of favours of all forms such as information, introductions, support, money, positions, grants, as well as formal decisions, and such networks entail an element of reciprocity in order to thrive. The position within a network of personal ties at Rome depended on the relative social status of each individual and on his ability to navigate within these informal relationships. The nature of such relationships meant that even some elite women participated in these networks, but only the exceptional among them appear to have been influential on a public level.31 In a relatively small elite community driven by personal initiative rather than institutional activity, anyone who wanted to play a part would have to form and operate within networks. Younger men could get access to a host of opportunities and resources through senior patrons, while patrons benefited from their supporters because they offered him the ‘symbolic capital’ of being seen to be popular and powerful.32 For those who knew how to use these informal ties well, their network could have a transformative impact on their public careers. Indeed, the patronage of a senior politician or a powerful senatorial family could make a real difference to a young man with political aspirations. Such a patron could facilitate access to funds, opportunities to engage with a public audience at political meetings, military positions with powerful generals, and connections to other influential politicians and to specialists in subjects relevant for politicians such as oratory, law and history. In return, the young man could offer his support in the present and the promise of his support in the future when he might himself have become influential. Most successful politicians would change from being a protégé to being a patron over the course of their careers, but a constant would be the need to create and maintain healthy relationships with all kinds of individuals and groups at various social levels. These informal relationships were facilitated at face-​to-​face encounters, through letters and messengers, and sometimes advertised in more public settings; indeed, often we only see the public results of private negotiations, and we have to analyse backwards to imagine the potential 30 Yakobson (1999) 110. 31 Cornelia: Plut. C. Gracch. 4.4; Val. Max. 3.8.6 with Dixon (2007); Servilia: Cic. Att. 15.11 (SB 389); Fulvia: Cic. Dom. 139; Mil. 28; Phil. 3.16; Val. Max. 3.5.3 with Welch (1995). 32 Rosenstein (2006) 369–​70. For symbolic capital generally in a Roman context, see Hölkeskamp (2010) 108–​24.

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negotiation behind it. The limited size of the republican city of Rome made face-​to-​face meetings a real option. The fact that Cicero’s correspondence with Atticus falls silent in the periods when they were both in Rome is not a result of transmissional accident but a testimony to the fact that, when in Rome, individuals tended to meet up. Certainly, there were politicians such as Pompeius who preferred to act through intermediaries, but the comments elicited by his behaviour suggest that he went further than the norm. However, often politicians would be away on public business or reside in private villas around Italy which made letters and messengers the only feasible solution, and they were used extensively. The study of Hall on politeness and politics in Cicero’s correspondence presents a convincing case for the importance of letters for building up and nurturing informal networks among politicians and the correspondence display the role played by social hierarchies and public reputations within these networks.33 Although Roman politics were conducted largely in the public eye  –​ public assemblies and court cases taking place in the Forum, and results of senate meetings often reported immediately to the people outside –​some preparation and pre-​meeting negotiation took place in private. The long tradition of private and informal consultation before major decisions in both public and private life saw expression both in magistrates’ consilia (informal ‘councils’ of advisers) and in senators’ private discussions with a select group of peers (sometimes also termed consilia).34 By their very nature, these private discussions are not easily traced, but the descriptions in Cicero’s speeches and letters nevertheless give us an impression of lively lobby activity among senators and equestrians, and intense discussions between top politicians prior to senate meetings.35 Scholars have also suggested that some contio meetings were prepared carefully in order to reach a specific result.36 In all these discussions, preparations and negotiations, personal relationships and their exploitation was crucial. The collaboration between Crassus, Pompeius and Caesar in the 50s BC was an extreme version of such a political network. Although the longevity, influence and almost formal aspects of this collaboration were unusual, their relationship had its foundation in those informal networks which 33 J. Hall (2009a); see also White (2010) for discussion of the social interaction in letters. 34 Crook (1955) 4–​7; Amarelli (1983) 41–​72. Consilia were common in judicial matters, see Tellegen-​ Couperus (2001) and Faro (2009). 35 A selection from a legal context:  Cic. Verr. 2.2.68–​75, 2.3.18; Quinct. 10, 34; Flac. 78; Att 1.16.4; senators’ private consilia: Cic. Att. 2.16.4 (SB 36), 7.15.2 (SB 139). 36 Tan (2013) on Clodius’ contiones.

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were so widespread within the senatorial elite: amicitiae or ‘friendships’. Initiated by Caesar and facilitated through his trusted adviser Balbus, this network aimed at joining forces respectively between a senior statesman with ample financial resources and good contacts within the equestrian class, the people’s darling with recent great military victories and a consul-​ elect with upcoming consular powers.37 Although all three partners were senior senators, their interaction was nevertheless ruled by perceptions of internal hierarchy and negotiations over actions and division of benefits, and it was aimed directly at personal political advantages for each of them. In this way, their collaboration was similar to other intra-​elite networks for political purposes. No politician could operate without engagement with political peers –​even Cato the Younger who exuded an image of lone warrior worked closely with other prominent senators such as M. Calpurnius Bibulus (cos. 59) and L. Domitius Ahenobarbus (cos. 54) –​and networking was therefore a necessary element of political activity and potentially a major career-​enhancing factor of political life.

Military career In a chapter discussing the relationship between military command and political power, Rosenstein argues that ‘from the early third to the early first centuries, an aristocrat could not hope to compete for public office without having first proven himself on the battlefield’.38 This picture of the impact of military achievements upon electoral success rightly emphasises the militaristic nature of Roman society and the intertwined nature of Roman political and military spheres. Although Cicero would argue that military achievements were not absolutely essential for a successful political career, and his own rise to the consulship proves his point, his career was unusual. Harris has argued and Waller has shown that military victory was related to electoral success.39 Nevertheless, the balance between spending time honing oratorical skills and practising military skills in preparation of a political career seems to have shifted in favour of oratory in the first century BC.40 Indeed, the majority of Roman politicians had military careers behind them simply because it was an expected 37 Cic. Att. 2.3.3–​4 (SB 23). 38 Rosenstein (2007) 133. 39 Harris (1979) 10–​41; Waller (2011): victorious generals had a higher success rate in reaching a consulship (if praetorian commanders), a second consulship and censorship (if consular commanders). The statistical relationship is clear but the nature of the relation relies on interpretation. 40 Rosenstein (2007) 144; Blösel (2009) 495–​8, (2011) 76; Flower (2010) 161–​2; McDonnell (2011).

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part of the education of a young man of the elite, but it does not follow that they were all successful and that their success led to political office. Looking at military careers from the opposite view, Rosenstein himself has argued that even those generals who lost on the battlefield did not incur great damage in their political careers.41 This suggests that the relationship between military career and political success was more complex and, indeed, Rosenstein acknowledges that military achievements formed but one element among many which could influence electoral chances.42 A young man of the upper class would usually join an army not as a foot soldier, but as a member of the cavalry, at least in the middle Republic. From the second century onwards, he would instead form part of a general’s staff.43 There were historical and practical reasons for the distinction between mass and elite within the army, and it meant that the advantages of moving in the social circles of the elite were extended to the army: rubbing shoulders and forming networks with peers and superiors, sharing a sense of entitlement, and through these laying the foundations for future career promotions such as further military posts and political offices. The first official military post available was the military tribunate which offered some responsibility and experience in leading smaller units of the army. The twenty-​four yearly military tribunes were elected by the tribes, not the generals themselves, and although the post may have lost importance in the late Republic,44 it was nevertheless the first occasion at which a young man might meet the challenge of the electorate, and it was usually in the latter half of his ten-​year military stint, and therefore towards the time when he would be eligible for public office in Rome.45 The military training would be informal and based on observing superiors rather than on formal or theoretical instruction. Although the Roman army was often successful, it was not a professional army led by professional generals. The generals were ex-​magistrates with some military experience behind them, but essentially politicians on short-​term stints (usually just a year), who might want to get back to politics in Rome. That may have been a military disadvantage to Rome overall, but it also meant that young ambitious politicians doing their military service would 41 Rosenstein (1990). Waller (2011) has shown this to hold true with some qualifications: victorious generals stood a better chance of electoral success than did defeated generals. 42 Rosenstein (2007) 138. 43 McDonnell (2011) 36. 44 See Suolahti (1955) 35–​187 on the military tribunes and Blösel (2009) 484–​5 on the decline in importance of this office, which is also supported in de Blois (2011) 82. 45 Polyb. 6.19.5.

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have a real opportunity to create friendships and connections with prominent senators sent out as generals. Indeed, the real advantage of military career for a young man intent on a political career lay in the networks he could create with his peers and superiors to help him in his canvass for political office. For those men already in the senate, a military position could still mean a good opportunity for networking, but it also had further advantages. Quaestors were sent out to serve under a praetorian or consular governor and their mainly administrative duties gave them good insights into provincial government. Ex-​praetors and ex-​consuls sent out on a prouincia (a command and, in the late Republic, usually within a geographically defined area) were the executive officers of their province and their army. That position gave the major opportunity for leading an army in battle and obtaining a military victory, which in turn could lead to senatorial recognition in the form of an ouatio or triumph. The glory and fame attached to being a triumphant general could be exchanged for popularity with the people, the electorate, and this popularity could be a deciding factor in elections for political office. The other major opportunity for generals lay in the potential for increasing one’s wealth from war booty and exploitation of provincials.46 This wealth could then be used, as discussed above, to boost political expenditure overall and now with the added possibility of setting up public monuments to explicitly thank the gods for the victory and implicitly promote and honour the victorious general. Although defeated generals may not have been excluded from a political career, those who were victorious could boost their claim to further political office. The electoral impact of a military career was informal but could be significant. The symbolic capital gained from a military victory could be used in politics in a variety of ways: the people loved a triumphant general and the value of name recognition in elections should not be underestimated; this popularity made the general someone to be reckoned with in the senate too and he could use it as a lever in informal negotiations and formal senatorial discussions. Although the effect of the victory would wear off with time, a general might hope for a future political office to bring him the chance of renewing the military glory. The motivation of M. Licinius Crassus to go on campaign against the Parthians in 54–​53 BC appears to have been exactly that, especially in consideration with the more recent victories of his two political collaborators Pompeius and Caesar. 46 Schulz (2011) on the financial possibilities of a governorship.

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The joined spheres of military and political life in Rome meant that not only were the generals also senators, but furthermore that the competitive nature of either sphere linked and reinforced each other.47 Being seen to be a successful commander could offer a boost to a political career fading away. However, scholars have argued that after the end of the Social War (91–​89 BC) and the last serious test of Roman supremacy, attention moved away from provincial commands to political activity in Rome.48 Crassus’ eagerness for military victory against the Parthians and Cicero’s great efforts to bring about a battle in Pindenissum (Cilicia) and a resulting triumph indicate that there was still an appetite for military glory.49 But the commands which had serious potential for such warfare (and possible resulting wealth) were dominated by people like Pompeius, Caesar and Crassus, leaving the more established and administration-​heavy commands to other ex-​consuls and ex-​praetors. The hard work of provincial administration (legal and financial), the mundane nature of such administrative tasks which left little chance of military glory, and the serious risk of prosecution once back in Rome, made these commands rather unattractive.50 Out of the 55 consuls in office in the period 79–​53 BC, only twelve are securely attested to have held a provincial command after their year in office, while fourteen did not take up a provincial command after office and a further ten (about whom no evidence is available) may not have done so either.51 Just under the level of consul, however, there were men who focused harder on a military career than on obtaining the consulship. While Sallust’s description of L. Valerius Flaccus, C. Pomptinus and M. Petreius as ‘homines militares’ perhaps should not be understood as men entirely devoted to the army but rather as men with considerable military experience,52 the sources report no attempts on their side for going beyond the praetorships, which they reached. Yet, reaching the praetorship was a feat in itself, especially for the homines noui Pomptinus and Petreius, and this showed their appetite for a civil public career.53 The fact that they never reached beyond the praetorship therefore does not suggest that they did 47 Livy 23.23.6 indicates that military valour could even in rare instances lead to entry into the senate. 48 Rosenstein (2007) 144; Blösel (2009) ­chapter  5, (2011), (2016). Badian 1970, 30–​2 thought these non-​ governors cowards and self-​ seekers, but such a moralising judgement does not explain the trend. 49 Cic. Fam. 2.10 (SB 86), 15.4 (SB 110); Att. 5.20 (SB 113). 50 Blösel (2011) 70–​2; Steel (2012) 90–​1. 51 Balsdon (1939) 63; Blösel (2011) 61–​2. 52 McGushin (1977) and Ramsey (2007a) ad Sall. Cat. 45.2, 59.6. 53 Gruen (1974) 380–​2.

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not crave the consulship, but rather that the consulship was one step too far for these men. The exceptions seem to prove the rule: the nouus Marius struggled to get his political career going, but through clever canvassing and alliances with the equites and the tribunes of the plebs, he managed to get the people on his side against strong senatorial opposition to his consular candidature.54 It was not enough to boast of his military accomplishments; he needed to engage with political methods and operators to get to the consulship. The other major exception is Pompeius, who used his undoubtedly excellent military skills to push himself forward and upward. His military victories were the foundation, but without his dexterous negotiations with first Sulla and later the senate, he could have remained an officer without civil office at an extraordinarily early stage of his career. For both Marius and Pompeius, politicking and clever exploitation of public opinion were the means by which their military accomplishments were allowed to influence their path to the consulship. A successful track record in the army was not enough on its own for launching a political career in Rome. A military victory with the resulting glory and wealth would always conjure up respect with the senate and popularity with the people, but with diminishing chances of such victories, a provincial command per se was no longer considered an essential element in the career of a senior politician and it had less importance for moving that career forward to new heights.

Intangible factors The Greek term χάρισμα means ‘grace’ and, from there, in early Christianity, ‘the gift of grace’.55 To possess ‘charisma’ therefore meant to possess a special gift or talent. The Romans had no exact corresponding term. In modern English, ‘charisma’ has been defined as ‘a gift or power of leadership or authority’ and ‘the capacity to inspire devotion or enthusiasm’.56 In more colloquial English, ‘charisma’ means the talent to make other people like oneself and harness this popularity into some form

54 For Marius’ canvass for the consulship of 107, see Yakobson (1999) 13–​19; Tatum (2013). For the factors for a successful military career in Marius’ time, which could lead to a political career, see Parker (2011). 55 Liddell and Scott (1996). Indeed the topic of charisma is one branch in the study of early Christianity. 56 Oxford English Dictionary with a reference to Max Weber’s works.

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of success.57 Although charisma seems to be a trait difficult to define or describe, suggestions of characteristics have been attributed to people possessing charisma:  confidence and assertiveness, optimism, intelligence, emotional expression and alertness to other people’s emotions, being able to show interest and appear interesting to other people. Modern sociologists, foremost among them Max Weber, have employed the term in an academic context to help explain certain phenomena of leadership within a social group or state.58 In Weber’s definition, ‘[t]‌he term “charisma” will be applied to a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is considered extraordinary and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a “leader” ’.59 Weber also stressed the social aspect of charisma because the status as a charismatic leader is confirmed only by those subject to the leader’s authority. However, the charisma is not the basis for the leader’s claim to leadership, rather, the charismatic relationship entails the duty of those subject to the leader’s authority to recognise him as the true leader.60 In this understanding of the term, charisma is a form of personal quality which is seen as extraordinary and inborn (rather than a skill taught and practised61), and which makes the charismatic person stand out from the crowd and assume a role of leadership. The reason for including charisma as a factor for electoral and political success is that modern scholars have used it to characterise some Roman politicians such as Sulla and Caesar.62 Moreover, observers of modern politics have used charisma to explain the electoral success of some candidates 57 A quick search on the Internet offers a range of discussions of ‘charisma’ ranging from self-​help courses and ‘charisma coaches’ to products marketed under the allure of ‘charisma’. 58 Weber (1947) 140–​8 = English: Weber (1978) 241–​54) for definition and some discussion. Hatscher (2000) 19–​69 discusses the usage of the term more broadly in sociology. 59 Weber (1978) 241  =  Weber (1947) 140:  ‘ “Charisma” soll eine als außeralltäglich (…) geltende Qualität einer Persönlichkeit heißen, um derentwillen sie als mit übernatürlichen oder übermenschlichen oder mindestens spezifisch außeralltäglichen, nicht jedem andern zugänglichen Kräften oder Eigenschaften oder als gottgesendet oder als vorbildlich und deshalb als “Führer” gewertet wird.’ 60 Weber (1947) 754 = Weber (1978) 242. 61 Even if modern ‘charisma coaches’ tries to sell their services under the promise that it can be learned. 62 Yavetz (1983) 209–​11; Hatscher (2000) on Sulla and Caesar; A. Bell (2004) 51; Long (2006) 78 and Gruen (2009) 24 on Caesar; Migone (2012) discusses the scholarly interest in charisma in relation to the Roman Republic and Caesar. Wyke (2007) 2 describes Caesar’s image as a charismatic leader as crucial for his fame. This description of Caesar as ‘charismatic’ goes back to the discussion in

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over other better-qualified candidates.63 Although modern political systems and cultures work differently from the Roman republican system (and indeed from each other too), a common feature is the focus on the individual politician and the ways in which a politician relates with other politicians and with the electorate. The concept of charisma, in both the sociological definition and in the more general definition, is used to explain why some politicians relate more easily and better with other people. While Hatscher has used Weber’s discussion of charisma to elucidate aspects of Sulla’s and Caesar’s dictatorships, charisma in the more general sense can be used to analyse the ways in which Roman politicians engaged with fellow politicians and with the people at large. In the following, I shall use charisma in the general sense of the gift of leadership and authority and the capacity to inspire enthusiasm rather than the strict sense applied by Weber.64 Our sources are full of anecdotes and descriptions of the ways in which Roman politicians interacted with each other. The interpersonal nature of charisma means that it would have most impact in a personal meeting, rather than negotiations through an intermediary or letters. The stories in the sources include meetings between politicians in both private and public settings, which at times illustrate how much personal charm can influence the outcome of the meeting or the relationship more broadly. An example is Pompeius’ behaviour at a dinner with Cicero in early 56 BC, which Cicero reported to Lentulus Spinther. Cicero explains that when he listens to Pompeius talking, he clears him of all suspicion of self-​ serving ambition, yet when he sees Pompeius’ friends and supporters, he sees clearly what has been apparent to all, namely that the entire business (around the restoration of king Ptolemy Auletes to the Egyptian throne) has been corrupted by certain individuals and not against the will of the king himself and his advisers.65 Pompeius’ smooth talking almost convinced Cicero of his good intentions, even if Cicero himself was an expert smooth talker.

the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of ‘Caesarism’ (popularly mandated autocracy); cf. Yavetz (1983) 10–​57; Bruhns (2000) 55–​7; Cole (2009). 63 For example, John F. Kennedy’s victory over Richard Nixon in the 1960 American presidential election: Matthews (1996) 3, 170, 300; Donaldson (2007) 204; Swint (2008) 8–​9, 14. 64 Weber himself did not count Caesar among his charismatic leaders and Yavetz (1983) 209–​11 argues that Caesar was not a charismatic leader in the true sense of Weber’s definition. Bruhns (2000) 66 argues that Caesar’s charisma was a result of his achievements, not a cause. 65 Cic. Fam. 1.2.3 (SB 13). See also Cic. Att. 6.2.10 (SB 116). See Comment. pet. 46 on people being charmed more by appearance and words than by actual benefit.

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When an individual attempts to communicate with and reach out to a larger group, the element of conversation and interpersonal interaction transforms into oratory and stage performance. Although oratory, as discussed throughout this book, in itself can have a great impact, an orator perceived as charming or having charisma would have a greater chance of persuading his audience. Having a powerful stage presence could mean the difference between a well-​received speech and failure to capture the crowd. Indeed, Plutarch describes how Caesar’s early prosecution speeches earned him χάρις (‘favour’, ‘popularity’, ‘influence’) and his friendliness won him πολλὴ εὔνοια (‘much good will’) among the people.66 By contrast, Cato the Younger is characterised by Plutarch as lacking χάρις, ‘popularity’, in his public career precisely because he did not possess winning manners or act pleasingly towards the people, and that it may have cost him the consulship.67 The ability to become popular, the possession of charisma, seemed to Plutarch an important feature to record in his biographies, and he did so in connection with his analysis of his subjects’ public life. For Caesar, charisma and oratorical ability secured him instant fame and popularity, while for Cato, the lack of charisma meant that he was never truly popular with the crowd and had to employ other factors to build up his public career. Although our sources may have their own agenda in describing a politician as charming or possessing charisma, their descriptions build on their own observations or the personal observations of others. Observations of other individuals’ characters and interaction with other people are necessarily subjective, and this is exactly the point about charisma. Perception is essential for charisma:  if an individual is perceived as charismatic, he simply is charismatic.68 And if a politician exudes a character of charm and charisma, a narrative about this particular trait can be created and built upon. True charisma cannot be learnt, Max Weber argued, but an appearance of charm certainly can. While Pompeius’ consular colleague Crassus was never described as outright charming, his behaviour towards people from all classes pleased those individuals with whom he came into contact and it made him popular with individuals.69 Crassus may have been naturally 66 Plut. Caes. 4.2. Pelling (2011) 148 argues that this depiction forms part of Plutarch’s stereotype of how to win popular favour but concedes that the stereotype could be right here. 67 Plut. Phoc. 3.1. But see Chapter 7 on Cato, pages 205, 234–6, for another interpretation of his repulsa. 68 See also A. Bell (2004) 8 for the same point. 69 Plut. Crass. 3.2–​3.

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kind and charming with people, but the sources never describe him as truly charismatic. Only a few politicians are described as charismatic by modern scholars, Caesar being one, yet all politicians would strive to be as charming as their personality and conscience allowed in the bid for popularity.

Factors for electoral and political success in context These five factors, plus that of oratory, could influence the career of a politician, but a politician did not have full control over all of them. He could not change his ancestry, although he could make the most of what he had, invent better ancestors or claim to follow role models outside his family.70 He could try to boost his wealth, legally or illegally, and make sure to display what he had in an effective manner, but old money was still more prestigious as it tied in with old status. Patronage and networks would always be easier to inherit than to acquire, yet here a budding politician could make a real difference for himself and continue to do so over the course of his career. The same could be said for using a military career as a platform. Indeed, the army had always been the easiest way to move up in the social hierarchy and had fostered many homines noui. Charisma was perhaps the most difficult to access, at least if we follow Weber’s definition of an inborn quality, yet a politician working on his public appearance and engagement could go a long way towards ingratiating himself with his peers and the people. Availability goes some way to explain the choices politicians made when forging their careers; it is always easier to play on strengths than to improve on weaknesses. Apart from own strengths and weaknesses, other reasons for choosing particular routes came into the picture too. Personal, ideological, moral and social reasons could steer a career in a specific direction, such as Gaius Gracchus’ steely focus on the plebeian tribunate. Coincidences such as a sudden chance to fight a war (Pompeius against Sertorius, Spartacus and Mithridates), take on a forensic case (Caesar prosecuting Dolabella), or the chance to oppose a political antagonist in office (Cato’s tribunate against Metellus Nepos, his tribunician colleague) would be other unpredictable, yet real reasons for leading a career in a 70 Caesar’s claim to divine and regal ancestry is an example of the first; for invented ancestors see Cicero’s remark on false triumphs and extra consulships (Brut. 62, see Ridley (1983)) and the claims to divine ancestry or false ancestors in coinage (RRC 263, 313, 320, 329, 334, 346, 403, 420, 455); Cicero himself created a whole ancestry out of his claimed role models: van der Blom (2010).

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new direction. Surely, mistakes and miscalculations too could have an impact on a career trajectory. Alongside these factors, personal ambition could also influence a political career. Indeed, a disappointed hope for a magistracy could put a stop to a career if the politician decided not to carry on. The shame of a repulsa (defeat) in elections did not necessarily prevent a further attempt and some politicians experienced repeated repulsae,71 but others would have decided to abstain in future and do something else. The expectation that a politician should strive for the top post must have led some candidates to canvass in spite of very little hope for success. We hear a little of those politicians who chose to stop a political career before the consulship or a defeat:  Steel has argued that a number of the senators of the 70s BC did not seek further office but focused instead on jury service and senatorial debate,72 and we have already seen that some praetors, building their career on military service, abstained from further political office and focused on other military stints instead. But both groups seem to have done so out of free choice, or at least made it appear so. Moreover, a substantial part of these will have come from families without a distinguished array of consuls and praetors, lessening the expectations on them and possibly their own political ambitions. Those who did seek office were men from the elite, mainly the senatorial families in Rome and increasingly from elite families from Italian towns too. These were men, who felt or were made to feel a sense of entitlement to power and influence, and who possessed some of the resources and skills (the factors for political success). The influx of the Italian elite into the Roman citizen body effected a major change in the dynamics and composition of Roman elections, and especially so after the Social War, even if the right to stand for office was delayed in many cases. Suddenly, the competition for office increased and the diversity of the candidates meant that old assumptions were challenged. We can see this reflected in the changing tactics competing politicians used. Already before the Italian influx gained speed, the Roman elite focused on monumentalising their ancestry as a claim to status and influence. Buildings and statues set up in Rome, tombs constructed on the outskirts of the city, coinage distributed across the empire, funeral processions with imagines parading through Rome, historical works and oratory all commemorated specific 71 Broughton (1991) nos. 7, 8, 23, 25, 33, 38 and Konrad (1996) for consular candidates. Pina Polo (2012a) and Baudry (2013) discuss such losers. 72 Steel (2014).

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ancestors and advertised publicly the achievements and resulting glory of individuals and their descendants. A major change in the manner and especially extent of such monumentalising of the past and family ancestry took place in the mid-​second century BC as a response to great social changes caused by the expansion of the empire, influx of new citizens and wealth, and increasing competition for political office.73 The challenge to the value of elite Roman ancestry (nobilitas) meant that the Roman elite put increasing emphasis on their ancestry and resulting status; an effect which continued as the challenge continued and increased over the next century. A further fundamental change in the way in which the factors for success functioned in the political sphere was the rise of eloquence. Whether pinpointed as a reaction to the philosophers’ embassy to Rome in 155 BC and Carneades’ revolutionary and shocking display of the power of oratory74 or a reaction to the equally revolutionary employment of oratory by the Gracchi in the 130s and 120s BC,75 it is clear that a change took place with regards to the quality of oratorical performances, the attitude towards oratory and orators and the perception of oratory as an important means to political influence.76 The closure of the first school of Latin rhetoric in 92 BC has been interpreted as the elite’s response to an increasing appearance of new men in politics as well as a conservative response to a novel (for which read immoral) institution,77 and the new men came from the Italian elite which had steadily gained Roman citizenship. Cicero’s rhetorical handbook De Inventione, probably dated to the late 90s BC, shows that the debate about the function of oratory and its relation to morality was now fully integrated into the Roman contexts; oratory had come to stay. 73 Public monuments in Rome:  See Hölscher (1984) 12–​19 and Flower (1996) 70–​9. Tomb of the Scipio’s and the epitaphs displayed there: Scipionic epitaphs: ILS 1–​10 = ILLRP 309–​17; for discussion see Coarelli (1972); Flower (1996) 160–​80. Coinage:  moneyers using ancestral themes in Flower (1996) Appendix C, 333–​8. Discussion of this change in iconography in Alföldi (1956) 65–​6; RRC, 729–​ 30; Hölscher (1982) 270–​ 1; Chantraine (1983) 530–​1; Wallace-​Hadrill (1986) 74; Howgego (1995) 67; Flower (1996) 79; Meadows and Williams (2001) 37–​8. Funeral processions: Polyb. 6.53–​4 with Walbank (1957) 737–​41; Flaig (1995); Flower (1996) 91–​158; Hölkeskamp (1996) 320–​2, (2008) 104–​7, Timpe (1996) 279–​81; Blösel (2000) 37–​46. For the symbolic capital in such monumentalising, see Hölkeskamp (1996), (2001), (2005), (2012). 74 Pol. 33.2; Rutilius (FRHist Rutilius F12); Cic. De or. 1.155–​61; Gell. NA 6.14.8–​10; Plut. Cat. Mai. 22–​3. Powell (2013) has argued that Carneades’ two ‘public lectures’ were Cicero’s invention. 75 See van der Blom (forthcoming 2) in which 155 BC and the Gracchi are seen as turning points in one version of Cicero’s oratorical history. 76 McDonnell (2011) points to a parallel rise in the importance of oratory and law during the second and first centuries BC. 77 Suet. Rhet. 26 (with Cic. De or. 3.93); Gell. NA 15.11.2; Gruen (1990) 179–​91; Kaster (1995) 273–​5; Pina Polo (1996) 81–​7.

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This has further importance for the consideration of factors for political success. It is clear that these factors could reinforce each other and that the most powerful reinforcement would come from oratory: speeches could bolster the effect of most other factors simply by mentioning and praising them or their results: Cicero’s relentless discussion of his own political successes may not be representative, yet all politicians would to some extent have mentioned their achievements as part of political debate; and the act of speaking itself could show oratorical ability, which subsequently could be reinforced by circulating written versions of these performances. The following case studies will display the variety of approaches to political career-​making and, in particular, the ways in which these politicians employed oratory to promote their political agendas and careers.

P a rt   I I

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3

Tribunician oratory and family inheritance Gaius Gracchus’ political career

Sed ecce in manibus uir et praestantissimo ingenio et flagranti studio et doctus a puero C. Gracchus. Noli enim putare quemquam, Brute, pleniorem aut uberiorem ad dicendum fuisse. (…) (126) Utinam non tam fratri pietatem quam patriae praestare uoluisset! Quam ille facile tali ingenio, diutius si uixisset, uel paternam esset uel auitam gloriam consecutus! Eloquentia quidem nescio an habuisset parem neminem. Grandis est uerbis, sapiens sententiis, genere toto grauis. Manus extrema non accessit operibus eius; praeclare incohata multa, perfecta non plane. Legendus, inquam, est hic orator, Brute, si quisquam alius, iuuentuti; non enim solum acuere sed etiam alere ingenium potest. But now we turn to a man of outstanding talent, explosive energy and thorough education from childhood, Gaius Gracchus. Don’t think, Brutus, that anyone was more abundantly provided and well-​ equipped for public speaking than he. (…) (126) I wish he had shown as much devotion to his country as he did to his brother! How easily with his talent he would have matched his father’s or grandfather’s glory, if he had lived longer! Certainly in eloquence, I think, he would have found no equal. A master in terms of style, wise in his pointed observations, a master in the entire art of speaking. His writings have not received the final touch; many of these are excellent first attempts, but clearly not polished off. He is the orator to read, Brutus, if any, by young men; not only can he sharpen but even nourish their talent.1

Cicero’s description of Gaius Sempronius Gracchus (c. 154–​121 BC) in his history of Roman orators, the Brutus, picks up the main themes to be explored by later authors: the brilliant oratory of Gaius and his elder brother Tiberius,2 Gaius’ extensive oratorical references to the memory of 1 Cic. Brut. 125–​6. For parallels to the phrase ‘pleniorem aut uberiorem ad dicendum fuisse’, see Cic. Phil. 2.2, Tac. Dial. 18.2; and for the phrase ‘grandis est uerbis, sapiens sententiis’, see Suet. Iul. 55.2, recording Cicero’s evaluation of Caesar’s oratory in a letter to Cornelius Nepos. 2 Tiberius and Gaius great orators: Cic. Rab. perd. 14–​15; De or. 1.38, 3.225; Har. resp. 41; Brut. 103–​4, 125–​6; Vell. Pat. 2.9.1; Sen. Ep. 114.13; Quint. Inst. 1.1.6, 12.10.10; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 2.2. Gaius a better orator (and politician) than Tiberius: Liv. Per. 60; Vell. Pat. 2.6.1; Dio Cass., fr. 25.85.1–​3.

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Tiberius to further his political aims,3 the notion that Gaius misused his oratorical talents to push his own political agenda and thereby endangered the entire state,4 and an evaluation of Gaius’ oratorical style.5 The opinions of Gaius were sharply divided in his own day, and this division remained. Here, I shall not attempt to analyse the reception of Gaius Gracchus, or try to unravel truth from fiction, but rather use Cicero’s presentation as a stepping stone to an examination of Gaius’ public oratory and its relation to his political activities and career. Although Cicero does not say so explicitly, a major point underlying his treatment of Gaius is the importance of oratory to Gaius’ political career. This is undoubtedly true, and this chapter shall focus on this relationship between Gaius’ oratory and his career as the first case study of political career-​making through the use of public speaking. But first, it is necessary to set out briefly the sources to his oratory and his family background. We have a substantial number of fragments of Gaius’ public speeches, recorded in later authors.6 Cicero and Pliny testify to the fact that Gaius’ speeches were available in written form in their time (first century BC and AD).7 Whether Gaius himself or others wrote down the speeches is unclear,8 and the exact relation between the delivered and written versions of the speeches is uncertain too.9 But it is evident that Gaius’ oratorical activity left a significant imprint in the oratorical, political and intellectual culture in Rome, an imprint which we can study through the sources’ filters of selection, paraphrases and language (from Latin to Greek in the case of Plutarch and Appian).10 The impression is at times blurred, but still

3 Vell. Pat. 2.6.1; Plut. C. Gracch. 3. 4 Cic. De or. 1.38, 3.225; Har. resp. 41; Vell. Pat. 2.6.1; Val. Max. 8.10. praef.-​1; Tac. Dial. 40.4; Dio Cass., fr. 25.85.1–​3. 5 Cf. Cic. De or. 1.154 for Gaius’ oratorical style. In later authors, the evaluation ranged from Gaius being vehement and old-​fashioned to elegant and refined: Quint. Inst. 1.1.6, 8.5.33; Tac. Dial. 18.2, 26.1; Apul. Apol. 95.5; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 2.2; C. Gracch. 3–​4; Fronto, v. d. Hout p. 132.3 (Loeb II, 48–​9); Gell. NA 10.3.1–​3. Cavarzere (2000) 83 argues that Cicero’s portrait of Gaius as an orator is better supported by the extant fragments than is Plutarch’s. 6 And collected in Malcovati (1976) no. 48. 7 Cic. Brut. 125–​6; Tusc. 3.48; Plin. HN 8.33. 8 Narducci (1997) 160, n. 13 argues that he published most of his speeches himself, except for those delivered at the end of his life. Rawson (1985) 78 suggests that the Latin rhetor of the first century BC, L. Plotius Gallus, may have edited Gaius’ speeches: Fronto, v. d. Hout p. 15; Quint. Inst. 11.3.143. 9 The same issue is much discussed in Ciceronian scholarship; cf. Powell and Paterson (2004) 52–​7. 10 For an analysis of Plutarch’s life of the Gracchi, see Ingenkamp (1992a).

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sufficiently clear to give us glimpses into Gaius’ oratory and the occasions at which he delivered his speeches, as we shall see in this chapter. A precise overview of Gaius’ public speeches is difficult to obtain because of their fragmentary nature and the diversity of the sources in which they were recorded.11 This explains why very few modern scholars have tried to analyse Gaius’ oratory in toto and in its political context, in spite of his fame as a brilliant orator.12 We know of at least thirty individual occasions at which he delivered speeches in court, the senate, the contio and outside Rome. The vast majority were delivered in the contio and of these most, but not all, as tribune in 123 and 122 BC advocating his legislative proposals. In fact, Gaius was uncommonly active as lawmaker: at least sixteen laws and bills were proposed under his name and more were proposed with his help and support.13 His prolific legislative activity and tireless efforts to implement his laws were seen already in antiquity as a sign of his tremendous energy.14 It is also possible to link this to his innovations in oratorical delivery which underlined his vigorous and dynamic public persona. He was characterised as a popularis orator by Cicero and subsequent ancient authors, but this designation by Cicero owes more to Gaius’ political outlook than to his oratorical abilities or style.15 Gaius is considered a great orator in both the ancient sources and in modern scholarship. As we have seen above, even Cicero, who disagreed strongly with Gaius’ political stance and lamented the ends to which Gaius employed his eloquence, thought his oratory of the highest quality.16 But there are several problems in evaluating Gaius’ oratory and its impact overall. Ancient writers have discussed Gaius’ oratorical style, delivery or effect to explain his oratorical qualities, but their discussions reveal disagreements as to what constitutes a great orator.17 Modern scholars disagree too, having mostly focused on Gaius’ style and, to some extent, his 11 For an attempt at counting them up, see Appendix 1. 12 Stockton (1979) 217–​25; Cavarzere (2000) 82–​9; Sciarrino (2007) 60–​6 are the few exceptions. Many more have used specific occasions or fragments to illustrate general points about, especially, contional oratory. 13 See Williamson (2005) 459–​60 for a list of reliable laws and proposals, and at 19 she includes Gaius among the most prolific lawmakers in Rome. 14 Plut. C. Gracch. 6.3–​7. 15 Cic. Brut. 125–​6, 333; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 2.2. Steel (2003) convincingly argues that Cicero’s distinction between good and bad orators is based on the orators’ political stance and not their oratorical abilities. See discussion of popularis oratory in Chapter 1, pages 36–7, and a further examination in relation to Gaius, pages 105–8. 16 Cic. Har. resp. 41; De or. 1.38, 3.225; Brut. 125–​6, 333. 17 Liv. Per. 60; Vell. Pat. 2.6.1, 2.9.1; Sen. Ep. 114.13; Val. Max. 8.10. praef.-​1; Plut. C. Gracch. 3; Fronto, v. d. Hout p. 51.10; Gell. NA 10.3.1; Serv. ad Aen. 11.301.

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delivery, but sometimes out of context with the specific oratorical occasion.18 Their disagreements concern Gaius’ style of speaking:  firstly, the possible Hellenistic influence on Gaius’ style (categorising him as an Asianist) as opposed to the possible Italic and archaicising element in his oratory; and second, whether Gaius’ style should be labelled emotional or rational/​unemotional, and how far such styles reflect Gaius’ character.19 The problem is, as has rightly been pointed out, that we should distinguish between the textual fragments of Gaius’ speeches and his delivery of these speeches, because, firstly, both are important for understanding Gaius’ oratorical powers and, second, the details about the recording and transmission of his speeches are often uncertain, as mentioned above.20 Even if all fragments were genuine and closely mirrored Gaius’ delivered words, it is often impossible to consider both his words (style) and their effect because most fragments are recorded for a linguistic point and thus separated from the occasion at which they were delivered. We have only one fragment, in Cicero, which is clearly accompanied by a testimony about the impression it made on Gaius’ audience, and here it is pointed out that Gaius’ use of his eyes, voice and gestures to underline the emotional content of his words made even his enemies weep.21 This effective delivery through facial expressions, tone of voice and gesticulation fits with what we know about Gaius’ oratorical innovations (moving about, freeing his left arm and using a flute player for correct pitch).22 Although his style has been deemed deliberate and full of artistic elements such as pure language, breuitas, acute expressions and effectful word order,23 the most striking feature of his oratory is nevertheless his energetic and emotional delivery, which was also emphasised by Quintilian.24 This chapter shall discuss matters of delivery and style when relevant, but it will mainly focus on the speeches and oratorical occasions as a tool for advancing Gaius’ political ambitions, as well as an articulation of his career choices. 18 A selection of modern scholarship evaluating Gaius’ oratory: Stockton (1979) 40, 98, 217; David (1983a); Calboli (1987) 40–​1, (1996) 118–​22; von Albrecht (1989) 33–​53; Pina Polo (1996) 146; Courtney (1999) 124–​33; Sciarrino (2007) 60–​6. Von Albrecht (1989) 35, n. 5 lists earlier scholarship. 19 Overviews of the discussion in Calboli (1987) 40–​ 1; von Albrecht (1989) 35–​ 8; Sciarrino (2007) 60–​6. 20 Von Albrecht (1989) 48–​51; Sciarrino (2007) 64–​6. 21 Cic. De or. 3.214. The passage is discussed, briefly, by Calboli (1987) 40–​1; von Albrecht (1989) 48–​ 51; Calboli (1996) 118–​22; Narducci (2004); Dixon (2007) 22; Sciarrino (2007) 61. 22 See discussion later in this chapter, page 92. 23 Von Albrecht (1989) 38–​47. 24 Quint. Inst. 11.3.8.

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Gaius seems to have had great political ambitions, as was to be expected from a young man of his background and ability. As the son of the consul and censor Ti. Sempronius Gracchus and the daughter of Scipio Africanus, Cornelia, he was born into the top of the Roman elite.25 It was the norm and expectation that boys of such families were brought up to pursue a public career as politicians and military leaders. Perhaps as a result of their father’s early death, Cornelia seems to have been much involved in the upbringing and education of her two surviving sons, Tiberius and Gaius. She oversaw their entire education, secured them the best rhetorical training, and influenced them personally with her elegant language.26 She not only supported both sons in their political ambitions but also appears at times to have been directly involved as a kind of adviser to them.27 We can imagine other relatives too looking after the two brothers, offering their advice and patronage. With the backing of famous ancestry, possible powerful patronage, wealth, the best education and a talent to match, Gaius’ could pursue his political ambitions. The only further, yet crucial, factor for his political career was his kinship with Tiberius and the enormous problems surrounding his elder brother’s tribunician activities and subsequent death. In the quotation opening this chapter, Cicero emphasises not only Gaius’ brilliant oratorical talent, but also his loyalty to Tiberius’ memory, and this combination is indeed the main characteristic of Gaius’ political activity. Tiberius’ shadow looms large over Gaius’ career and the depictions in our sources, so in order to understand the role oratory played in Gaius’ political career, it is crucial both to examine his public speeches in context and to unpick his use of Tiberius. How far did Gaius adopt Tiberius’ ideas, methods and results (in oratory and politics generally)? To what extent did Gaius exploit Tiberius’ legacy and build on his experiences and legacy to develop his own activities further? And, finally, in what ways did Gaius set new standards for later generations of politicians and orators, and how did such innovations influence his own career?

25 For the family in general and Cornelia in particular see Dixon (2007). 26 Cic. Brut. 211; Plut. Ti. & C. Gracch. 1.5; Quint. Inst. 1.1.6; cf. Cic. Tusc. 1.5 on level of education. Cornelia’s influence: Dixon (2007) 18–​19; philosophy and oratory: Dixon (2007) 41–​3, 52–​4; Pina Polo (1996) 66. 27 Gaius referred to Cornelia in a public speech:  Cic. De or. 3.214; Sen. Helv. 12.16.6; Plut. C. Gracch. 4. Gaius exempted M. Octavius from a bill on the request of Cornelia: Plut. C. Gracch. 4. Cornelia appeared with her grandchildren in mourning clothes at a public meeting addressed by Tiberius:  Dio Cass. Fr. 82.8. For more discussion of Cornelia’s political activity see Dixon (2007) 18–​24.

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Stepping onto the political scene: Gaius’ early career When Gaius returned to Rome from his military service in Hispania at some point after Tiberius’ death, he was already a public figure.28 He was a young and promising member of two famous and influential senatorial families, he had been appointed to the politically controversial three-​man commission to oversee the land distribution according to Tiberius’ lex agraria (triumuiri agris iudicandis assignandis), together with App. Claudius Pulcher (cos. 143 BC) and Tiberius (who was replaced by P. Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus (cos. 131 BC) upon Tiberius’ death),29 and he was the only surviving brother of Tiberius.30 He was inextricably associated with Tiberius’ actions and legacy before he made his first public appearance. Although the sources are meagre, it is fairly clear that Gaius quickly took up his brother’s cause.31 We cannot link him explicitly to the inquiry and action taken by the consuls of 132 BC, P.  Popillius Laenas and P.  Rupilius, to identify and punish the supporters of Tiberius, but some have attempted to see Gaius’ speech in defence of Vettius Sabinus in this connection.32 Plutarch uses this instance to illustrate his points about Gaius’ brilliant oratory, his popularity with the people and how his performance and popularity alarmed the conservative senators so much that they considered disallowing Gaius becoming tribune. If the speech is to be placed in the context of the inquiry, the senators’ concern seems projected back years before Gaius even could stand for election, although the senators’ recognition of Tiberius in Gaius was certainly not without intention on Gaius’ part, as we shall see.

28 Astin (1967) 227, n. 3 and 351 argues that Gaius was in Rome at the time of Tiberius’ death because Plut. Ti. Gracch. 20.3 says that Gaius offered to bury his brother at night, although this was not allowed. Sumner (1973) 70 and Stockton (1979) 87 think Plutarch’s story dubious. 29 App. B Civ. 1.13, 1.18–​19; CIL 12.2.639–​44, 12.2.719 (boundary stones); Cic. Leg. agr. 2.31; Liv. Per. 58; Val. Max. 7.2.6; Vell. Pat. 2.2.3; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 13.1. On Tiberius’ agrarian law, see Stockton (1979) 40–​60; Roselaar (2010) 221–​55. 30 Gaius was probably born in 154 BC or early 153 BC according to Sumner (1973) 70, so he was around 20 when he arrived in Rome after Tiberius’ murder. 31 Aside from the often mentioned possible motivations of improving the conditions of the people (rural and urban) and soldiers, providing an overarching plan for the Roman state, and sheer ambition for power, Dixon (2007) 22 suggests that having backed Tiberius’ programme together with his mother Cornelia and sister Sempronia, he may have been driven by a desire to ‘ensure that the family name be restored’. If true, I see this motivation not only as family pride but as a political necessity in the promotion of Gaius’ own political career. 32 Plut. C. Gracch. 1.3; Alexander (1990) no. 19. Laurence (1994) 64 sees this speech as an example of a good speech becoming the talk of the town.

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We are on safer ground a few years later. In 130 BC, Gaius took a clear stand in favour of the tribune C.  Papirius Carbo’s proposal to allow re-​ election to the tribunate, against the strong opposition of Scipio Aemilianus and C.  Laelius.33 Gaius’ relationship with Tiberius and his position on the land commission made him an obvious person to call upon on this occasion, and Gaius took the opportunity of the contio to communicate his stance on this controversial issue and, by implication, his stance on Tiberius. In his speech, he made the logical link between the proposal and Tiberius’ fate, honoured Tiberius and compared himself with his dead brother: ‘pessimi Tiberium fratrem meum optimum interfecerunt. em! uidete quam par pari sim.’ (‘The most evil men have killed my brother Tiberius, the best of men. Look here! See how exactly alike he and I are.) He also argued that Tiberius had worked for the best interests of the people and ‘the state and compared his death with that of a sacrificial victim.34 This was a public declaration that Gaius was to step into Tiberius’ footsteps and take up his cause. We cannot know if this was the first instance, but by 130 BC, Gaius had articulated his loyalty to his brother and his political agenda years before he pursued Tiberius’ legislative programme as tribune of 123 and 122 BC. Between 130 BC and Gaius’ election to the quaestorship of 126 BC, we know nothing of his activities. Consequently, we have no information about his canvass for the magistracy or from which quarters he found support. But as he had already promoted Tiberius’ memory in 130 BC, it is likely that he also used Tiberius’ name to gather popular support in the elections of 127 BC. We should probably place his opposition to a proposal of tribune M. Junius Pennus early in his magistracy. Pennus had proposed the prevention of non-​citizens from settling in Roman towns and the removal of those who had already settled.35 If the dating is right, Gaius 33 Cic. Amic. 96; De or. 2.170; Liv. Per. 59; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 21.3; Regum et imperatorum apophthegmata Scip. Afr. Min. 22. Stockton (1979) 91–​2 discusses the proposal and the reaction to it. For further sources on the proposal: Cic. De or. 2.106; Mil. 8; Liv. Per. 59; Val. Max. 6.2.3; Vell. Pat. 2.4.4; see also Astin (1967) 264–​6 for further sources on Scipio’s words. Carbo’s tribunate in 130 BC: Sumner (1973) 58–​9, followed by Broughton (1986) 154, but Münzer (1949) 1017 dates it to 131 BC, followed by Astin (1967) 233, n. 1 and Gruen (1968a) 64, n. 94. I agree with Sumner in following the chronology in Liv. Per. 59. Alongside Gaius stood Fulvius Flaccus, Gaius’ later political ally; for Fulvius see MRR I.503; U. Hall (1977). 34 Char. 313, 18 (GL I.240, 16); Char. 255, 29; 262, 18; 287, 25. On this fragment and the theme of brotherly pietas, see Bannon (1997) 129–​30 with a slightly different translation:  ‘The worst of them killed Tiberius, my best of brothers. Now see how I settle the score [130].’ On optimus, see Strasburger (1939) 773–​4 and Robb (2010). On the style of this fragment, see Calboli (1996) 119; Cavarzere (2000) 87–​8. On Char. 255, 29, see Badian’s (2004) 263–​5 emendation. 35 Cic. Brut. 109; Off. 3.47; Fest. 362. Dating of the speech: MRR I.508 and Stockton (1979) 94–​5.

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did not content himself with being a back-​bench quaestor, but stood out from his colleagues by attacking Pennus’ controversial proposal. The fragment from Gaius’ speech, preserved by Festus, suggests that Gaius himself circulated it –​maybe in an attempt to reinforce his public image in Rome. His political activity already at this early stage of his career shows that he aimed at a political career and that he understood the importance of communicating his aims and activities widely in order to build up the necessary public persona to support his career. Most of Gaius’ time as quaestor was, however, spent in Sardinia under the consul L.  Aurelius Orestes, away from the political scene at Rome, and our sources report nothing on his activity in Sardinia. Making an impact on public opinion in Rome as quaestor in a province was not easy.36 His return in 124 BC, however, sparked a strong reaction, which he managed to turn to his own advantage. He was charged with disregard of duty because he did not continue his tenure under his governor, whose proconsular appointment had been extended. As a result of this action, he delivered a speech to the censors defending himself, which is attested in Cicero, Plutarch, and possibly Charisius. But the very similar speech which Gellius describes as delivered ad populum in contione has confused scholars.37 Stockton finds the suggestion that Gaius may have used the same words in both speeches ‘fanciful’, but if Cicero could recycle whole passages more or less verbatim as well as themes in his speeches post reditum, why not Gaius?38 Can we not imagine Gaius being summoned to the censors to explain himself and afterwards being invited by a friendly tribune to address the people in a similar vein to support his defence and his political ambitions?39 Underlying the allegations seems to have been a senatorial suspicion of Gaius’ motives for returning early, namely to canvass for the tribunate (probably in the first possible year).40 The sources 36 As also Cicero experienced when returning from his stint in Western Sicily: Cic. Planc. 64–​6; cf. Plut. Cic. 6. 37 Cic. Orat. 233; Plut. C. Gracch. 2–​3. The fragment in Char. 101, 1 is possibly from this speech too as it is characterised as C. Gracchus apud censores. Gell. NA 15.12.1–​2, cf. Pina Polo (1989), App. A, no. 191. Discussion of whether one or two speeches, see Stockton (1979) 219; Courtney (1999) 125, who mentions the possibility of Gaius repeating himself. 38 See, e.g., the description of Marius in comparison with Cicero in Cicero’s speech to the senate (Cic. Red. sen. 38) and to the people (Cic. Red. pop. 7–​8). Plutarch was writing in Greek and Gellius in Latin, so their wording could in any case not have been exactly the same, even if they were quoting the same speech. 39 No tribunes are identified for 124 BC in MRR or Niccolini (1934). Gruen (1968a) 75 argues the speech to the people as a result of the censorial nota which Gaius could have received, having to ‘assure his followers of his good character’. 40 MRR I.512 on Gaius; Gruen (1968a) 74–​5.

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report his tremendous popularity with the people,41 and the senators had not forgotten what Tiberius did in his tribunate. With this in mind, it is not implausible that Gaius defended himself first to the censors and then used the opportunity to boost his popularity with the people to present himself as an innocent victim of senatorial hostility. If this is true, it is an early instance of a general trend in Gaius’ career:  the preference of oratory above any other political activity to further his message and public persona, and of addressing the people when he did not have to as part of a continued strategy of claiming popular support. The two passages in Plutarch and Gellius show some of Gaius’ famed oratorical skills. In Plutarch’s passage, to the censors, Gaius first underlined his sense of duty against the charge of neglect of duty, pointing out that he had served in the army for twelve years, which was two more than the full military service, and that he had served as quaestor to his commander for more than two years, even though only one year was required. In Gellius’ passage, apparently delivered to the people, Gaius talked about his abstention from excessive expenditure, from accepting bribes of money and women and from immoral behaviour with young soldiers of the upper classes. It is no surprise that both Plutarch and Gellius refer to the most striking passage from the speeches, namely Gaius’ vivid and highly moralising description of his own generosity –​he entered the province with a full purse and left it with an empty one –​and of his colleagues’ gluttony and avarice –​they had arrived with full wine jars which upon departure were empty of wine but full of silver and gold.42 Such a dramatic and well-​ styled description could easily have been used in both speeches to strike at the corruption of the senators and show Gaius as a man of high moral standards on a mission to decrease senatorial corruption. The subsequent charges of knowledge or complicity in the revolt of Fregellae show, more than anything else, the suspicion in some senatorial quarters of his political agenda and the resulting attempt to stop his political career in the tracks. But these accusations he also warded off, Plutarch says, presumably with his talented oratory. The senate’s tactics backfired:  what may have 41 Diod. Sic. 34/​35.24.1–​27; App. B Civ. 1.21. 42 Plut. C. Gracch. 2–​3; Gell. NA 15.12.1–​2. The passage about the wine jar goes as follows in Gellius: ‘itaque, Quirites, cum Romam profectus sum, zonas, quas plenas argenti extuli, eas ex prouincia inanes retuli; alii uini amphoras quas plenas tulerunt, eas argento repletas domum reportauerunt’. ‘So, citizens, when I travelled to Rome, the purses, which I had brought there full of money, I brought back from the province completely empty; others brought out jars filled with wine, and carried them home full of money.’ For the style of this passage, see Courtney (1999) 126. See discussion of ‘sound bites’ in Chapter 4 on Pompeius, pages 132–4.

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been attempts to block Gaius from further political office instead gave him a platform to articulate to the people and electorate the unjust nature of the attacks on him, his personal qualities and his political stance. Immediately after clearing himself of the charges, he started canvassing for the tribunate.43 This is Plutarch’s description, and it underlines his narrative of Gaius’ motivation for returning from Sardinia and the rationale behind the censorial questioning and the Fregellae charge. Plutarch may be right because it made political sense for Gaius to exploit his public credit without delay. His tribunician activity once elected indicates that his decision to stand for this non-​obligatory office was driven by an ideological motive, namely legislation in support of the people. This motivation was clearly related to his brother’s tribunician activity, and Gaius used this relation actively in his canvass. We know from Cicero, who had it from the first-​hand witness of Coelius Antipater, that Gaius told many (multis dixit) that when he was a candidate for the quaestorship, Tiberius appeared to him in a dream and said that Gaius could try to postpone his fate, but must die the same death as he had done. Cicero adds that Gaius narrated his dream before he was tribune.44 Although the multis dixit does not suggest that Gaius told this story in a regular contio, Wardle is surely right in surmising that the context was more than a private gathering. Gaius’ message was clear:  he was taking up the baton from his brother, out of brotherly pietas, and he could not be dissuaded as it was his fate to carry on Tiberius’ work. It is possible to date his public account to his canvass for the quaestorship, but Cicero’s remark –​that Gaius had narrated his dream before being a tribune –​suggests that we should date it to his canvass for the first tribunate. At this point, his emulation of Tiberius’ career and political aims became so much more evident and his candidature so much more contested; a well-​narrated tale of fraternal vision and almost divine sanction of his canvass would have had much more impact at this stage. Plutarch explains that all prominent men were against Gaius’ candidature, but goes on to describe in vivid fashion that a great number of people came to Rome from the countryside to support Gaius and secure him the tribunate; so many, in fact, that they could not be housed but gave 43 Plut. C. Gracch. 3: ‘ὁ δὲ πᾶσαν ὑποψίαν ἀπολυσάμενος καὶ φανεὶς καθαρὸς εὐθὺς ἐπὶ δημαρχίαν ὥρμησε’ –​‘But he cleared himself of all suspicion and having displayed his innocence, he immediately began to canvass for the tribunate.’ 44 Cic. Div. 1.56  =  Coelius Antipater fr. 49 FRHist with Wardle (2006) 247–​9 (commentary) and Bannon (1997) 127–​31 (brotherly pietas in political context).

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their cries of support from the rooftops. Vanderspoel has connected this with the high increase in the census figure for 125/​4 BC, arguing that the tribunician election was the main reason for the rise in voter registration, although not all voters may have been supporters of Gaius.45 Some will have heard of Gaius’ candidature, probably in the spring of 124 BC, some will have heard of his brilliant oratory, and some will have heard that he compared himself to Tiberius and, from there, assumed (or were told) that he would follow up on Tiberius’ reforms. Tiberius had cultivated and employed a large following in the rural communities surrounding Rome.46 It seems likely that Gaius drew on these communities in his canvass and that the knowledge of the Gracchi brothers had spread to neighbouring areas from where the new voter registrants came. If this is right, Gaius was reusing Tiberius’ strategy of appealing to various subgroups of the people to ensure his own election to the tribunate, as possibly through speeches. As we have seen, the tribunate was not an obligatory office for a politician on the rise, but Gaius had understood from Tiberius’ office how far a tribune enjoying the support of the people could push forward his political reforms and agendas, including how to canvass for further political offices. Gaius was elected tribune not in the first place, as expected, but in the fourth, owing to –​according to Plutarch –​the hostility of the senators.47 With ten tribunes each year, it was perhaps not a great feat for a young man of the elite to be elected, but Gaius’ case was different. Plutarch stresses the tremendous support Gaius enjoyed from the rural population coming into Rome, while Diodorus emphasises how the populace (πλῆθος) –​ by which we must understand the urban population –​thronged about him when he was a candidate, even meeting him when he returned to Rome from Sardinia.48 What is more, Tiberius had combined the support from both rural and urban population.49 In his canvass, Gaius could have taken Tiberius’ example of how to muster support, but he also banked directly on the fame and recognition of the Gracchus brand and his explicit willingness to take Tiberius’ lead if elected.

45 Vanderspoel (1985). 46 Mouritsen (2001) 81–​2; Flower (2013). 47 Although scholars have questioned Plutarch’s interpretation and instead suggested that Gaius engineered the election in order to have useful tribunician colleagues:  Gruen (1968a) 76; Stockton (1979) 163; Yakobson (1999) 157–​8. 48 Plut. C. Gracch. 3; Diod. Sic. 34/​35.24. 49 On the importance of networks for Tiberius, see Stockton (1979) 98; Mouritsen (2001) 81–​2; Flower (2013).

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The testimonia and fragments to Gaius’ speeches during his canvass, especially his defence of himself in front of the censors and accompanying speech to the people, are suggestive of his oratorical talent and of his political message of opposing senatorial dominance and corruption. Moreover, his self-​defence, evidenced in a fragment of his speech pro se where he is reported to have said: ‘si nanciam populi desiderium, conprobabo rei publicae commoda’ (‘if I obtain the longed for wish of the people, I shall make good the assets of the state’) also suggests punchy rhetoric and appeal to the people.50 This fragment underscores the importance he placed on the people’s support in his political activity; if he said this when questioned about his possible complicity in the Fregellae revolt, as several scholars have argued, his reliance on the people is placed in the context not only of the serious charge he had to answer to, but also in the electoral context in which the charge was produced. His appeal to the people was clear and explicit. In what we know of his earlier speeches, before his tenure in Sardinia, he had emphasised his allegiance to Tiberius’ memory and his stance in the controversial issue of Latin and Italian rights vis-​à-​vis the Romans. He had been open about his political opinions and ideals, which made it easier for him to canvass for support in the election to the tribunate but also made his candidature much more contested. His successful election was thus based on a combination of fame from his family name, networking with supporters and voters from both the city and rural communities, as well as the public advertisement of his sympathies, opinions and ideas through his oratory, seen through the small glimpses recorded in our sources. However, as we shall see in the following, it is as a tribune in 123 BC that his oratory and policies comes to life and we see the degree to which he employed oratory to promote himself and his political agenda.

Emulation and innovation: the first tribunate The substantial evidence about Gaius’ first tribunate and his oratorical activity gives the impression of a politician aware of the power of public appearance and public speeches, following in his brother’s footsteps to some extent, but also taking innovative steps to push forward his legislative programme and, in order to sustain his programme, push forward 50 Prisc. GL II.513, 16. Fraccaro (1913) 87–​8; Malcovati (1976) 182 and Gruen (1968a) 75 place the fragments in the trial about Gaius’ possible involvement in the Fregellae revolt immediately preceding the canvass, while Stockton (1979) 219 finds this conjectural (without giving an alternative solution).

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his career.51 We know of at least ten individual oratorical occasions, most of them in contiones, and  –​considering his ambitious legislative programme –​he must have delivered many more speeches in both the senate and the contio.52 This is particularly striking if we bear in mind the many proposals put forward by Gaius’ tribunician colleague, Livius Drusus, to counter Gaius’ proposals; an activity which seems to have resulted in competing contiones for the favour of the people.53 The sources are not very clear about who came to listen to Gaius at these contiones, but both Appian and Plutarch report that Gaius’ proposals were aimed at appealing to many groups within society, also some which were less able to turn up at the meetings: his law about distributing grain at subsidised price appealed to the demos (the people); his proposal transferring the court(s) to the equites was popular with this group; his building work –​especially roads throughout Italy –​made contractors and artisans personally obliged to him; his proposal to extend citizenship or specific rights of citizens to the Latin and Italian allies was popular with these (who could not vote); and his efforts to create colonies overseas appealed to those who wished to farm on their own land, that is, the poor among the rural population.54 This last proposal may not have appealed to the urban population,55 and extension of citizenship was probably unpopular too. We can easily imagine Gaius communicating his proposals in the contio, and the senate too,56 but Plutarch suggests that his success in gathering followers consisted in something more, namely an ability to exude dignity, kindness and professionalism with all kinds of people, contractors, artisans, ambassadors, magistrates, soldiers and intellectuals  –​an ability which makes Plutarch deem Gaius a more skilful popular leader in such private interaction than when speaking from the rostra.57 We could term 51 For a possible influence of Stoic ideas of social justice, equity and property on Tiberius’ agrarian bill and of Greek ideas of the demos (the people) on his perception of the tribunate, see Erskine (1990) 150–​80. Brunt (2013) 93 argues against Erskine’s interpretation. 52 Appendix 1 lists all known occasions at which Gaius spoke. 53 Plut. C. Gracch. 8.3–​9.4 gives some impression of the frequency of Drusus’ counter-​proposals; cf. Stockton (1979) 176–​7 puts Drusus’ activity into context. 54 App. B Civ. 1.21–​4; Plut. C. Gracch. 5–​10; cf. Cic. Sest. 103 mentioning Gaius’ grain law. Stockton (1979) 114–​68 discusses Gaius’ legislation; (138–​53) the disagreements among modern scholars about the contents of Gaius’ judicial proposal; and (174) Gaius’ support base, adopting Appian’s and Plutarch’s views. 55 Brunt (1971b) 79, 85. 56 Plut. C. Gracch. 6.1–​2 suggests Gaius’ reception in the senate. Cf. Stockton (1979) 174 with n. 32 on the interpretation of Plutarch’s passage: rather than a period of understanding between Gaius and the senators, the senators had to accept Gaius’ dominance in 123 BC and listen to his proposals. 57 Plut. C. Gracch. 6.4.

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this ability of Gaius ‘charm’ but Plutarch seems to imply something more, namely, that by showing himself surrounded by all these types of people and always knowing how to deal with each one of them, Gaius radiated authority and leadership, which his onlookers would take as indication of a general ability to lead his people. In other words, Gaius possessed charisma according to Plutarch’s description. This puts Gaius’ oratory and public appearance into perspective:  was he really a more effective politician in his interchanges with individual people than in his speeches from the rostra? All the sources agree on Gaius’ extraordinary oratorical talent and his ability to communicate with the people, even those, such as Cicero, who criticised Gaius’ political activity. Moreover, these sources had for a great part access to written versions of Gaius’ speeches and could judge for themselves some of the quality of his oratory. Plutarch may be right that Gaius had great interpersonal skills, and knew how to exploit these, but I  would suggest that, first of all, Plutarch’s aim of distilling a person’s character may have led him to emphasise Gaius’ talent for personal exchange over contio speeches, and, second, it is perfectly possible that Gaius’ talent for informal talk with people was so great that even if his contio performance was slightly less effective, it was nevertheless influential. Charisma could be effective in both large gatherings and individual exchanges. This leads us to the following questions: to what extent did he use public speeches as a vehicle for gathering support for his programme and his person, and how much of his legislative programme and his methods was taken over from Tiberius? I do not wish here to analyse Gaius’ entire legislative programme in depth, as such analyses can be found elsewhere,58 but rather to focus on Gaius’ use of public speeches to promote his bills and the extent to which he used oratory to imitate and refer to Tiberius. The surviving fragments of Gaius’ speeches give only a partial impression of his planned legislation; it is therefore necessary to take his bills as the starting point for the analysis in order to evaluate the role of oratory for each proposal individually and, then, collectively for his programme overall. Gaius’ first tribunician proposals were aimed at addressing what he considered the wrongs done to Tiberius and his followers. He did this for the sake of Tiberius’ memory and those of his followers, but also to pave the way for his own legislative programme and claim to political influence. If he could convince the public that the killings and the subsequent 58 For example, in Gruen (1968a) 79–​105 or Stockton (1979) 114–​61.

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inquiry into the killings were unjustified and illegal, his political platform as Tiberius’ brother and political heir would strengthen considerably and his legislative programme appear legitimised. He presented a bill which stipulated that anyone removed from public office by the people should be debarred from any further political office and a bill banning special quaestiones (special inquiries) without approval by a law passed in the popular assembly.59 The first bill was clearly aimed at M. Octavius, Tiberius’ fellow tribune whom Tiberius had persuaded the plebeian assembly to depose from office, because Gaius subsequently announced that he spared Octavius (by withdrawing the law or taking out the retrospective element) on the request of his mother Cornelia.60 Stockton must be right in judging this statement and its inclusion of Cornelia ‘a calculated and carefully publicised move to win public respect and sympathy’, designed to prevent opposition to Gaius’ interpretation of the events and deter another tribune from repeating Octavius’ action.61 Plutarch remarks that the people were pleased with this request and approved it, highlighting the success of the intervention and its announcement.62 The second bill was directed at the special quaestio of Popillius Laenas, who had been charged by the senate to hold an inquiry and take action against Tiberius’ followers in the wake of the riots and deaths of 133 BC. As a consequence of Gaius’ law, Popillius went into voluntary exile to avoid trial. Both bills were controversial with the senate, but passed in the assembly.63 Plutarch’s description of the context of these two bills is striking: he argues that from the start of his tribunate and throughout, Gaius would use his incomparable power of oratory to arouse the people to the crime committed against his brother, quoting a long and emotionally charged passage apparently taken from one of Gaius’ speeches on the subject, and 59 Plut. C. Gracch. 4.1; Cic. Rab. perd. 12; Cat. 4.10. Gruen (1968a) 80–​2 discusses the confusion in Plutarch about the second bill, which Cicero presents as stipulating that only the Roman people could authorise a capital sentence on a Roman citizen. Lintott (1999a) 163 presents the same interpretation of Gaius’ proposal. 60 Plut. C. Gracch. 4.2–​3; Diod. Sic. 34/​5.25.2. Stockton (1979) 115–​17 discusses the precise content of the bill. 61 Stockton (1979) 117. Dixon (2007) 15–​32 discusses Cornelia’s political influence, and Roller (2012) 33–​7 places Cornelia’s request in a broader context of the narrative about Cornelia. 62 Plutarch places the erection of a honorific statue to Cornelia (of which the base is still extant: CIL 6.31610) in this connection, but this has been disputed by modern scholars: discussion in Dixon (2007) 21, 29–​30, 56–​9. 63 Stockton (1979) 116 discusses which assembly:  popular or plebeian. Gruen (1968a) 84–​6 and Stockton (1979) 122–​6 have associated a further law of Gaius, the lex ne quis iudicio circumueniatur (known only from Cic. Clu. 148, 151, 154), with the law about special quaestiones. Only little is known of this law and it shall be left out of discussion here.

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then remarking that having stirred up the people with such words, Gaius presented his two bills.64 Plutarch explicitly compresses what appears to have been a series of occasions at which Gaius publicly referred to the injustices suffered by his brother. Plutarch’s chronology is problematic because he talks about Gaius referring to Tiberius at every pretext, that is, at a number of occasions which must have been spread out in time, but also about Gaius afterwards (τοιούτοις) introducing his bills, as if Gaius waited a while before doing so. Plutarch’s compression of events underlines his point about Gaius’ oratory and his emotional use of Tiberius’ fate to promote his own agenda, but even if this compression blurs the precise chronology of these oratorical occasions, Plutarch’s overall point is supported by earlier oratorical fragments. Gaius seems to have aimed to correct what he presented as the unjust and criminal acts against Tiberius and his followers, for the sake of Tiberius and for himself, and he used his tribunician right and authority to pronounce his version of the events and present his bills to correct these wrongs, and he did this through his uniquely effective oratory. In spite of Plutarch’s compression of the events, it is possible to identify at least three (and possibly up to six) occasions at which Gaius spoke in public in relation to these two bills.65 In relation to his bill on quaestiones, we have several fragments of speeches which Gaius delivered against Popillius Laenas. Some of these may belong to the occasion when Gaius presented the bill to the people, because the sources say the speech was delivered pro rostris (from the rostra), but may also belong to a separate occasion.66 Festus quotes a sentence, which hints 64 Plut. C. Gracch. 3.2–​4.1. 65 First, Gaius must have proposed his bill aimed at Octavius, then, probably on a separate occasion, excused Octavius from the bill on Cornelia’s request. Then he presented his bill on the special quaestiones, although this second bill could have been presented together with the first bill –​for details see Appendix 1. Our knowledge of promulgation requirements is limited, but there seems to be no constitutional problem with introducing two bills at the same time. Tatum (1999) 114 argues that Clodius promulgated four proposals on his first day in office as tribune (58 BC). For discussion of promulgation, see Mommsen (1887) 3.1, 370–8; M. Crawford (1996) 9–​11. On the other hand, the imperfect tense used by Plutarch’s, εἰσέφερε –​that Gaius was in the process of introducing two laws –​suggests that the two bills may not have been promulgated at the same meeting, but just closely in time. I thank Robert Morstein-​Marx for discussing this problem of possible simultaneous promulgation with me. 66 Gellius NA 11.13.1–​3 praises Gaius’ style as more refined in comparison with other early orators, and he quotes a sentence to illustrate his point: ‘Quae uos cupide per hosce annos adpetistis atque uoluistis, ea, si temere repudiaritis, abesse non potest, quin aut olim cupide adpetisse aut nunc temere repudiasse dicamini.’ ‘If you were haphazardly to reject that which you greedily and for years have desired and wanted, then it is unavoidable that it be said that either you once greedily desired these things or now you have haphazardly rejected them.’ See Cavarzere (2000) 87–​8 on Gaius’ style in this passage.

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at the accusatory tone adopted by Gaius:  ‘sic C.  Gracchus pro rostris in P.  Popilium:  “homines liberi nunc in oppido occisitantur”.’ (‘In this way Gaius spoke against P.  Popilius from the rostra:  “free men are now being killed in their towns”.’)67 Another passage in Gellius suggests that Gaius travelled to rural towns to gather support for his efforts against Popilius, because Gellius gives the title De P. Popilio circum conciliabula (On Publius Popilius, delivered in market centres) and provides a brief fragment:  ‘Credo ego inimicos meos hoc dicturum”  –​“I believe that my enemies will say this.’68 As we have seen, this was not the only occasion at which Gaius sought political support in the rural areas, and in this he followed Tiberius’ example.69 These many public addresses may have been the norm for a tribune trying to sort out a contentious issue, but they are suggestive of Gaius’ preference for public meetings and public speeches as medium for his politics. The issue was highly relevant to the people, and Gaius made sure they could follow his endeavours on their behalf. Even from this fragmentary evidence it is clear that Gaius used a very public way to settle the score with Tiberius’ political enemies, centred around his impressive oratorical skills. Once his version of the events of 133 BC had been accepted through the passing of his two bills, Gaius could move on to other legislation. The controversy around Gaius’ innovative lex frumentaria (providing a monthly distribution of grain to Roman citizens at a fixed, and presumably low, price) exemplifies the difficulty of controlling public debate.70 Cicero describes how Gaius accused a strong opponent of his bill, L.  Calpurnius Piso Frugi (cos. 133 BC), of many improper and wicked actions at a public meeting, evidently a meeting called by Gaius and presumably one at which his grain bill was being discussed. When Gaius ordered Piso to be summoned, his lictor asked him which Piso he meant. Cicero quotes Gaius’ response: ‘ “cogis me,” inquit, “dicere: inimicum meum Frugi.” ’ (‘ “You are compelling me,” he says, “to call my enemy the Honest 67 Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310. 68 Gell. NA 1.7.6. Conciliabulum is according to the OLD ‘a place of assembly, meeting-​place, esp. as the administrative centre of a district’ (discussion in Gargola (1995) 109–​11), so we must assume that Gaius delivered public speeches in these meeting places. Stockton (1979) 220 attributes further fragments to this speech: Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.346: poteratur; Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.268: malo cruce; Diom. GL I.374, 17: antecellant. Gruen (1968a) 83 suggests that Gaius was seeking voters in a possible popular trial led by himself as tribunician prosecutor. Stockton (1979) 120, 211 wants to place the speech de legibus promulgatis here but it is usually taken as a speech from 122 BC and I can see it fit equally well into 122 BC. 69 Mouritsen (2001) 81. 70 Plut. C. Gracch. 5.1; App. B Civ. 1.21; Liv. Per. 60; Vell. Pat. 2.6.3; Schol. Bob. 135St.

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one.” ’)71 Although the quotation does not belong to a formal speech, it is entirely possible that the more catchy phrases of Gaius’ informal public expressions were remembered and noted down, more or less correctly. Gaius’ response illustrates his attention to the choice of words in public speaking, trying to avoid anything which might put his opponent in a positive light, but also how even a very skilled orator may not always be in total command of the situation.72 Whether Piso was indeed produced in the contio is uncertain, but once the law was passed, he made a personal appearance to underline his opposition. He showed up at the distribution of grain, despite his substantial fortune and little need of subsidised grain. Cicero tells us how Gaius challenged Piso in the hearing of the Roman people (‘audiente populo Romano’), questioning his consistency in coming for the grain provided under the law which he had opposed. Piso answered that he did not like his property to be divided up among the citizens, but if it was, he wanted his share.73 Although this exchange of words did not take place in a formal setting of contio, court or senate, it was pronounced publicly in a crowd of citizens which we can imagine was both large (given the benefits and popularity of the grain distribution) and surely in favour of the distribution. Piso was not trying to win popular votes, but probably rather to provoke Gaius and to underscore his public persona as a frugal and prudent man. Gaius’ response is not recorded and we cannot know how he tackled Piso’s demonstrative action, but the incident illustrates again how impromptu exchanges can occur and, potentially, influence public opinion. As with Cicero’s quotation of Gaius’ words to his lictor, Cicero’s mention of this exchange could be built on an oral tradition about Gaius or even written down at the time or shortly after.74 The fame or notoriety of Gaius helped to keep such stories in circulation. Cicero uses the story to illustrate how Gaius’ law squandered public funds, but he makes 71 Cic. Font. 39. While Cicero cannot help but praise Gaius’ oratorical skills, he is outraged at Gaius’ attempt to blacken the upright and virtuous Piso. Cf. Schol. Bob. 96St. (on the Pro Flacco) which also mentions Gaius’ speech. It is uncertain whether this event was staged or accidental, just as it is not known by which mechanism the lictors were chosen. Kübler’s (1926) 509–​10 description of the lictors as permanently employed by the state suggests that the individual magistrate had little choice over whom were assigned him as lictors. If this is right, Gaius’ lictor may not have been a supporter of Gaius. 72 See discussion of Helvius Mancia’s response to Pompeius in Chapter 4 on Pompeius, page 137. 73 Cic. Tusc. 3.48. 74 Stockton (1979) 3 argues that ‘Cicero’s frequent references to what the Gracchi did presuppose that his audience or his readers shared with him a common knowledge of the facts’, but also notes (127) that the story may be apocryphal.

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the interesting observation that in his speeches promoting the law, Gaius posed as the protector of the treasury.75 Cicero thinks this demagoguery, but Gaius was clearly anxious to try to answer senatorial opposition and not just ride on the wave of popularity among the people. Fragments from another speech, called de legibus promulgatis in the sources and which Stockton dates to early in Gaius’ first tribunate, may record Gaius’ attempts to answer to senatorial criticism.76 He talks with scorn about ‘Ea luxurii causa aiunt institui’ (‘things which they say are provided as luxuries’), argues that ‘Non est ea luxuries, quae necessario parentur uitae causa’ (‘That is not luxury, which is necessary for keeping alive’) and says that ‘quod unum nobis in ostentum, ipsis in usum adportatur’ (‘what for us is a single item of display, for them is a necessity’).77 If these snippets belong in this context, they support an impression of Gaius trying to alter and condemn the social injustices tackled by his law  –​through public speeches and speech acts. The sources are necessarily more likely to record public acts rather than negotiations conducted in private, and the only hint at private negotiations is in Appian’s observation that Gaius had the cooperation of Fulvius Flaccus (cos. 125 BC) in these measures.78 Yet, even these stray fragments and small anecdotes leave an impression that Gaius was extremely active in his public advertisement of his grain law and used public speeches to counter criticism. While it was undoubtedly popular with the masses, and thus the voters, Gaius may also have thought such a grain law necessary to help the lower classes and put the population in Rome on a stronger footing. The grain dole was an entirely new concept, 75 For this reason, it seems, Fraccaro (1913) 98–​9, 118–​22 and Malcovati (1976) 186–​7 attributed the brief fragment of a speech by Gaius, recorded in Prisc. GL II.386, 3, to his speeches promoting his law: ‘Gaius Gracchus: “aerarium delargitur Romano populo.” delargitur passiue protulit.’ (‘Gaius Gracchus:  “the treasury is lavished on the Roman people.” Delargitur carried a passive sense.’) Stockton (1979) 224 finds this mere guesswork. We may also see Gaius’ extensive building activity in the harbour (warehouses), his organisation of the revenues from the new province of Asia, and his introduction of new public revenues and custom dues as part of his efforts to strengthen the treasury (or give the semblance of this): Plut. C. Gracch. 6.3; Cic. Verr. 2.2.12; Vell. Pat. 2.6.3; Gell. NA 11.10. We may perhaps also see Gaius’ opposition to the lex Aufeia in this light: Gell. NA 11.10 preserves a substantial fragment from Gaius’ speech; there is discussion of the measure in Gruen (1968a) 77, 88 and of Gaius’ speech in Stockton (1979) 221. Hölkeskamp (2013b) 114–​15 with n. 31 discusses Gaius’ manner of addressing the audience in light of a consensus-​building contio rhetoric. For the overall programme of Gaius and its relation to distribution of wealth, see Tan (2011) 177–​ 89. See discussion of Cato’s self-​presentation as a protector of the treasury in Chapter 7 on Cato, pages 211–12, 223–4. 76 Dating discussed in Stockton (1979) 120–​1, 128, 221–​2. 77 Gell. NA 9.14.16–​17; Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310. Translation is in, or inspired by, Stockton (1979) 128. 78 App. B Civ. 1.21. On Flaccus’ involvement with Gaius’ legislative programme, see Stockton (1979) 165–​7.

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which shows that Gaius did not work only in the shadow of Tiberius’ programme.79 With this law and supporting oratory, Gaius could underscore his public image of working for the interests of the people and his pioneering political attitude. Gaius’ agrarian law, by contrast, built on Tiberius’ lex agraria, which had set up a three-​man commission to redistribute public land (ager publicus) in Italy. Gaius had served on this commission since its start in 133 BC, the only member to do so, and was therefore experienced in its running and knowledgeable about the objectives and outcomes of its activities. Gaius’ lex agraria, its relation to Tiberius’ law, and its legal, social, economic and political implications have been much discussed,80 but what shall be discussed here is the way in which Gaius promoted his law and his own public persona.81 Despite the great importance of the agrarian law for Gaius’ political programme and for the Roman society at large, we have no extant speech fragments or testimonia about the meetings where the law was discussed and passed.82 However, Gaius’ famous pamphlet (βιβλίον) about his brother’s travels through the Italian countryside as inspiration for his agrarian bill was clearly aimed at presenting the Gracchan side of the story and preparing the ground for Gaius’ own agrarian law.83 Doing it through a tale couched in moral terms about destitute Roman farmers  –​echoing Tiberius’ own rhetoric84 –​and the emotional effect their fate had on 79 Garnsey (1988) ­chapters 11–​12 discuss Gaius’ grain law. 80 Santangelo (2007a) 470–​8 provides an overview of the scholarship up to 2007; Stockton (1979) 132, 166–​7 outlines the main innovations in Gaius’ law; Roselaar (2010) 221–​89 on the broader socio-​ economic context, arguing (242) that Gaius not only reintroduced Tiberius’ law but promulgated a law with new regulations. Tan (2011) 177–​89 on the law in the context of revenues, public and private; Arena (2012) 145–​61 on the philosophical aspects of the agrarian legislation of the Gracchi (mainly taken together) and the relationship with the notion of aequitas; Sisani (2015) 58–​116 on the relationship with the lex agraria of 111 BC. 81 Roselaar (2010) 224 argues that Tiberius’ failure to drum up rural voters for this agrarian bill made Gaius pay less attention to the land problem. 82 This is curious, especially since we have fragments from Gaius’ speech on the grain bill; however, without knowledge of the manner in which his speeches were written down and circulated, it is difficult to speculate about a reason for this lack of fragments. 83 Plut. Ti. Gracch. 8.7. Santangelo (2005) 205–​6 argues that this pamphlet may also have contained the next passage in Plutarch about the people spurring Tiberius on through graffiti written on the porticos, walls and monuments of Rome. Erskine (1990) 165 suggests that Gaius carefully dated this episode by writing that Tiberius saw the destitution in the Italian countryside on his way to Numantia as an attempt to rebut the claim that Tiberius’ agrarian legislation resulted from his offended dignitas at Numantia –​evidently, the biblion operated on several levels. On the pamphlet as a kind of memoir, see Flower (2010) 167, and Scholz and Walter (2013) 38–​43; the latter arguing that Plutarch knew the biblion through an intermediary source. 84 Flower (2013) 88. J. Hall (2014) 15–​18 discusses Tiberius’ use of dramatic elements in his oratory.

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Tiberius, would have allowed Gaius to exploit these underpinning emotions of injustice and compassion in his promotion of his own bill. Gaius’ pamphlet formed part of a sustained effort to use his famous ancestry productively. His references to Tiberius’ fate in his speeches were supported by a variety of written work to underline not only Tiberius’ political acts but also to advertise a whole tradition about the Sempronii Gracchi, especially his brother Tiberius and his father Ti. Sempronius Gracchus (cos. 177, 163; cens. 169 BC). Cicero tells us that Gaius wrote to M. Pomponius about his father’s fateful capture of two snakes and his resulting death. The tale belongs in the category of omens, so important in ancient biographical tradition, but most relevant here is Gaius’ choice to publicise the anecdote in written version to one of his most loyal supporters.85 We also know from Cicero that written versions of some of the speeches by Tiberius and Gaius were circulated, presumably by Gaius.86 Gaius also publicly praised and defended his mother, Cornelia, and the story about the snakes includes her too.87 Modern scholars have argued that Gaius’ repeated references to his family constituted an attempt to obtain religious legitimacy for his brother and himself (Tiberius had been killed by the pontifex maximus Scipio Nasica),88 and that this fitted into his larger political purpose of defending Tiberius’ political programme and his own extensive development thereof as an act of brotherly pietas and service to the state. The major problem lies in dating Gaius’ efforts: they could have taken place over an extended period of time or within a short period, and he could have referenced his family shortly after Tiberius’ death or closer to his own death twelve years later. His publication of the pamphlet detailing Tiberius’ trip through the Italian countryside would have had most impact when Gaius promoted his own agrarian legislation, that is, in his first tribunate of 123 BC, and it should probably be placed in this context.89 But the other elements about graffiti, the snake anecdote 85 Cic. Div. 1.36, 2.62 with Val. Max. 4.6.1; Plin. HN 7.122; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 1.4–​5; De vir. ill. 57.4. Santangelo (2005) and Dixon (2007) 6 discuss Gaius’ work and the religious elements in the anecdote. The addressee of the work, Pomponius, may have been an ancestor to the Pomponius Secundus in whose library Pliny the Elder saw documents written by Tiberius and Gaius two hundred years later, testifying to the longevity of their works: Plin. HN 13.83 with Santangelo (2005) 202–​3. About the possible letter(s) of Cornelia to Gaius, see Cic. Brut. 211; Quint. Inst. 1.1.6 and the discussion in Dixon (2007) 26–​9. 86 Cic. Brut. 104, 125–​6; Plut. C. Gracch. 4 with Badian (1972) 678. 87 Plut. C. Gracch. 4.5 with discussion in Santangelo (2005) 210–​12 and Dixon (2007) 11 (arguing (12–​ 14, 29) that after Gaius’ death, his sister Sempronia continued to keep the family tradition alive). References to modern literature in Santangelo (2007a) 468–​9. 88 Rawson (1974) 196–​7; Sordi (1978) 327–​30, (1984) with context in Santangelo (2005) 211. 89 Scholz and Walter (2013) 39 suggest circulation in preparation for Gaius’ tribunate in 123 BC.

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and Cornelia are less easy to date, although they would have been more effective just before or during Gaius’ tribunates when he needed to justify his legislative programme and boost his public persona. Irrespective of dating, the combination of public speeches, circulating anecdotes and written work suggests a sustained effort to control and enhance his public profile, his claim to political influence and the validity of his legislative programme. Focusing on the agrarian law, it is almost impossible to evaluate whether his oratory or his pamphlet played the greatest role in promoting the law. As we do not have the pamphlet or any oratorical fragments which reference the pamphlet, it is difficult to know exactly how Gaius may have combined the two media for promoting himself and his law. However, the broad knowledge of his pamphlet and surrounding family anecdotes but not the speech suggests that the speech may not have circulated in written form and that the pamphlet therefore had more impact with subsequent generations, and maybe even at the time. As Gaius had countered senatorial criticism of his earlier laws by making moralistic remarks about senatorial luxury versus common people’s necessity, he continued this moralistic theme in his advocacy of his pioneering repetundae law. The confused presentation in the sources leaves many questions unanswered about the precise content and timing of Gaius’ law, especially concerning the composition of the juries,90 but what concerns us here is the role of oratory in relation to the passing of this law. Appian describes how Gaius criticised the senators for corruption when acquitting their guilty peers in cases of repetundae, and that he named specific cases of acquittals and shamed the senate into accepting the proposal before it was passed by the people. Appian adds that it was said that shortly after the passage of the law, Gaius observed that he had broken the power of the senate once and for all.91 Diodorus links this occasion with another similarly dramatic statement of Gaius:  that he will not cease his project even if threatened with death and that he will take the sword from the senate’s side.92 This possible statement has been linked with another famous saying of Gaius, namely that he had thrown daggers into the forum for the citizens to fight each other with, as reported by Cicero.93 It is entirely possible that Gaius uttered something 90 A small selection of influential discussions includes Gruen (1968a) 86–​91; Stockton (1979) 138–​53; Lintott (1993) 99–​102; M. Crawford (1996) 39–​112 (the epigraphic text discussed). 91 App. B Civ. 1.22. 92 Diod. Sic. 37.9. 93 Cic. Leg. 3.20 with Dyck (2004) 498–​9.

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along these lines, but Appian, Diodorus and Cicero may reflect a tradition hostile towards Gaius; this would fit well with the generally negative interpretation of Gaius’ motivations and activities presented in Appian, which appears designed to project Gaius as a demagogic enemy of the senate, as well as in Cicero at times. More plausible is the description of Gaius criticising specific cases of corrupt acquittals, because references to actual trials were hard to reject if everybody knew them to have been corrupted, even if not publicly admitting to it. If Gaius presented his criticism at a senate meeting, as Appian seems to imply, rather than at a contio, his shaming could have been seen as less combative: that is, as one senator reproaching his peers behind the closed doors of the senate rather than a tribune representing the people and equites against the senators. It would therefore have been more acceptable and effective. This would fit with Appian’s account and the overall impression in the sources of Gaius as a reforming but not necessarily anti-​senatorial politician, using oratory to push forward his agenda. If Gaius’ reproach is to be placed at a senate meeting, we know of a separate occasion at which he promoted his proposal in front of the people. The sharp ‘sound bites’ mentioned above belong more likely in the context of a contio than senate meeting. Plutarch mentions that in his efforts to carry this law, Gaius set a new example by turning away from the Comitium and instead facing the people standing in the Forum.94 It has long been known that Gaius was not the first to turn away from the Comitium to the Forum when addressing the people; Cicero and Varro testify that the tribune C. Licinius Crassus had already made such a gesture in 145 BC.95 The precise interpretation of Crassus’ and Gaius’ actions have been discussed by modern scholars, but it makes most sense if Crassus was the first to lead the people out of the crowded Comitium area and into the larger Forum and, having himself turned his face from the Comitium to the Forum, addressed the crowd standing there.96 Plutarch was not mistaken in pointing out the innovation of moving the crowd into the Forum and addressing them there, but he was wrong to attribute this innovation to Gaius in an attempt to emphasise Gaius’ populist, even demagogical, activity.97

94 Plut. C. Gracch. 5.3. 95 Cic. Amic. 96; Varro Rust. 1.2.9. 96 Morstein-​Marx (2004) 42–​8 discusses this with maps and figures of the Forum area and the rostra. 97 David (1983a) 105.

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The oratorical innovations which can be ascribed to Gaius show, in themselves, his attention to detail and to own shortcomings, flair for gesture as part of a persuasive oratorical performance and an understanding that successful oratory consists of the right combination of content, delivery and appearance. He uncovered his left arm, usually fixed in the folds of the toga, and he was the first to walk about on the rostra while speaking instead of standing still.98 These novelties allowed him to emphasise specific points in his speech with gestures and, in general, to appear more mobile and energetic, thereby underlining his public image of vigour and ceaseless activity.99 A  third innovation was his employment of a trusted slave to help him keep the right pitch when speaking. The slave would play a note on a flute and thus discreetly let Gaius know when and where to pitch his tone of voice.100 This new style of oratory gave Gaius an image of an innovator and an almost too vigorous orator, needing restraints to perfect his performance.101 Moreover, by introducing these new oratorical elements, he pushed the boundaries and set an example for what an orator could do in order to further his political message. With his emotional appeal and vigorous gesturing, Gaius impressed upon his audience his version of the events of 133 BC, articulated his own claim to political influence, and paved the way for his own tribunician activity and career advancement.

Oratorical competition and fading popularity: the second tribunate Gaius’ election to a second tribunate has confused ancient sources and modern scholars alike. How could he secure re-​election when Tiberius’ attempt at re-​election had failed and, ultimately, led to his death? How could Gaius be both tribune in Rome and agrarian commissioner overseeing the foundation of the colony Junonia (Carthage) in Africa?102 What 98 Plut. Ti. Gracch. 2.2; Dio Cass. 25.82.2. David (1983a) 107–​8 discusses these innovations, and Narducci (1997) 142 emphasises how this set an example for future orators. 99 Plut. C. Gracch. 6.3 on Gaius’ activities striking people as highly energetic and productive for one man. 100 Cic. De or. 3.225; Val. Max. 8.10. praef.-​1 (here rhythm rather than tone being corrected); Quint. Inst. 1.11.27; Plut. Mor. 456 A; Ti. Gracch. 2.5–​6; Dio Cass. 25.82.2; Gell. NA 1.11.10–​15. See Wille (1967) 453–​4 on the various testimonies. David (1983a) 108–​10 traces the use of a flutist back to Greek precedents, and 112 evaluates Gaius’ oratorical skill. 101 Cic. Brut. 125–​6, 333; Har. resp. 41; Tac. Dial. 18.2 (copying Cicero’s view), 26.1; Quint. Inst. 8.5.33; Fronto, v. d. Hout p. 132.3–​5 (Loeb II, pp. 48–​9); Gell. NA 10.3.1. 102 Absence from Rome was usually not permitted when a tribune: Lintott (1999b) 98.

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were his aims with the second tribunate? And how did he appeal to the electorate and articulate his decision to stand for a second year in office? I shall not attempt to re-​evaluate Gaius’ second tribunate in toto, but his decision to run for the tribunate again presents a major career move which he had to explain to the public  –​senate and the people alike  –​ and therefore a rare glimpse into the manoeuvres leading up to an election. The conflicting narratives in Plutarch and Appian, our only sources describing Gaius’ re-​election, should perhaps not be reconciled as one or both may have misunderstood the event and the legislative background.103 But they nevertheless provide important insights, even if these have been coloured by their individual authorial agendas. Gaius may not initially have wished for a second year in office but rather preferred to carry out his work on the agrarian commission, as suggested by his seventy-​day trip to Junonia during his second tribunate.104 This trip detracts credibility from the suggestion that Gaius had a secret plan to stand for election which was revealed only at the last minute.105 It seems more likely that he had a change of heart spurred by a realisation of the potential in his widespread popular support, and by a failing confidence in M. Fulvius Flaccus’ abilities as a tribune or in C. Fannius’ support once consul (in 122 BC) to carry out politics in Rome while he was abroad. However, his trip suggests too that his ambitions did not lie solely in city politics, but also in ensuring that his own legislation be implemented, making him both an initiator and someone focused on finishing what he had started. Plutarch’s narrative includes an occasion which could be interpreted as the moment where Gaius realised the strength of his popular appeal. According to Plutarch, Gaius’ exploited his broad popularity with the people, rising from his widespread building activities, to ask them in a contio for a favour, ensuring them that he would be grateful for their cooperation but also understanding in case they declined. This led the people to think he would ask for their votes in a consular election and thus that he would run for the consulship and tribunate at the same time, but when it transpired that Gaius instead supported C. Fannius’ consular candidature, the people voted strongly for Fannius.106 The story fitted Plutarch’s portrayal 103 Plut. C. Gracch. 8.2; App. B Civ. 1.21–​2. U. Hall (1972) discusses this problem and Stockton (1979) 169–​7 a reaction to it. 104 Plut. C. Gracch. 11.2. 105 As also U. Hall (1972) 29–​33; Stockton (1979) 173–​4 concede. 106 Plut. C. Gracch. 8.1. Yakobson (1999) 158 sets Fannius’ election in the context of Opimius’ candidature and election to the consulship of 121 BC.

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of Gaius the great orator and manipulator of the people, and there is certainly an element of special rapport with the people. Moreover, it is not surprising that the people misunderstood Gaius’ intentions, as his humble request of a favour played into the expected behaviour of an electoral candidate.107 A less negative interpretation could emphasise Gaius’ realisation that he needed a consul’s support to help him push through his legislation, especially if he was not planning to run for a second tribunate. Such an interpretation suggests Gaius’ interest in his legislation as not merely a tool to push forward his career, but as important in itself, and second, his use of oratory and of the people to reach the desired outcome of Fannius’ election. The sheer strength of Gaius’ popularity attests to the success of his self-​presentation. Already during his early career, but especially in the first few months of his first tribunate, he had communicated an image as virtuous descendant of the Sempronii and political heir to Tiberius, as energetic legislator and politician working tirelessly for the interests of the Roman people, and as a compelling orator. Now the moment had come to cash in on his tremendous credit with the people to push forward his political plans of further legislation. Gaius was re-​elected to the tribunate of 122 BC because of his immense popular support, Plutarch tells us.108 The nature and composition of his support group is, however, not clear; we simply do not know whether it was mainly urban or rural voters who flocked to his candidature. But we can conclude a little more about his general support base. We know that Tiberius had appealed to and nurtured networks with both urban and rural voters to support his legislation and his candidatures.109 We have also seen that Gaius was propelled into his first tribunate by overwhelming support from urban and rural voters, and that Gaius travelled to the countryside in his campaign against Popilius Laenas. The rural voters boosted the support base, but because of their need to tend their farms and their distance from Rome, these voters could not be counted upon for longer periods and soliciting them demanded more effort. The urban populace was easier to reach and Tiberius may have originated the tactic of campaigning through the local uici.110 If so, Gaius too may have exploited the organisation of the uici to muster urban voters, banking on Tiberius’ name and his own programme. As we have 107 Yakobson (1999) 214–​18; Tatum (2007) 111–​14; (2013) discusses the expectations of a candidate. 108 Plut. C. Gracch. 8.2. 109 Diod. Sic. 34/​35.6.1; App. B Civ. 1.13–​14, with discussion in Mouritsen (2001) 81–​3; Flower (2013). 110 Flower (2013), although Mouritsen (2001) 83 argues that M. Marius Gratidianus was the first to do so in the 80s BC. Mouritsen (2001) 81–​9 is helpful on the issues of mobilising both urban and rural electorates.

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seen in relation to oratorical practice, Gaius learnt from Tiberius’ example and came up with his own innovations to further his appeal. This is likely to have been the case too in relation to his use of and appeal to potential voters. While his grain law was favourable with the urban voters, the rural population benefited from his extensive road-​building and colonisation programme. The innovation in Gaius’ relations with his support base lies in his attempt to enlarge the general electorate, perhaps from ideological reasons, but possibly also with an eye to acquiring additional votes from this new electorate. Gaius’ well-​known but less well understood Italian proposal can be seen in this light, even if he misread the mood of the people.111 The precise dating and content of his proposal are disputed, owing to the confusion in Plutarch’s and Appian’s accounts, but the brewing tensions between Romans and other peoples in Italy in these years provides an important context for Gaius’ proposal.112 Gaius had already as quaestor spoken strongly against the tribunician law of M. Junius Pennus (126 BC) which expelled all non-​Romans from Rome,113 and the following year, M. Fulvius Flaccus (cos. 125; tr. pl. 122 BC) had proposed extending Roman citizenship more widely in Italy –​although unsuccessfully.114 This coincided with the revolt of the Latin colony Fregellae; a revolt which was quickly fought down but still signalled some dissatisfaction with the Romans. Gaius had therefore already engaged in this debate when he put forward his Italian proposal.115 According to Mouritsen’s interpretation, Gaius’ proposal contained three elements: full Roman citizenship for the Latins, voting rights (suffragium) for the citizens without voting rights (ciues sine suffragio) and the right to appeal to the Roman tribunes (ius prouocationis) for the Italian allies.116 Although we can only hypothesise Gaius’ motivations for putting forward this proposal, we can evaluate the possible consequences of this law.117 If Mouritsen is right, both the Latins 111 Cic. Brut. 99 calls this the lex de sociis et nomine Latino. 112 Stockton (1979) 94–​7; Mouritsen (1998) 109–​14; Jehne and Pfeilschifter (2006) discuss this background. See Roselaar (2010) 243–​51 on the relationship between the agrarian legislation of the Gracchi and the Italian allies. 113 Cic. Off. 3.47; Brut. 109; Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.388. 114 App. B Civ. 1.21; Val. Max. 9.5.1. 115 For discussions of literature on the topic, see Mouritsen (2006); Santangelo (2007a) 480–​1. 116 Mouritsen (2006), summarised on p. 425. 117 Mouritsen (2008) argues his aim was a strengthening of the Roman military forces. Both Plutarch (C. Gracch. 9.3: ἰσοψηφία –​equality of votes) and Appian (B Civ. 1.23: χειροτονία –​ the vote/​voting right) describe the effect the law would have on elections by its extension of voting rights to new groups.

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and the ciues sine suffragio would be added to the electorate with potential effect on the elections (depending on timing and placement in the tribes). As the proposer of the law, Gaius could be expected to be the main beneficiary of any new votes, and certainly of the goodwill of these new citizens even before their enrolment in the tribes. The senate’s hostile reaction to Gaius’ proposals should therefore not only be read as a negative stance to extension of citizenship, but also fears of an increase, however small, in Gaius’ supporters and voters. The senatorial or consular decree ordering anyone without the right of voting not to appear within forty stades (or approximately five miles) of the city during the voting on Gaius’ Italian proposal, suggests a concern that non-​voters to benefit from the law would put pressure on those who could vote. The men behind the decree might have misjudged the numbers of potential future voters, but the decree itself indicates that there was a substantial fear that they would be enough to have an impact at the vote and therefore also at elections if they were to receive the voting rights. Gaius’ tribunician counteredict, which condemned the consul Fannius and promised Gaius’ support to any Italians who did not adhere to the consular edict, initially signalled his endeavour on behalf of the Italians, but when he failed to live up to his promise of support, it gave a bad impression.118 It was not easy to control the tense situation, even for a politician with a cause and the oratory to fit. Gaius’ speech, in which he spoke of Roman mistreatment of the allies, may have been delivered in connection with his Italian proposal precisely to expose the problem and to garner support for his bill.119 Gellius quotes a long fragment of Gaius’ speech, saying that it comes from a speech de legibus promulgatis, from which we have several fragments. His point about the speech is that it refutes the opinion that Gaius was more a severe, energetic and copious orator than Cicero, because Gaius’ style is brief and without passion or opinion, simply stating the facts without any moral judgement: Verba haec sunt, quae super ea re fecit: ‘Nuper Teanum Sidicinum consul uenit. Uxor eius dixit se in balneis uirilibus lauari uelle. Quaestori Sidicino M.  Mario datum est negotium, uti balneis exigerentur, qui lauabantur. Uxor renuntiat uiro parum cito sibi balneas traditas esse et parum lautas fuisse. Idcirco palus destitutus est in foro, eoque adductus suae ciuitatis 118 Plut. C. Gracch. 12.2. 119 Dating of the speech (and fragments) is unclear and Stockton (1979) 120–​1, 128, 222 prefers to place it early in Gaius’ first tribunate, while Courtney (1999) 129 sees it as part of his promotion of the Italian proposal. Some of the other passages would fit with Gaius’ grain dole.

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nobilissimus homo M. Marius. Vestimenta detracta sunt, uirgis caesus est. Caleni, ubi id audierunt, edixerunt, ne quis in balneis lauisse uellet, cum magistratus Romanus ibi esset. Ferentini ob eandem causam praetor noster quaestores abripi iussit: alter se de muro deiecit, alter prensus et uirgis caesus est’. These are the words which he spoke about this case: ‘Recently the consul came to Teanum Sidicinum. His wife said that she wanted to bathe in the men’s baths. The quaestor of Sidicinum, Marcus Marius, was ordered to eject those bathing from the baths. The wife reported to her husband that the baths had been handed over to her too slowly and not entirely clean. Because of this a stake was placed in the forum and Marcus Marius, the most prominent man of the community, was led to it. His clothes were stripped off, and he was flogged with rods. The people of Cales, when hearing of this, issued an edict stipulating that no one could be allowed into the baths when a Roman magistrate was there. For this reason, in Ferentinum our praetor ordered the quaestors to be dragged off:  one of them threw himself from the wall, the other was captured and flogged with rods’.120

Modern scholars too have analysed this fragment as showing a simple, almost primitive, style in the repetition of specific words (balneis/​balneas) without an apparent sound effect, the recurrence of demonstratives, asyndetical sentences and binary structures. Yet, such a reading overlooks the performative aspect of Gaius’ oratory, which, we have seen, could be emotional and very effective in swaying his audience.121 It perhaps also overlooks the possibility that the subsequent noting down of Gaius’ speech may have left out a few interjections such as ‘can you imagine this?!’ or ‘think of this!’ because they were too colloquial for a written version. We may possibly imagine Gaius pronouncing these words either with great passion, underlining the most glaring contrasts (nobilissimus homo –​uirgis caesus est) or, by contrast, in a solemn and restrained voice, allowing the audience to fill in the emotions of injustice and indignation. Even if dispassionate on the surface, such a latter performative style could be very effective in front of an already indignant audience. Either model is possible, and more so since none of the sources give any information about Gaius’ audience: the people in the contio or the senate. This leaves further room for consideration about possible styles adopted. Gaius may have used a more direct emotional style if he addressed the people and a more restrained, implicitly emotional, style if speaking in the senate. The 120 Gell. NA 10.3.3; Gellius discusses Gaius’ style further in 10.3.1–​11. 121 Von Albrecht (1989) 33–​53; Courtney (1999) 124–​33; Cavarzere (2000) 85–​7; Sciarrino (2007) 62–​3 on the performative aspect.

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written versions of Cicero’s ‘parallel speeches’ to the people and the senate give some indication of difference in vocabulary, presentation and, it seems, performative style.122 Gaius will have tailored his performance too in order to maximise the effect of his message. This interpretation could be supported by another fragment from Gaius’ speech de legibus promulgatis in which Gaius makes an emotional appeal to the audience’s compassion on the basis of Tiberius’ death: Si uellem aput uos uerba facere et a uobis postulare, cum genere summo ortus essem et cum fratrem propter uos amisissem, nec quisquam de P. Africani et Tiberi Gracchi familia nisi ego et puer restaremus, ut pateremini hoc tempore me quiescere, ne a stirpe genus nostrum interiret et uti aliqua propago generis nostri reliqua esset:  haud an lubentibus a uobis impetrassem. Since I have come from a most distinguished family and since I have lost a brother for your sake, and nobody of Publius Africanus’ and Tiberius Gracchus’ families except for I, a boy, remained, if I wanted to address you in a speech and to ask from you to allow me at this point to abstain from politics, so that our family should not die out from its base and so that there should remain another offspring of our family: I am inclined to think that I would have obtained my request from you willingly.123

References to Tiberius had, by now, become a recurring theme in Gaius’ speeches. Here the message is one of despair, being the last male descendant of two great men, and requesting the audience not to allow the family to die out completely by making Gaius the second, and final, sacrificial victim to the people of Rome. The desperate tone and request of the audience’s goodwill could fit with Gaius’ problems of having his Italian proposal passed, but it seems far from the apparently dispassionate style of the other fragment of this speech. If the two fragments do belong to the same speech, the difference in tone could reflect either Gaius’ great range in oratorical style, or a difference in setting, delivering one speech in the senate (with the dispassionate style) and another pathos-​dripping speech under the same title in a contio. As before, Gaius played on his role as Tiberius’ brother and the champion of the rights of the common people against elite dominance. So far, Gaius seems to have had the contional audience to himself, but his extensive reform programme spurred his opponents to take a leaf out 122 Mack (1937); Gaillard (1975) 500–​1; Thompson (1978) 86–​8; Robinson (1986) 41–​82, (1994); Manuwald (2007) 117–​18, 125, 128–​9, 473–​9; van der Blom (2010) 104, 206–​7. 123 Schol. Bob. 81St. Bannon (1997) 130–​1 on Gaius’ use of Tiberius in this fragment.

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of his book. One of Gaius’ fellow tribunes, M. Livius Drusus, began to compete with Gaius for the people’s favour by proposing bills similar to, yet more generous than, Gaius’, apparently with the consent of the senate.124 Both Plutarch and Appian, our main sources for this competition, underline how Drusus’ activities made the people change their allegiance from Gaius to the senate, because Drusus openly declared to be backed by the senate, but the beneficial elements in Drusus’ proposal and his persuasive oratory may have appealed even more.125 The competition took place in a string of contiones and counter-​contiones as can be understood from a list of these meetings: 1. Gaius proposed two colonies of respectable citizens (contio); Drusus proposed twelve colonies each of 3,000 poor people (contio). 2. Gaius’ agrarian law demanded rental of the land to be paid (no meeting), but Drusus proposed to relieve tenants from this rent (contio). 3. Gaius’ proposed his Italian bill (contio(nes)); Drusus proposed that Latins be exempted from flogging (contio). 4. Gaius went off to found the colony Carthage/​Junonia in Africa on tribune Rubrius’ proposal (so Rubrius proposer) (contio); Drusus stole Gaius’ popularity through addresses to the people (contio(nes)). 5. The tribune Fulvius Flaccus was hard pressed by Drusus in Rome (contio(nes)), and Gaius came back to Rome to deal with this.126 This list represents the bare minimum of contiones, if Plutarch and Appian are to be trusted, and it shows clearly that the political contest was played out not in the senate, but publicly and openly in contiones. Tiberius had shown the way to conduct politics in front of the people, Gaius had followed it up, and now Gaius’ opponents followed suit too, evidently thinking this the most effective way to stem Gaius and his programme. The crucial legacy of the Gracchi –​conducting politics through the popular assembly rather than the senate  –​was not an revelation in hindsight, but understood and taken up by Gaius’ contemporaries. The contio was not simply the location for communication with the people, but also a venue to display competition between senators, all of whom attempted to 124 On Livius Drusus (RE 17), see Burckhardt (1988) 54–​70. 125 Burckhardt (1988) 58–​9 suggests three reasons: the socio-​economic and political-​structural situation of the plebs, the content of the proposals and the persuasiveness of Drusus, and the neglect of Gaius to counter Drusus. 126 Plut. C. Gracch. 9–​11; App. B Civ. 1.23. Burckhardt (1988) 62–​3 discusses the first three occasions but not the oratorical element.

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project themselves as the people’s protector.127 Livius Drusus’ tactic undercut Gaius’ public persona as the main promoter of the people’s interests, and presented Gaius with the problem of proving his credibility to the people. If one of Gaius’ motivations for these proposals, alongside a policy of improving living conditions among Romans and allies, had been to boost his electorate and popularity, it backfired completely through the activities of Livius Drusus. Gaius’ popularity decreased over 122 BC, Fulvius Flaccus’ inelegant movements did not help while Gaius was in Africa, and this was the beginning of the end of Gaius’ political career. Some have commented on the ease with which the plebs could be moved away from Gaius and towards whomever promised them most,128 but this was a fact of contional politics of which Gaius, more than anybody else, must have been keenly aware. Gaius’ failure to keep the plebs on his side in the contiones of 122 BC could at first sight be interpreted as a sign of diminishing oratorical abilities:  if he was such a great orator why did he not persuade the plebs? However, this view overlooks the fact that Gaius had moved his legislation forward to a point where the urban population no longer wanted to support it: colonies appealed to rural poor who wanted to farm their own land, while the Italian bill appealed to Italians only. The urban poor had no interest in sharing their small benefits of grain distribution and patronage with further, non-​Roman, individuals, and they abandoned Gaius. The consul Fannius had done his bit to remind the urban voters that sharing meant losing out.129 It did not help either that Gaius left for Africa to found his colony and thereby left the rostra for Drusus to dominate. Knowing the importance of courting the people, Gaius left the newly established colony of Junonia in Africa for Rome in order to counter the effects of Drusus’ challenge to his legislative programme and Fulvius Flaccus’ failure to deal with Drusus. His next moves give indications of the strengths and limitations in his political strategy. Plutarch observes 127 Morstein-​Marx (2004) (arguing the ‘ideological monotony’ of their rhetoric) discusses this elite competition in front of the people, and (232–​3) the competition between Gaius and Livius Drusus. 128 Mouritsen (2001) 85. The fickleness of the plebs, the inconstantia plebis, was a literary topos from Cicero onwards: Yavetz (1969) 5, 32. 129 Cic. Brut. 99 records Fannius’ speech and Iulius Victor 6.4 (= Teubner ed. p. 41, l. 26) preserves a fragment: ‘si Latinis ciuitatem dederitis, credo, existimatis uos ita, ut nunc constitisse, in contione habituros locum aut ludis et festis diebus interfuturos. nonne illos omnia occupaturos putatis?’ (‘If you give the citizenship to the Latins, do you think that you would still have space at contio meetings, as you have now, or to watch games and festivals. Do you not see that they will take over everything?’).

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that Gaius’ first act upon his return was to move house from the elitist Palatine Hill to the poor area of the Subura, because he thought it δημοτικώτερος –​more democratic, by which we may understand, more in line with his popular policies and his appeal to the people.130 His decision to pull down the wooden seats which were set up to accommodate the elite at the gladiatorial games but obscured the view of the common people, was also motivated, so Plutarch says, by a wish to get the common people on his side.131 Such actions may be called publicity stunts in modern politics, but clearly Gaius knew the importance of tending his public image to fit with his policies and to offset the popularising attempts by competitors such as Drusus. Plutarch gives no information about how Gaius may have related these actions to his oratory, but it is perhaps not unthinkable to imagine Gaius mentioning, more or less obliquely, his house move or the seat removal in contional speeches in order to underscore the popular element of this actions in front of its intended audience of the people. Despite the importance of such stunts, Plutarch’s account of Gaius’ failure in securing a second re-​election to the tribunate (for 121 BC) is too straightforward: that his demolition of the wooden seats made his tribunician colleagues so angry that they tampered with the election results which would have made him a clear winner; Plutarch admits that this story was disputed at the time.132 Rather, Gaius’ popularity had gone downhill over the course of 122 BC as a result of his legislative proposals, and his hopes of support from the consul C. Fannius were disappointed when Fannius opposed his Italian proposal, which then failed to pass through to law.133 Neither the plebs nor the senate had any clear advantages from colony foundations or extensions of the rights of the Italian allies, and so it was the obvious soft spot of Gaius’ entire legislative programme and public persona at which the opposition could aim their weaponry in the hope of slowing down or stopping him. Gaius was not re-​elected to a third tribunate because his recent legislative proposals were unpopular with the urban voters and his absence from 130 Plut. C. Gracch. 12.1. 131 Plut. C. Gracch. 12.3–​4. 132 Plut. C. Gracch. 12.4. The tribunes could have tampered with the result by reading out the results for other tribunician candidates first, thereby returning the maximum ten elected tribunes before Gaius’ votes could be read out; cf. U. Hall (1964) 295. 133 See also above on the edict of Fannius and Gaius’ counter-​edict. Exactly how the bill failed is uncertain: abandoned, voted down or vetoed by Livius Drusus? Cic. Brut. 99–​100; De or. 3.183; Iul. Victor 6.4; Char. 181.14; Prisc. GL II.380, 9; Plut. C. Gracch. 12.1–​2. Gaius may have spoken against Fannius in another contio, as hinted by Cic. Brut. 99–​100. Gaius and Fannius’ relationship: Gruen (1968a) 92–​5; Stockton (1979) 177–​8.

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Rome had allowed his opponents ample opportunity to exploit the unpopular elements in his legislative programme. We have no indication of how he canvassed or explained himself to the electorate. Without his tribunician powers, it was difficult for him to counter the attempts of repealing his legislation. One of the tribunes of 121 BC, M. Minucius Rufus, proposed the annulment of (parts of ) Gaius’ legislation. When he proposed to repeal the lex Rubria, which had empowered Gaius to found the colony Junonia in Africa, Gaius delivered a speech against the proposal; a brief but uninformative fragment is preserved.134 It was not easy to defend a law which was unpopular from the start. Moreover, it seems that the fight for popular opinion was no longer fought in contiones only, but by other means too. Stories about ill omens concerning the colony circulated in Rome, but while Plutarch simply gives his source as if it was a rumour (λέγουσιν –​‘there are said’), Appian informs us that the surveyors marking up the colony sent letters to Rome, presumably to the senate, explaining that wolves had pulled up and scattered the boundary stones; in response, Gaius and Fulvius Flaccus accused the senate of lying about the wolves.135 Plutarch’s interest in omens is well known,136 and he and Appian may well share a common source, but the circulation of such rumours to slander the colonisation project is easily imaginable in the context of controversy and the importance of public opinion for policy-​making. Gargola argues that Appian’s claim about the surveyors reporting the omens is likely to be speculation because Appian is compressing two separate actions (the surveying with formal foundation and the settlement of colonists) into one. In Gargola’s view ‘the ostensible source’ of the omens may have been someone in Gaius’ entourage, someone in the entourage of the governor of Africa, or an inhabitant of a neighbouring city.137 This analysis suggests that the omens were indeed rumours fabricated to harm the colonisation programme of Gaius and that they originated with his political enemies in Rome.138 Moreover, there were precedents of using rumour against a Gracchus as Tiberius had also experienced a smear campaign in 133; it 134 Fragment: Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310. Flor. 2.3.4 (somewhat imprecise, Minucius did not hinder the passage of the laws, but proposed their repeal); De vir. ill. 65.5; Oros. 5.12.5; Plut. C. Gracch. 13.1; App. B Civ. 1.24. 135 Plut. C. Gracch. 11.1 provides further bad omens: leading standard carried away by wind; sacrificial victims scattered by hurricane; wolves scattering boundary stones; App. B Civ. 1.24. See also Oros. Hist. 5.12.1–​2. Rawson (1974) 197–​8 discusses these omens in a religious context, and Rissanen (2015) wolf portents in ancient Rome in general. 136 See Pelling (2011) 373–​4. 137 Gargola (1995) 173–​4 with n. 103. 138 An interpretation supported by haruspices in Rome (Santangelo (2013) 91–​4), although the precise allegiance of the haruspices at the time is uncertain.

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was well known that public opinion could be manipulated by rumours of all kinds.139 Even if Gaius as tribune still had free access to the contio, he was not in Rome when the stories arrived there and he could therefore no longer fully control his public image through oratory or networking; moreover, the unpopular elements of his legislation made it difficult for him to persuade a public audience when he was speaking. It is in connection with such a public meeting on the repeal of the Gracchan legislation that one supporter of the consul Opimius was killed in the chaos, and this sparked the riots which resulted in the deaths of Gaius, Fulvius Flaccus and, it is said, 3000 followers.140 The story of what happened to Gaius and Fulvius Flaccus in 121 BC has been written before and shall not be repeated.141 The following section shall rather look at Gaius’ final speech within a context of what has been called popularis oratory.

Gaius’ final speech In a fragment of a speech, which is usually thought to have been delivered near the end of his life,142 Gaius used all his oratorical talents to invoke compassion and sympathy: Quo me miser conferam? Quo uertam? In Capitoliumne? At fratris sanguine redundat. An domum? Matremne ut miseram lamentantem uideam et abiectam? Where can I go, so miserable as I am? Where can I turn? To the Capitol? But that is covered in my brother’s blood. To my home? So that I can see my mother in her misery, grieving and downcast?143

Cicero, our first extant source to this fragment, places it in the discussion between L. Licinius Crassus and Q. Lutatius Catulus in his dialogue De oratore, set in 91 BC. He makes Crassus and Catulus remind themselves of 139 Although Tiberius cleverly managed to use one of these rumours to his own advantage:  Plut. Ti. Gracch. 13, 19.3; App. B Civ. 1.15. For discussion of these rumours see Laurence (1994) 62–​3; Rosillo López (2007) 117–​18; Pina Polo (2010) 81–​2; for the importance of talk in the street, see O’Neill (2003). 140 Plut. C. Gracch. 17.5. 141 Standard accounts: Stockton (1979) 195–​99; Lintott (1996) in CAH IX2, 83–​4. Aftermath and the people’s reaction: Morstein-​Marx (2012) 197–​9. 142 Stockton (1979) 224; Courtney (1999) 130–​1; Dixon (2007) 22 (in the context of traditions about the Gracchi). 143 Cic. De or. 3.214. Style of this passage: von Albrecht (1989) 48–​9; Courtney (1999) 130–​1; Sciarrino (2007) 61–​2. Narducci (2004) on its wider literary context.

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Gaius Gracchus and what all his contemporaries said about him, namely that when Gaius spoke these words, he used his eyes, his voice and gestures so effectively that even his enemies could not hold back their tears. Gaius’ emotional delivery has already been discussed, but what is striking about this fragment is the way that it is set in connection with his dramatic delivery. Gaius’ rhetorical technique has been termed dubitatio, which is defined as an attempt to ‘strengthen the credibility (fides ueritatis) of his own point of view by means of a feigned oratorical helplessness, which expresses itself in the appeal to the audience, made in the form of a question, for advice concerning the efficient and relevant intellectual development of the speech’.144 Although Gaius was not asking for advice with the development of his speech, but rather about the next step in a literal as well as a political sense, the definition fits nicely with the helplessness and appeal expressed by Gaius. This helplessness is further emphasised by Gaius’ references to Tiberius’ violent death on the Capitol, his mother’s grief at Tiberius’ fate, and, implicitly, the fear of Gaius’ impending similar fate should Gaius not receive support from his audience. As we have seen, Gaius had referred to both Tiberius and Cornelia during his career in his attempt to deal with Tiberius’ opponents and as part of his wider efforts to control and bank on his family’s public image to nurture his own political profile. Everybody knew to whom Gaius was referring in this speech and all were invited to consider the enormous losses already sustained by his family and, in the spirit of empathy and perhaps even gratefulness to the family, to help and support Gaius. This fragment combines Gaius’ strongest oratorical devices into one short passage: emotional appeal, reference to his family’s services and a powerful delivery in expressions, voice and gestures to go with the dramatic content –​what some would term a truly popularis performance. The effect on Gaius’ audience was powerful too, and it reached beyond and into what Dixon has called ‘Gaius’ “last day” lore’, recorded in Cicero, Quintilian and others, surely reflecting an oral tradition about Gaius’ final days and his impressive oratory.145 The dating of the speech is based purely on the tone and content of the speech, not external evidence, but it does seems most plausible in a context of failing support, diminishing popularity and threats to Gaius’ legislation, which, if carried through, threatened Gaius’ entire political career, even his life, if we place the speech after the consul L.  Opimius had summoned Gaius and Fulvius Flaccus to the senate. What is striking 144 Courtney (1999) 130–​1 characterises this dubitatio; Lausberg (1998) §776 provides the definition. 145 Dixon (2007) 22. Quint. Inst. 11.3.115; Iul. Vict. 24, RhL p. 443, 3.

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about this fragment, besides its remarkable concentration of Gaius’ main oratorical devices, is the fact that in his most desperate hour he decided to deliver a public speech to communicate his situation and appeal for support.146 He may also have pleaded or negotiated with his fellow senators in private, and he will certainly have discussed the possibilities with his followers. But his decision to deliver a speech, too, highlights the crucial importance he accorded public speaking for his political career and his entire raison d’être. Gaius has been characterised as a popularis politician and a popularis orator by ancient observers and modern scholars. Indeed, he is often used by ancient sources and modern scholars as the example par excellence to illustrate what is meant by popularis, whether certain political and oratorical themes or an oratorical style and behaviour.147 Robb has suggested that Gaius could be seen as the odd one out among the populares because of the intentions of working for the interests of the people, rather than purely personal advancement, behind his legislation.148 It seems difficult, however, to discount ideological reasons as motivation in other so-​called popularis politicians, since we cannot know their thoughts and convictions from the source material available. What we can say, though, is that Gaius’ activity clearly suggests that he was ideologically motivated in his political agenda. It would have been interesting to ask the parallel question of whether there are elements in Gaius’ oratorical style and appearance which clash with the usual characterisations of him as the typical popularis, but the nature of the sources stand in the way: the lack of contemporary sources means that we necessarily must build our impression of Gaius on later sources such as Cicero, Plutarch and Appian, who were all influenced by the reception of the Gracchi as the people’s champions (the positive angle) and popular demagogues (the negative angle), and they may therefore have pushed these images and omitted less popularis aspects, if any. 146 The venue for his speech is unclear, but the tone suggests a popular audience. If at a formal contio in 121 BC, when Gaius was no longer a tribune and possibly not a senator (Lintott (1992) 116–​17, (1999a) 68–​9; contra:  M. Crawford (1996) I.99 on the content of the lex Atinia), someone else must have called the meeting. We could also imagine an informal gathering in public where Gaius addressed supporters and others. 147 Cic. Brut. 125–​6, 333; Plut. Ti. Gracch. 2.2. David (1980) 184, (1983); P. M. Martin (2000); Corbeill (2002); Morstein-​Marx (2004) 139–​40, 267–​72; Duplá (2011) distinguishes four different meanings of popularis; Arena (2012) 116–​68 on the popularis tradition vis-​à-​vis libertas in the Republic, and (124–​7) the role of the Gracchi in this tradition. Robb (2010) on the terminology of popularis in the ancient sources generally. 148 Robb (2010) 15 with references to Taylor (1949) 21; Meier (1965) 557; Brunt (1988) 33.

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A further problem is the flexibility of the term popularis, although Arena has shown that there was a consistent tradition associated with the term.149 This means that the sources’ evaluation of Gaius’ political stance and public appeal as well as his oratorical style and delivery may be coloured by the later tradition of Gaius as the archetypical popularis orator, setting an example to subsequent politicians and especially to plebeian tribunes. Although we derive our information from later sources, the authors of those works had access to sources now lost to us. Accounts written by Gaius’ contemporaries and records noted down at the time could be consulted; Atticus’ Liber Annalis contained a chronological list of all magistrates, laws, treaties, and other important public events, knowledge of which Atticus must have found in sources no longer extant.150 These sources included speeches, of which we have no knowledge, or just fragments or testimonia, and these will also have influenced the later image of Gaius’ oratory and political stance. The image of Gaius, however, cannot be ascribed to later depictions only, as he himself and his contemporaries actively sought to create particular stories and perceptions about him: the two traditions of the Gracchi brothers originates with the Gracchi and their contemporaries. Thus, while the later sources wrote in hindsight, they also composed their works on the foundation laid in Gaius’ own time. We must deal with the evaluation of Gaius in the sources and accept that this Gaius is a product of various efforts to project an image. Certainly, the images of Gaius influenced the perception of him as a great orator, but so did his actual speeches and their effects (elections and legislation). Therefore, it is possible to assess the effect of Gaius’ oratory on his political career without relying solely on the constructed images. The features of Gaius’ oratory, which has been described as popularis in later sources, may (or may not) neglect other features of his public speaking, but they are nevertheless important for understanding the extent of emulation and innovation in his oratory, especially in comparison with his brother, who has been seen as the prototype of the popularis orator. Scholars have tried to come closer to an understanding of what made an orator be described as popularis, performing what Cicero called eloquentia popularis, the art of speaking in a popularis way.151 David concluded that Cicero’s usage of popularis oratory meant an especially vehement style full 149 Robb (2010) on the flexibility; Arena (2012) 116–​68 and the opposing ‘optimate’ tradition at 81–​116. 150 Cic. Brut. 15 on the importance of Atticus’ work for his Brutus; Nep. Att. 18.1–​2 on Atticus’ work. 151 Cic. Orat. 13:  eloquentia popularis; David (1980); P. M. Martin (2000); Morstein-​Marx (2004) 139–​40, 204–​78.

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of emotional appeal which was often, but not exclusively, adopted by tribunes advocating a popularis political viewpoint. According to Morstein-​ Marx, the distinction lies not between a popularis style and a popularis ideology (or ‘contional oratory’) because both are used in the contio and are as such inseparable, but between the ideology and associated style or rhetoric of the contio as opposed to other fora, such as the senate.152 Since we have no securely attested testimonia or fragments of Gaius’ senate speeches, we see him mainly, almost exclusively, as an orator addressing the contio. The aspects of Gaius’ public oratory and appearance which have been characterised as popularis are the ideological content of his oratory and legislation (grain law, agrarian law, curtailment of senatorial power and corruption, the rights of the people and the allies, and the equation between the interest of the people with the interest of the entire state), his emotional oratorical style and his vigorous delivery including his famous walking on the podium,153 his freeing of his left arm from the folds of the toga to allow gesticulation, his use of facial expressions and his employment of a slave flutist to help him adjust his tone of voice, as mentioned above. When a certain fragment or testimony seemed not to fit this image, ways around this discrepancy was envisaged. For example, that Gaius’ factual description of the treatment of the Italian allies in Teanum Sidicinum may have been delivered in a particularly emotional fashion –​otherwise the image of a vehement and passionate orator does not fit. But it could also, as suggested above, reflect a less passionate style tailored to a senatorial audience. I wonder too, why the use of a flautist is considered particularly popularis?154 If it is simply Gaius’ attention to delivery which makes this usage popularis, surely a great number of Roman orators would fall in this category although otherwise not usually considered popularis. In this light, the employment of a flautist does not add to the depiction of a popularis orator.155 In terms of popularis outlook, the bulk of Gaius’ legislation would benefit the people, hence the designation as popularis. Here, the sources seem to operate with a different, if related, definition of popularis. It is not the oratorical style adopted, but the content of the legislative measures 152 Morstein-​Marx (2004) 238–​9. 153 See Corbeill (2002) 200, 204 on Gaius’ movements and Cicero’s negative interpretation. 154 As does David (1980) 183–​4. 155 For Gaius’ rhetorical style, it is worth also considering the impact of the wording of his lex repetundarum, which was very different from that of the Twelve Tables and seems to have set a standard for later statutes: M. Crawford (1988) 129–​34.

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proposed which qualify for the term. It is clear that popularis oratorical style could be separated from popularis legislation from the fact that Cicero described his own mentor L. Licinius Crassus as a master of popularis oratory, although he could hardly have been described as having a popularis political outlook.156 In Gaius, however, both style and content were described as popularis and this is the reason for seeing him as the archetypical popularis politician. Related to these aspects of popularis behaviour is Gaius’ constant and consistent concern to communicate with and engage the Roman public in his activities and his fate, and for that his extraordinary oratorical skills were crucial.

Conclusion Our picture of Gaius Gracchus is influenced to a remarkable degree by his own projection of a public persona and by the negative portrait given by his enemies. Cicero knew both traditions and decided to distinguish between oratorical talent (good) and employment of this talent for political purposes (bad) in his depiction of Gaius and Tiberius, famously tilting his depiction between good and bad according to audience addressed.157 This chapter has not been an attempt to go behind the facade and discover the ‘real’ Gaius, as this is hardly possible. Instead, the analysis has traced the ways in which Gaius employed oratory to further his political aims and career, very specifically and in broader terms too. This approach is thereby moving away from Cicero’s moralistic division between ‘good oratorical skills’ and ‘bad use of oratorical skills’ to an understanding of Gaius’ tactics for advancing his political aims, including his articulation of career choices. The sources project a politician whose entire claim to political influence rested on his family link with famous politicians, his brilliant oratorical powers, his restless energy and his opposition to senatorial dominance as the protector of common people. He had no religious office and only very seldom do we hear of other factors such as military skill, wealth, patronage (except the shadowy patronage of his father and brother), or skill in private negotiation. Rarely do we get glimpses into such negotiations, such as between Gaius and Fulvius Flaccus over the grain law or the bill to favour the Italians,158 or between Gaius and C.  Fannius over 156 Cic. Brut. 164–​5. 157 Béranger (1972); Gaillard (1975); Thompson (1978) 86–​8; Robinson (1986) 41–​82, (1994); van der Blom (2010) 103–​7 –​all with references to the relevant passages in Cicero’s works. 158 App. B Civ. 1.21, 1.24, 1.34. Yakobson (1999) 158 also stress the lack of sources on their cooperation but that it nevertheless must have happened.

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the latter’s consular candidature,159 but otherwise the picture of Gaius is one of a politician going it alone, supported by the people only. Plutarch observed that Gaius’ appearance as a competent and charismatic popular leader was based more on his dignified behaviour when dealing with individuals and less on speeches from the rostra, underlining that Gaius’ talent for communication reached beyond mass oratory and involved public appearance in all contexts –​consciously projected or not.160 A politician is always on show, a fact of politics which Gaius would have known from his own and family experience, and most probably also tried to exploit to his own advantage, although not always successfully. When he was caught delivering ‘hot air’ only and failing to live up to his promise of support to any non-​voter staying in Rome in spite of the ban issued in relation to his Italian proposal, it was immediately remarked upon in the sources, who undoubtedly reflect what Gaius’ enemies had to say about this incidence. Military talent and exploits seem not to have formed part of Gaius’ public profile. Although Plutarch praises his military excellence, his depiction immediately turns to a discussion of Gaius’ entrepreneurial dealings with local cities in the province and the senate’s political interpretation of these as Gaius’ attempt to gather popular favour.161 Plutarch uses the military setting to lay the foundation for his portrait of Gaius as a popular leader and demagogue, and we therefore get little impression of Gaius’ actual military abilities. What is perhaps more telling is that in the extant fragments and testimonies of Gaius’ public speeches  –​our main window into his public profile  –​he hardly referred to his military service or achievements. When he did remind his audiences of censors and people that he had served twelve years of military service and two years as quaestor to a governor, both above the required number of years, the message was not one of military successes to vouch for his political abilities, but instead that his loyal and dutiful service to the state should acquit him of any charge of neglect of duty.162 We hear nothing explicit about the wealth or patronage enjoyed by Gaius, but his family was very rich, especially on his mother’s side, allowing full-​time attention to a public career.163 His ancestry from two prominent families, the Sempronii and the Cornelii Scipiones, who had produced famous generals and politicians 159 Plut. C. Gracch. 8.1. 160 Plut. C. Gracch. 6.4. 161 Plut. C. Gracch. 1.4, 2.1–​4. 162 Cic. Orat. 233; Plut. C. Gracch. 2–​3; Gell. NA 15.12.1–​2. 163 See Dixon (2007) 33–​48 on the wealth of Cornelia’s family and her enormous dowry.

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for generations, eased Gaius’ way into political life. We do not hear about patronage exactly because it was so obviously built into his background. Gaius had all the advantages of a brilliant ancestry, but Tiberius changed the publicity value of this ancestry dramatically. Gaius was operating in the shadow of Tiberius from the start, as agrarian commissioner and as politician. His strategy was not to avoid reference to Tiberius or to distance himself from his brother’s activities, sympathies or memory, but instead to turn the legacy of Tiberius into a political asset. In taking up Tiberius’ cause, involving himself on the Tiberian side in the highly controversial political actions taken in consequence of Tiberius’ death, and publicly declaring his biological and political kinship with Tiberius, Gaius very early, and certainly before he canvassed for political magistracies, signalled his political intentions to both senate and the people. Our fragmented, yet fairly extensive, knowledge of his use and manipulation of his family’s memory (father, mother and Tiberius), shows how much Gaius built his political platform on his pietas towards his family. He employed Tiberius as his main exemplum of a political martyr sacrificing himself to the corrupt elements of the senate for the sake of the people in order to justify and explain his own political actions. His use of such a family exemplum was not unique –​Roman culture positively supported such exploitation of exemplary figures, also within families164 –​ but it was nevertheless uncommonly elaborate out of necessity and as a result of Gaius’ talent for public communication. Tiberius’ memory remained central to Gaius’ own profile, but his use of Tiberius extended much further. Gaius built on and developed Tiberius’ political ideas and ideals, oratorical practices and themes, methods of drumming up popular support and challenging the existing power base, and added innovations in all fields along the way. Flower convincingly depicts Tiberius’ oratory as appealing to traditional Roman values of rural life, sense of community, citizen soldiers and imperial pride, and his delivery as immobile, without large gestures or sudden outbursts, but she also argues that Tiberius could appeal to emotions by wearing a weapon, donning mourning dress and producing his son and mother to the public.165 While the sources do not report anything about Gaius carrying weapons, wearing mourning dress or parading his child to the public, his references to Tiberius and their mother in public addresses play on a related mechanism of arousing a certain sentiment related to 164 See van der Blom (2010) 87–​103 for discussion of family exempla in Roman republican culture. 165 Flower (2013). J. Hall (2014) 40–​63 discusses the dramatic element in wearing mourning clothes.

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family pietas and misericordia.166 His true innovations in delivery seem not to build on Tiberius’ practice, but the striking focus on the contio as the forum for political discourse and action is truly Tiberian; it was Tiberius’ oratorical achievements in the contio which showed Gaius how far contional speeches could take politics and a political career.167 Cicero knew it too when he observed that the Gracchi were particularly eloquent in contiones.168 In terms of legislative themes, Gaius took up Tiberius’ legislation and expanded its scope, most notably in his agrarian law, but he also introduced new ideas such as his grain law and his law on the composition of the juries. Moreover, he exploited Tiberius’ links with both rural and urban networks to support his candidature and tribunician legislation, and went further by proposing his Italian bill which would have enlarged his networks considerably had it been passed. Gaius consciously, carefully, and emphatically stabilised and extended his brother’s legacy and image in order to create a better foundation for his own political endeavours. It is clear that oratory played a central role in Gaius’ career:  he used oratory to promote his public persona, to appeal to the people for support on behalf of himself and others, and to endorse his extensive legislative programme. Although we do not know which factors were involved in his election to the quaestorship, we may imagine that his ancestry played a role, possibly underlined by speeches. In any case, it is clear that public speeches made a real difference in Gaius’ elections to the two tribunates. Since there was no tradition of election speeches proper, any speeches delivered in the year or two before an election could be considered as contributing to a politician’s public image and standing. Gaius’ self-​defence in front of the censors in 124 (and possibly against a formal prosecution too) helped him to underline his message of incorruptibility and remind the urban audience of his previous self-​staging as Tiberius’ revenger and political heir. His re-​election to the tribunate was based on his public persona and popularity with the people, and it appeared almost as an accident  –​considering Gaius’ careful self-​projection, one wonders whether this impression was intended to show him as a politician not canvassing for office but called to the service of the state by the adoring people. In any case, his many speeches during his first year in office facilitated not only the immediate message of the speech, but also nurtured his public 166 For the meaning of misericordia in a Roman philosophical and rhetorical context, see Pétré (1934), and, more generally, Hellegouarc’h (1972) 261. 167 Also hinted at by Flower (2013) 86. 168 Cic. Brut. 333.

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image as a politician working for the people. All his tribunician speeches before his re-​election are therefore part of his self-​promotion, even if he had not immediately planned to run for re-​election. Once his appeal to popular favour was challenged, this foundation to his career crumbled and the career itself stalled. Gaius never obtained high magistracies, his career was cut short, and in this respect he is the least successful politician in the present study. Yet, if we look at the use he made of these magistracies to push through his legislation and political ideas, he was very successful, even if some of the legislation was later repealed or altered. His greatest success was perhaps in setting new standards. His oratorical innovations, especially in delivery, reshaped the way in which tribunes and other politicians addressing a contio were expected to speak and conduct themselves. Building on Tiberius’ extensive use of the contio, Gaius made the popular assembly the main focus and tool for his political activity, paving the way for tribunes (even consuls such as Caesar) circumventing the senate altogether. Sulla’s curtailing of the contio was evidently a result of this expansive and innovative use of the contio.169 Gaius also introduced completely new ideas in his legislation, such as subsidised grain to the citizens and colonies founded outside Italy –​ideas taken up again by subsequent politicians such as Clodius and Caesar. Even if he was not the first to attack senatorial corruption and domination,170 he pushed the challenge of senatorial supremacy further. These innovations, his relation and constant references to Tiberius and, of course, his violent death secured his fame. Indeed, the people honoured him and Tiberius with divine honours after Gaius’ death, which seems to have created a precedent for the increasing blurring between humans and gods in the late Republic.171 He was a master in careful creation and maintenance of a powerful public persona, so important in Roman politics, and he transformed the way politics was conducted in Rome.

169 Flower (2010) 165–​6 for further discussion of the political implications of the Gracchi. 170 Taylor (1962) discusses the forerunners of the Gracchi. 171 Plut. C. Gracch. 18.3 on the divine honours; Flower (2006) 79–​81 discusses these honours; Marco Simón and Pina Polo (2000) discuss the wider context.

4

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Pompeius’ oratory and political career

Tu si Pompeium, ut uolebas, offendisti, qui tibi uisus sit et quam orationem habuerit tecum quamque ostenderit uoluntatem (solet enim aliud sentire et loqui neque tantum ualere ingenio ut non appareat quid cupiat), fac mihi perscribas. If you found Pompeius, as you wanted to do, be sure to write and tell me what you thought of him, how he talked to you, and what disposition he showed. He is apt to say one thing and think another, but is usually not clever enough to keep his real aims out of view.1

M. Caelius Rufus (pr. 48 BC) is blunt yet precise in his description of Pompeius (106–​48 BC), written in May 51 BC to Cicero.2 Caelius enquires about a possible private meeting between Cicero and Pompeius, but his judgement of Pompeius’ tendency to obscure his real opinion is formulated as a general feature of Pompeius’ public and political interactions.3 For Pompeius, a central political figure in Rome, such a tendency of dissimulation would have wide-​ranging implications for his interactions in politics, the perception of him, political activity generally and his own career more specifically. Caelius had had good opportunity to observe Pompeius’ public conduct as an up-​and-​coming senator in Rome in the late 60s and in the 50s BC, and his letters to Cicero show his sharp eye for politics.4 Indeed, his detection of a difference between Pompeius’ expressed and privately held opinion is picked up by Cicero too, who 1 Cic. Fam. 8.1.3 (SB 77)  26 May 51 BC:  M.  Caelius Rufus to Cicero; text and transl. Shackleton Bailey (2001). 2 There is no reason to doubt Caelius’ sincerity in this passage being Cicero’s regular informant of political life in Rome during Cicero’s stay in Cilicia, in debt to Cicero’s successful defence of him in 56 BC, and having no known enmity to Pompeius at this point. J. Hall (2009a) and White (2010) discuss social interaction in Cicero’s letters. 3 The meeting did happen and Cicero appears satisfied to have received a clear message from Pompeius: Cic. Att. 5.7 (SB 100). 4 Cic. Fam. 8 (SB 77–9, 81–4, 87–8, 91–2, 94, 97–8, 149, 153, 156).

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knew the dangers of trusting Pompeius on his word.5 Caelius’ second observation –​that Pompeius was unable to shield his real aims or wishes –​ suggests a weakness on Pompeius’ part to play the political game successfully. But it is also possible that Pompeius intended others to understand his true intentions without expressing them directly. Are we to interpret this feature of Pompeius’ public and political encounters as a flaw or a tactic? A close study of Pompeius’ public speeches suggests the latter. Throughout his political career, Pompeius repeatedly passed up possibilities for public speaking. This is not to say that Pompeius never spoke in public, far from it, but rather that he did not take up any or every opportunity for addressing the senate, the people or the court; instead he often seems to have preferred to nurture his political aims through private talks, agents and junior magistrates. When Pompeius did speak in public, it appears to have been the result of a carefully considered choice. Pompeius’ public speeches therefore provide a crucial key to understanding his political choices and his political career. Certainly, there were times when it was politically disadvantageous to evade the chance to address an audience in public. He was known to possess a special eloquence when praising his own exploits, as he did in connection with his grand triumph in 61 BC.6 His skill in self-​praise forms another trend in Pompeius’ oratorical career. At other times, he needed to assert his authority personally in defence of his political supporters and associates or against Caesar in the lead up to the civil war.7 Nevertheless, he was less inclined to climb the speaker’s platform than circumstances allowed. Part of the explanation seems to lie in his exceptional career trajectory which saw him command an army without official imperium in his early twenties, and celebrate two triumphs before receiving any public office by election. Only after his second triumph, in 71 BC, did he enter Roman politics, and that as a consul without prior experience of civic service. It is no surprise that his engagement with political life at Rome, including his approach to oratory, was different from that of his peers. But the question remains: how eloquent was Pompeius, and to what extent and for what purposes did Pompeius articulate his views and career choices through public speeches? 5 Cic. Att. 4.1.7 (SB 73) on Pompeius’ attitude to the two competing proposals for his cura annonae of 57 BC; 2.21.6 (SB 41). 6 Quint. Inst. 11.1.36; Plin. HN 7.99; and perhaps Oros. 6.6.4; Plut. Pomp. 54.1. 7 Supporting Caesar’s agrarian bill; supporting Cicero’s recall at various meetings; defending Milo in 56 BC, L. Cornelius Balbus, Scribonius Libo, T. Ampius Balbus, testifying on behalf of M. Aemilius Scaurus, speaking or writing in defence of A.  Gabinius, speaking about Caesar’s Gallic command: all sources listed in Appendix 2.

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There is little discussion of Pompeius’ oratorical skills in the ancient sources and modern scholarship, partly as a result of the meagre and scattered nature of the evidence.8 Indeed, we have no secure verbatim quotations from Pompeius’ speeches. But a close reading of passages mentioning his eloquence or descriptions of specific performances in the senate, the contio and the courts can help us judge the effect of his oratory on his audience and its impact on his political career.9 A consideration of when Pompeius avoided speaking gives further clues to his political decisions and tactics. In this chapter, the case of Pompeius shall be used to illustrate the ways in which a top politician could promote his political career in spite of, even by avoiding, oratorical performances. We shall see too how Pompeius used oratory in a more constructive manner to convey his political opinions, to promote his own self-​image as a triumphant general and to exploit popular sentiments in the knowledge of his own dependence on the people’s favour. First, however, it is necessary to discuss general testimonia to Pompeius’ oratory in order to place the individual oratorical occasions in context. General assessments of Pompeius’ oratorical skills are scarce and often combined with descriptions of his character or his rivalry with Crassus.10 These assessments repeatedly explain Pompeius’ ambition as the main motivation in his career, depict his speeches as especially eloquent when describing his own military achievements, and stress his dependence on his auctoritas, while they criticise his use of ghostwriting and rhetorical exercises beyond his early career. Cicero is the earliest source to assess Pompeius’ talents, in his history of the Roman orators, the Brutus from 46 BC: Meus autem aequalis Cn. Pompeius uir ad omnia summa natus maiorem dicendi gloriam habuisset, nisi eum maioris gloriae cupiditas ad bellicas laudes abstraxisset. Erat oratione satis amplus, rem prudenter uidebat; actio

8 Kennedy (1972) 282 and Gruen (1974) 62 discuss this:  Kennedy is unenthusiastic, Gruen more positive. 9 Malcovati (1976) no. 111 provides most of the evidence, supplemented by other sources when relevant. All known occasions of Pompeius’ public oratory are listed in Appendix 2; I shall not attempt to discuss them all. 10 Cic. Fin. 2.57; Tusc. 1.12; Tac. Dial. 37.2–​3; Plut. Pomp. 22.1, 23.3; Crass. 7.3, 7.4. On Plutarch, see Heftner (1995) 29–​30. Plutarch probably did not see any of the speeches first-​hand: Pelling (1979) 89; Geiger (2000) 219. The comparison with Crassus made sense in their joint consulships of 70 and 55 BC. Although four years younger, Pompeius’ extraordinary early career made him catch up with Crassus and enter into a relationship of rivalry. Comparisons with Caesar appear to become relevant from the late 50s onwards, after Crassus’ death, and leading up to the civil war. For an evaluation of the respective reputations of Pompeius and Caesar: Steel (2001) 211. For their legislation as consuls: Pina Polo (2011a) 290–​8.

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Themes and oratorical careers uero eius habebat et in uoce magnum splendorem et in motu summam dignitatem. My contemporary, Gnaeus Pompeius, a man destined to excellence in all fields, would have reached a greater reputation for eloquence if ambition for even greater glory had not diverted him towards the prizes of a military career. His manner of speaking was sufficiently ample and he had a good judgement in perceiving the question at hand; but his delivery was mainly impressive through his fine voice and the great dignity of his bearing.11

In Cicero’s assessment, we find the elements incorporated in most descriptions of Pompeius. First, Pompeius’ intense ambition for power and glory, which made him pursue a military career and attempt to outperform any possible rival, and, second, the perception that the strength of Pompeius’ oratory was based on his understanding of the political game and his natural and towering dignitas rather than on brilliant oratorical skills. Cicero’s assessment appears tepid in terms of Pompeius’ speaking powers when compared to the description of other orators in the Brutus. Cicero’s conclusions frequently reappear in the other ancient sources. Caesar, Sallust, Lucan, Seneca, Plutarch and Dio describe Pompeius’ ambition as overpowering all other considerations,12 and some note how Pompeius projected a natural auctoritas and dignitas.13 Seneca mentions that Pompeius would blush when in company, especially at contiones.14 Although Seneca does not say specifically that this happened when Pompeius was delivering a speech, the context of the passage is clearly speech-​making. This shyness, in combination with Pompeius’ tendency never to communicate clearly his opinion and wishes and not to commit 11 Cic. Brut. 239. An earlier evaluation of Pompeius’ oratory by Cicero is Cic. Leg. Man. 42, where Cicero praised Pompeius’ dicendi grauitate et copia (…), in quo ipso inest quaedam dignitas imperatoria (‘the weight and eloquence of his oratory, which is part of the dignity of a commander’). This should be seen in its political context of Cicero’s speech in support of the Gabinian bill of 66 BC transferring the command against Mithridates to Pompeius: Cicero’s praise says little about Pompeius’ actual eloquence except that he cannot have been entirely deficient, as that would have made Cicero’s praise ridiculous. See the praise of Pompeius’ speech at the trial of Balbus in 56 BC (Cic. Balb. 2–​3, 17, 19, 59), whom Cicero defended alongside Pompeius. 12 Caes. BCiv. 1.4.4; Sall. Hist. 2.18, 2.20 with McGushin (1992) 193; Luc. 1.125–​6; Sen. Marc. 14.3; Ep. 94.65; Plut. Caes. 28.1; Pomp. 53.7; Dio Cass. 36.24.6, 41.54.1. 13 Sall. Hist. 2.17; Vell. Pat. 2.29.2; Val. Max. 6.2.4; Plut. Pomp. 2.1; Crass. 7.4. Cf. Plut. Pomp. 1.4: Pompeius is described as possessing πιθανότης λόγου –​persuasiveness, with Heftner (1995) 68. 14 Sen. Ep. 11.4. McGushin (1992) 193 compares Seneca’s characterisation of Pompeius with that of Sallust (Hist. 2.17), partly derived from Varro and transmitted by Pliny (HN 7.53, 37.14 with Syme (1964) 206 and n. 118). Clear evidence of Seneca’s source for Pompeius’ shyness escapes us. Barton (1999) discusses blushing in a Roman context and mentions Pompeius (215). Griffin (1976) 182–​ 94, esp. 189–​90 considers Seneca’s portrayal of Pompeius throughout his works. May Seneca have extrapolated timidity from Pompeius’ tactic of abstention?

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to any particular standpoint,15 could have given the impression of a less accomplished speaker and made him open for criticism. Indeed, Valerius Maximus argues that Pompeius’ tactic of appearing unmoved in spite of allegations hurled at him made him into an object of mockery despite his great auctoritas.16 Valerius presents this observation as characteristic of Pompeius’ public appearance in general, and he exemplifies it with Pompeius’ (possible) defence of Manilius Crispus, where, apparently, the prosecutor Cn. Piso’s accusation that Pompeius plotted to start a civil war was aimed at damaging Pompeius’ auctoritas.17 It is unclear how much faith we should put in the dating of the court case or the precise exchanges between Piso and Pompeius. Yet, this example illustrates Valerius’ general point about Pompeius as the object of public ridicule in spite of, or exactly as a means to counter, his great auctoritas and therefore serves to highlight the possibility that Pompeius’ non-​committal tactic could have negative repercussions and that even prominent politicians could not always control the situation at hand. Velleius Paterculus too picks up on Pompeius’ ambition as the determining factor in Pompeius’ career. His almost panegyrical presentation of Pompeius is likely to have been built on the contemporary and laudatory accounts of Pompeius’ military achievements, and therefore reflect, to some extent, a positive narrative welcomed by the great man himself.18 Velleius enumerates Pompeius’ exceptional decency (innocentia), his uprightness of character (sanctitate praecipuus), his moderate oratorical talent (eloquentia medius), his military skills as a general, his loyalty to friends and his almost faultless character with the only exception being 15 Cic. Att. 4.1.7 (SB 73), 4.9.1 (SB 85); Fam.1.1.3 (SB 12), 1.2.3 (SB 13), 1.5b.2 (SB 16), 8.1.3 (SB 77), 8.4.4 (SB 81); Q Fr. 2.2.3 (SB 2), 3.6.4 (SB 26); Val. Max. 6.2.4; Dio Cass. 36.24.5. 16 Val. Max. 6.2.4. See also Val. Max. 1.6.12 with Wardle (1998) 207: ‘No human being is credited with influence (auctoritas) more than Pompeius’. 17 The date of and Pompeius’ formal role in this trial are unclear. Gruen (1968b) 160–​2 discusses Pompeius’ possible defence and the identity of Cn. Piso. See also Helvius Mancia’s attack on Pompeius in 55 BC (Val. Max. 6.2.8) with Steel (2001) 146–​7, (2013a). 18 Panegyrical: Elefante (1997) 273. Manius Otacilius Pitholaus, Pompeius’ teacher of rhetoric, wrote about Pompeius in the Social War: Cic. Flac. 28; Suet. Rhet. 3 = 27 in Kaster (1995) with comm. 297–​301. Posidonius wrote about Pompeius’ exploits:  Strab. 11.1.6. Theophanes and his hometown Mytilene received Roman citizenship from Pompeius as a thank you for his panegyric of Pompeius: Cic. Arch. 24; Val. Max. 8.14.3; Vell. Pat. 2.18.1; Plut. Pomp. 42; cf. Strabo 11.5.1, 13.2.3. See n.  56 for scholarship on Theophanes and Pompeius. Imperial authors often used Pompeius as a historical example, e.g. the evaluation of Pompeius’ ambition in Lucan, Seneca (with Griffin (1976) 189–​90), Plutarch and Dio. There is a possible shift in the presentation of Pompeius before and after his death, possibly inspired by Cicero’s brief obituary note (Cic. Att. 11.6.5 (SB 217)), setting up a dichotomy between Pompeius’ destructive political ambition and his admirable personal morality.

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his unwillingness to see anybody his equal in dignitas.19 Velleius’ evaluation of Pompeius’ oratorical skills as only moderate appears less positive within this otherwise extremely flattering portrait, which joins Pompeius’ undisputed skill and services in warfare with a morally upright character. The focus on Pompeius’ overwhelming ambition helped Velleius to understand Pompeius’ career choices and it provides an important element in the assessment of Pompeius’ career. How did his ambitious attitude to a public career spell out in actions and in expectations of his actions? A clear way in which Pompeius articulated his ambition was in his formidable communication of his military exploits. Quintilian devotes a chapter on the necessity of speaking according to the circumstances in which he mentions Pompeius’ oratory as a particularly good example of the kind of oratory which is becoming in great men only, namely the speech given by generals in their hour of triumph. Pompeius was extraordinarily eloquent in the description of his own exploits (abunde disertus rerum suarum narrator).20 Quintilian’s description does not necessarily tell us anything about Pompeius’ oratorical skills overall, but it does indicate that Pompeius was never more articulate than when praising his own victories. Moreover, while Quintilian may focus specifically on oratory here, we might combine this with Pompeius’ talent to embrace other forms of communication such as his striking stage management of his third triumph or his magnificent theatre complex. Other sources too attest to Pompeius’ boasts of his military achievements as a substantial part of his public performances.21 Through his promotion of his military skills, Pompeius could communicate his claim to gloria –​the coveted appreciation which led to auctoritas and power  –​but also his steely focus on a military route to a public career. Pompeius’ rhetorical education or training is virtually unknown, apart from the name of his teacher in rhetoric, Manius Otacilius Pitholaus.22 Quintilian and Suetonius suggest that Pompeius tried to boost his performances through the help of ghostwriters and rhetorical exercises. In his treatment of deliberative oratory, Quintilian has a curious note on Ampius 19 Vell. Pat. 2.29.3–​4. 20 Quint. Inst. 11.1.36. Quintilian may have taken this idea from Cicero’s praise of Pompeius in Leg. Man. 42 as a man possessing dignitas imperatoria–‘the dignity of a general’. See also Chapter 7 on Cato, page 209. 21 Plin. HN 7.99; Oros. 6.6.4; Plut. Pomp. 54.1; cf. Dio Cass. 36.25–​6 on Pompeius’ self-​praise, and Val. Max. 8.14.3 on Pompeius’ citizenship to Theophanes. Gibson (2003) 235–​54 discusses the difficulties inherent in self-​praise. 22 Suet. Rhet. 3 = 27 in Kaster (1995) with comm. 297–​301.

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Balbus, whom Pompeius defended in 55 BC. Under the topic of impersonation (prosopopoeia), Quintilian explains the difficulty of writing on behalf of another speaker, and exemplifies his point by referring to Cicero tailoring speeches he wrote on behalf of Pompeius, Titus Ampius and others (ceterisue) to each speaker’s situation, dignity and achievements.23 While it was common in Greece to employ a professional ghostwriter or logographer to write speeches on one’s behalf, the phenomenon was much less common in Rome, although Suetonius records that L. Aelius Stilo wrote speeches for all the nobiles in the 90s BC.24 The fact that allegations of delivering a speech written by somebody else could be used to criticise an orator, suggests that the Romans looked down upon such activity.25 Indeed, Aelius’ customers seem to have tried to conceal Aelius’ ghostwriting on their behalf.26 Cicero’s speech-​writing on behalf of Pompeius and Ampius Balbus was not unprecedented, as we know of other such instances,27 but the dishonour of delivering speeches written by somebody else and the resulting attempts to hide such instances is likely to have led to the scarcity of evidence.28 However, Quintilian’s report is evidence of Cicero acting as Pompeius’ and Ampius Balbus’ speech-​writer.29 This passage does not prove that Cicero wrote a speech for Ampius to be delivered at his trial in 55 BC; it could just as well have been for another occasion.30 But the link between Pompeius and Pompeius’ loyal supporter as two named recipients of Cicero’s oratorical help is noteworthy and probably not accidental. It is most likely that Cicero wrote speeches on their behalf from 56 BC onwards, when he had to put his oratorical and political services 23 Quint. Inst. 3.8.49–​50. 24 Suet. Gram. 3 with Cic. Brut. 169, 205–​7 naming Stilo’s customers: Q. Servilius Caepio, C. Aurelius Cotta, Q. Caecilius Metellus and Q. Pompeius Rufus. Kaster (1995) 75–​7 comments on this passage. Kennedy (1968) 427–​8, n. 12 and, shorter, Kennedy (1972) 12–​13 with n. 14 discusses speech-​ writing on behalf of others. 25 Cic. Brut. 99–​100; Suet. Rhet. 2 = 26 in Kaster (1995) with comm. 295–​6. Kennedy (1968) 427–​8, n. 12 on Roman distrust of ghostwriting. 26 Kaster (1995) 75–​6. 27 Cicero wrote a funeral speech to be delivered by the father of Serranus (Cic. Q Fr. 3.6.5 (SB 26), Nov. 54 BC, with Shackleton Bailey (1980) 222), and one for Cato’s sister Porcia to be delivered by her son Domitius or by Brutus (Cic. Att. 13.48.2 (SB 345); 13.37.3 (SB 346), Aug. 45 BC). Cicero declined Atticus’ suggestion to write a speech for Brutus just after the murder of Caesar (Cic. Att. 14.20.3 (SB 374)), albeit not for ethical reasons, as Pina Polo (1996) 27 rightly notes. 28 See Tac. Ann. 13.3 for an imperial example: Nero’s funeral oration, written by Seneca, over Claudius. 29 The evidence for Cicero’s speech-​writing comes mainly from his own letters (see page 119, n. 27), but Quintilian will have had now-​extant information; there is no particular reason to dismiss the information. 30 Alexander (1990) no.  281, n.  3 thinks that Cicero wrote Ampius’ defence speech, but does not speculate on Pompeius’ speech. J. W. Crawford (1984) 175–​7 lists the evidence.

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at Pompeius’ disposal. This passage thus suggests that Pompeius wanted to strengthen his own oratorical performances with Cicero’s famous brilliance; perhaps he was not entirely confident in his own abilities or he simply wanted to strengthen his own speeches as much as possible. A final general point about Pompeius’ oratory and his attempts to fortify his performances comes from Suetonius. In his work on the grammarians and rhetoricians, he says that ‘certain historians’ report that Pompeius, immediately before the outbreak of the civil war, revived his habit of practising declamation in order to counter the tribune Curio’s eloquent support of Caesar.31 Pompeius was not the only active politician to take up rhetorical exercises:  Cicero taught the future consuls Hirtius and Pansa after Caesar’s murder, Marcus Antonius received help with his speeches in the autumn of 44 BC, and Cicero himself kept up his practicing throughout his life.32 Yet, while exercises in declamation were customary for young men under education, rhetorical exercises by adult orators were unusual, hence Suetonius’ need to comment on this.33 As with Cicero’s speech-​writing for Pompeius, the declamation exercises could be taken as Pompeius’ awareness of the need for expert help at critical moments precisely because his own oratorical talents were lacking the necessary edge, but also simply as a sign of Pompeius wanting to strengthen his oratory as much as possible. In the following, we shall explore these aspects further in relation to his career, the choices he made to promote it and the relationship between his oratory and political influence, formal and informal.

The returning general and the rhetoric of self-​praise Pompeius’ first known public speech exemplifies his talent in performing well to a supportive audience and his articulation of his career change from military prodigy to fully fledged politician. Pompeius delivered the speech in a contio when consul-​elect in the autumn of 71 BC. It was probably called by a friendly tribune eager to have some of Pompeius’ popularity rub off on himself.34 Pompeius’ election was based on his fantastic 31 Suet. Rhet. 1 (= 25 in Kaster (1995)). See Suet. Rhet. 3 = 27 in Kaster (1995) with comm. 298–​300 for the possible identity of Pompeius’ teacher of declamation. 32 Hirtius and Pansa: Cic. Att. 14.12.2 (SB 366). Antonius: Cic. Phil. 2.8, 2.42–​3 (with Ramsey (2003) 223–​5), 2.101, 3.22 (with Manuwald (2007) 2.406); Suet. Rhet. 5 (= 29 Kaster (1995)). Cicero: Suet. Rhet. 1 (= 25 Kaster (1995)). 33 Kennedy (1972) 312–​22. 34 But see now Pina Polo (2015) who argues that Pompeius as consul-​elect may have had the right to call the meeting.

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military victories and his political shrewdness in using these victories as a lever to obtain the consulship before legal age and without the necessary qualifying political magistracies.35 Pompeius used the speech to exploit the two main political issues at the time: the decade-​long discontent with Sulla’s curbing of the tribunes’ political powers and the corruption of the entirely senatorial court juries. According to Cicero, Pompeius promised in a contio to restore the powers of the tribunes. This was received favourably by the people, but when Pompeius declared that he would tackle the problems of provincial exploitation and the senatorial corruption in the courts, the people broke out in shouts of approval.36 It is probably also on this occasion that he declared that he would disband his army after his triumph (discouraging fears of a Sullan coup), and that he would be no more grateful for the consulship than for having Crassus as his colleague (signalling his graceful acceptance of collegiality with his senior).37 The declaration about demobilisation may have come as part of an account of his achievements in the war and argument in favour of a triumph.38 These announcements could have been made at separate contiones in the autumn, but they all helped to underline Pompeius’ message of complying with, even supporting and protecting, laws and tradition in spite of the real power he wielded. Pompeius’ first speech to the people was a resounding success; Sallust maintains that Pompeius hoped to curry the favour of the people through his speech in order to use the people as a political instrument in the 35 Hence his request that Varro compose a handbook on senatorial procedure for his use: Gell. NA 14.7. On the issue of whether Pompeius threatened his way into the consulship of 70 BC, see Twyman (1972) 822–​7 (against this view); Seager (1979) 22–​3 (against); Hillman (1990) 444–​54 (against); Vervaet (2009) 423–​30 (in favour). 36 Cic. Verr. 1.45; Sall. Hist. 4.39–​40 with McGushin (1994) 159; Pseudoasconius ad Cic. Verr. 1.45: 220St.; Plut. Pomp. 21.4; App. B Civ. 1.121. Cicero’s description must be read in the context of his Verrine speeches in which he warns the senatorial judges against acquitting Verres and thus confirming public opinion of senatorial corruption; this context may explain Cicero’s depiction of the special popularity enjoyed by the proposal to tackle the provincial exploitation and corruption of the senatorial courts. Pina Polo (1996) 38–​9 on Pompeius’ political strategy with this speech; Morstein-​Marx (2004) 121 on the rhetorical argument of the contio expressing the will of the populus, as used by Cicero; Millar (1998) 63–​6 on the context of the people’s rights and powers in relation to Pompeius’ announcement. 37 Plut. Pomp. 21.4, 22.2. Plutarch presents these announcements as delivered on different occasions, but Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 241 is probably right in taking the first two announcements as delivered at the same meeting. The final announcement about Crassus may also fit this occasion, because Pompeius would have made the most of such a meeting. Pompeius’ earlier demand of a triumph in 80 or 79 BC and refusal to disband his army in 77 BC would have increased the anxiety; see R. E. Smith (1960). 38 On contio speeches at triumphs, see Pina Polo (1989) 147–​50. On the breach of norms for Pompeius’ triumphs, see Vervaet (2014) 106–​7.

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future.39 Pompeius was making the most of popular opinion regarding the tribunes and the courts –​even high-​ranking senators agreed that something had to be done  –​and he harnessed it oratorically to garner personal support.40 Brilliant oratory was not necessary to communicate this message with success, and Cicero’s description does not suggest that Pompeius’ speech was particularly noteworthy for its rhetorical qualities. Noteworthy, however, was Pompeius’ effective articulation of his tremendous career change from celebrated and triumphant military commander to powerful and popular politician in the city. The very act of participating in regular political activity, such as speaking to the people at a meeting duly called, signalled this shift. As far as we know, Pompeius did not publicly proclaim his candidacy for a political magistracy on the basis of his military gloria and certainly did not have to canvass for votes, but instead transformed directly from glorious general into influential consul. It was not simply a career choice on his part, but appeared as a career change effected for him by others on the basis of his unique qualities.41 Pompeius chose to communicate his stance as one devoted to the interest of the people, knowing that the people could help him in future career advances. It is partly in this light that we should understand Pompeius’ public announcement of his discharge of military imperium at a formal transuectio equitum in front of the censors in 70 BC. On the last day of 71 BC, Pompeius had celebrated his triumph over Sertorius in Hispania, and in this connection finally discharged his troops. The triumph itself will have underlined Pompeius’ public image as successful commander, but Plutarch says that Pompeius took the transuectio as an opportunity to have himself discharged from military service as a kind of spectacle offered to the people. Apart from the spectacle itself of appearing in full consular dress in this equestrian context, Pompeius is even to have answered the question whether he completed all campaigns required of an eques by saying that he had indeed, and that under his own command. The people are to have shouted their approval and followed the censors in leading Pompeius home.42 Hillman points out that Pompeius staged this show for 39 Sall. Hist. 4.42 with McGushin (1994) 160; Evans (2003a) 58–​60. Duplá (2011) 288–​9 characterises Pompeius as popularis because of these populist initiatives, but they were clearly not opposed by the other senators. 40 Even Catulus changed his mind on this as he signalled at a senate meeting, probably during 70 BC: Cic. Verr. 1.44 with Gruen (1974) 25–​8, 34–​5. 41 A parallel is early imperial successions where the transition from prospective successor to emperor was publicly projected as a direct, smooth and instant change without any delay or negotiations. 42 Plut. Pomp. 21.4, 22.3.

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the people but without expecting or even wishing for their interaction, except for approval.43 There was no room for any unexpected interjections to spoil the image of a most extraordinary man with an unprecedented two equestrian triumphs behind him. Evidently, Pompeius tried to make the most of the situation and Plutarch concludes on the basis of these events that while Pompeius’ consular colleague, Crassus, had more influence in the senate, Pompeius was the people’s favourite. However, another episode in Plutarch, the reconciliation between Pompeius and Crassus towards the end of 70 BC, suggests that Crassus was the better impromptu speaker: when an eques came up on the rostra to convey a dream about Jupiter appearing and asking him to tell the consuls not to leave their office before they had resolved their disagreements, Pompeius was motionless while Crassus leapt to the occasion and through praise of Pompeius accomplished a reconciliation.44 While Pompeius may have been less able to exploit unforeseen public situations, he was a master of staged events and planned speeches of self-​praise. His speeches were not delivered in an attempt at self-​promotion in relation to a particular political office as he had already secured the consulship –​and such pre-​election speeches were in any case rare in Rome45 –​rather, Pompeius aimed at a more general self-​fashioning in order to secure the support of the people and electorate for the future. After his year in office, Pompeius (and Crassus) refused a proconsular command, an act which Velleius deems praiseworthy self-​restraint on Pompeius’ part.46 Yet, it should rather be read in connection with public communication of his career change from military commander to civic politician. Moreover, since Lucullus appeared to have solved the problem of Mithridates at this point,47 Pompeius cannot have hoped to obtain this major command, although the public mood changed quickly.48 In light of Pompeius’ ambition and the extraordinary nature of his previous military commands, he may have abstained from taking an ordinary command 43 Hillman (1992) 130. Millar (1998) sees this event as Pompeius playing up to the people. 44 Plut. Pomp. 23.1–​2. 45 Tatum (2013); see Yakobson (1999) 211–​25 on electioneering. 46 Plut. Pomp. 23.3–​4; Vell. Pat. 2.31.1; Zonar. 10.2. 47 MRR ii.129–​31 documents the plausibility of dating Lucullus’ request for a senatorial commission assist with the organisation of Pontus to 70 BC. By 69 BC (MRR ii.133–​4), Lucullus had left the legate Sornatius in charge of Pontus while he invaded Armenia; another sign that Lucullus considered the war against Mithridates as over. Keaveney (1992) 95–​8 discusses the events and their reception in Rome. 48 Millar (1998) 77–​87 contextualises the debate about Lucullus’ successor with the Lex Antonia de Termessibus and the shift towards contiones as fora for foreign policy.

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which could detract from his reputation as a general of exceptional talents expressed in exceptional circumstances.49 How he explained himself in public after his consulship is uncertain as no speeches of his are recorded between 69 and 67 BC, but he may have continued to promote himself in contiones and in the senate or let others do the appraisal for him.50 His command against the pirates in 67 BC was obtained through his popularity with the people and possibly through a speech in the contio. Caesar alone countered the violent opposition to the bill in the senate because, Plutarch tells us, he wanted to strengthen his own position with the people by backing a widely popular cause.51 Velleius tells us that the opposition to the bill rested on the suspicion that Pompeius would not easily lay down his command.52 Sallust and Dio moreover relate that Pompeius himself, Gabinius and Lutatius Catulus (cos. 78 BC) spoke, the second in favour of his own bill, the third against.53 It is by now generally accepted by modern scholars that both Sallust and Dio revised, paraphrased and sometimes even invented speeches to fit their stylistic and narrative objectives,54 but sometimes speeches recorded in their works seem to reflect to some degree main points of the speeches, their effect or the character of the speaker. For example, the speech put into Pompeius’ mouth by Dio at this contio echoes Pompeius’ well-​known penchant for feigning reluctance of further tasks while clearly wishing this command –​ the tactic of recusatio later employed by the emperors.55 Pompeius is made 49 Steel (2001) 220 for a similar suggestion. 50 This is not a sign of Pompeius’ political inexperience translating into lack of imprint on political actions, but rather reflects our limited sources on this period. 51 Plut. Pomp. 25.4. Plutarch may have transposed Caesar’s backing of the Manilian proposal the following year to the Gabinian proposal: Gruen (1974) 80, n. 142; Seager (1979) 33, n. 49; Watkins (1987) 120–​1. Plutarch’s wording suggests that the opposition to the bill was only among high-​ ranking senators, so perhaps Caesar’s support was joined by other low-​ranking senators. Senators speaking against included consul C. Calpurnius Piso and consular Q. Hortensius Hortalus (Plut. Pomp. 25; Cic. Leg. Man. 52), but the content of their speeches is unknown. Tan (2008) 183 on Gabinius’ tactic of taking the bill to the senate rather than the contio to ‘preempt claims of popularis demagoguery or exploitation of Pompeius’ popularity’, but Pompeius’ popularity with the people made the bill an attractive one to support for Caesar. Millar (1998) 79–​82 discusses the debate of the bill. 52 Vell. Pat. 2.31 with Steel (2010) 44. 53 Sall. Hist. 5.16–​20 with McGushin (1994) 214–​17; Dio Cass. 36.25–​36a. Gruen (1974) 65–​6 discusses the opposition to Pompeius’ pirate and Mithridatic commands. 54 Sallust:  McGushin (1977) Appendix VII; Büchner (1982) 161. Dio:  Millar (1961) 11–​22; Millar (1964) 78–​83; Gowing (1992) 225–​45; Rodgers (2008). 55 That Dio depicts Pompeius’ enigmatic quality in relation to his skill in holding his tongue is also noted by Pelling (2006) 260–​1. Pelling (1980) 133–​5 shows how Plutarch characterised Pompeius by passivity. Could this be Plutarch’s interpretation of Pompeius’ non-​committal tactics? Vervaet (2010) 133–​66 characterises Pompeius’ tactic as dissimulatio and recusatio imperii. See also Hurlet (2010).

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to argue that he had already fought a number of wars successfully on behalf of the Roman people and that there were many other good candidates for the job. His summary of his victories can be seen as yet another articulate self-​advertisement of the kind we know he was so good at producing, while his initial rejection of the command would signal both modesty and special status: by accepting the command offered ‘by invitation’ rather than on own initiative he underlined the honour of the invitation, distanced himself from his previous military activity and showed himself as an accepted member of the political establishment. If Pompeius spoke at this contio, the argumentation and style proposed by Dio is in character, and the tactic of feigning reluctance indicates a speech of some care and effectiveness. It also ties in with Caelius’ remark about Pompeius letting his true wish shine through. The bill was passed in the end. Whether or not Pompeius spoke on this occasion, his previous nurture of popular support in past contiones helped him secure this command, and nobody seemed in doubt about his wish for this command. Pompeius’ remarkable subjugation of the pirates and, afterwards, his defeat of Mithridates, became the object of praise in literature and oratory.56 The historian Theophanes wrote a eulogising work about Pompeius’ extraordinary military achievements, and in return he received Roman citizenship for himself and his hometown of Mytilene from Pompeius. Pompeius made sure to advertise publicly his grant and thereby his military exploits in a military assembly in 62 BC.57 Speaking of his own successes was, as we now know, one of Pompeius’ specialities, and such oratory had so far been extremely useful in pushing forward his career. Theophanes’ work was not an innovation in itself, but it helped Pompeius to communicate a story of Roman expansion with himself at the centre and his patronage of intellectuals, supporting Pompeius’ more general narrative about himself as a military genius and patron of the arts.58 The 56 Cic. Flac. 28; Suet. Rhet. 3 (Manius Otacilius Pitholaus on the Social War) = 27 in Kaster (1995) with comm. 297–​301; Strab. 11.1.6 (Posidonius). 57 Cic. Arch. 24; Val. Max. 8.14.3; Theophanes: Vell. Pat. 2.18.1; Plut. Pomp. 42; cf. Strab. 11.5.1, 13.2.3. The contio was held somewhere in Asia Minor, perhaps in Mytilene (Pina Polo (1989) App. C, no.  82). Heftner (1995) 53–​8 discusses Theophanes’ work and its influence on Plutarch’s portrait of Pompeius. Gold (1985) and Yarrow (2005) 54–​67 discuss Theophanes’ services to Pompeius, and Kaldellis (2014) the fragments of Theophanes’ works. Pina Polo (2011a) 267–​8 discusses the Mytilenean attempt to exploit Pompeius’ patronage in 55 BC. Cicero’s speech (Arch. 24) adds a further dimension to Pompeius’ self-​presentation, hinting at Pompeius’ imitatio Alexandri; see Green (1978); Gruen (1998); D. L. Martin (1998); Welch and Mitchell (2013). 58 L. G. H. Hall (1998) 23–​6, 29 discusses intellectual patronage and argues that Theophanes’ narrative about Pompeius inspired Caesar to write his Commentarii in a strikingly contrasting plain style. Smith and Powell (2009); Tatum (2011) discuss the trend of political autobiography in this period.

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convergence of several media to articulate Pompeius’ public image –​literary text, speech in military contio in Italy, and even honorary inscriptions and poems in his honour in Mytilene –​shows how public speech formed part of an often complex system of public communication.59 Pompeius’ eloquence was put to the test upon his return from the East. Cicero wrote about Pompeius’ first public speeches and he mentioned that Pompeius’ first contio speech fell flat with everybody (what Pompeius said, Cicero did not say as he had already written to Atticus on this subject in a now lost letter). In the following sentences of his letter, Cicero reported from a contio in the circus Flaminius in early 61 BC, giving us further indications of Pompeius’ evasive tactic: prima contio Pompei qualis fuisset scripsi ad te antea: non iucunda miseris, inanis improbis, beatis non grata, bonis non grauis. itaque frigebat. tum Pisonis consulis impulsu leuissimus tribunus pl. Fufius in contionem producit Pompeium. res agebantur in circo Flaminio, et erat in eo ipso loco illo die nundinarum πανήγυρις. quaesiuit ex eo placeretne ei iudices a praetore legi, quo consilio idem praetor uteretur. id autem erat de Clodiana religione ab senatu constitutum. (2) tum Pompeius μάλ᾿ ἀριστοκρατικῶς locutus est senatusque auctoritatem sibi omnibus in rebus maximi uideri semperque uisam esse respondit, et id multis uerbis. I have already given you a description of Pompeius’ first public speech –​of no comfort to the poor or interest to the rascals; on the other hand the rich were not pleased and the honest men were not impressed. So –​a frost. Then an irresponsible Tribune, Fufius, egged on by Consul Piso, called Pompeius out to address the Assembly. This took place in the Flaminian Circus, on market day just where the holiday crowd was gathered. Fufius asked him whether he thought it right for a jury to be selected by a Praetor to serve under the same Praetor’s presidency, that being the procedure determined by the Senate in the Clodius sacrilege case. (2) Pompeius then replied, very much en bon aristocrate, that in all matters he held and had always held the Senate’s authority in the highest respect –​at considerable length too.60

Cicero’s judgement suggests that Pompeius’ first performance suffered from a lack of political awareness and insight and perhaps also from 59 Plut. Pomp. 42.4 on the poems; Amela Valverde (2001); Rowe (2002) ch. 5 on the inscriptions in Mytilene. 60 Cic. Att. 1.14.1–​2 (SB 14) (13 Feb. 61 BC). Text and transl. Shackleton Bailey (1999). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, nos. 275–​6 suggests that Pompeius’ address to the people mentioned in Plut. Pomp. 54.1 may belong to the first meeting mentioned here, and Pina Polo (1996) sets this contio speech in connection with that of 71 BC, while Millar (1998) 116–​17 discusses the possible implications of staging this contio in the circus Flaminius.

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lack of oratorical practice during his years in the East. Pompeius was still highly popular with the people, but his fellow senators were less ready to accord him special treatment and inclusion in the influential senatorial circles as a reward for his successes abroad. When asked for an opinion on the form of the trial against Clodius, Pompeius’ answer shows an unwillingness to engage in a controversial matter in which he would only risk alienating potential political allies and he instead gave a speech which supported the senate generally and therefore, Cicero seems to think, the senate’s decree on the Catilinarian conspirators in 63 BC. This hint to the Catilinarian conspiracy appears to be picked up not only by Cicero, but also by Crassus: Cicero’s letter continues (not quoted above) with a description of a subsequent meeting in the senate, where Pompeius was again pressed about his view on the Clodius case and again gave a vague answer which Crassus took as a cue:  ‘Crassus, postea quam uidit illum excepisse laudem ex eo quod [hi] suspicarentur homines ei consulatum meum placere, surrexit ornatissimeque de meo consulatu locutus est …’ (‘When Crassus saw that Pompey had netted some credit from the general impression that he approved of my Consulship, he got to his feet and held forth on the subject in most encomiastic terms, …’).61 After Pompeius’ general praise of the senate in the contio in the circus Flaminius, Cicero had expected him to praise Cicero’s consulship directly in the senate, and Cicero suggests that Pompeius’ generalising answer in the senate made others think that he had indeed implicitly expressed approval of Cicero’s consulship and that this was taken up positively by the senators, which, in turn, made Crassus seek further credit by praising Cicero directly and fulsomely. Cicero argues that Pompeius was then put out by not having realised the political points to be gained by praising Cicero directly. In Cicero’s opinion, Pompeius’ public speeches did not convey a returning general in touch with urgent political matters and the concerns of the various parties of interest. Cicero was, however, not an objective witness and he misunderstood Pompeius’ message.62 His disapproving judgement of Pompeius’ first contio speech and his presentation of Pompeius’ senate speech is tainted by his frustration with Pompeius’ performances: he had hoped Pompeius would take a clear stance on the issue of Clodius’ trial and, moreover, that he would take up the role as conservative senator working for the interests of the res publica as had Cicero in 63 BC. Cicero’s 61 Cic. Att. 1.14.2–​4 (SB 14). Text and transl. Shackleton Bailey (1999). 62 Lintott (2008) 4–​8 discusses the subjectivity of Cicero’s letters.

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frustration had deeper roots. His admiration for Pompeius had received a blow from Pompeius’ non-​appreciative attitude to Cicero’s actions in 63 BC in their exchange of letters in 62 BC and from Pompeius’ public stance since his return from the East.63 This mixture of personal discomfort in Pompeius’ stance towards himself and a more general anxiety about Pompeius’ willingness to work with people not considered boni by Cicero makes Cicero a dangerous witness. But Cicero cannot have distorted the picture of Pompeius in his first public performances altogether: Pompeius’ vague answers fit his tendency to hide his real intentions, and his lack of commitment to either side of the question did nothing to further a decision. Cicero may have been alone in this judgement. In fact, Pompeius’ non-​committal stance on the issue could have been the best way to avoid offending anybody, except Cicero. Although speaking in the contio, Pompeius’ most important audience on this occasion were his fellow senators, who were anxious to understand where Pompeius’ sympathies lay. The fact that Pompeius spoke multis uerbis and at the same time managed not to come down on either side again highlights his skill in dodging the controversial issues when expedient and obscuring his private thoughts.64 Clearly, Pompeius was trying to protect his political capital and credibility to provide him with future political possibilities –​especially the ratification of his eastern acts and land for his veterans –​and Cicero misunderstood this message of neutrality. By contrast to Pompeius’ non-​committal stance in respect of current political issues, he was characteristically outspoken about his achievements in the East. Granted a triumph for his eastern victories in September 61 BC (timed with his forty-​fifth birthday), he made sure that it outshone all previous triumphs in its extravagant display of booty, captives and placards advertising the exceptionally high number of peoples and areas subdued.65 In his Historia naturalis, Pliny’s description includes a paraphrase of a contio speech in which Pompeius described his achievements in the East and declared that he had found Asia the remotest of the provinces but made it into a central dominion of his country; clearly a message 63 Cic. Fam. 5.7 (SB 3). See Mitchell (1991) 74–​7 and Lintott (2008) 152–​3 for discussion and J. Hall (2009) 48–​9, 128 on the style and expectations of these letters. White (2010) offers a general introduction to Cicero’s letters. 64 Tan (2008) 167, 183 and Lintott (2008) 155–​7 argue, from different angles, that Pompeius’ answer was a signal of his support of the senate and of his unwillingness to go down the popularis route. 65 Plin. HN 7.98–​9, 33.151, 37.11–​14; Livy Per. 103; Plut. Pomp. 45; Dio Cass. 37.21.2–​3; App. Mith. 116–​17; Strab. 12.3.31. Hickson-​Hahn (2000) 244–​54 discusses Pompeius’ two supplicationes of 63 BC and 62 BC. Beard (2007) 7–​41; Östenberg (2009) passim discuss Pompeius’ triumph.

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addressed to the people.66 Although Pliny places this speech in connection with Pompeius’ triumph, there are several reasons to date the speech earlier than September 61 BC. Pliny’s account is organised thematically, not chronologically, and we cannot infer anything about timing from his description. Moreover, to wait eight months before telling the people (and his fellow senators) of his accomplishments would have seemed odd, especially since we know he addressed the people on other matters in this period; it was much better to get his version of the wars out into the public before any political opponents offered alternatives. Just as Pompeius in 71 BC had spoken about his achievements prior to his triumph, in 61 BC too such an order of events made sense from a political perspective. As always, Pompeius spoke with weight and eloquence when recounting his own exploits. Furthermore, his formulation is suggestive of his popular appeal at these occasions. Pompeius’ formulation –​if we can trust Pliny’s paraphrase –​not only flattered himself, but also his popular audience as involved in the glorious expansion of their fatherland, and foreshadowed official ideology of the later Principate.67 Such rhetoric was bound to enhance his popularity with the people. Two other snippets from speeches held at contiones of uncertain dates emphasise the feature of self-​praise further. Plutarch reports that Pompeius had told the people, in a contio we must assume, that he had received every office earlier than he had expected, and laid it down more quickly than others had expected, adding that his disbanding of the armies was a continuous testimony to the truth of his words.68 In a similar vein, Orosius explains that Pompeius himself told the contio about the war in the East in which he had fought against twenty-​two kings.69 Both snippets could be argued to stem from the speech held in connection with his triumph, but they could also belong to earlier speeches delivered shortly after Pompeius’ return to Rome.70 Fierce opposition to Pompeius among some senatorial quarters had created anxiety as to Pompeius’ actions 66 Plin. HN 7.99. Pina Polo (1989) 147–​ 50 discusses contio speeches in relation to triumphs. Itgenshorst (2005) 110–​11 argues that such speeches were rare, but Pina Polo shows that this was not the case, while Millar (1998) underlines the importance of the contio as the locus for the reporting. 67 Steel (2001) 212–​13 on the expansion; Millar (1998) 117–​18 on the foreshadowing; Hölkeskamp (2008) 110–​12 on the triumph becoming part of the cultural memory. 68 Plut. Pomp. 54.1. Geiger (2000) 219 argues that this is the only indirect quotation from Pompeius in Plutarch’s Life, obtained second-​hand too. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 275 suggests that this snippet may belong to Pompeius’ first public speech after his return from the East. 69 Oros. 6.6.4. 70 Pina Polo (1989) 295 no. 277 takes the speech(es?) recorded in Pliny and Orosius to stem from the same contio in Jan. 61 BC.

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upon return. Especially Crassus and Cato had provocatively and menacingly warned against Pompeius returning in a Sullan fashion, but instead Pompeius proclaimed the dismissal of his army upon his return to Italy and thereby signalled his readiness to step down from his high position and wield his influence through the traditional channels; a parallel to his proclamation of dismissal of troops in 71 BC.71 The dismissal itself made the political point clear, but a speech would have helped to clarify Pompeius’ public motivations. Pompeius’ words, in Plutarch’s paraphrase, may originate from such a proclamation, and it would have required some oratorical skill to counter the claims of Crassus, Cato and their sympathisers. The snippets from Plutarch and Orosius highlight, in any case, the trend of Pompeius’ oratorical ability at times of self-​praise, but also the trend of our sources to record catchy ‘sound bites’ instead of full speeches. Moreover, the comment about receiving offices earlier than others further underlines the message from late 71 BC and 67 BC:  Pompeius was not a man to seek but to receive offices and he fulfilled them faster and better than others owing to his talents. This supported the public image Pompeius propounded, namely that his career was characterised by continually being singled out as the best man for the job, and being more successful than others in carrying it out. The triumph of 61 BC provided Pompeius the chance to strengthen his popularity among the people and to reemphasise his exceptional achievements. As such, the triumph was a crucial moment in Pompeius’ career. As on previous occasions, Pompeius did not bolster his claim to influence and recognition through speeches in the senate or the courts, but rather in an oration to the admiring people in the contio, elaborating on his main claim to fame, his military victories.72 It is in this context of self-​advertisement that Pompeius’ grand theatre complex should be understood.73 Probably envisaged already before his return to Rome in 62, commenced upon his return and inaugurated in 55 BC (the temple possibly in 52 BC), Pompeius’ building project incorporated Rome’s first stone theatre with a temple to Venus Victrix, a porticus garden, a curia for senate meetings and, adjacent to that, Pompeius’ private house and a basilica with markets. The architecture and decoration was a striking blend of Roman and foreign (mainly Greek and Pergamene), public and 71 Vell. Pat. 2.40; Plut. Pomp. 43–​4, 46; Plut. Cat. Min. 26.4; Dio Cass. 37.43–​4, 37.49–​50. See Gruen (1974) 65–​6, 396 for context. 72 More than half of Pompeius’ known public speeches were contio speeches; see Appendix 2 for details. 73 Purcell (1993); Gleason (1994) 13; Coleman (2000) 221–​2; Gagliardo and Packer (2006) 122; Wallace-​Hadrill (2008b) ch. 4; Pina Polo (2011a) 269–​75.

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private, sacred and civil, traditional and innovative elements.74 Whether or not Pompeius was motivated by a wish to meet the interests of the plebs without appearing too populist,75 the entire monument was certainly meant to leave an imprint on the Roman public (elite and mass) that Pompeius Magnus was indeed the greatest of all Roman generals to conquer land, celebrate victories and share his spoils in the most extravagant fashion with the public.76 It was a physical manifestation of Pompeius’ victory in the East, his reverence to the gods, his care for the people, his uniqueness and his grandeur. Pompeius’ theatre complex was maintained for five centuries, notably by Augustus too, which testifies to the importance of the complex and respect for its founder. The complex underscored and supported Pompeius’ contional speeches about his military successes and provided the most magnificent backdrop hitherto seen for his self-​promotion.

Oratory in the face of opposition With the triumph behind him, Pompeius’ self-​ aggrandising speeches recede from the record. He now immersed himself into daily political life and our sources give us glimpses into his activities, public behaviour and speeches on political issues in both contiones and the senate. Pompeius’ overriding concern was to find his place in Roman public life being a triumphant general and yet  also a senator among his peers. One manifestation of his negotiation of this delicate balance was his dress. Having been granted several honorific rights to wear special clothing in public –​ crowns, patterned togas and triumphal gear –​he found that wearing them caused consternation and disgruntlement with both people and, in particular, fellow senators. Apart from dress, the sources are particularly concerned with Pompeius’ collaboration with Caesar and Crassus, his support of Caesar’s consular legislation and his role in Cicero’s exile and recall.77 74 Fuchs (1987); Gleason (1990); Steinby (1993–​99) vol. V, 35–​8; Gleason (1994); Orlin (1997) 196–​7; Kuttner (1999); Packer (2006); Gagliardo and Packer (2006); Packer, Burge and Gagliardo (2007); Packer (2010) esp. 135–​60; Monterroso Checa (2010); all list the ancient sources. 75 Frézouls (1983). Tiersch (2013) discusses the political and communicative implications of the development of theatre building in Rome. 76 Cic. Fam. 7.1.1–​4 (SB 24): that Cicero was critical of the magnificent inaugural games says more about Cicero’s own self-​presentation as an intellectual appalled with barbaric beast-​fights than about the public reception in general; see also Off. 2.60 of 44 BC. Russell (2015) 153–​86 provides a full discussion of the political implications of the complex. 77 Cic. Att. 1.18.6 (SB 18) offers one barb. Millar (1998) 105 rightly underlines the startling novelty of this tribunician law, while Meister (2012) 111–​14 gives an overview of this issue and places Pompeius’ rights in the context of the proto-​regal trend taking up by Caesar and, later, Augustus.

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Pompeius’ first attempts at finding his footing in the political landscape can be glimpsed through Cicero’s letters. Cicero reports, for example, that during spring and early summer 60 BC, Pompeius started praising Cicero’s consulship in the senate.78 Of course, this had special importance for Cicero who was facing criticism of his execution of the Catilinarian conspirators. Cicero believed that Pompeius’ praise was driven purely by a pursuit of popularity. Irrespective of Cicero’s possible exaggeration of his own importance and standing, Pompeius’ praise can be seen as part of his efforts to gather support among the senators (including the unsuccessful marriage proposal to the niece of M. Porcius Cato79) and to amass some much-​needed popularity in the senate to match his fame with the people. This was a signal to the senators that Pompeius was not just the people’s man but also wanted to build his career in the senate. When this failed, Pompeius went into the famous coalition orchestrated by Caesar through private negotiations and including Crassus.80 The entry into the coalition would have resulted in questions about Pompeius’ intentions, but our sources do not reveal when the coalition became publicly known or indeed whether Pompeius was asked to explain himself. But it must have become clear to most when Caesar, as consul in 59 BC, called Pompeius and Crassus forward in a contio to voice their support of his agrarian bill. Our sources for this incident are late: Velleius just explains that Pompeius supported Caesar’s bill, and Appian tells us that when Caesar asked for their opinion, Pompeius and Crassus said they approved.81 Plutarch goes into more detail, seemingly citing Pompeius’ reply to Caesar’s question of whether he would protect the law against any opposition: ‘ “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”, ἔφη Πομπήιος, “ἀφίξομαι πρὸς τοὺς ἀπειλοῦντας τὰ ξίφη μετὰ ξίφους καὶ θυρεὸν κομίζων.” ’ (‘ “Yes, certainly”, said Pompeius, “I shall come and bring against those, who threaten swords, both swords and shields.” ’)82 Dio gives the most extensive account, apparently citing and paraphrasing an entire speech of Pompeius’, which ends with a declaration similar to that cited in Plutarch: ‘ἄν τις τολμήσῃ ξίφος ἀνελέσθαι, καὶ ἐγω τὴν ἀσπίδα ἀναλήψομαι.’ (‘If anyone dares to raise a sword, I shall pick up my shield too.’)83 78 Cic. Att. 1.19.7 (SB 19) (March 60 BC), 1.20.2 (SB 20) (May 60 BC), 2.1.6 (SB 21) (Jun. 60 BC). 79 Plut. Cat. Min. 30; Pomp. 44. 80 Cic. Att. 2.3.3–​4 (SB 23) (Dec. 60 or early Jan. 59 BC). The coalition also became clear through Caesar’s order of asking senators to speak with Crassus and Pompeius prominent: Gell. NA 4.10.5. 81 Vell. Pat. 2.44.4; App. B Civ. 2.10. 82 Plut. Pomp. 47.7 (Teubner). 83 Dio Cass. 38.5.4 (Budé). Arena (2012) 223–​4 discusses Pompeius’ reference in his speech to the earlier lex Plotia. Rhiannon Ash suggests the possibility of a literary joke (by Pompeius or the

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It is uncertain how far we can trust the details of these accounts, seeing that both Plutarch and Dio could have invented Pompeius’ words. However, the similarity of message and tone in Pompeius’ words suggests that either Dio used Plutarch’s account or both authors used a common source, directly or indirectly, which may have included Pompeius’ words. In fact, the catchy nature of Pompeius’ words could have secured its safe transmission in the sources, even if adapted in the translation from Latin to Greek. The same could be said about Pompeius’ memorable expression in the senate in the lead up to the civil war, reported in Plutarch: ‘ “Ὅπου γὰρ ἄν” ἔφη “τῆς Ἰταλίας ἐγὼ κρούσω τῷ ποδὶ τὴν γῆν, ἀναδύσονται καὶ πεζικαὶ καὶ ἱππικαὶ δυνάμεις.” ’ (‘ “For,” said he, “wherever in Italy I stamp upon the ground, there will spring up armies of foot soldiers and horsemen.” ’)84 These possible citations of Pompeius may seem uncharacteristically blunt for a man who was an expert in shielding his view from the public. Yet, in a letter to Cicero, Caelius Rufus quotes a probably genuine remark of Pompeius uttered in one of the senatorial debates on Caesar’s Gallic command, which indicates that Pompeius was perfectly capable of making such belligerent public statements:  ‘quid si filius meus fustem mihi impingere uolet?’ (‘And supposing my son chooses to take his stick to me?)’85 Pompeius’ statement was an assertion of his auctoritas against that of Caesar. It caused some commotion in the senate and beyond for its signal that Pompeius’ patience with Caesar was not unlimited and that civil war was a possibility, but probably also for its brusque style; two reasons for Caelius not only to report it to Cicero, but even to cite it. With this citation in mind, it seems feasible that Pompeius could have spoken in a similarly powerful way in the contio on Caesar’s agrarian bill in 59 BC. When it was expedient –​in this case for the land allotments to his veterans –​Pompeius could put aside his vague expressions and speak in a direct, even curt way.86 Behind the message of support for Caesar’s bill historians) in the reversal of Archilochus’ poem about throwing away his shield, a theme picked up later by Alcaeus, Anacreon and Horace; cf. Levin (1982) 429–​34. 84 Plut. Pomp. 57.9 (Teubner). Heftner (1995) 44–​62 discusses possible sources used by Plutarch. Geiger (2000) 219 omits these two passages in Plutarch in his discussion of Plutarch’s treatment of Pompeius’ oratory, yet his conclusion that Plutarch satisfied himself with second-​hand sources to Pompeius’ oratory, still allows a common source of such sayings to have provided Dio and Plutarch with material. 85 Cic. Fam. 8.8.9 (SB 84) (early Oct. 51 BC). Text and transl. Shackleton Bailey (2001). Lintott (2008) 269–​70 discusses Pompeius’ remark in its political context. See Asc. 36C for another such snappy remark. 86 It seems to have marked a change from Pompeius’ initial expressions on behalf of Caesar’s legislation, which Cicero found dithering: Cic. Att. 2.16.2 (SB 36).

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was also a message to the senators who had declined collaboration with Pompeius that Pompeius was ready to abandon his fellow senators and go new ways to secure the attainment of his political goals, the ratification of his eastern acta and land for his veteran soldiers. It was a fierce statement on more than one level. Pompeius’ aggressive expressions should also be seen against the backdrop of the people’s negative attitude to Pompeius, that is, if we are to trust Cicero. Cicero reports how Pompeius’ public persona and auctoritas suffered when his coalition with Caesar and Crassus had become unpopular in 59 BC: itaque ille noster amicus, insolens infamiae, semper in laude uersatus, circumfluens gloria, deformatus corpore, fractus animo quo se conferat nescit. progressum praecipitem, inconstantem reditum uidet. bonos inimicos habet, improbos ipsos non amicos. ac uide mollitiem animi: non tenui lacrimas cum illum a.d. VIII Kal. Sext. uidi de edictis Bibuli contionantem. qui antea solitus esset iactare se magnificentissime illo in loco summo cum amore populi, cunctis fauentibus, ut ille tum humilis, ut demissus erat, ut ipse etiam sibi, non iis solum qui aderant, displicebat! o spectaculum uni Crasso iucundum, ceteris non item! So there is our poor friend [Pompeius], unused to disrepute, his whole career disfigured in a blaze of admiration and glory, now physically disfigured and broken in spirit, at his wit’s end for what to do. He sees the precipice if he goes on and the stigma of a turncoat if he turns back. The honest men are his enemies, the rascals themselves are not his friends. See how soft-​hearted I  am. I  could not keep back my tears when I  saw him addressing a public meeting on 25 July about Bibulus’ edicts. How magnificently he used to posture on that platform in other days, surrounded by an adoring people, every man wishing him well! How humble and abject he was then, what a sorry figure he cut in his own eyes, to say nothing of his audience! What a sight! Only Crassus could enjoy it, not so others.87

According to Cicero, Pompeius’ natural dignitas and grauitas on the speaker’s platform had disappeared, and he seemed unable to captivate or persuade his popular audience. Cicero was, of course, unsympathetic to Pompeius’ coalition with Caesar and Crassus and, in particular, to Caesar’s political tactic of presenting legislative bills directly to the contio without prior senatorial consultation. Therefore, we should take Cicero’s 87 Cic. Att. 2.21.3 (SB 41) (Rome, after 25 Jul. 59 BC). Text and transl. Shackleton Bailey (1999). For the unpopularity, in Cicero’s mind, of the coalition of Pompeius, Caesar and Crassus, see Cic. Att. 2.8.1 (SB 28), 2.13.2 (SB 33), 2.14.1 (SB 34), 2.17.2 (SB 37), 2.18.1 (SB 38), 2.19.2–​3 (SB 39), 2.20.3–​4 (SB 40) with Morstein-​Marx (2004) 147, n. 147 and Lintott (2008) 170–​1.

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judgement of the overall unpopularity of the coalition, and Pompeius’ unpopularity in particular, with a grain of salt.88 Nonetheless, Pompeius’ problem of finding his place within the senatorial elite after his return from the East presented a low point in his career, and Cicero may have assessed correctly that Pompeius was unaccustomed to unpopularity and a less good orator when speaking in adverse situations. It had clearly been easier to charm an admiring audience with stories of his victorious achievements. His curt statements in support of Caesar’s agrarian bill could be understood as those of a politician irritated with the delay in fulfilling his promise of land to his veterans, with the constant opposition to his coalition with Caesar and Crassus and, especially, with his own unpopularity. Cicero’s pessimistic depiction of Pompeius’ performance in the contio in 59 BC stand out against his appraisal of Pompeius’ speech in another contio two years later: ‘Huius oratio ut semper grauis et grata in contionibus fuit’ –​‘his speech was as serious and pleasing as always in contiones …’89 Cicero’s altered view of Pompeius’ contional eloquence goes hand in hand with Pompeius’ change in political direction and, in particular, his sudden support of Cicero’s recall from exile. However, Cicero’s observation could also suggest a variation in Pompeius’ popularity with the people and, consequently, in his ability to speak with persuasion in the contio. Pompeius himself seems to have been aware of how much his political position depended on the good will of the people. In February 56 BC, Cicero writes to Quintus that Pompeius fears that the audience in the contio is alienated, the nobility hostile to him, the senate ill-​disposed and the young men critical of him.90 We also know that the consul of 56 BC, Cn. Lentulus Marcellinus, and Clodius several times attempted to inflame the contio against Pompeius.91 Fluctuations in Pompeius’ popularity were used by his political opponents to further their own agenda, which shows both Pompeius’ dependence of the people’s favour for his political influence (real and perceived), and that other politicians were aware of this and 88 Opposition to the coalition from named senators such as Considius, however, attests to some unpopularity: Cic. Att. 2.24.4 (SB 44) with Plut. Caes. 14.8 and Steel (2013d) 166. Pina Polo (2010) 80 on the emotional impact on the efficiency of rumours. Cicero may be overestimating, but if Pompeius was becoming unpopular it would have taken some effort by his political opponents to spread negative views about him to the people. Millar (1998) 130–​2 sets this occasion into the wider context of unpredictability in (contional) politics. 89 Cic. Sest. 107. See also Cic. Red. pop. 16; Pis. 80 for praise of Pompeius’ performance. 90 Cic. Q Fr. 2.3.4 (SB 7). 91 Marcellinus: Val. Max. 6.2.6; Plut. Pomp. 51.5–​6. (Dio Cass. 39.30.1–​2 says senate, but as Millar (1998) 165 points out, the setting is clearly the contio). Clodius: Cic. Q Fr. 2.3.2 (SB 7); Plut. Pomp. 48.7; Dio Cass. 39.19.1. Morstein-​Marx (2004) 122, 134, and Tan (2008) 167–​8 discuss this meeting and its context.

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exploited and promoted fluctuations in this dependence in their political activities. Prosecution of Pompeius’ agents and supporters was one way in which his political opponents tried to harm him and his alliance with Caesar and Crassus. In the period 57–​54 BC, Pompeius had to appear in court time and again on behalf of political allies such as Milo, Cornelius Balbus, L. Scribonius Libo and T. Ampius Balbus. Many more allies and supporters of Pompeius, Crassus and Caesar were prosecuted for political purposes, but we have no further evidence of Pompeius speaking at these trials.92 In the court meetings, Pompeius had to face both the people in the corona and his political opponents directly, and the latter tried to exploit fluctuations in his popularity and make him go out on a limb. At a public meeting during Milo’s trial for political violence (uis) in 56 BC, Clodius’ gangs tried to shout down Pompeius’ speech, in order to obstruct his speech in defence and his connection with the people. But Pompeius rebuffed the attempt to silence him and spoke through the noise and sometimes even managed to silence the crowd with his auctoritas.93 In other words, Pompeius was capable of addressing an antagonistic audience intent on suppressing him, even at a point when he worried about the alienation of the people. He may have taken confidence in the view that Clodius’ gangs were unrepresentative of the real populus or maybe he was simply made of tougher material than suggested by Cicero’s assessments of a timid Pompeius in front of a hostile audience.94 A clear signal of Pompeius’ steadfastness and authority emanated from this incident, suggesting that his auctoritas had not suffered irreparable damage from his partnership with Caesar and Crassus. Indeed, at the trial of Cornelius Balbus in 56 BC, Pompeius challenged Balbus’ prosecutors and critics to attack himself directly rather than through Balbus.95 Pompeius spoke clearly and forcefully; proof that he 92 Appendix 2 has details of the four court cases, and Gruen (1974) 311–​37 discusses these trials and their political implications. 93 Cic. Q Fr. 2.3.2 (SB 7); Plut. Pomp. 49. Morstein-​Marx (2004) 169, n. 40 argues that the ‘setting was either one of the three required contiones (anquisitiones) before the vote in a trial before the People (iudicium populi) or a public meeting preceding a trial in the quaestio de ui …’ Mommsen (1899) 164–​6, Tyrrell and Purser (1901–​33) vol. II, 40 and Lintott (1976) 242 support the former option because the terminology (aduocatus, prodictus) suggests a formal trial and that the defence knew in advance that it was allowed to speak (Shackleton Bailey (1980) 175 disputes this). Gruen (1974) 298, n. 139 supports the latter option as a iudicium publicum does not fit with the charge de ui and the long delay between the third and fourth meeting. 94 Morstein-​Marx (2004) 120–​8 discusses politicians’ use of the concept of ‘the people’ in contiones. 95 Cic. Balb. 59.

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was able to do so if he wanted. He also had to endure the attack of a freedman’s son during the trial of L. Scribonius Libo in 55 BC. Pompeius’ attempt at denigrating Helvius Mancia, who had denounced Libo to the censors, resulted in Mancia listing all the murders committed by Pompeius during the civil wars of the 80s BC when he had been in Sulla’s service.96 Pompeius’ status was challenged and this anecdote shows that he was not always successful in controlling the situation or his reputation. Finally, we know from the discussion of general testimonia that Pompeius used Cicero’s ghostwriting and that the trial of Ampius Balbus is a possible occasion at which he enlisted Cicero’s services in order to boost his defence of Ampius Balbus and his response to the implicit and explicit criticism of his dominant position in Roman politics.97 When put on the spot, Pompeius had to speak bluntly, forcefully and with auctoritas. This meant that he had to compromise his public profile of triumphant general raised above petty politics and endure embarrassing forays into his reputation and public standing. He evidently tried to limit such occasions in order to control his public image and influence, but his ability to counter opposition oratorically suggests that he could have applied oratory to a greater extent in his communication of political views and career choices and in his assertion of his political authority.

The politics of ambiguity and abstention Pompeius’ skill in using ambiguous expressions for tactical purposes can be detected in Cicero’s description of Pompeius’ speech in the senate on the first of January 57 BC where Cicero’s exile was debated once more: Hunc nemo erat quin uerissime sentire diceret. sed post eum rogatus Cn. Pompeius, adprobata laudataque Cottae sententia, dixit sese oti mei causa, ut omni populari concitatione defungerer, censere ut ad senatus auctoritatem populi quoque Romani beneficium erga me adiungeretur. Cum omnes certatim aliusque alio grauius atque ornatius de mea salute dixisset fieretque sine ulla uarietate discessio, … Everyone thought that this was the plainest truth. But after Cotta, Gnaeus Pompeius was called to give his opinion, and after he had commended and praised Cotta’s opinion, he said that for the sake of my tranquillity, and in order to end all the popular commotion, he would argue that a sign of the 96 Val. Max. 6.2.8 (with Steel (2001) 146–​7 and Steel (2013a)), providing further examples of Pompeius as the object of abusive licence. 97 See discussion on pages 119–20.

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Kaster comments on this passage that Pompeius’ speech is full of euphemisms. The phrase that Cicero needs tranquillity (otium) and not that he actually needed protection from being killed is one instance; another is his talk of the people’s beneficium towards Cicero to be joined to senatorial authority rather than saying directly that the senatorial decree recalling Cicero ought to be accompanied by a law ratified by the people. In Kaster’s view, this kind of language, whether Pompeius’ or Cicero’s phrasing, ‘is plump, grave, and complacent’.99 Indeed, if Pompeius chose these words of otium and beneficium, Cicero’s praise of his eloquence later the same year could be argued a reflection of Cicero’s need to publicly advertise his gratitude to Pompeius after his recall from exile rather than an unbiased appraisal of Pompeius’ oratory.100 As a result, Pompeius’ choice of vocabulary could be viewed as stylistically inelegant and vague in meaning, blurring rather than clarifying his stance on the event leading up to Cicero’s exile and recall and his own role in these events. Yet, Pompeius may have intended this vagueness. This was his first public speech for months, having kept away from politics since August 58 partly as a result of Clodius’ violence and an (alleged) assassination attempt.101 Although he had worked for Cicero’s recall behind the scenes,102 it was not entirely clear on the first of January that the recall would be successful and so Pompeius may have tempered his language so as not to be seen to commit too strongly should the proposal fall. Loss of dignitas would not help his political ambitions. Pompeius employed another way to avoid taking sides in public. He was fond of letting others, often junior magistrates, test the waters in the senate before he himself let his opinion be known. In the senatorial discussion in September 57 BC of the exact powers to invest Pompeius with 98 Cic. Sest. 74. See also Cic. Red. sen. 5; Dom. 69; Pis. 34 for Pompeius’ speech. 99 Kaster (2006) 283–​4. 100 Cicero’s praise of Pompeius’ contional oratory after his return from exile with Pompeius’ help: Cic. Sest. 107. 101 Cic. Red. sen. 4, 29; Red. pop. 14; Dom. 67, 110, 129; Sest. 69, 84; Har. resp. 49, 58; Pis. 16, 28–​8; Mil. 18–​19, 37, 73; Asc. 46–​7C; Plut. Pomp. 49. 102 Securing Quintus Cicero’s pledge of Cicero’s cooperation if he returned and agreeing with Caesar to work for the recall (Cic. Fam. 1.9.9, 1.9.12 (SB 20)), criticising Clodius’ legislation in Capua (Cic. Red. sen. 29) and probably promoting the unsuccessful tribunician bill in the autumn (Cic. Sest. 68; Att. 3.23.4 (SB 68)).

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as part of his commission to secure Rome’s grain supply (a cura annonae), Pompeius’ initial requests seemed moderate in comparison with the subsequent proposal by the tribune Messius. As Cicero wrote, Pompeius publicly favoured the moderate proposal but privately the more extensive one.103 It seems clear from Cicero’s account that Messius had been asked by Pompeius or one of his agents to bring this proposal to see how far the senators were willing to go and to make the original proposal appear moderate and therefore acceptable.104 This incident can also be read in light of Caelius’ description of Pompeius’ characteristic attempt to conceal his true intentions, quoted at the beginning of the chapter; Cicero was in no doubt about Pompeius’ wish for the more extensive proposal, and Caelius may have underestimated Pompeius’ skill in effective communication. In any case, Pompeius managed again to convey both an appearance of modesty and his wish for the bigger command, to nurture his public image of being chosen for special commands rather than seeking them, and to be the only man up for the job. Pompeius applied a similar tactic when he made one of the tribunes of 56 BC, P. Rutilius Lupus, bring up the question of the Campanian land in the senate in December 57. This tactic proved self-​defeating, however, because the senators refused to discuss the matter further unless Pompeius was personally present.105 But, again, this may have been precisely Pompeius’ aim, because this resolution of the senate underlined Pompeius’ influence and position, proving his tactic of disengagement an effective way of directing attention towards himself and making his opinion appear crucial.106 As with his brusque statements and direct confrontation of Clodius’ gangs, Pompeius could speak lucidly when advantageous. His earlier support of Milo came to an abrupt end when Milo was implicated in the murder of Clodius on via Appia in early 52 BC.107 Pompeius no longer needed 103 Cic. Att. 4.1.7 (SB 73); Dom. 15–​16, 18–​20, 25–​7; Plut. Pomp. 49. 104 Cic. Att. 4.1.7 (SB 73); Dio Cass. 39.9.3; App. B Civ. 2.18; Liv. Per. 104. Seager (1979) 110–​12; Vervaet (2010) 149–​53 discusses this, although I  find the evidence inconclusive for a Pompeian ploy to artificially raise grain prices in order to make his commission inevitable. 105 Cic. Q Fr. 2.1.1 (SB 5) (shortly before 15 Dec. 57 BC) with Seager (1979) 114–​15. Another example of this tactic was Pompeius’ movements in the issue of the reinstatement of Ptolemy XII Auletes to the Egyptian throne: Cic. Rab. post. 6; Fam. 1.1 (SB 12) (13 Jan. 56 BC), 1.2 (SB 13) (15 Jan. 56 BC), 1.5b (SB 16) (shortly after 9 Feb. 56 BC), 1.7.3 (SB 18) (Jun.–​Jul. 56 BC); Q Fr. 2.2.3 (SB 6) (17 Jan. 56 BC) with Seager (1979) 115–​17. 106 Hölkeskamp (2011c) 165 on the importance of publicity and performance for effective politics behind the scenes. 107 Gruen (1974) 338 suggests that Pompeius’ support may have stopped even before the murder of Clodius.

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Milo to keep a check on Clodius and so he could be disposed of. The three tribunes Q. Pompeius Rufus, C. Sallustius Crispus and T. Munatius Plancus called Pompeius to a contio and enquired whether he had heard anything about Milo plotting to murder Pompeius. Pompeius responded clearly that he had, in fact, heard of such plans and had made enquiries of Milo regarding this matter.108 Pompeius’ reply incriminated Milo, deliberately, for Pompeius seems to have calculated that the unstable situation could strengthen his own position. As he had been commissioned to deal with the pirates and Mithridates in the 60s BC, and been found the only man able to sort out the grain crisis of 57 BC, so he could be regarded as the most competent senator to lead the state out of the turbulent situation created by the political violence of Clodius and Milo. During the negotiations of how to deal with the situation, Pompeius made sure to publicise his reluctance to take up a dictatorship, although all knew that not to be the truth.109 And so, Pompeius was made sole consul for 52 BC and Milo was predictably convicted of Clodius’ murder in the subsequent trial. The train of events shows that Pompeius’ political acumen was as sharp as ever, that he could give a straightforward answer if useful, use oratory to promote career possibilities arising, and that he could play politics behind the scenes. The same could be said about his first ambiguous, later more direct, expressions against Caesar in the run-up to the outbreak of civil war.110 Pompeius’ image was still one of being the man chosen to sort out the state’s otherwise unsolvable problems and although he worked hard behind the scenes, his public offices –​military and civil –​were almost all bestowed upon him rather than obtained through public canvass.

Conclusion Pompeius’ extraordinary career of special commands and exploitation of the resulting fame and wealth changed the political fabric of Rome forever.111 While Caesar was the more obvious exemplum to the young

108 Cic. Mil. 65–​6 (although Cicero tries to obscure Pompeius’ opposition to Milo; see Fotheringham (2013) 299); Asc. 51C. 109 Plut. Pomp. 54.2. Cic. Q Fr. 3.7.3 (SB 27) on Pompeius’ insincere rejection of a plan of dictatorship already in 54 BC. Vervaet (2010) 154–​63 gives more context of Pompeius’ sole consulship and his dissimulatio. 110 See discussion page 133. Morstein-​Marx (2007) and Steel (2013d) 186–​95 discuss Pompeius’ political manoeuvres regarding Caesar’s position. 111 Vervaet (2014) 202–​4, 216–​23 discusses these commands as part of a wider trend of monopolisation of such commands.

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Octavian, Pompeius provided several precedents for Augustus –​the acts of recusatio and dissimulatio, the attention to public perception and the careful combination of speech, laudatory text and spectacular buildings to project an image –​with oratory as a major component.112 The timing and functions of oratory in Pompeius’ career was unusual compared to his peers. His exclusive focus on a military career to launch his political career meant that he did not make a name for himself in the law courts, compete with tribunician colleagues for the people’s attention, or nurture his public profile in Rome through the duties of lower magistracies. Instead, he entered the political scene at the top as consul-​elect without any prior civic magistracies but two triumphs behind him, and the power and fame of a brilliant general. From the outset, his public speeches exuded auctoritas and grauitas normally associated with long-​ standing senators, and rather than supporting a politician on the rise, his oratory communicated a narrative of accomplishment and success. Another oddity of timing lies in Pompeius’ employment of oratory once his political career had been launched. He obtained his special commands, military and administrative, through the oratory and negotiations of others, and he never openly expressed an aspiration for these positions but might let his inclination be known through supporters and rumour. This allowed him to communicate his wish without the odium of self-​ praise and lent the impression of being handpicked rather than elected after canvass. Once the positions were obtained, Pompeius could appear in public to personally articulate his career change. His oratory became less a vehicle for effecting career advances and more a means to contextualise and legitimise these advances in support of his public persona and in preparation for future career possibilities. Addressing the contio in these situations, Pompeius’ message was clear, appealing and credible: he was a military genius and natural leader who had taken on yet another difficult task in the service of the Roman people. Even in more challenging meetings during the 50s, Pompeius presented himself as the statesman with grauitas who could sort out the problems of the state, if called upon. While such a message worked well with the people and boosted his popularity, a more subtle approach was needed in the senate. Here Pompeius tried to exude personal importance and, at the same time, an equivalence with his peers. This difficult balance had challenged many successful generals upon return to domestic 112 Lehmann (2004) and Hurlet (2006) discuss further links between Pompeius and Augustus.

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politics, but we see it up close in Pompeius’ case. His message of neutrality in his first senate speeches after the Mithridatic command was a response to this challenge of balancing personal superiority with senatorial collegiality. Pompeius’ military talent and towering ambition was clear to all, and it was easy for opponents to spread fear of what Pompeius might do with his power, and to remind the public of past instances of domineering. Hence his public declaration to disband his army after his triumphs in 71 and 61 BC, the many speeches for and against conferring the pirate command on Pompeius, his serious attempts at fitting in and communicating neutrality after his return from the East, and his careful positioning and calculated public expressions leading up to his sole consulship. These messages were especially directed towards his senatorial peers who were generally anxious that no other senator would obtain too much power and especially not Pompeius who had already shown unusual success and ambition. The people in the contio cared less about the internal power struggles in the senate and loved successful generals and politicians, including Pompeius. His repeated attempts to justify his position and persuade his senatorial peers that his intentions were good were necessary and involved delivering speeches in both the contio and the senate. This constant suspicion of his true objectives may be one of the causes for his tactics of recusatio and dissimulatio. By terming Pompeius’ behaviour of abstention and vague expressions a tactic, I imply that it was a conscious choice of Pompeius in order to convey a certain persona in public. The question is, of course, how far the image we get of Pompeius is one created by the sources or one created by himself. Ultimately, the answer is uncertain, but his use of non-​participation and ambiguous statements is so frequent and consistent that it suggests either a consistent character trait or a conscious choice in order to achieve his political aims and nurture his long-​term public profile. The analysis of the various instances of dissimulatio and the positive effect such behaviour had for Pompeius’ public image indicates that it was a carefully chosen approach to politics. He was a superb organiser generally and director of public appearances especially where he could plan what to say and do, such as at his first known contio appearance, at the transuectio or at planned senate meetings. When caught off guard, as at the reconciliation with Crassus in 70 BC, he failed to interact and persuade. Pompeius does not live up to the ideal of Cicero’s bonus orator who masters and exhibits all rhetorical and oratorical styles and techniques

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in the service of the res publica.113 His avoidance of occasions for public speeches gave him fewer chances to display his oratorical qualities. This does not necessarily mean that he was not a talented orator, but his lack of senatorial experience before his first consulship did mean less experience in addressing the various urban audiences through formal speeches. Seen together with Cicero’s oratorical support in both oral and written form and Pompeius’ declamation exercises on the eve of the civil war, Pompeius emerges as a man conscious of the limitations in his oratorical qualities and of the possible downsides of public oratory. Velleius’ judgement of Pompeius as eloquentia medius may not be too far off the mark. Pompeius did not actively cultivate a profile as an eloquent orator, as did Gaius Gracchus, but focused much more on a profile as a triumphant general and true leader, and often preferred to communicate through others. This profile fitted much better into the traditional Roman ideology of military uirtus as the proper, indeed only, route to glory and opposed the more recent embrace of Greek admiration of eloquence as a glorious activity, illustrated and advertised by Cicero among others.114 Certainly, public speech-​making was just one of many ways to influence politics in Rome or promote a political career. An ancestry boasting triumphant generals or famous senators gave considerable weight to the claim to political offices and authority. But Pompeius’ descent from the despised, although victorious, general Pompeius Strabo made any mention of ancestral achievements positively harmful, and Pompeius prudently avoided his father’s cognomen and instead waited for his own achievements to be honoured with the name Magnus.115 Instead Pompeius exploited the possibilities of patronage, first from Cinna, then from Sulla and the Metelli. When he returned from the East he struggled to find his position within the elite and his urgent need for a political network was only met when Caesar saw the political potential in approaching Pompeius and Crassus separately to form a coalition. Pompeius’ enormous popularity with the people, based solely on his military exploits and 113 Throughout Cic. De or., this ideal is detailed and explained. The education of the good orator: Cic. De or. 1.18, 1.48–​57, 1.158–​9, 1.116–​200, 1.165, 1.201, 3.133–​6; Orat. 120; Brut. 161, 322; Rep. 5.5. The morals of the orator: Cic. De or. 2.106, 3.225–​6; Part. or. 79; Inv. rhet. 1.5. 114 Cicero’s promotion of glory obtained through civil actions such as oratory: Cic. Arch. 21–​4; Off. 1.74, 1.77–​8. (Cicero could also argue the opposite when expedient:  Cic. Mur. 19–​22.) Cicero’s criticism of generals pursuing glory for their own sake and against the interests of the state: Cic. Tusc. 1.89–​90, 3.3–​4, 5.49–​50; Fin. 5.69; Off. 1.26, 2.43, 3.36, 3.83. For military uirtus: McDonnell (2006). See discussion of change of focus from military career to urban politics in Chapter 2, page 58, and in the Conclusion, pages 288–9. 115 See Gelzer (1941) for Pompeius’ family background and his father’s influence on his early career.

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newly strengthened at his triumph in September 61 BC, presented great political possibilities and it must have been the main reason for Caesar’s interest in getting Pompeius on board. Pompeius’ financial resources were a contributing factor to his invitation to the coalition, but also to his political career overall. His inheritance of large areas of land in Picenum had boosted his personal fortune considerably and made it possible for him to raise an army at his own expense and thereby promote his credentials with Sulla. His influence in Picene towns would also form the powerbase of his later military commands.116 Booty from his victories abroad later allowed him to take on the role as benefactor to the Roman people. While Pompeius is never described in the sources as possessing charisma or charm, he was a celebrity associated with glamour and success, and his self-​projection nurtured this image.117 While his inherited wealth, military talent and skill in exploiting patronage were necessary factors in his early career and important factors throughout, his oratory only became important once he had reached the consulship and needed to engage with the public audiences in Rome. Pompeius was a shrewd politician, who was a master of manipulating his network of political peers and supporters according to his wishes, although his enormous popularity with the people and status as a triumphant general made the conservative and arrogant senators scorn his offers of collaboration upon his return from the East. Moreover, he was no stranger to religious manipulation for political purposes, rife in the 50s BC,118 and he expertly used his theatre complex to advertise his favour with the gods. Pompeius perfected the skill of not speaking, or not speaking his mind, and in this way compelled people to accord him and his expressions full attention when it mattered. This skill also forced his audience to ponder the most probable, or most expedient, interpretation of his words. In these situations, Pompeius’ appearance and its effect seem regal. He was most assertive and eloquent when speaking in the contio, popular and military, addressing the admiring urban populace or his loyal soldiers, but we have also seen how he could deliver his message to an antagonistic audience, for example, in the courts or other contexts of a forensic nature. He was most challenged when communicating to his 116 Dio Cass. 33.107; Gelzer (1941) 15–​17, 22–​3. 117 Probably supported by a form of imitatio Alexandri, although we have no oratorical evidence of this, as discussed by Green (1978); Gruen (1998); D. J. Martin (1998); Welch and Mitchell (2013). 118 Although unclear whether he acted as consul or augur: Plut. Cat. Min. 42.3; Pomp. 52.2. Santangelo (2007b) and Lundgreen (2011) 110 discuss Pompeius’ use of religion for political purposes.

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fellow senators where the message had to be subtle and well presented. Yet, to be an eloquentia medius did not hinder a political career based on exceptional military talents, a well-​developed talent for corridor politics and an ability to place his victories in a broader narrative of success for himself and for Rome. Pompeius used oratory to boost his popularity with the people, a popularity which in turn brought about several of his major positions and his political influence. Striking, however, is the level to which his career was influenced by the public speeches of others, and Pompeius thus emerges as a counter-example to Cicero’s and Gaius Gracchus’ tactic of almost always tackling an issue of political nature (personal or not) with a public speech. Pompeius was clearly capable of speaking effectively, if perhaps not eloquently, but he seems to have used abstention from public speaking as a political tool too. Through public speech, private negotiations and silence, Pompeius exploited the fluidity and the grey zones in a political system guided by tradition and bendable rules to further his own agenda and career. His case shows how oratory could play a significant role in career advances and articulation of career choices, but also the extent to which effective self-​projection could be used to push the limits of career-​making in Rome and thereby the limits of the republican system itself.

5

The oratorical springboard Caesar’s political career

Eloquentia militarique re aut aequauit praestantissimorum gloriam aut excessit. post accusationem Dolabellae haud dubie principibus patronis adnumeratus est. certe Cicero ad Brutum oratores enumerans negat se uidere, cui debeat Caesar cedere, aitque eum elegantem, splendidam quoque atque etiam magnificam et generosam quodam modo rationem dicendi tenere… In eloquence and military matters, Caesar either equalled the glory of the most outstanding orators and generals or surpassed it. After his prosecution of Dolabella he undoubtedly counted among the leading advocates. Certainly, Cicero, when he enumerated orators in his Brutus, admitted that he did not see to whom Caesar should be inferior, and he said that he possessed an eloquence which was elegant and splendid in style, and even of a certain magnificent and generous quality…1

In this brief description of C. Julius Caesar (100–​44 BC) and his oratory, Suetonius highlights several themes central to the discussion in this chapter. Caesar’s towering eloquence, which equalled or surpassed that of his contemporaries and possibly also orators coming before and after him, is emphasised and supported by reference to Cicero’s judgement. Indeed, other sources argue that Caesar could have equalled even Cicero, Rome’s greatest orator, but that he chose to focus on a military career instead –​ underlined by Suetonius’ phrase ‘eloquentia militarique re’.2 The mention of Caesar’s prosecution of Dolabella highlights another career choice of Caesar, namely to launch his forensic and subsequent political career as a prosecutor in the courts. This was not an unusual career pattern, but it was unusual that Caesar’s reputation for brilliant oratory stemmed from a speech unsuccessful in convincing the jury. Another theme, which Suetonius fails to mention here, is Caesar’s self-​presentation as a politician 1 Suet. Iul. 55.1 (Teubner) clearly paraphrasing Cic. Brut. 261. 2 Quint. Inst. 10.1.114, 12.10.11; Plut. Caes. 3.1–​2; Tac. Dial. 17.1, 25.3–​4; Plin. Ep. 1.20.4.

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working for the best interests of the people, which he used to further his own political aims and claims to political offices. Throughout his career, Caesar seems to have made conscious career choices and to have used oratory extensively to communicate these choices successfully to the public, senate and people. Caesar’s person, his political and military career and his writings have attracted enormous attention from modern scholars and resulted in numerous works –​Caesar continues to fascinate. Less attention has been given to his oratory and most discussions of Caesar’s speeches and his oratorical achievements have been limited to brief, yet useful, overviews of his speeches and his style.3 The relationship between his oratory and the development and maintenance of his political career has seen even less discussion. Yet, Caesar consistently used oratory to promote his own person and his career. This chapter tracks Caesar’s oratorical performances in relation to his career and discusses the ways in which Caesar exploited his talent for public speaking to build up and nurture his political career. First, however, a brief overview of the extant sources to Caesar’s oratory and of its reception is necessary. In spite of Caesar’s fame and importance for history, only limited information about his oratory is available to us and this is scattered over a range of contemporary and later sources.4 Cicero and imperial writers give short descriptions, there are some remarks on specific occasions at which Caesar spoke, and we have a couple of fragments of speeches. Pina Polo has found evidence of eleven contio speeches of Caesar, seven delivered as a magistrate and four as a private citizen.5 We also know of a handful of court speeches, not all successful. The ones which can be dated belong to the beginning of Caesar’s career and are prosecution speeches. Cicero mentions that he pleaded many cases (causas multas) alongside Caesar when Caesar’s honores (official positions) demanded his appearances in court, but we have no evidence of any such particular instances.6 Cicero may refer specifically to Caesar’s duties as praetor in 62 BC. Another handful of speeches were delivered in the senate, and at least three of them were circulated afterwards. Caesar 3 Norden (1898) 209–​12; Klotz (1917); Deichgräber (1950); Leeman (1963) 156–​9; Kennedy (1972) 283–​92; Leeman (2001); Steel (2007) 244; Fantham (2009) esp.  145–​8; von Albrecht (2010), who discusses Caesar’s rhetoric across a selection of speeches, letters and commentarii-​passages. 4 Most of the fragments and testimonia are collected in Malcovati (1976) no. 121. 5 Pina Polo (1996) 37. See Pina Polo (1989) Appendix A for evidence. These figures are confirmed in the present study and can be seen in Appendix 3. 6 Cic. Lig. 30; Deiot. 7. For an analysis of the Pro Ligario speech see J. P. Johnson (2004), including 389–​91 on §30 and Cicero’s discussion of Caesar’s role as iudex and the best way of pleading.

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also famously delivered funeral speeches for his aunt Julia and his wife Cornelia in the early part of his career. Finally, ancient historians record, paraphrase or invent a handful of speeches addressed to Caesar’s soldiers at various points during his command in Gaul and in the civil war. Alongside information about specific speeches delivered by Caesar, we have substantial general testimonia about his oratory and its reception, by contrast to many other contemporary orators. All sources agree that Caesar was an eloquent orator, and the fragments preserved and, to some extent, discussed below do not detract from this general impression. Our most important observer, Cicero, evaluates Caesar’s oratory in a letter to Cornelius Nepos and in his Brutus. Although both passages present problems such as dating and Cicero’s aims with discussing Caesar, it is clear that Cicero admired Caesar’s elegant style.7 In both testimonia, Cicero focuses on Caesar’s elegant style in particular and a little on Caesar’s delivery and ability to think up catchy phrases or brief statements (sententiae).8 In the Brutus from 46 BC, Cicero expressed his positive judgement of Caesar’s oratory at length. Caesar is deemed the most elegant user of the Latin language among all orators, and the discussion centres around his diligent study of the Latin language, his conviction that the foundation of oratory is a pure Latin diction, and his literary works to that end, including his De Analogia, dedicated to Cicero.9 Caesar’s style and diction

7 Cicero to Cornelius Nepos; fragment quoted in Suet. Iul. 55.2 (cf. Weyssenhoff (1970) with review of Goodyear (1974)); Cic. Brut. 252–​61. Dating of letter: The passage ‘who did nothing else’ (qui nihil aliud egerunt) suggests that Caesar had achieved more than oratorical success, so probably after his consulship and some years in Gaul: mid-​50s BC onwards. The similarity between this evaluation and in the Brutus (46 BC) suggests (near) contemporaneous composition of letter and the Brutus, although Geiger (1985a) 265 has argued, inconclusively, for a date after the murder of Caesar. The letter fragment is probably authentic because Suetonius had access to material now lost and collections of Cicero’s letters circulated at his time of writing. For Cicero’s aims with discussing Caesar, see discussion below. Cicero’s earliest public judgement of Caesar’s oratorical ability, Cic. Prov. cos. 42, praises Caesar as ‘uir summa auctoritate, summa eloquentia’ –​‘A man of the highest authority and highest eloquence’, which must be understood within the context of Cicero’s dependence on Caesar, Pompeius and Crassus in 56 BC and the trope of possession of auctoritas and eloquence. 8 On the meaning of elegantia, see Rhet. Her. 4.17. On Caesar’s elegantia generally, see Lomanto (1994–​5) 100–​18. On elegantia in connection with Caesar’s Commentarii, see Eden (1962) 94–​106; von Albrecht (1989) 60; Kraus (2005) 101. Caesar apparently showed an increasing fondness for sententiae in his Commentarii: Preiswerk (1945); Kraus (2005) 113, n. 58. Quint. Inst. 8.5 on the meaning of sententia. 9 Cic. Brut. 252–​ 61. Leeman (2001) 99–​ 104; Kraus (2005) on Cicero’s judgement of Caesar’s style. Gotoff (1993) xxvi–​ xxvii analyses Cicero’s praise of Caesar’s oratory in the Brutus. De Analogia: Garcea (2012). Cicero’s inclusion of Caesar in the Brutus, against his rule not to include living orators (Cic. Brut. 232), was probably a tribute to Caesar’s dominant political position in 46 BC but possibly also to Caesar’s oratorical skills. The only other living orator included was M. Claudius Marcellus (cos. 51 BC), whom Caesar pardoned in 46 BC (Brut. 248).

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was impeccable, as was his delivery, but nothing is said about his choice of content or the effect of his oratory; the effect of speeches was often included for other orators in the Brutus, and later sources on Caesar’s oratory focus specifically on this. Much has been written about Cicero’s reasons for focusing so strongly on Caesar’s style.10 I shall not repeat the discussion, but simply point out here that style was a relatively uncontroversial focus in a difficult political situation, that Cicero and Caesar shared intellectual interests and dedicated works to each other, and that flattery of the dictator Caesar in 46 BC was politically sensible and played into a cultural context in which brilliant oratory accorded prestige.11 Garcea has suggested that Cicero insisted on Caesar’s elegantia because it formed a polemical reply to the model of eloquence set out in Caesar’s De Analogia.12 Although focused on grammatical aspects, Caesar’s work –​as Cicero’s Brutus –​was relevant too for the practice of politics and the way in which politicians used words of persuasion. An additional and complementary possibility builds on the suggestion in the Brutus that free oratory and its practitioners are all in the past and therefore that the work itself is a funeral oration to the deceased Roman oratory; such a background would make the inclusion of the person most responsible for the death of free speech in Rome a point in itself.13 Moreover, the general assessment of Caesar’s oratory appears to be connected to the irony of his role in the end of the Republic and of free speech: by focusing on Caesar’s style, Cicero hints that under the political system instituted by Caesar, oratory can only exist in a stylised form bereft of political content, a form without function. Cicero’s assessment was influential because imperial authors continued the focus on Caesar’s oratorical style. Quintilian, Tacitus, Suetonius and Gellius all emphasise the elegance and discrimination of Caesar’s language and give some clues to the reasons for Caesar’s stylistic elegance.14 10 E.g. Leeman (1963) 157–​8; Leeman (2001); Dugan (2005) 177–​89; Lowrie (2008). Gotoff (1993) xxvi–​xxvii argues that Cicero’s praise of this aspect of Caesar’s prose becomes fainter the more Cicero writes about it. 11 Caesar’s intellectual interests:  Fantham (2009); Cicero’s and Caesar’s discussions about language: Dugan (2005) 177–​89. Cicero and Caesar avoided all things political and spoke about literature when they dined together in late 45 BC: Cic. Att. 13.52 (SB 353). Cultural context: Plin. HN 7.139 with Hölkeskamp (2004) 219–​56. 12 Garcea (2012) 78–​113 (paraphrase of Garcea’s argument on p. 109). 13 The funereal tone and the idea of ‘the end’ of Roman oratory: Narducci (2002) 401; Steel (2003); Dugan (2005) 172–​250. 14 Quint. Inst. 1.5.63, 10.1.114; Tac. Dial. 28.5–​6; Suet. Iul. 55; Gell. NA 16.8, 19.8.3. See 295–​6St. (with Dugan (2013)) for the Gronovian scholiast’s presentation of Caesar the great orator in his comments on Cicero’s Pro Marcello.

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Tacitus argues that this elegance stemmed from Caesar’s good upbringing in a household where only pure Latin was spoken.15 Suetonius tells us that he was taught by the freedman M.  Antonius Gnipho, who had studied in Alexandria and excelled in both Greek and Roman rhetoric.16 Gnipho may have influenced Caesar’s view on ‘analogy’ and his support of the Attic style, as opposed to the Asiatic style, but it seems difficult to determine Caesar’s style on the basis of few and short fragments.17 We also know from Cicero that Caesar studied rhetoric with diligence and enthusiasm.18 As Cicero had done, Caesar later went to Rhodes to study rhetoric with Apollonius Molon.19 Caesar’s elegance of language was clearly honed through a good education. Moreover, Quintilian singles out Caesar’s forcefulness or vigour of expression (uis) as particularly noteworthy in a passage where Caesar is mentioned as occupying a place just after Cicero’s leading position.20 Also Appian introduces Caesar as ‘a young man, but powerful in speech and action’.21 Suetonius mentions that Caesar pitched his voice high in speaking.22 A further strength of Caesar’s oratory seems to have been his skill in arousing the feelings in his audience. Indeed, Caesar used impassioned gestures which pleased his audience, according to Suetonius.23 His skill in arousing the audience’s feelings may be related to his attention to the selection of words as some words would be more prone to elicit an emotional response. The noble quality of his delivery, praised by Cicero in the Brutus, could be compatible with a very emotionally powerful form of speaking.24 The passage from Quintilian also underlines the theme of Caesar’s superior talent through his inclusion of Caesar in two lists of especially good Roman orators alongside Caelius, Pollio, Calvus, Calidius, Messala, 15 Tac. Dial. 28.4–​6. 16 Suet. Gram. 7. 17 Norden (1898) 188. Deichgräber (1950) 118–​19 and Leeman (1963) 158 argue against Caesar as a professed Atticist. 18 Cic. Brut. 252. 19 Plut. Caes. 3.1; Suet. Iul. 4.1. 20 Quint. Inst. 10.2.25. Cf. Quint. Inst. 12.10.11 for an almost identical phrase and 10.1.114. Caesar’s uis: Kraus (2005) 108; OLD uis 6d. Peterson (1891) ad Quint. Inst. 12.1.76 connects this uis with pathos in Cic. De or. 2.114, 2.128–​9; Orat. 69, although there seems to be no connection in a technical sense. Demosthenes was famous for his forcefulness of speaking (e.g. Plut. Dem. 11.4). Douglas (1955) 245–​6 uses Caesar’s uis as an argument against the view that Caesar was an Atticist. 21 App. B Civ. 2.1 (Teubner): ‘νέος, δεινὸς εἰπεῖν τε καὶ πρᾶξαι’. M. S. Edwards (2013) discusses the rhetorical quality of δεινὸς. 22 Suet. Iul. 55. 23 Suet. Iul. 55. 24 Quint. Inst. 10.1.114. Cf. Fronto, v.  d. Hout p.  117, 14:  Caesari quidem facultatem dicendi uideo imperatoriam fuisse (‘I see, indeed, that Caesar’s gift of speaking was that of a general.’).

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Brutus, Sulpicius, Cassius and Cicero.25 Similar lists are proposed by Velleius Paterculus, Tacitus in his Dialogus de oratoribus and Pliny in a letter to Tacitus, and they reflect a tradition of the best orators from the republican age.26 Indeed, Tacitus says that Caesar was said to have rivalled the best orators of his day, and Quintilian argues that if Caesar had had the time to engage fully with judicial oratory, he would have been the one orator who could have been considered a serious rival to the renowned master of eloquence, Cicero.27 This observation is reinforced by Plutarch’s evaluation that Caesar had a remarkable gift for political oratory (λόγος πολιτικος), which he trained and developed with great enthusiasm, yet he allowed the first place to escape him because he wanted to be first in power and armed strength. It seems that imperial authors considered Caesar a master of both forensic and deliberative oratory. Plutarch continues to say that Caesar later wrote in a response to Cicero’s Cato that his readers ought not to compare his style with Cicero’s because he was the military man while Cicero had both a natural talent for oratory and time to cultivate it.28 Here, again, we see the idea that Caesar did not fully realise his oratorical potential, as pointed out by Quintilian, but now from Caesar’s personal choice. Caesar’s own remark to Cicero reflects again his decision to focus on a military career, but is also highly rhetorical in itself in its false modesty and suggestion that Caesar could have become just as good an orator had he decided to spend the necessary time, thus belittling Cicero’s skills, even his choice of focus on oratory.29 While Cicero is the most important observer of Caesar and has influenced the reception of Caesar to focus on his oratorical style rather than content, Augustus had an impact, too. As Caesar’s adoptive son and heir, Augustus had a great interest in controlling the memory of Caesar and did so through a range of media. Suetonius tells us that he was a keen student 25 Quint. Inst. 10.1.114, 12.10.11. 26 Vell. Pat. 2.36.2; Tac. Dial. 17.1, 25.3–​4; Plin. Ep. 1.20.4. See van der Blom (forthcoming 3)  on these lists. 27 Tac. Ann. 13.3; see also Suet. Iul. 55.1; Quint. Inst. 10.1.114. An implicit comparison at Quint. Inst. 10.2.25. So also Tac. Dial. 21.5, although put in a negative light. Already Sallust (Cat. 54.1) had compared the eloquence of Caesar with that of Cato Minor in his version of the Catilinarian debate. 28 Plut. Caes. 3.1–​2; paraphrase inspired by Pelling (2009) 255. Pelling (2002) 339–​47 on the topic of rhetoric in Plutarch’s Lives in general. Geiger (2000) 219–​21 and Pelling (2011) 143–​4 discuss Plutarch’s engagement with Caesar’s speeches. 29 Pelling (2009) 255 on Plutarch’s intention with this anecdote. Pelling (2011) 144 underlines the irony intended by Caesar. Caesar himself entered this comparison with Cicero by writing an Anti-​ Cato in reply to Cicero’s Cato, pressed by the political circumstances, and this helps to explain the tenor of his remark.

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of Caesar’s extant speeches, spending time evaluating their authenticity and commenting on them. As with other aspects of Caesar’s legacy, Augustus was his most diligent advocate.30 One example is Caesar’s speech known as Pro Quinto Metello. Suetonius remarks that Caesar purported to have delivered the speech in defence of Metellus and himself against a joint accusation which suggests a dating of 62 BC.31 Augustus thought that the speech was not published by Caesar himself and was rather a version taken down by stenographers who could not keep up with his rapid delivery. Suetonius therefore checked several manuscripts and found various titles given to this speech which to him indicated that the speech was not circulated by Caesar and perhaps not even delivered by him but simply written on behalf of Metellus, perhaps not even by Caesar.32 This means that several versions of the same speech could circulate and that Caesar apparently could speak very quickly (or the stenographers were not sufficiently trained or too few).33 It also means that the speech must have been delivered in the senate, as it was noted down by clerks.34 We know from Suetonius that Augustus also suppressed a number of youthful literary works of Caesar, further underlining his interest in supporting a select memory of Caesar.35 Augustus’ interest in Caesar’s oratory could help explain the position of Caesar as an orator in imperial literature and the preservation of fragments of his speeches. Although the imperial writers drew material partly from contemporary sources, their presentation of this material could have been coloured by Augustus’ version. The reception of Caesar suggests that his oratorical talent lay in his choice of words and his strong delivery, where he could employ an emotional style, supported by gestures and a high-​pitched voice. In the evaluation of imperial authors, he had the potential for becoming the leading orator of his day, but decided to focus on a military career instead. This was certainly a crucial career choice. How did Caesar articulate this career choice and did he have 30 Suet. Iul. 55.1. See discussion of Augustus’ possible influence on the reception of Caesar’s oratory in the section ‘Towards the consulship’. 31 See discussion of the political context on page 168. 32 Suet. Iul. 55.3 with Lossmann (1957) 52–​3. 33 Short​hand note-taking seems to have been rather unusual in Rome at this point:  White (1997) 82–​3. 34 Or, if we believe the version that the speech was written by Caesar on behalf of Metellus (which seems to me unlikely, based on Suetonius’ view), that also Caesar may have acted as logographer in his early political career –​suggesting a special talent for oratory. On logographers in Rome, see Kennedy (1968) 427–​8, n. 12; (1972) 12–​13 with n. 14. 35 Suet. Iul. 56.7. Sumi (2005) 105 also suggests that Augustus revised the narrative of Caesar’s funeral to downplay Antonius’ role, and that this was picked up by Suetonius.

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other possibilities? In what ways did he employ his skills in public speaking to promote his career, and how successful was he in using his oratory to project a credible and appealing public image? The following analysis of Caesar’s known speeches shall focus on these questions.

The young prosecutor Caesar entered the public stage in Rome through his prosecutions of Cn. Cornelius Dolabella (cos. 81 BC) in 77 or early 76 BC and of C. Antonius Hybrida (cos. 63 BC) in 76 BC, both de repetundis in two separate trials.36 Being in his early twenties, Caesar had not yet embarked on a political career, but took up the most accessible method of using oratory to attract attention: prosecution.37 Caesar’s speeches at the Dolabella trial are noteworthy for his oratorical inspiration, his purpose for taking on the case and, especially, for the way in which he exploited the occasion. In his diuinatio speech, delivered in order to win the right to prosecute, Caesar is reported to have modelled his style on that of his relative Caesar Strabo, in places even verbatim.38 From Cicero’s rhetorical works, we get an impression of Caesar Strabo as a witty orator with a light tone of speaking,39 and Caesar might have adopted some of those characteristics for this speech, adding a further facet to his oratorical style.40 Although Caesar won the diuinatio, he lost the prosecution proper because Dolabella was acquitted, most likely for political, not rhetorical, reasons.41 In spite of Dolabella’s 36 Dating in relation to Caesar’s trip to Apollonius Molon at Rhodes: Plut. Caes. 3–​4 says that the trip to Molon came before both trials; Suet. Iul. 4 says after the Dolabella trial (omitting the Antonius-​ trial); Gruen (1966a) and Pelling (2011) 141–​3 think after both trials. See Pelling (2002) 92–​3 on the chronological displacement of events in Plutarch. Antonius-​trial: Asc. 84C with Damon and Mackay (1995). Plut. Caes. 4 is confused on this matter: Pelling (1980) 128–​9; Lewis (2006) ad Asc. 84C; Pelling (2011) 145–​7. See Comment. Pet. 8.  Cicero went to hear the speeches of Dolabella’s advocates, Hortensius and Cotta (Cic. Brut. 317), further underlining the high profile of the case. Dolabella himself spoke (Suet. Iul. 49.1 with Osgood (2008) 688–​9). Both cases in Alexander (1990) nos. 140 and 141. 37 Cic. Off. 2.49–​50; cf. discussion pages 27–31 on young prosecutors, and David (1992) 537–​8. 38 Suet. Iul. 55.2. Cf. Alexander (1990): two actiones. 39 Cic. De or. 2.216–​90 with May and Wisse (2001) 16; Cic. Brut. 177 with Dugan (2005) 112–​33; Cic. Off. 133 with Dyck (1996) 310, 312. Eden (1962) 107; von Albrecht (1989) 64 for Caesar taking Strabo as a model. On Caesar’s wit: Corbeill (1996) 189–​98; Maurach (2002). 40 Zinn (1960) 43 suggests that Cicero chose Caesar Strabo to explain the role of humour in oratory in the De oratore (2.216–​90) precisely in order to illustrate the charm of Caesar (the dictator), but the evidence of Caesar’s charm is unclear and there is a danger of circular argument. Leeman et al. (1981–​2008) 3. 172–​212 (esp. 174) comments on humour in oratory and in De oratore. Cicero himself commented on Caesar’s wit in a letter to Cornelius Nepos (Suet. Iul. 55.1), which leads Suetonius to mention Caesar’s imitation of Caesar Strabo. 41 For the political background to this trial: Gruen (1966a) 385–​8.

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acquittal, Caesar’s prosecution speech kick-started his oratorical and political career. His speech against Dolabella is one of his most well-​ known speeches, mentioned by Velleius Paterculus, Asconius, Tacitus, Suetonius, Valerius Maximus, Plutarch and Aulus Gellius.42 Gellius positively confirms that Caesar circulated a written version of this speech in several books which suggests that he also circulated the diuinatio speech. Circulation of an unsuccessful speech was unusual  –​Cicero circulated only two unsuccessful speeches out of a total of fifty-​odd and for very specific reasons43 –​but Caesar clearly aimed to extend the impact of his speech(es) beyond the courtroom. Indeed, Caesar may have wished for exactly this outcome of the trial because he had avoided creating influential enemies while obtaining oratorical fame. His prosecution of Dolabella was certainly a very calculated move. Our sources say almost nothing about the content of Caesar’s speeches against Dolabella and Antonius, but focus instead on circumstantial details. Plutarch’s observation  –​that Caesar had a remarkable ability to make himself liked and was extremely popular with the populus for his friendly attitude towards them and because of his eloquence44 –​may be transposed from Caesar’s later popularity. However, the speech against Dolabella made such an impact that even Juvenal used Dolabella and Antonius as stock examples of notoriously extortionate governors.45 The fame of Caesar’s speeches may have helped spread the negative images of Dolabella and Antonius. Gellius preserves a fragment of the speech against Dolabella: C. etiam Caesar, grauis auctor linguae Latinae, in Anticatone: ‘unius’ inquit ‘arrogantiae, superbiae dominatuque’. Item in Dolabellam actionis I. lib. I.: ‘Isti, quorum in aedibus fanisque posita et honori erant et ornatu’. Also Gaius Caesar, an important authority on the Latin language, says in his Anti-​Cato:  ‘owing to the arrogance, haughtiness and tyranny of one man’. Also in the First Action against Dolabella, Book I: ‘those men of the past, in whose temples and shrines artworks were placed both for the purpose of honour and of decoration’.46 42 Vell. Pat. 2.43.3; Asc. 26C; Tac. Dial. 34.7; Suet. Iul. 4.1, 55.1; Val. Max. 8.9.3; Plut. Caes. 4; Gell. NA 4.16.8. 43 The early Pro Vareno and the Pro Milone: Powell and Paterson (2004) 53. 44 Fantham (2009) 146 links a fragment from the Dolabella trial (Gell. NA 4.16.8) with such a popular appeal. Plutarch’s depiction of Caesar may be a stereotype, but one based on the realities of Roman politics: Pelling (2011) 147–​8. Corbeill (2002) 204–​8 discusses Caesar’s appearance as a conscious public signal and its contemporary observers. 45 Juv. 8.105. 46 Gell. NA 4.16.8.

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Gellius singled out this passage because of the word forms preferred by Caesar, who was in Gellius’ time considered a great stylist of Latin. Caesar adopts the familiar topos of the good old days, presumably in opposition to the situation created by Dolabella. Aside from the moral implication, he may also have appealed to a sense of envy with Dolabella’s stolen wealth, as Fantham suggests.47 This passage has been characterised stylistically as showing a simple, yet powerful beauty.48 Valerius Maximus paraphrases another snippet of the speech against Dolabella: Diuus quoque Iulius, quam caelestis numinis tam etiam humani ingenii perfectissimum columen, uim facundiae proprie expressit dicendo in accusatione Cn. Dolabellae, quem reum egit, extorqueri sibi causam optimam L. [Cn.] Cottae patrocinio, si quidem maxima tunc eloquentiae questa est. The divine Julius too, the most perfect jewel of celestial divinity and of human talent, expressed the power of eloquence appropriately when he said in his prosecution speech against Cn. Dolabella, that his best case was being twisted away from him by L. [that is, C.] Cotta’s advocacy. In this way the greatest eloquence regretted the power of eloquence.49

This short paraphrase shows some of Caesar’s skill in thinking up arguments and playing the role of the underdog. He suggests that in objective terms he has the best case but that Cotta’s authority and eloquence threatens justice, hoping to acquire the sympathy of the judges. While Valerius Maximus’ judgement may be influenced by Caesar’s later fame as orator, this passage indicates an elegance of argument and possibly of language too. Most significant, however, was the effect of his speech on the audience. Even if the judges acquitted Dolabella, and Antonius too escaped conviction, Caesar made a splash and made sure to exploit this in his subsequent circulation of his speeches against Dolabella, promoting his name and future career to the public. The act of circulation suggests that Caesar’s decision to prosecute was aimed specifically at communicating his intent to pursue a public career which necessitated such self-​ advertisement and at promoting himself as a rising star on the political scene. Prosecuting a prominent Sullan supporter, being the son-​in-​law of Sulla’s enemy Cinna and rejected for the religious post of flamen by Sulla, Caesar’s prosecution of Dollabella signalled that he was the focus 47 Fantham (2009) 146. 48 Deichgräber (1950) 114:  ‘Eine Art einfach-​kraftvoller Schönheit ist das Kennzeichen des kurzen Fragments der Rede…’ 49 Val. Max. 8.9.3 (Teubner: Kempf ).

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of opposition, and the circulation of his speech was the perfect way to advertise this message. We cannot know whether his prosecution speeches helped Caesar in his election by the people to one of the twenty-​four military tribunates for 71 BC –​his first public office.50 The office had lost prestige and for a patrician like Caesar, the military tribunate would only influence his chances of a further career if he performed very badly; there is no indication of this.51 It is in this period that scholars such as Klotz, Gelzer, Dahlmann and Fantham place Caesar’s speech on behalf of the Bithynians, but this dating is insecure.52 This speech suggests that Caesar was eager to build up networks with provincials, as well as showcasing his oratory in Rome. Two brief fragments give indications of his eloquence: Firmum atque clarum isti rei testimonium perhibet auctoritas C. Caesaris pontificis maximi, qui in oration, quam Pro Bithynis dixit, hoc principio usus est: ‘Vel pro hospitio regis Nicomedis uel pro horum necessitate, quorum res agitur, refugere hoc munus, M.  Iunce, non potui. Nam neque hominum morte memoria deleri debet, quin a proximis retineatur, neque clientes sine summa infamia deseri possunt, quibus etiam a propinquis nostris opem ferre instituimus’. Strong and clear testimony on this subject is provided by the authority of Gaius Caesar, the pontifex maximus; for in the speech which he delivered in defence of the Bithynians he began like this:  ‘In consideration either of my guest-​friendship with king Nicomedes or my relationship to those whose case is on trial, O Marcus Iuncus, I could not refuse this duty. For the memory of men ought not to be so eliminated by their death as not to be retained by those nearest to them, and we cannot without maximum disgrace forsake clients to whom we are obliged to help even against our own relatives’.53

50 Suet. Iul. 5; Plut. Caes. 5.1. Tatum (2008) 32 notes that Caesar cannot have done very well in the public’s opinion since he only obtained the military tribunate, which was no longer prestigious or politically important. 51 Suolahti (1955) 186–​7; Blösel (2009) 484–​5; de Blois (2011) 82. 52 Klotz (1917) 260–​1; Dahlmann (1938) 343–​6; Gelzer (1968) 29; Ward (1977); Fantham (2009) 146. The dating rests partly on the identification of Iuncus mentioned in the fragment, but it is probably M. Iuncus who was governor of Asia in the 70s BC. Pelling (2011) 140 argues for a date in late 74 or early 73 BC when Iuncus was still governor of Asia and after Nicomedes’ bequest of Bithynia to Rome. Osgood (2010) discusses the possible historiographical relation between this episode and the episode of Caesar and the pirates. 53 Gell. NA 5.13.6. Deichgräber (1950) 114–​15 analyses the language of this fragment, and Dahlmann (1938) 346 downplays the significance of Gellius’ remark (‘C. Caesaris pontificis maximi’) to date the trial: Caesar’s title is not meant to date the event to 63 BC onwards but merely to support the claimed auctoritas of Caesar.

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Caesar pro Bithynis: ‘quid ergo? syngraphae non sunt, sed res aliena est’. Caesar on behalf of the Bithynians:  ‘What then? There are no bonds for debt, but that point is irrelevant’.54

In the first fragment, we see the opening passage which displays some of Caesar’s famed uis and emotional force in appealing to duty and justice. This use of pathos effects both a moral tone and explains Caesar’s defence of the Bithynians, perhaps against the obligation to a relative. His use of abstract concepts such as hospitium, necessitas, memoria and infamia together with words of obligation (munus, non … potui, debet, neque … possunt, instituimus) emphasises his moral point and rightful position in the question to be settled. The rhythmical clausulae and careful construction of parallel and antithetical parts suggests a high style to further underline the moral content.55 The second fragment perhaps tells us a little bit about Caesar’s skill in thinking up arguments (inuentio) and use of the figure of answering his own question (ἀπόφασις).56 Both fragments also testify to the fact that Caesar’s speeches circulated in some form.57 Since the dating of this speech is unknown, we cannot deduce its impact on Caesar’s career. However, the fragments allow us another glimpse into the content of Caesar’s speeches and emphasises his attempts to nurture bonds with potentially useful provincials and his use of appeal to traditional values. So far, Caesar had kept his career open to oratory, advocacy and military routes, and he had made the most of occasions to advertise himself without committing to one route. In spite of his later fame, his contemporaries cannot at this stage have predicted his rise to power; he was a young man of a senatorial family whose credentials to power rested on long gone exploits and patrician status and a more recent relationship with the seven-​ times consul Marius through Caesar’s aunt Julia.

54 Iul. rufin. RhL p. 40, 23 with Ward (1977) 30. 55 Deichgräber (1950) 114–​15. 56 For a parallel use of the quid ergo figure, see Caes. BGall. 7.77.12 (speech of the Gaul Critognatus). 57 Here, we can add the short mention of Caesar’s speech in defence of Nicomedes’ daughter Nysa, delivered in the senate (Osgood (2008) makes the same connection): Suet. Iul. 49.3 tells us that Cicero interrupted Caesar’s speech in which Caesar listed his obligations to Nicomedes, and so both Caesar and Cicero were senators at the time (during or probably long after Caesar’s quaestorship in 69 BC). Cicero and Caesar sometimes pleaded alongside each other (Cic. Lig. 30), but it would be odd to interrupt someone on one’s own side.

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A friend of the people In the 70s BC, Caesar tried to build for himself a name through high-​ profile prosecutions and apparently succeeded. Having hurried back from Asia Minor at the news of Sulla’s death, he sensed the major change in the political landscape and the possibilities it offered.58 With the mounting pressure on Sulla’s reforms over the 70s and the much-​advertised repeal of two of his most unpopular measures (the curtailment of the tribunes’ powers and the all-​senatorial courts) in 70 BC, the political mood changed too. Caesar was quick on the uptake, opportunistic as always,59 and promoted himself to the public as a supporter of the rights of the people. As Pompeius emerged as the most popular politician on the scene, Caesar also sought to benefit from Pompeius’ popularity. Most of his speeches from the period 70–​60 BC can be understood to some extent in this light. The first indication is his support of the call to restore the tribunes’ powers, in the late 70s.60 As a patrician, he could not stand for the tribunate himself, but he could support it and show his friendly attitude to the people in many other ways. Then in 70 BC, the year in which Pompeius and Crassus as consuls effected the restoration of the tribunician powers and repealed the all-​senatorial courts, Caesar delivered a speech in support of the lex Plautia which gave back citizenship to the surviving participants of Lepidus’ revolt. This is the first known contio speech of Caesar, and he was probably called to speak by the tribune Plautius himself, possibly because his oratorical qualities and political sympathies were known.61 Suetonius presents Caesar’s support as an act of familial duty because his brother-​in-​law, Lucius Cinna, was among the exiled, and Caesar may have aimed at showing his pietas. But his support also signalled his efforts on behalf of the people, as the senatorial crackdown on Lepidus’ revolt was understood by some as senatorial suppression of the people and their political rights. A  version of Caesar’s speech must have been circulated because Gellius quotes a fragment: 58 Suet. Iul. 3.  Caesar may even have hoped for revolution, although he refused to join Lepidus’ revolt, perhaps wishing others to carry out the dirty work. 59 Steel (2009) on Caesar’s opportunism. 60 Suet. Iul. 5. 61 Suet. Iul. 5; Gell. NA 13.3.5. Cf. Dio Cass. 44.47.4. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no.  243. On dating:  Hinard (2008) 117–​18. Plutarch omits this, probably because ‘it did not lead to any success which could be seen as [Caesar’s] own’:  Pelling (2011) 149. Jehne (1997) 20–​1 sees this speech as Caesar’s decisive move down the uia popularis, even if his contemporaries may not have recognised it; Millar (1998) 75–​6 sets Caesar’s populist activities of the late 70s and early 60s into the context of public display and engagement with the empire.

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Repperi tamen in oratione C.  Caesaris, qua Plautiam rogationem suasit, ‘necessitatem’ dictam pro ‘necessitudine’, id est iure adfinitatis. Verba haec sunt: ‘Equidem mihi uideor pro nostra necessitate non labore, non opera, non industria defuisse’. I have found, however, in a speech of Gaius Caesar, In support of the Plautian law, ‘necessitas’ used for ‘necessitudo’, that is, for the bond of a marriage tie. These are his words: ‘It seems to me, at least, that in regard to our kinship (necessitas), I have failed neither in effort, in work, nor in industry’.62

Gellius uses this fragment to illustrate the use of archaic language in republican oratory, but we should note the elegance and emphasis of the tricolon non labore, non opera, non industria, which helps Caesar to hammer home his message. He also employs anaphora (non…non… non), auxesis (labore…opera…industria –​with increasing number of syllables) and rhythmical clausulae (with the final clause ending in a cretic and double trochee:  –​ᴗ  –​  –​ ᴗ  –​ ᴗ) to underscore his message and make his speech more enjoyable to his audience. As in his speech for the Bithynians, he underlines the moral aspect of meeting a duty, and in fact the repeat of this theme together with the repeat of necessitas suggests that Caesar reused this theme and the emotional appeal from his speech for the Bithynians (if the dating is right) in his first contio speech in support of the lex Plautia. The overlap in style, perhaps also delivery, from forensic to contional speech is not unique –​Cicero did the same in, for example, Pro lege Manilia –​but it nevertheless indicates Caesar’s rhetorical skill in mixing genres and including pathos. The bill was passed and Caesar had publicised his attitude towards the people’s interests. Although we cannot be sure that he was behind the circulation of his speech, it is likely that he was. It was not the first speech he delivered in favour of repealing Sulla’s reforms, but it is the first such speech from which a fragment survives. Caesar’s many subsequent speeches of similar populist tenor indicate his commitment to this cause and therefore the circulation of the speech in favour of the lex Plautia would help him announce this commitment and aspect of his public profile. Caesar’s election in 70 BC to the first political office of quaestor may have been facilitated by his support of the lex Plautia, but the unknown dating of the contio and the election makes it impossible to be certain. With his 62 Gell. NA 13.3.5. Deichgräber (1950) 115–​16 discusses this fragment. Gellius seems to have forgotten about the fragment from Caesar speech pro Bithynis quoted by himself (Gell. NA 5.13.6), in which the same use of necessitas occurs.

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election, Caesar became a member of the senate, but the quaestorship did not offer specific chances to address a public audience in Rome as quaestors served under a provincial commander. Before Caesar went out to serve in Hispania Ulterior in 69 BC, he, nevertheless, turned the personal misfortune of losing his aunt Julia and his wife Cornelia at short interval into opportunities to promote himself in public. Caesar organised public funerals for both women and delivered speeches in their honour.63 Suetonius preserves a remarkable fragment from his speech in honour of Julia: Amitae meae Iuliae maternum genus ab regibus ortum, paternum cum diis inmortalibus coniunctum est. nam ab Anco Marcio sunt Marcii reges, quo nomine fuit mater; a Venere Iulii, cuius gentis familia est nostra. est ergo in genere et sanctitas regum, qui plurimum inter homines pollent, et caerimonia deorum, quorum ipsi in potestate sunt reges. My aunt Julia’s maternal family is descended from kings, her paternal family is related to immortal gods. For the Marcii Reges are descended from Ancus Marcius, and her mother was of that name. The Julii, to which our branch belongs, are descendants of Venus. Thus, our family can claim both the sanctity of kings, who are the most powerful among men, and the reverence due to gods, who have even kings in their power.64

The fragment itself suggests that the speech was circulated, probably by Caesar, and passed down for its rhetorical quality and historical impact. The fragment is in Caesar’s own voice (amitae meae, cuius gentis familia est nostra), and this underlines his close relationship with Julia and, through her, his own kingly and divine descent.65 Caesar was later to exploit further the alleged connection to the early kings and the gods in his self-​presentation.66 The style is plain and factual, as was his style in his later commentarii, yet still strikingly elegant, even solemn, in its choice of words and rhythm.67 The heroic clausula (ab regibus ortum) resonates 63 Suet. Iul. 6.1; Plut. Caes. 5.1. Jehne (1997) 24 emphasises that Caesar’s decision to undertake two costly funerals at the same time shows his determination to exploit every opportunity to promote himself to the public. 64 Suet. Iul. 6.1 (Teubner). 65 Hölkeskamp (2012) 390–​3 discusses the reference to Ancus Marcius. Flower (1996) 144 on funeral speeches being inspired by documents in the family archive. 66 Weinstock (1971) 80–​90 and passim. Fantham (2009) 145 discusses an earlier Julius Caesar who advertised family pride. Walter (2010) 159–​66 places these speeches into a context of Caesar’s use of history in politics, Hölkeskamp (1999) 119 places Caesar’s claim to Trojan descent into Roman use of Greek genealogies, and Hölkeskamp (2011a) 25–​6 argues Caesar’s ancestral claims shows his lack of a senatorial and military pedigree. 67 Von Albrecht (1989) 54–​8 on style and prose rhythm. Löfstedt (1956) II, 308–​12 shows how the ornate clausulae in the fragments of Caesar’s De Analogia almost mocks the widespread use of clausulae in Cicero’s speeches.

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with the rhythm found in epic and it emphasises Caesar’s regal lineage, while the other clausulae were generally considered pleasing to the ear. In terms of vocabulary, sanctitas and caerimonia, for example, evoke the ceremonial and divine element. In the view of Deichgräber, the prose rhythm is composed to underline the high style and solemn content, and the rhetorical structure of the passage is faultless.68 Influence from rhetorical training is also detectable in the antithetical structure of rhythm and content.69 Here, we can really see some of Caesar’s elegantia, uis and ‘magnificent and generous quality’ (magnificam et generosam quodam modo) emphasised by Cicero and Suetonius, possibly after reading this particular fragment. Caesar here appears as a fully trained and experienced orator. Caesar was even innovative in these speeches. Although Suetonius states that Caesar made the customary funeral speeches from the rostra, public funerals and funeral speeches in honour of (elite) women were not traditional as were public funerals in honour of men of the upper class. Cicero tells us that the first speech in honour of a woman was Q. Catulus’ (cos. 102 BC) speech for his mother Popillia when she was an old woman.70 There cannot have been many other such speeches between Catulus’ and Caesar’s two speeches of 69 BC, and Plutarch therefore gives the wrong impression when he says that it was common practice to deliver funeral speeches in honour of elderly women. But Plutarch is probably right in pointing out that Caesar’s speech for Cornelia, a young woman, was the first such speech. Caesar appears to have built on the existing tradition of funerals and speeches in honour of men,71 but he must have introduced new elements to fit the change of gender. References to male virtues such as military bravery (uirtus), oratorical talent, strength (fortitudo), honour (honos), wisdom (sapientia) and distinction (claritas)72 could have been replaced by female virtues such as chastity (pudicitia), fertility and domestic virtues, and rather than referring to political successes and military

68 Deichgräber (1950) 116–​17. 69 Kierdorf (1980) 115. 70 Cic. De or. 2.44. The funeral and speech may have taken place as late as in the year of his consulship: RE Q. Lutatius Catulus, col. 2072. 71 Polybius’ description of the tradition in mid-​second century BC is illustrative:  Polyb. 6.53–​4. Fragments and testimonia from funeral speeches exist: for Fabius Maximus Cunctator (Cic. Sen. 12, Plut. Fab. Max. 1.7), M. Claudius Marcellus (Liv. 27.27.12), Q. Caecilius Metellus (Plin. HN 7.139). 72 This list is inspired by the list of virtues in the funeral speech for Q.  Caecilius Metellus:  Plin. HN 7.139.

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triumphs, he is likely to have referred to the birth and good upbringing of children as the climax of their lives.73 The funeral processions would have been even more striking in their novelty and, in that for Julia, the political element emphasised. Processions usually paraded the imagines (wax portraits) of the famous male ancestors of the deceased. Caesar took the bold step in the procession in honour of Julia to include the imago of her deceased husband, the seven-​times consul Marius, whose image had been banned by Marius’ enemy Sulla.74 The political turn against Sulla and his reforms made the reintroduction of Marius’ image safe and popular, and the parade of Marius’ imago was greeted with cheers by the audience. This action must be read as an attempt to appropriate some of Marius’ popularity with the people for himself.75 Four years later, when aedile in 65 BC, Caesar had Marius’ victory trophies from the wars against Jugurtha, the Cimbri and the Teutones put up on the Capitol overnight –​as ever aware of the power of spectacle. Again the people welcomed this action while more conservative politicians worried about Caesar’s tactics and popularity with the people.76 Caesar showed that he was prepared to extend the tradition of public funerals to suit his purposes, in speaking for women and in using the funeral of Julia to reintroduce Marius in public memory and claim himself as an heir to Marius’ high status with the common people.77 The timing was excellent, as Caesar needed to boost his own name and stand out from the other nineteen quaestors of that year to ensure a political career beyond the junior magistracy. These speeches and the spectacle of the processions were effective media for communicating Caesar’s familial pietas, his political stance, his credentials with the people, his oratorical talent and his ambition for further political influence.78

73 The so-​called Laudatio Turiae (1.30–​42) gives indications of such female virtues, including pudicitia, religio, pietas familiae. Julia bore Marius a son, C.  Marius (cos. 82 BC), and Cornelia bore Caesar his only child, Julia, whom he would later honour with funeral games: Suet. Iul. 26.2; Plut. Caes. 55.4. 74 Pelling (2011) 149–​51 doubts a formal ban, but we know that the ex-​tribune Sex. Titius was convicted in c. 98 BC for keeping in his house an imago of Saturninus: Cic. Rab. perd. 24–​5 with Marco Simón and Pina Polo (2000) 157. 75 Flaig (2003) 93–​4; van der Blom (2010) 191. 76 Vell. Pat. 2.43.4; Suet. Iul. 11; Plut. Caes. 5.1–​4. For the trophies: Flower (2006) 93, 104–​6. 77 Pelling (2011) 151 suggests that Caesar imitated Catulus’ speech for his mother Popilia in c. 102 BC. Caesar’s use of Marius seems to have been challenged in 63 BC by Cicero: van der Blom (2010) 189–​92. 78 Steel (2009) 115; but Gruen (2009) 24–​5 (and throughout) argues against a political alignment advertised and thinks these speeches and occasions work simply to enhance Caesar’s family image.

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Caesar continued to nurture his public profile of working for the interests of the people after his return from Hispania Ulterior. In fact, his entire career is characterised by vigorous political and oratorical activity when in Rome.79 He spoke in favour of either Pompeius’ command against the pirates, the lex Gabinia, in 67 BC or Pompeius’ command against Mithridates, the lex Manilia, in 66 BC, or perhaps even both.80 The fact that the convening tribunes invited him to address the contio at these occasions indicates that he was known to be a supporter of populist proposals and of Pompeius. Pompeius was extremely popular with the people and Caesar could perhaps acquire some of that popularity for himself through his support of Pompeius. Over the next years, Caesar continued to emphasise his position of working for the people. He furthered his popularity with the people through his curatorship of the Via Appia and his lavish aedilician games (in honour of his father’s memory), which, according to Plutarch, helped him in future elections to higher office.81 In 64–​63 BC, he was active in the attempts to convict Sullan supporters of murders on those proscribed and to give back citizen rights to children of the proscribed.82 A string of murder trials took place in 64 BC. Caesar was involved but it is uncertain whether he was presiding as iudex quaestionis or functioned as prosecutor.83 If he was prosecutor, he must have delivered speeches, but whether a iudex delivered speeches is unclear. Therefore, we can only use this information as further indication of Caesar’s attempt to generate political capital with the people. A similar conclusion can be made on Caesar’s role as duumuir in the perduellio trial against Rabirius in Tatum (2008) 34 argues that these speeches made Caesar a name as a man representing the value of pietas to Marius’ family –​a potent image in republican political life. 79 Duplá (2011) on the context of other ‘popularis’ consuls and Caesar as the first ‘genuine lifelong popularis’. 80 Plut. Pomp. 25.3; Dio Cass. 36.43.2. Strasburger (1938) 63, 100–​1; Gruen (1974) 80, n. 142, Seager (1979) 33, n.  49 and Watkins (1987) on whether Caesar backed the lex Gabinia or lex Manilia. Gruen (1974) 65–​6 discusses the individuals behind the opposition to the pirate and the Mithridatic command the following year. Plutarch’s wording suggests that the opposition to the bill was only among high-​ranking senators, so Caesar’s support may have been joined by other low-​ranking senators. Caesar may also have spoken in 63 BC in support of a tribunician bill to grant Pompeius extraordinary honours for his victories in the East (Dio Cass. 37.21.1–​4; cf. Vell. Pat. 2.40.4). 81 Via Appia: Plut. Caes. 5.7; aedilician games: Suet. Iul. 10; Plut. Caes. 5.7; Plin. HN 33.53; Dio Cass. 37.8 with Yakobson (1999) 34–​5. Gruen (1992) 188–​93, (2009) 27–​8 warns against overestimating the electoral effect of dashing aedilician games. 82 Sullan supporters:  Dio Cass. 37.10.2–​4; Cic. Lig. 12. Children of proscribed:  Dio Cass. 37.25.4; Plut. Cic. 12.2. Cf. Vell. Pat. 2.43.4 with Woodman (1983) 61 and Pelling (2011) 158. Cato Minor also introduced such measures: Plut. Cat. Min. 17.5–​6; cf. Dio Cass. 47.6.4. 83 Gruen (1974) 76, n.  124; Marshall (1976/​77) 135–​7; Alexander (1990) nos. 215–​17. Gruen’s arguments are sound but not entirely convincing as Cicero’s phrasing in Lig. 12 could just be polite praise of Caesar as presiding judge at Ligarius’ trial.

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63 BC.84 We should perhaps also read his speech in defence of Decius the Samnite as part of his programme to vindicate a victim of Sulla’s regime, but the dating is doubtful.85 There is no fragment from this speech, but it is mentioned in Tacitus’ Dialogus de oratoribus as an example of how Caesar’s oratory could be slow and flat as a result of having spent his time and energy on other activities –​the only negative comment on his oratory to survive. In 63 BC, Caesar was also in the public eye for his remarkable elevation to pontifex maximus, ahead of much more senior candidates. Plutarch’s description of Caesar’s candidature seems to suggest that he may have delivered a speech to the people in order to maximise his chances of election.86 This may indeed be true, as the pontifex maximus was elected by a special assembly of seventeen tribes chosen by lot from the total thirty-​five tribes.87 Whether a speech of his made a significant difference is difficult to know; it is generally thought that his lavish bribery paved the way for his election, together with the support of Pompeian agents.88 With the astonishing election to pontifex maximus and the accompanying fame and status, Caesar was elected praetor for 62 BC without trouble. We know nothing of the circumstances of his election, only that he was praetor-​ elect at the time of the senate debate on the Catilinarian conspirators in December 63 BC and praetor for 62 BC.89 Caesar’s most legendary speech is the one he delivered in the senate on 5 December 63 as praetor-​elect in the debate on the punishment of the five Catilinarian conspirators.90 It is uncertain whether Caesar’s speech was circulated post euentum,91 in the same way as Cicero’s was, but the debate was noted down by people put in place by Cicero, and circulated afterwards.92 Their notes could have been read or checked by others and 84 Cic. Rab. perd., Suet. Iul. 12; Dio Cass. 37.26–​7. Alexander (1990) no. 220. 85 Tac. Dial. 21.5–​6; Mayer (2001) 158 suggests a date in the late 70s BC, which is equally possible. Scholarship has discussed whether a Decidius instead is meant: Meyer RE IV 2270–​1; Badian (1956) 220. Fantham (2009) 146 says Decius without further explanation. 86 Plut. Caes. 7; see also Sall. Cat. 49; Vell. Pat. 2.43.3; Suet. Iul. 13; Dio Cass. 37.37.1–​2. 87 Taylor (1942a), who argues that Caesar’s candidature was meant to cement his opposition to Sulla’s restrictions on the people’s powers. 88 Gruen (1974) 80–​1, (2009); Yakobson (1999) 118–​19; Jehne (2009) 50–​8, (2010d) 17–​22. 89 Cic. Att. 2.24.3 (SB 44), 12.21.1 (SB 260); Suet. Iul. 14.1; Plut. Caes. 8.7; Cic. 23.1; Cat. min. 27.1; Dio Cass. 37.44.1. 90 Cic. Cat. 4.6–​10; Plut. Caes. 7.7–​9; Dio Cass. 37.36.1, App. B Civ. 2.1.6. Pelling (2011) 164–​5: ‘P.’s cursory treatment deserves no credence’. 91 Iul. Victor RhL p. 379, 15 could be interpreted both ways, but Tannenbaum (2005) 212 argues for circulation. 92 Cic. Sull. 41–​4; Plut. Cat. Min. 23.3. For discussion of the meetings (3rd and 5th Dec. 63) and the note-​takers (four senators and/​or clerks): Berry (1996) 218–​9; White (1997) 82–​3.

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thereby made Caesar’s arguments better known in the public. Sallust’s version of Caesar’s and Cato’s speeches later immortalised the debate as one between those two opposing politicians, but we must regard this version as literary fiction reflecting only to some extent the content and certainly not the style of the actual speeches.93 Besides, we know that many more speeches were delivered as part of the debate –​at least nineteen senators spoke.94 We can infer something of the content of Caesar’s speech from Cicero’s references in his fourth Catilinarian speech, which is a version of Cicero’s speech(es) at the same meeting.95 Caesar is known to have argued against the execution of the five captured conspirators and instead proposed that the prisoners be dispersed among towns in Italy, that the towns should face a heavy penalty if a prisoner escaped and that the property of the prisoners be confiscated; the reason being that death was not established by the gods as a means of punishment but rather as a necessity of nature or a relief from hard work and misery.96 Essentially, Caesar argued for imprisonment and confiscation of property, although this was an unusual punishment at the time for financial reasons. Caesar may have referred to humanitarian and philosophical concepts to support his proposal, however, given his talent for attracting attention, his motivation may have been to seek out a controversial, yet defendable, position exactly to focus attention on himself. Paraphrasing Caesar’s proposal, Cicero argues that Caesar has followed the ‘uia popularis’ (the popularis route in politics), and that Caesar is ‘populo carum atque iucundum’ (‘valued by and congenial to the people’).97 Cicero may have put more emphasis on this aspect of Caesar’s public profile when he revised the speeches for

93 Sall. Cat. 51–​2. Tannenbaum (2005) and Fantham (2009) 147 attempt to distinguish Caesar’s rhetoric from Sallust’s embroidery. Pelling (2011) 164–​5 thinks Plutarch’s version is even less trustworthy, although Tannenbaum (2005) 214 argues that Plutarch’s version of Cato’s speech is more correct that Sallust’s version. 94 Berry (2006) 147–​9; cf. Cic. Att. 12.21.1 (SB 260). 95 Dyck (2008) 10–​12 gives a brief overview of the debate about delivered versus circulated versions of Cicero’s speech, and Powell and Paterson (2004) 52–​7 discuss this for Cicero’s forensic speeches in toto. Lintott (2008) 17–​18, 147–​8 argues that the speech is a cento, a combination of several speeches in the senate (Cicero’s introduction to the debate (relation) and his later intervention in the debate (interrogatio)), which were again revised at a later stage. Irrespective of this, it would have been difficult for Cicero to have misrepresented Caesar’s argument completely in light of the public focus on the debate and the clerks minuting the debate. 96 Cic. Cat. 4.7–​10. Arena (2012) 108–​11 on the Catilinarian debate as a reflection of debates about libertas. Pelling (2011) 165–​9 evaluates the sources to Caesar’s proposal, the possible order of speeches and the position of Caesar’s speech(es) in the debate. 97 Cic. Cat. 4.9 and 4.11. Robb (2010) and Arena (2012) 73–​168 discuss the terminology of populares and optimates with very different interpretations.

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circulation,98 but Caesar’s public profile as a man of the people is consistent throughout the 60s BC; the Catilinarian debate was another chance to nurture this public stance. The crucial issue –​whether the conspirators could be executed without preceding trial against the lex Sempronia but under the powers of the so-​called senatus consultum ultimum  –​could make Caesar’s counterproposal appear as protecting the rights of the citizens and thereby as in the interests of the people. Caesar’s proposal of incarceration instead of capital punishment almost carried the day until Cato argued strongly for capital punishment.99 This signals some of Caesar’s oratorical powers. He had now shown that his talent reached beyond speeches delivered in the courts and the contio and also included senatorial oratory. The fact that he spoke at all was due to his status as praetor-​elect, but this performance underlined his political potential for all to see. Even if his speech was unsuccessful at the event, it nevertheless was successful in displaying Caesar as a politician with the eloquence and nerve to stand up for the rights of the people against influential senators. He made sure to boost this image by supporting the tribunes Metellus Nepos’ and Bestia’s attacks on Cicero and their attempt to obstruct Cicero’s public speech as an outgoing consul.100 Finally, Caesar may also have prosecuted C. Calpurnius Piso (cos. 67 BC) de repetundis in December 63. Sallust is the only source connecting Caesar with this trial, and Cicero later referred to his own successful defence of Piso.101 Piso was prosecuted for misconduct as governor of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul in 66–​65 BC. Despite his acquittal, this trial served as a warning to other governors. If Caesar did indeed act as prosecutor it would have strengthened his ties with the transpadani, whom he apparently had cultivated a few years before and was going to continue cultivating with the benefit of having a fertile recruiting ground during his years as proconsul in Gaul.102 The prosecution of Piso would thus fit into a wider scheme which gives indication of Caesar’s long-​term planning of political activity. On the other hand, Caesar would have been a rather senior senator to act as prosecutor, so if he did, he must have had serious reasons for doing so. 98 For the question of revision: Dyck (2008) 10–​12. I would agree with the scholars who argue for revision and circulation of Cicero’s ‘consular speeches’, including the Catilinarian speeches, in 60 BC; see van der Blom (2010) 184, n. 39 with references to sources and modern scholarship. 99 Cf. Suet. Iul. 14.2. 100 Plut. Cic. 23.1, but suppressed in Plut. Caes.: Pelling (2011) 173–​4. Jehne (1997) 30–​1 and Lintott (2008) 149–​50 provide discussions. 101 Sall. Cat. 49.2; Cic. Flac. 98; see Alexander (1990) no. 225. 102 For sources and discussion: Gruen (1974) 410, 460–​1.

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From 70 BC onwards, Caesar moved on from his public profile as an eloquent young prosecutor to present himself as a friend of the people. He took and exploited any occasion to speak and he used his political offices of quaestor, aedile, curator, duumuir and possibly iudex to signal his allegiance with popular generals such as Marius and Pompeius, his opposition to the Sullan regime and his political stance as protector of the rights of the people against the senatorial position. His speeches were crucial media for sending out these messages and by the end of 63 BC, he had managed to gain a string of political offices, the prestigious post of pontifex maximus and a reputation for powerful oratory in the service of the people. Caesar’s patrician descent excluded him from the plebeian tribunate, which would have gone hand in hand with his populist profile, but his patrician background did not bar a political platform based on sympathies with the people and frequent public speeches.

Towards the consulship Caesar continued his appeal to the people and his support of Pompeius during his praetorship in 62 BC. As a praetor, he was more conspicuous than ever before and possessed the right to call public meetings. He used this right immediately after entering office, calling Q. Lutatius Catulus to a contio to explain the lack of progress in the restoration of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus and proposing a bill to the effect that the task should be transferred to a more competent man, that is, to Pompeius.103 It was probably on this occasion that Caesar demanded Catulus to speak from the ground rather than the platform in order to humiliate him further.104 Even if Catulus’ friends warded off this attempt, Caesar had made his point: he had revenged himself against Catulus, who had tried to blacken Caesar’s name by alleging his complicity with the Catilinarians (a revenge, in turn, for his defeat to Caesar in the pontifical elections);105 he had embarrassed Catulus in public; he had shown his continued support to Pompeius; and he had signalled to all that he was not to be underestimated. To further underline his support of Pompeius, Caesar supported Metellus Nepos’ proposals to allow Pompeius to stand for the consulship in absentia and to have Pompeius recalled from the East to round up the 103 Suet. Iul. 15; Dio Cass. 37.44.1. 104 Cf. Cicero’s remark three years later: Cic. Att. 2.24.3 (SB 44). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 271. 105 Sall. Cat. 49.1–​2; Plut. Caes. 7.3. Catulus had also spoken against Caesar’s proposal in the Catilinarian debate: Cic. Att. 12.21.1 (SB 260); Plut. Caes. 8.1; Cic. 21.3.

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Catilinarians in the countryside. As with the tribunician proposals of giving Pompeius large commands against the pirates and Mithridates, Caesar again supported the proposal of a tribune to favour Pompeius, even if Caesar was now in a position where he could make his own proposals. The controversial nature and violent reception of the present proposal –​put forward in the senate, then in the voting assembly (obstructed by Cato) which ended in violence, and a second meeting in the senate  –​nearly resulted in Caesar being stripped of his praetorship. He used his oratorical skills to backpedal, as well as his popularity with the people to gain reinstatement by the senate.106 Caesar was clearly testing the waters for how far he could go in his support of Pompeius and opposition to the senate; a precursor to his consulship. Caesar is likely to have spoken at the first senate meeting and in the voting assembly. In the second senate meeting, he, Metellus and Cato must have each defended their positions and actions at the violent assembly meeting.107 Even if no fragments are recorded and we have no information of the content of his oratory at this occasion, we can see that his action, and his possible speeches, was almost counterproductive to his attempt at furthering his political career. For once, his opportunism and willingness to support contentious causes almost did not pay off. A brief anecdote about Caesar’s involvement in the scandal surrounding Clodius’ illegal entry in the Bona Dea rituals, which took place in December 62 BC, provides telling evidence about Caesar’s attitude to the preservation of his public image. Caesar was a witness in the highly politicised trial of Clodius, mainly because the rituals had taken place in Caesar’s house and his wife Pompeia was allegedly the reason for Clodius’ entry. Caesar tried to avoid taking a stance in the trial, but when asked why he divorced his wife after the scandal had broken, he is famously reputed to have said that his wife must be above suspicion.108 The authenticity of this snippet is doubtful because at this point Caesar may already 106 Plut. Cat. Min. 26–​9 with Geiger (1971) ad loc.; Plut. Cic. 23.4; Dio Cass. 37.43.1–​3; Cic. Sest. 62 with Kaster (2006) 257–​8; Schol. Bob. 134S; Suet. Iul. 16. Strasburger (1938) 103–​5 doubts the story of Caesar’s restoration to office by the senate. 107 It is perhaps in this context that we should place Caesar’s speech known as Pro Quinto Metello, discussed in the introduction to this chapter. Suet. Iul. 55.3 remarks that Caesar purported to have delivered the speech in defence of Metellus and himself against a joint accusation, suggesting it could have taken place at this senate meeting. 108 Plut. Caes. 10.9; Cic. 29.9; Suet. Iul. 74.2; Dio Cass. 37.45.2. Alexander (1990) no.  236. Tatum (2008) 109 suggests that the problem was not Pompeia’s possible affair with Clodius, but that she had been caught and that it harmed Caesar’s public image. On Caesar’s public image more generally, see Yavetz (1983).

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have left Rome for his proconsular command in Hispania Ulterior.109 But he could have said these words at an earlier stage and historians transposed the anecdote for dramatic effect.110 If Caesar had uttered something along those lines, the later historians would have snapped it up as a perfect ‘sound bite’ to illustrate Caesar’s unwillingness to risk allegations of involvement with Clodius’ scandal and alienation of Clodius. He was as ever conscious of his public image generally and political network with the senate, which were evidently of higher value to him than domestic stability. Caesar’s return to domestic politics from his proconsulship in Hispania Ulterior in 60 BC shows a striking sense of strategy and willingness to postpone important career aims in order to benefit a broader career strategy. When Cato’s filibuster speech blocked Caesar’s request to announce his candidature in the consular elections in absentia, Caesar decided to forego his prospects of a triumph in order to announce his candidature in person.111 The consulship was of higher importance in the longer run than a triumph as propraetor because it was the chance to commit Pompeius to Caesar.112 Unfortunately, we have no indication of how Caesar explained his choice to his veteran soldiers, who might have preferred a triumph now rather than possible future chances of booty. But a depiction of the senate as acting illegitimately to limit their citizen rights would fit with arguments in his later oratory.113 Caesar canvassed against Cato’s opposition (and support of Cato’s son-​in-​law, M.  Calpurnius Bibulus) and that of the senate, which had not stopped Cato’s filibustering. Instead, he enlisted the support, financial resources and networks of Pompeius and Crassus to help persuade the electorate. Caesar’s popularity with the people, and his image as pius to his ancestors displayed in his funeral speeches, helped too. A victorious general often attracted the people’s favour and even if Caesar could not exploit the advertisement value of his military victories in a 109 Strasburger (1938) 111, 135. 110 Pelling (2011) 180. Gelzer (1960) 54, n. 131 argues that the answer need not be invented (as suggested by Strasburger (1938) 111, 135), and that by the time of the trial (May 61 BC), Caesar had departed for his praetorian province of Hispania Ulterior; therefore his answer must have been given in the senate. Alexander (1990) no. 236, n. 7 argues against, as both Suetonius and Plutarch specifically say that Caesar was a witness. 111 Plut. Cat. Min. 31.3; Caes. 13.1; Suet. Iul. 18.2; Dio Cass. 37.54.2, 44.41.4; App. B Civ. 2.8. Lintott (1999b) 44–​5; Morstein-​Marx (2007) 168–​9 and n. 44 discuss Caesar’s hope of triumph and candidature and the formal objections. Cato considered bribery a possibility too when blocking Caesar: Suet. Iul. 19.1. 112 Jehne (1997) 35–​40, (2009) 59–​70 analyses Caesar’s choice. 113 Morstein-​Marx (2009) on Caesar’s depiction of the senate’s treatment of him and his soldiers in the lead up to the civil war of 49 BC.

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triumph, his image of working for the interests of the people, nurtured over the past decade though his speeches, did serve as a recommendation. Exactly which of these factors made the difference in the election is impossible to know and must have been impossible to distinguish even at the time, but Caesar’s previous oratorical performances provided one important element in his success. Caesar was elected with Bibulus as his colleague  –​a notable success for a man whose direct ancestors had not produced consuls for generations (Marius does not count in this respect, even if Caesar would have liked us to see him as part of his family).114 Caesar’s success in creating a coalition between Pompeius, Crassus and himself sometime in (late) 60s became a crucial element in Roman politics during the next couple of decades. The dating, nature and motivations for this coalition has been discussed at length in the ancient sources and modern scholarship, and the issues shall not be repeated here.115 What suffices to note is that it was Caesar, not Pompeius or Crassus, who initiated and cultivated the coalition,116 and that it must have taken some persuasive skill to convince Pompeius and Crassus, who loathed each other, to join forces. During his year as consul, in 59 BC, Caesar addressed the senate and the people on numerous occasions. Pina Polo records four known occasions at which Caesar addressed a contio during his consulship,117 and we also know of one speech and another exchange in the senate. These speeches are recorded, it seems, because they formed part of the most contentious issues during the year. We have only one possible fragment and very little description of his speeches during this year.118

114 Yakobson (1999) 168–​9 on the motives of the electorate in this election. 115 Gruen (1974) 88–​90; Wiseman (1994a) 366–​7, (1994b) 368–​77 give overviews. Millar (1998) 124 argues that the coalition was formed after Caesar’s election to the consulship. 116 Cic. Att. 2.3.3–​4 (SB 23). 117 Pina Polo (1996) Table 2 with evidence in Pina Polo (1989) Appendix A nos. 285, 288, 289, 291 (nos. 289 and 291 may be two separate meetings but it is unclear whether Caesar convened or spoke at the second, cf. Kaster (2006) 373). A further occasion where Caesar possibly convened and addressed the people: Cic. Att. 2.16.1 (SB 36). 118 In spite of Caesar’s own measure to have the senatorial debate and official proceedings of contiones recorded and published (Suet. Iul. 20.1). We hear of the contio where Caesar argued for his agrarian laws and produced Pompeius and Crassus as supporters; see discussion in Chapter 4 on Pompeius, page 132. Caesar himself was produced at contiones to support the measures of other politicians (e.g. Clodius’ measure de capite ciuis Romani in 58 BC: Plut. Cic. 30.4; Dio Cass. 38.17.1–​2). Gell. NA 4.10.5–​7 on Caesar’s ordering of speakers at senate meetings: Crassus first, but after the marriage between Pompeius and Julia, Caesar called Pompeius first. Millar’s (1998) 127–​36 analysis of Caesar’s first consulship offers an oratorical context to Caesar’s speeches, while Pina Polo (2011a) 298–​300 analyses Caesar’s legislation in the context of consular legislation overall.

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Caesar’s first legislative initiative, his agrarian bill, was not received favourably in the senate and he therefore called a contio to present his bill to the people and to bring forward Pompeius and Crassus to speak in favour of his bill. He also produced Bibulus in order to frighten him to acquiesce or perhaps even support the bill. Cato spoke against the law, on the voting day it seems, and Caesar first had him dragged off the rostra and into prison, but when he saw how unpopular this move was, had a tribune release Cato from prison. Other sources place this episode at the senate meeting or later in the year.119 The bill was passed in the end, as was his second agrarian bill in April, when Caesar also spoke.120 While the first bill had great implications for Rome’s agrarian policy and Caesar’s relationship with Pompeius (whose veteran soldiers would benefit from the law), the most striking result in light of the present study is Caesar’s decision to bring legislation directly to the contio and circumventing the senate in a way that previously tribunes such as the Gracchi had done.121 Of course, he would still lead senatorial discussion as the only consul present, but probably not present his legislation there. From then on, Caesar seems to have nurtured his relationship with the people through speeches in contiones but relied on networking to cultivate his relations with senators. Plutarch links Caesar’s populist legislation with the extended commands he received from the people.122 We know, and probably Plutarch knew too, that the people (through the lex Vatinia) allotted only Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum with three legions while the senate later added Transalpine Gaul and an extra legion after its governor, Q. Metellus Celer, had died.123 While the situation was more complex than Plutarch allows, it seems certain that Caesar’s popularity with the people was a driving factor in obtaining the extraordinary command which led to his conquest 119 App. B Civ. 2.10; Plut. Cat. Min. 33; Dio Cass. 38.3–​4; Gell. NA 4.10.8; Val. Max. 2.10.7. For discussion of the location, see page 222, n. 90. Morstein-​Marx (2004) 264 thinks that Bibulus was presented in a different contio from that where Pompeius and Crassus spoke, but Pina Polo (1989) Appendix A, no. 285 and Pina Polo (2011a) 278 suggests one contio. Yakobson (2010) 294–​5 places Bibulus’ appearance in the context of politically staging an opponent against the will of the people. 120 Cic. Att. 2.16.1 (SB 36). Two laws: Plut. Caes. 14.2 mentions νόμους –​laws, in plural, and in Plut. Cat. Min. 32–​3 he is explicit about two laws. 121 Dio Cass. 38.4.1. Plut. Caes. 14.2 gives a slightly different version: Caesar used the senate’s opposition as a pretext for declaring that he was driven to the popular assembly against his wishes. Millar (1998) 127–​8 on the significance of Pompeius’ and Crassus’ public support of Caesar’s bill. 122 Plut. Cat. Min. 33.3; cf. Millar (1998) 132–​4 discusses the proposal in light of tribunician inroads into the traditionally senatorial prerogative of foreign policy. 123 Dio Cass. 38.8.5; Suet. Iul. 22.1. Pelling (2011) 199–​201 argues that Plutarch will have known this, but decided to emphasise Caesar’s popularity with the people instead of senatorial co-​operation.

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of Gaul. Suetonius puts a phrase into Caesar’s mouth upon receiving the third province from the senate which may be based on archival studies and therefore possibly authentic:124 quo gaudio elatus non temperauit, quin paucos post dies frequenti curia iactaret, inuitis et gementibus aduersaris adeptum se quae concupisset, proinde ex eo insultaturum omnium capitibus; ac negante quodam per contumeliam facile hoc ulli feminae fore, reponderit quasi adludens:  in Suria quoque regnasse Sameramin magnamque Asiae partem Amazonas tenuisse quondam. Elated with such joy he could not temper himself when a few days later he boasted to a full senate that having now obtained what he wished for the most, against the wishes of his grumbling opponents, he would now stamp on their heads; and when someone argued with malice that a woman would not find this an easy act, he responded almost jokingly: in Syria too reigned Semiramis and the Amazons once held a great part of Asia.125

That the words were exchanged in a crowded senate (frequenti curia) suggests authenticity, and the allegation of Caesar’s bisexuality was neither new nor going away.126 Caesar’s boast seems perhaps uncharacteristically incautious of Caesar, while the subsequent joking response to slander is perhaps more in his vein.127 On the other hand, Cicero had noted his talent for snappy sententiae,128 and this may be an occasion where Caesar’s delight made him boast, but perhaps not to the entire senate and rather more privately to bystanders. If genuine, the remark gives some indication of Caesar’s impatience with his senatorial colleagues and his ambition, and it underlines his reputation for wit and skill in impromptu exchanges as well as the level of abuse he had to suffer as a consul.129 While verbally elegant, it was a politically inelegant way to articulate his aims with the next step in his career. As ever conscious of the possibilities for emotional manipulation offered by the contional context, Caesar tried to stir up the contional audience to move against Bibulus’ house, but according to Cicero, his long inflammatory (seditiosissime) speech did not even raise a murmur.130 Cicero’s 124 Gelzer (1968) 88, n. 1; Paterson (2009) 135 take it as genuine, while Canfora (2007) tries to trace this anecdote and fragment back to Asinius Pollio. Butler and Cary (1927) 69 are more hesitant. 125 Suet. Iul. 22.2 (Teubner). 126 Paterson (2009) 135–​6. 127 Morgan (1997) discuss other phrases attributed to Caesar by Suetonius. 128 Cicero to Cornelius Nepos recorded in Suet. Iul. 55.2. 129 Caesar’s wit: Corbeill (forthcoming). Other instances of Caesar’s sententiae: Suet. Iul. 78. 130 Cic. Att. 2.21.5 (SB 41).

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judgement was coloured by his reproach of Caesar’s political tactics and policies and his worry about Clodius’ threats, so we should take his depiction with a grain of salt. Perhaps Caesar did not persuade the audience at this occasion, but he may have managed to influence opinion nevertheless. He also used a contio to allow Vettius to speak to the people about the controversial issue of an alleged plot to murder Pompeius.131 Having the right to call meetings meant that Caesar could use oratorical occasions to test and manipulate public opinion through the contio without necessarily delivering speeches himself.132 Yet Caesar must have delivered far more speeches than these few recorded in our sources; not only was he consul, but his consular colleague Bibulus shut himself up in his house in demonstration, leaving the political initiative to Caesar.133 Indeed, we know a great deal about Caesar’s extensive legislative programme but little of the speeches he must have given to advocate them. Having circulated some of his earlier speeches, it is striking that he apparently refrained from circulating speeches from this crucial year in his career. Perhaps he relied on his own rule that all-​ senatorial proceedings were to be recorded and circulated in public, but this rule would not account for contional speeches.134 He may have considered circulation less crucial now that he was a well-​known figure in Rome, by contrast to his earlier career. But that would not explain the circulation of his three speeches delivered against the praetors of 58 BC, C.  Memmius and L.  Domitius Ahenobarbus, who had raised questions in the senate about the legitimacy of Caesar’s consular legislation.135 It is uncertain who initiated the circulation of these speeches, but if Caesar was behind it, he may have thought it necessary to distribute his rebuttal of the criticism more widely, that is, outside the senate and to the people, in his attempt at damage control. 131 Cic. Att. 2.24.3 (SB 44). Steel (2006) 9–​10 discusses this meeting and the oratory involved see. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, nos. 289 and 291 lists two separate contiones on this topic and Pina Polo (1996) 51 discusses the context. 132 Pina Polo (2011a) 276–​84 underlines the consular use of contiones and refers to Caesar’s use of contiones (278, 281–​2). See the discussion of Pompeius’ use of others to voice his opinion on pages 138–9. 133 Leading to the famous joke on the consulship of Julius and Caesar, not Caesar and Bibulus: Suet. Iul. 20. 134 Suet. Iul. 20.1. Willems (1885) 2.206; White (1997) on the recording of senate proceedings. 135 The dispute: Cic. Sest. 40; Suet. Iul. 23.1, 73.1; Ner. 2.2. The background to this dispute: Gruen (1971) 62–​5 and Gruen (1974) 291–​2. Some of the accusations may be recorded in Suet. Iul. 49. Circulation:  Schol. Bob. in Cic. Sest. 40:  130St., line 9; Schol. Bob. in Cic. Vat. 15:  146St., line 19) with Ramsey (2007a) 134. Although Caesar possibly became friendly with Memmius later, supporting his consular candidature: Suet. Iul. 73.1.

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Caesar entered his praetorship as a politician popular with the people after a decade of conscious self-​promotion as a man of the people. The sources on his oratorical performances as praetor are few and provide a picture of a magistrate experimenting with the limits of senatorial authority against powerful individual politicians. Once consul, Caesar built on his experiences during the praetorship to push forward his legislative programme. Again, we have little direct evidence of speeches delivered during his consulship, but he was clearly willing to circumvent traditional ways of passing consular laws and to appeal directly to the people in contiones. His use of contiones to promote his version of the Vettius affair indicates his acute awareness of the political possibilities to be gained from such occasions of popular assemblies. His steely focus on the consulship, foregoing a triumph, and on successful legislation against senatorial opposition, indicated his willingness to compromise on short-​term goals and to make hard choices between different support bases.136

The choice of career When Caesar accepted the proconsular command of the two Gauls and Illyria for the unusually long period of five years (later extended), he made a conscious choice to continue his career away from Rome and its public debates and instead focus on a military career. His career up until this point had followed the cursus honorum; only with the Gallic command did his career trajectory become unusual and allow extraordinary possibilities to excel. With this command, he had the prospect of boosting his personal wealth (so far he had been in heavy debt), building useful networks of alliances in the provinces, gaining military glory and, ultimately, experiencing the triumph he was deprived of in 60 BC –​all common prospects, but with so much more potential given the extended tenure and nature of his provinces. In the previous analysis of Caesar’s political career, his military achievements have received little mention. But it is clear that parallel to his political and oratorical career in Rome, Caesar had built up considerable military experience and standing through military service (Asia 80–​78 BC), military action on own initiative (Asia 74 BC), his military tribunate (71 BC), quaestorship (Hispania Ulterior 69 BC) and propraetorship (Hispania Ulterior 61–​60 BC). Where his consular colleague, Bibulus, decided to forego his proconsulship, Caesar decided to focus on 136 By contrast to Pompeius who wanted both triumph and consulship in 71–​70 BC and both people and senate to like him in 62 BC.

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his military career, although it seems that he could easily have continued to build his career in Rome on his oratorical abilities. No doubt the nature of the provincial command allotted attracted him; the Gallic provinces in particular offered the potential for territorial expansion and the extended tenure allowed time to achieve something extraordinary. Caesar had seen the potential in extended commands in the cases of Sulla and Pompeius, which went beyond what even brilliant oratory could bring. During his years in Gaul, Caesar must have delivered speeches to his soldiers. The later historians describe, sometimes even paraphrase or invent, such speeches which Caesar allegedly delivered at crucial moments. They report, for example, speeches delivered to his soldiers before fighting Ariovistus in 58 BC,137 at Placentia in 49 BC,138 at Pharsalus in 48 BC,139 in Campania in 47 BC,140 and in Africa in 46 BC,141 and many others.142 But these ‘speeches’ are to some extent literary inventions and it is difficult to discern what may have derived from Caesar himself, if anything. Leeman nevertheless uses such speeches to argue that one characteristic of Caesar’s oratory was his ‘effective choice of words’143 but given the problem of authenticity, I would abstain from drawing conclusions as to Caesar’s style from these reported speeches. The only fragment of what seems a genuine speech is recorded in Diomedes, who quotes Caesar’s brief sentence that he shall not deceive his soldiers with false hopes.144 This fragment does not tell us very much, except that such fragments of pre-​battle speeches or other speeches to soldiers were recorded, including such speeches of Caesar’s. Indeed Suetonius reports that another ‘Address to my soldiers in Hispania’ in two parts was attributed to Caesar, although Augustus doubted its authenticity.145 Caesar’s inclusion of constructed speeches in 137 Dio Cass. 38.36–​46 (addressing his lieutenants rather than his soldiers). Caesar himself included his ‘speech’ in Caes. BGall. 1.40. 138 Dio Cass. 41.26–​35; App. B Civ. 2.47; Luc. 5.319–​64. For discussion of the sources and function of this ‘speech’ in the historians: van Stekelenburg (1976). 139 App. B Civ. 2.73–​4. 140 To mutinous soldiers: App. 2.93–​4; Dio Cass. 42.53–​5; Suet. Iul. 70; Tac. Ann. 1.42.3; Plut. Caes. 51.2: the famous ‘quirites’​ speech uno uerbo. Chrissanthos (2001) on the mutiny and non-​success of Caesar’s speech, and Pelling (2011) 395–​7 on Caesar’s address to his soldiers as mild rather than harsh in tone. Most scholars trust this story to be authentic: Chrissanthos (2001) 63, n. 7 and add Jehne (2000c) 161; Pelling (2011) 395–​7; Hölkeskamp (2013a) 13, but Chrissanthos (2001) 63–​4, 73–​5 is doubtful. 141 Suet. Iul. 66. 142 Leeman (2001) 104–​7 references and discusses other such speeches reported in the historians. 143 Leeman (2001) 103. 144 Diom. GL I.400, 20 (de Art. Gramm. p.  395):  ‘frustro ait C.  Caesar apud milites de commodis eorum:  “non frustrabo uos, milites” ’. ‘C. Caesar to his soldiers about their supplies:  “I shall not deceive you with false hopes, soldiers” ’. 145 Suet. Iul. 55.4 with Lossmann (1957).

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his literary works confirms his skill in composing such speeches to soldiers and indeed speeches in general.146 What these reports do, if anything, is to remind us that Caesar did not deliver a speech in Rome for almost ten years (58–​49 BC) because he was away on his Gallic command. When he finally returned to Rome and was made consul and dictator, Fantham rightly notes that his superior power made actual speeches unnecessary for pushing forward his reforms or dealing with legal cases,147 although he did try to placate the senate and the people when in Rome –​also through speeches.148 This meant that he rarely performed as an orator in the normal way after his departure for Gaul in early 58 BC, and Cicero makes Brutus remark in the Brutus that he was unfamiliar with Caesar as an orator.149 Cicero’s evaluation in the Brutus of Caesar’s oratorical skills could therefore have been coloured more by the style of Caesar’s commentarii (especially the De bello Gallico), which had been circulated in Rome by, at least, 46 BC if not earlier, than by Caesar’s actual performances on the speaker’s platform.150 This is indirectly implied in the Brutus, where the interlocutor Brutus is made to say that he bases his judgement of Caesar’s speeches on his reading of them (not their delivery), as well as on the commentarii.151 Caesar’s commentarii on the Gallic War and the Civil War give further indications of Caesar’s rhetorical skills. Already Cicero, and undoubtedly his contemporaries, recognised the special elegance and brilliance in Caesar’s narrative style, and modern scholars have discussed this at length.152 The relation between narrative style, especially the inclusion of “speeches”, on the one hand and rhetoric on the other hand has also been studied.153 From these studies, it is clear that Caesar used sophisticated 146 See, e.g., Rasmussen (1963) and Welch and Powell (1998). 147 Fantham (2009) 148. Jehne (1987) 423–​39 discusses Caesar’s legal reforms and some of Caesar’s speeches in his own legal rulings (430–​7). 148 On his return from Utica in summer 46 BC, Caesar may have delivered a grand speech about his victory to the people: Plut. Caes. 55.1 with Pelling (2011) 409–​10, who is less convinced of Cassius Dio’s (43.15–​18) mention of a conciliatory speech to the senate. 149 Cic. Brut. 249. This means that it was not just orators, as suggested by scholars discussing Cicero’s overall message in the Brutus, but even the dictator himself who used a different mode of political action, including oratory, under the new regime. 150 I owe this observation to Catherine Steel. Wiseman (1998) proposes a gradual circulation of Caes. BGall. during the 50s BC for political reasons (accepted by Riggsby (2006) 9–​15) rather than a circulation of the complete work in 51 BC, as argued by Gelzer (1968) 171 and Meier (1995) 253. Kraus (2005) 102 places this discussion in a wider historiographical context. 151 Cic. Brut. 262. 152 Cic. Brut. 262; for recent overviews of these works and the modern scholarship concerning with the works, see Kraus (2009) and Raaflaub (2009). 153 Eden (1962); Rasmussen (1963); Miller (1975) 49–​50; L. G. H. Hall (1998); Riggsby (2006) 142; Grillo (2012), (forthcoming).

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rhetorical devices which match the guidelines in the rhetorical handbooks and contemporary usage, especially as seen in Ciceronian oratory.154 The frequent, and increasing, inclusion of oratio recta also suggests the relevance of such rhetorical devices in Caesar’s view.155 These orations in direct speech, as well as his rhetorical technique over the whole oeuvre, suggests that Caesar was a more than competent orator.

The oratorical springboard We have seen just the tip of the iceberg, or perhaps even less: the testimonia and fragments of Caesar’s speeches recorded in our sources can only represent a tiny part of Caesar’s many speeches delivered in his capacities as magistrate, politician, advocate and general. What we have indicates that he actively sought to circulate particular speeches to promote his public image as a great orator, a credible politician and a protector of the rights of the people. There is little evidence of promotion of his military achievements through oratory; this contrasts with Pompeius’ use of public oratory. Both fragments and testimonia show his elegant choice of language, vigorous and at times emotional style of speaking, humour and willingness to innovate. Caesar used his oratorical occasions well, both the delivery and the chance to circulate the speech to a wider audience to promote his public persona. Two aspects with implication for our understanding of oratory’s influence on political career stand out. First, that oratory can help build a public profile of the speaker, even when he speaks about somebody else (Caesar’s funeral speech for Julia or his speech(es) in favour of Pompeius’ commands). Second, that speeches which do not manage to sway the immediate audience can still lead to public recognition and, in the longer run, facilitate political success, as Caesar’s early prosecution speeches and his speech in the Catilinarian debate show. These instances show that oratorical success can be measured in several ways regarding career developments, and that the immediate oratorical outcome is not necessarily crucial. Also, when not in Rome, Caesar was acutely aware of the need to continue cultivating his peers and the people in Rome through his broad political network (agents, correspondence with senators, and young men serving under his command) in order to nurture his political career.156 154 Grillo (2012) ­chapter 4. 155 Klotz (1917) 262; Eden (1962) 114. 156 Gruen (2009); Steel (2009); de Blois (2011).

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Caesar’s decade-​long command in Gaul shows that years away from the political arena in Rome did not necessarily stop a politician from engaging with political life in Rome and thereby sustain his political career. Other politicians knew this too, for example, Marius in Africa or Pompeius in the East, but Caesar was unique in providing laudatory literary works of his own making and pushing the boundary even further for how to promote a public image. Caesar’s choice to focus on his military career rather than staying in Rome to nurture his political profile through oratory, as did many of his contemporaries, was a high-​risk investment in the hope of major returns: military victories with the resultant wealth; loyalty from soldiers, officers and supporters in Rome; and of course gloria.157 At this point, only commands in provinces with serious potential for military battle and an extended tenure offered such major returns, while the more settled provinces were administratively burdensome and unlikely to offer substantial rewards for an ambitious general. The fact that Caesar consciously aimed for an extraordinary command in an area of potential expansion and thereby went against the current trend of consulars remaining in Rome after office shows his choice of military career over political manoeuvrings and public speaking in Rome. He had people to do the negotiations and oratory for him while away. How important was oratory in shaping Caesar’s career? Which other factors were involved in building up Caesar to the position of single ruler in Rome? Caesar’s place in a patrician, but for generations undistinguished, family seems to have helped him gain the patronage of powerful people such as Marius, Cinna and Sulla, but his family background appears not to have been an independent argument in election campaigns.158 His family’s fortune could not support his heavy investments in his career (through bribery and aedilician games) and he needed the backing of individuals such as Crassus and a lucrative proconsular command. His military career was successful and his victories in Hispania may have made him a more attractive candidate in the consular elections of 60 BC. However, it is his Gallic command which makes his military career a 157 Brunt (1978) 163–​4. For Caesar’s willingness to take risks: Jehne (2010a) 190, (2010b) 329, (2010c) 496–​8, (2011b) 271, 276; Raaflaub (2010) 162. Pina Polo (2011a) 332–​3 for Caesar as an example of a consul actively seeking military command after the year in office. 158 The early attempt at making him flamen Dialis may or may not have gone ahead, but by the late 80s, Caesar was not a flamen:  Rüpke (2008) 734–​5; Tatum (2008) 29–​33; Wardle (2009) 101–​2. On the priesthood and Caesar’s involvement: Taylor (1941) 113–​16; Vanggaard (1988) 59–​69, 79–​ 87: Marco Simón (1996) 207–​14.

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truly career-​enhancing factor, but only after Caesar had reached the top post of the consulship. His further political offices were secured with his formal and informal military powers. During his rise up the political ladder, his military achievements had little noticeable impact on his political career, and we have no indication that he referred to his military exploits in his public speeches. Instead of military career, Gruen has singled out three factors with crucial importance for shaping Caesar’s political career:  personal charisma, political and personal connections and the taking up of political positions with broad appeal.159 Steel has analysed these connections in depth and concludes that the ways in which Caesar acquired and nurtured his connections were not exceptional yet improvisatory and opportunistic.160 These characteristics appear true of Caesar on a broader scale too, thinking of, for example, his innovative and opportunistic exploitation of the deaths of his aunt and wife in 69 BC. His public stance on important issues throughout the 60s BC helped him too in building up his public profile. Caesar generated much attention and a consistent public persona in support of citizens against the state through his frequent oratorical performances in the senate, the contio and the courts. Caesar wielded auctoritas from the time of his election to pontifex maximus in 63 BC and, in particular, from his consulship in 59 BC onwards. Before that, he was simply a successful politician and general who was also a regular pontifex. He was not afraid of using his religious office and the religious rights of political magistracies for political ends, especially for self-​promotion.161 There is also evidence that Caesar reinterpreted 159 Gruen (2009) 24. Hatscher (2000) 55–​69, 162–​216 discusses this ‘charisma’ in relation to Weber’s definition. Gruen (2009) 24–​7 avoids the term popularis, while Steel (2009) 115–​16 uses the term. Bruhns (2000) 66–​7 argues Caesar’s lack of true Weberian ‘charisma’, in spite of his charm and a winning personality. 160 Steel (2009). 161 Wardle (2009). Caesar seems to have used his position as consul, not pontifex maximus, to transfer Publius Clodius from patrician to plebeian status: Cic. Har. resp. 45; Sest. 16 with Bleicken (1957) 354–​6; Ridley (2005) 283. The adoption:  Cic. Att. 2.7.2 (SB 27), 2.9.1 (SB 29), 2.12.1 (SB 30), 2.21.4 (SB 41), 2.22.2 (SB 42), 8.3.3 (SB 153); Dom. 35–​9, 77, 116; Har. resp. 57; Sest. 15; Prov. cons. 42, 45; Dio Cass. 38.12.2; Suet. Tib. 2.4; Plut. Cat. Min. 33.3; Dio Cass. 39.2, 39.21 with Tatum (1999) 104–​8. Linderski (1986) 2193 on Pompeius’ support in the adoption in his role as augur. For Caesar’s disregard of Bibulus’ religious obstruction in 59 BC: Cic. Att. 2.9.1 (SB 29), 2.16.2 (SB 36), 8.3.3 (SB 153); Dom. 39–​40; Har. resp. 48; Vat. 15; Prov. cons. 45–​6; Suet. Iul. 20.3. Other references to delay caused by Bibulus: Cic. Att. 2.15.2 (SB 35), 2.19.2 (SB 39), 2.20.4 (SB 40), 2.21.3–​5 (SB 41); Vat. 22; Fam. 1.9.7 (SB 20); Livy Per. 103.7; Vell. Pat. 2.44.5; App. B Civ. 2.2.11–​12; Plut. Cat. Min. 31.5, 32.2; Pomp. 47.4, 48.1–​2, 48.4; Caes. 14.6 with Beard, North and Price (1998) i, 126–​9; Tatum (2008) 72–​4 on the religious and political implications of this debacle. Caesar also famously ignored or reinterpreted other unfavourable signs: Caesar’s departure against Pompeius

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religious signs according to his own interests.162 His position as pontifex maximus finally became crucial for his attempt at ordering gods, humans and nature through his calendar reform.163 Indeed, Caesar’s charisma, his connections and his public stance on popular causes in the 70s and 60s BCs were crucial for building up and maintaining his political career. One of the main means to project this charisma, to acquire and maintain these connections and to promote his public stance was, of course, oratory.164 His oratory was not the only means as personal appearance, money lending, bribery and networking were important too. But for the initial part of his career, oratory functioned as both a direct and indirect factor to the development of Caesar’s political career. His oratorical performances paved the way to a successful political career and thereby functioned as a springboard to his subsequent proconsulship in Gaul and, ultimately, his dictatorship.

(Dio Cass. 41.39.2); his departure for Africa (Cic. Div. 2.52; Suet. Iul. 59); on arrival in Africa (Suet. Iul. 59); before Munda (App. B Civ. 2.116; Suet. Iul. 77) with Weinstock (1971) 98, 116, 342. 162 Cic. Div. 1.119, 2.31–​2, 2.37, 2.52; Suet. Iul. 59 with BAfr. 2.2–​5; Suet. Iul. 81.2–​4 with Rawson (1978) 142–​6. 163 Feeney (2007), esp. 151–​6, 193–​201 on the calendar, introduced by Caesar as pontifex maximus, not dictator: Jehne (1987) 175–​6. Cicero joked about Caesar’s wish for control over gods, humans and nature: Plut. Caes. 59.6 with Feeney (2007) 196–​7; Pelling (2011) 444–​5. 164 Caesar building up his public persona through other means: A. Bell (2004) 24–​51.

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The oratory and career of Piso Caesoninus

Pauci ista tua lutulenta uitia noramus, pauci tarditatem ingenii, stuporem debilitatemque linguae. Numquam erat audita uox in foro, numquam periculum factum consilii, nullum non modo inlustre sed ne notum quidem factum aut militiae aut domi. Only few of us had known your dirty vices; few the dullness of your intellect and the slothful feebleness of your tongue. Your voice was never heard in the forum, your senatorial viewpoint never tested, not a single deed performed by you in peace or war was known, let alone famous.1

Cicero’s judgement and overall defamation of L.  Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus (cos. 58 BC) in his speeches from 57 BC onwards have long been thought misleading and at places demonstrably untrue: a catalogue over invective motifs and techniques rather than a reflection of Piso’s actual behaviour, actions and appearance.2 The passage quoted above comes from Cicero’s full-​scale oratorical attack on Piso, the In Pisonem, which covers all possible aspects of Piso’s person, conduct and political acts; this passage should therefore be read with caution.3 Yet, it is noteworthy for its attention to Piso’s oratory, suggesting that lack of oratorical skills and a non-​committal stance to situations of public speaking were legitimate points of criticism. Cicero also indicates that Piso preferred to further his political aims through the senate rather than through trials in the forum or, perhaps, speeches addressed to the people.4 This leads 1 Cic. Pis. 1. Nisbet (1961) is the standard commentary. For further scholarship on the speech: May (2002) 595 with Dugan (2005) 21–​74 added to the list. 2 Cicero’s descriptions are particularly colourful in the In Pisonem, but also Red. sen. 13–​16; Sest. 19–​ 24; Prov. cons. 2–​8. Cicero’s depictions misleading: Nisbet (1961) v–​xvii, 192–​7; Broege (1969) 15–​19, 60–​98; Hofmann-​Löbl (1996) 171–​9; Benferhat (2002) 56. 3 Similar caution necessary for Cic. Red. sen. 13 (no dicendi uis, no ‘power of speaking’). Quint. Inst. 5.13.38 refers to Cicero’s criticism of Piso’s infantia in dicendo, ‘inability to speak’, but Ciceronian bias renders this testimony hardly valid. 4 Pina Polo (1996) 62 argues that we cannot dismiss Cicero’s testimony about Piso’s lack of speeches in the Forum before his consulship because there are other examples of other such consuls.

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to Cicero’s next allegation in the speech, that Piso obtained his political offices solely through his name and ancestral fame of the Calpurnii Pisones, which had an impact on his fellow senators, and not through his own merits. While Cicero’s portrait is deceptive and partly incorrect, there is no reason to doubt the information that Piso’s climb up the political ladder was sine repulsa (without any electoral defeat).5 This makes Piso’s case all the more interesting as an illustration of an average Roman politician who nevertheless made it to the top as both consul (58 BC) and censor (50 BC), allegedly without any oratorical talent. By average Roman politician I mean a politician not marked out by extraordinary military talents (which Pompeius, Caesar and Antonius could be said to have demonstrated) or recognised oratorical skills (which we know Gracchus, Caesar and Cato possessed) or any other outstanding qualities to boost his career. How did Piso reach these offices and what role, if any, did his oratorical performances play in his political rise? How did he articulate his career choices if not through speeches in the forum? Most of Piso’s known speeches were delivered in the senate, the earliest securely dated is from his consulship in 58 BC and the latest from 43 BC.6 Just one contio speech, not on Piso’s initiative, and one forensic speech are attested, but he may have delivered more. The occasions at which we know Piso spoke overlap to a great extent with events either recorded by or involving Cicero, such as Cicero’s exile, the outbreak of civil war in 49 BC, the pardon of Marcellus in 46 BC and Piso’s speech against Marcus Antonius in August 44 BC.7 This overlap reflects the fact that Cicero is our most important contemporary source to this period and that his enmity with Piso motivated him to reflect on Piso’s public statements. The sources to Piso’s political career and oratory are not as abundant as those for the other orator-​politicians discussed in the current study, but it is nevertheless possible to form a picture of a man who furthered his career on a combination of ancestral fame, skilful networking in the senate, political collaboration with his son-​in-​law Caesar and an imposing appearance. His oratory seems to have been powerful at times, and he was not afraid to air his Epicurean leanings in public, often with the 5 Cic. Pis. 2. Repulsae were common, so it was an accomplishment to reach the consulship sine repulsa; see Broughton (1991); Evans (1991); Pina Polo (2012a) on repulsae. 6 Piso possibly spoke in the Catilinarian debate, or may have approached Cicero informally to intercede on behalf of his cousin Cethegus, one of the conspirators (Cic. Red. sen. 10), or perhaps at a later date. 7 See Appendix 4 over Piso’s public speeches. Malcovati (1976) no. 127 has a very short list, discussed in van der Blom (2013) 300.

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object of moderating between opposing parties. Yet, public speeches did not form the prime mover in his career. The following analysis of specific oratorical performances of Piso, in the context of his career, will illustrate these themes and provide an example of a more common type of orator-​ politician than the other figures in the present study.

Piso’s early career: the power of ancestry The early part of Piso’s political career is poorly documented in the sources and we can only infer from Cicero’s remark about Piso’s climb up the ladder sine repulsa that Piso reached his political offices in the first possible year and thus the quaestorship in c. 70 BC, aedileship in c. 64 BC and praetorship in c. 61 BC before the securely attested consulship of 58 BC.8 It is not possible to determine the factors involved in Piso’s initial advancement, but his ancestry is the most obvious career-​boosting factor. Piso belonged to the plebeian nobilis family of the Calpurnii Pisones,9 which demanded respect as several branches had produced consuls including Piso’s grandfather and two other direct ancestors.10 That Piso enjoyed some advantage from his ancestry is clear from Cicero’s sneer that Piso was promoted exclusively on his ancestral fame, which would have been a ridiculous remark if devoid of any grain of truth.11 A well-​known name could give associations to great deeds of the past, the glamour and merit of which rubbed off on the descendant and made him more attractive to the electorate and to supporters and collaborators among his peers, which in turn enhanced his possibilities 8 The scarcity of information about Piso’s early career is likely related to the lacunose beginning of Cic. Pis.: Nisbet (1961) 51–​7; Hofmann-​Löbl (1996) 157. Badian (1964) 82, 100 argues that the L. Piso mentioned by Cicero (Div. Caec. 64) as prosecutor of P. Gabinius on charges de repetundis shortly before 70 BC is Piso Caesoninus, but Münzer RE 3 (1899) 1395 and Gruen (1968b) 162 argue the prosecutor to be L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi (pr. 74 BC). Although Frugi would have been an old prosecutor (c. 42 years old if praetorship reached suo anno), the two other references to ‘L. Piso’ in the Verrines (Verr. 2.1.119, 2.4.56) refer without doubt to Frugi. Therefore, this possible evidence of early forensic activity for Piso Caesoninus is too uncertain for inclusion. 9 Piso not a descendant of the famous L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi (cos. 133 BC), in spite of Cic. Sest. 21–​2; Pis. fr. 8 with Nisbet (1961) 53; Corbeill (1996) 170–​1. Cicero’s argument deceived Asconius (2C), but not Syme (1960) 12–​13. 10 Gruen (1968b) 163. Piso’s grandfather consul in 112 BC, other ancestors in 180 and 148 BC. 11 Yakobson (1999) 186 emphasises that many voters for Piso may never have known or seen him before, but simply voted for ‘a Piso’. Nevertheless, descent from a prominent nobilis family was not a guarantee of electoral or political success, as well-​known examples (Cic. Mur., Planc.) show. Discussion in Hopkins (1983) 31–​119 and an overview of the nobilis/​homo nouus-​terminology in van der Blom (2010) 35–​59.

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for networking with the right people. The ancient sources link Piso’s election to the consulship of 58 BC to his marriage alliance with Caesar which was settled around the time of the elections in 59 BC.12 Piso was perhaps a surprising candidate for office; at least, Cicero does not include him in his list of expected candidates earlier in the year.13 Therefore the link between the election and the marriage was conspicuous. Caesar’s position as consul of 59 BC and member of the powerful alliance with Pompeius and Crassus made him able to influence the electorate through his auctoritas, his supporters and probably bribery.14 Piso’s appeal to Caesar must have rested on his status as a Calpurnius Piso and his political network, as he was not famous for military exploits, or distinctive in other areas.15 Hardly anything is known of Piso’s financial situation. Syme argued his moderate lifestyle to be an indication of moderate means, but if Piso was the owner of the so-​called Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum and a patron of the philosopher Philodemus, he must have had more than adequate funds.16 Moreover, Philodemus’ views on rhetoric may have had an effect on Piso’s oratory, and certainly Philodemus’ Epicureanism is thought to have influenced Piso’s philosophical standpoint.17 In any case, there is no indication that any oratorical performance helped pave the way to Piso’s election to consul for 58 BC.

12 The timing of the marriage between Piso’s daughter and Caesar either just before or after the elections (timing unclear, but connection clear: Suet. Iul. 21; Dio Cass. 38.9.1 (election first); Plut. Caes. 14.4; App. B Civ. 2.14 (marriage first)) indicates the link and therefore Caesar as directly implicated in Piso’s election. 13 Cic. Att. 2.5.2 (SB 25). 14 Gruen (1968b) 163–​ 7; Broege (1969) 32–​ 3; Gruen (1974) 143; Hofmann-​ Löbl (1996) 161–​71; Benferhat (2002) 61–​2. In Apr. 59 BC, Cicero (Cic. Att. 2.5.2) mentions four possible consular candidates:  Pompeius, Crassus, Ser. Sulpicius and Gabinius. By October, Piso was consul-​elect. The influence of the three dynasts on the elections meant that they must have chosen not to push Pompeius and Crassus for election and to support Piso (rather than Sulpicius). 15 Relations with Cicero: Cicero led the voting in the centuria praerogatiua during Piso’s election and Piso called on Cicero as the third speaker in the first senate meeting in the new year (Cic. Red. sen. 17; Pis. 11); others expected Piso to support Cicero as they congratulated Cicero on Piso’s election (Cic. Sest. 20; Q Fr. 1.2.16 (SB 2)). Military action: Piso may have gone to Hispania Citerior as propraetor in 60/​59 BC: Catul. 28; 47 with Syme (1956); Nisbet (1961) 180–​2; Lee (1990) 156, but any previous military experience escapes us. 16 Syme (1939) 135 with Cic. Pis. 13, 67. Piso’s possible ownership of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, where a great number of Philodemus’ texts where found:  Capasso (2010) 92–​9, 111–​12. 17 Philodemus’ work on rhetoric:  Blank (1996); Chandler (1996); Rispoli (1996); Sedley (1997); Gaines (2001); Wisse (2001). The relationship between Piso and Philodemus: Nisbet (1961) 183–​6; Broege (1969) 11–​15, 19–​20.

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The ambitious consul in Epicurean clothes Once consul, Piso was immediately drawn into the political battle between P.  Clodius Pulcher, tribune of 58 BC, and Cicero, which was to lead to Cicero’s exile. In February 58 BC, Clodius proposed his lex Clodia de capite ciuis Romani and a law on the consular provinces for 57 BC which allotted two potentially profitable provinces as proconsular commands to the consuls of 58 BC. Cicero later claimed, correctly too, that Clodius’ bill on the consular provinces made Piso and Gabinius turn a blind eye to the implications of the other law.18 It was clear that the first law was aimed at Cicero’s execution of the Catilinarian conspirators without trial, and Cicero reacted to the proposal by putting on mourning dress; an action which he later regretted.19 Quickly, other people reacted to Cicero’s action by assuming mourning dress too and demonstrating on the Capitol. To this the consul Gabinius reacted strongly by speaking against the demonstration, expelling a supporter of Cicero from the city and, with Piso, issuing a consular edict to the effect that senators should assume normal dress.20 The situation was already highly charged when Clodius convened a contio in circus Flaminius where the two consuls, Piso and Gabinius, as well as Caesar and Crassus were present. Clodius clearly aimed for these powerful politicians to speak in favour of his bills, which, in fact, Piso did according to Cicero: Idem illo fere biduo productus in contionem ab eo cui †sic equatum† praebebas consulatum tuum, cum esses interrogatus quid sentires de consulatu meo, grauis auctor, Calatinus credo aliquis aut Africanus aut Maximus et non Caesoninus Semiplacentinus Caluentius, respondes altero ad frontem sublato, altero ad mentum depresso supercilio crudelitatem tibi non placere. Hic te ille homo dignissimus tuis laudibus conlaudauit. About two days after this you [Piso] were introduced into an assembly of the people by the man at whose disposal you were placing your consulship; when you were asked your opinion of my consulship, you –​as if an austere advocate, another Calatinus one would think or an Africanus or Maximus, and not a Caesoninus Semiplacentinus Calventius –​you answer with the one eyebrow raised to the forehead and the other pressed down to the chin that you disapprove of cruelty. After these your praiseworthy words, the most honourable fellow eulogised you.21 18 Cic. Pis. 28 with Gruen (1968b) 165; Tatum (1999) 152–​3. Precedents for tribunician laws granting proconsular commands: Marius’ in 107 BC, Pompeius’ in 67 and 66 BC, Caesar’s in 59 BC. 19 Cic. Att. 3.15.5 (SB 60) (17 Aug. 58 BC). For this episode as ‘political theatre’: J. Hall (2014) 45–​9. 20 Cic. Red. sen. 11–​12, 16; Red. pop. 13; Dom. 55; Sest. 25–​32; Pis. 18; Planc. 87. 21 Cic. Pis. 14 (Nisbet (1961) ed.). Nisbet (1961) 74 argues with reference to Dio 38.16.6 that this ‘ille homo’ is Gabinius, but it could also be Clodius. On Cicero’s defamation of Piso’s looks: Corbeill

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Cicero’s ad hominem attack, circulated more than three years after the event, cannot be taken at face value as it was designed to place the blame for his exile squarely on Piso (and Gabinius) rather than Pompeius in an attempt to recover Cicero’s previous political influence and status. Indeed, Cicero’s description of this contio varies slightly in his other post-​exile speeches.22 More remarkable for the study of Piso’s oratory is the ostensible similarity in Cicero’s reports on Piso’s words at the contio. In the Post reditum in Senatu from 57 BC, Cicero argued that Piso dared ‘dicere te semper misericordem fuisse’ (‘declare that he [i.e. Piso himself ] had always been compassionate’), whereas in the In Pisonem from 55 BC, Cicero reports Piso as saying that ‘crudelitatem tibi non placere’ (‘he [i.e. Piso himself ] disapproved of cruelty’).23 This seeming consistency in meaning (if not in words) suggests that Piso had, in fact, responded to Clodius’ question by expressing disapproval of the execution of the Catilinarian conspirators and preference for mercy instead. Piso’s words seem to reflect the language used in the debate of the Catilinarian conspirators, which could suggest that Piso picked up on this debate in his response to Clodius or that Cicero placed these words in Piso’s mouth when describing the contio. The circulated, and possibly also the delivered, version of Cicero’s Catilinarian speeches employs this terminology of misericordia, misericors, crudelitas, crudelis and crudeliter extensively.24 Moreover, Cicero was accused of crudelitas towards the Catilinarians by his political adversaries.25 Later Sallust placed the same words in ‘Caesar’s’ and ‘Cato’s’ ‘speeches’ in his description of the (1996) 170–​1; Meister (2012) 62–​3, 69–​71, 74–​7 and on Piso’s ‘self-​fashioning as old-​fashioned, traditional Roman’ (77). Hammar (2013) 234–​7 sets Cicero’s invective into the context of Piso’s claimed unsuitability for political influence. Millar (1998) 116–​17, 139; Pina Polo (1996) 49 on the contional context. 22 E.g. at Cic. Sest. 33 (56 BC), Cicero argues that Piso and Gabinius stated their approval of all Clodius’ measures being taken against Cicero and the res publica, by contrast with Cic. Pis. 14 (55 BC) where Piso is apparently asked by Clodius to express his views on Cicero’s consulship; Kaster (2006) 193–​4 and the chronological table on 393. 23 Cic. Sest. 33; Pis. 14; Cic. Red. sen. 17. Also Dio Cass. 38.16.6 reports on this meeting, including Piso’s reply. Dio’s inclusion of this story and Piso’s words may have derived, directly or indirectly, from Cicero. 24 Misericordia and misericors:  Cic. Cat 1.16, 2.16, 4.11–​12. Crudelitas, crudelis and crudeliter:  Cat. 2.14, 3.23–​4, 4.10–​12, 4.13. Circulation of Cicero’s Catilinarian speeches probably took place in or shortly after 60 BC (Cic. Att. 2.1.3 (SB 21)), although the precise interpretation of this letter is much debated; for publication shortly after delivery: McDermott (1972); Stroh (1975) 51, n. 90; Phillips (1986); Cape (1995) 258–​9. For publication in 60 BC: Berry (1996) 55, n. 258, (2006) 313, 316–​17. Steel (2005) 50–​4 suggests Cicero circulating one version in 62 BC, and a revised version in 60 BC. The Catilinarian speeches were circulating before this contio of early 58 BC. 25 Cic. Sul. 7–​8, 93 (with Gildenhard (2011) 65–​6); Dom. 21, 75, 93, 94.

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Catilinarian debate on 5 December 63 BC.26 In other words, the literary versions of the debate abound with these terms. It is not possible to prove whether Cicero used these words in his delivered speeches or included them later in the circulated version of the speeches through inspiration of the other speeches delivered at the debate, possibly by Caesar and Cato (though Sallust’s version is probably inspired by Cicero’s usage in either delivered or circulated versions). But what is certain is that Cicero reports Piso as using the terms misericors and crudelitas at the contio in 58 BC where Clodius asked for Piso’s opinion on his lex Clodia de capite ciuis Romani, when reference to the Catilinarian debate was unavoidable. There is a possibility that Cicero just placed these words in Piso’s mouth in his reports on the contio in order to refer back to his own earlier usage, if not in the debate proper then certainly in his circulated Catilinarian speeches, as a defence of his decision to execute the conspirators. But it is also possible that Piso used these words in order to censure Cicero’s decision because both misericordia and crudelitas could be used both for and against execution (as illustrated in Sallust’s version of the debate).27 Crudelitas had a legal aspect which meant the maltreatment of somebody who did not deserve this treatment or whose suffering went beyond his social status.28 If using crudelitas, Piso could have directed his censure at the question of legitimacy in executing Roman citizens without trial. Misericordia, on the other hand, implied a more emotional meaning, namely ‘pity roused by the misfortune of others’,29 and it was often used to appeal to the empathy of the audience. The term has been associated with Epicureanism, alternatively a more general Hellenistic influence on Roman social and political thought.30 If mentioning his misericordia, Piso would have underlined an ethical point, employing pathos, and sidestepped the constitutional point about execution of Roman citizens without trial, which had been argued by Caesar in 63 BC and others after him.31 Such a reference to misericordia would have been a clever way of highlighting his Epicurean leanings and thereby his public persona as a 26 Sall. Cat. 51.1, 51.4, 51.14, 51.17, 52.12, 52.27, 52.32, 52.36. On ‘Caesar’ and ‘Cato’ in Sallust see Syme (1964) ch. 8. See discussion in Chapter 5 on Caesar, pages 164–6. 27 Sall. Cat. 51–​2; Benferhat (2002) 61 takes Cicero’s reference to Piso’s use of misericordia as truthful. 28 Lintott (1999a) 46–​7. Gildenhard (2011) 208–​13 on the philosophical context of crudelitas in Ciceronian usage. 29 Pétré (1934) (distinguishing between a rhetorical and a philosophical meaning); Hellegouarc’h (1972) 261. 30 Possible links with Epicureanism:  Griffin (2001) 88–​92; more general application:  Hellegouarc’h (1972) 261; Benferhat (2002) 61. 31 E.g. Gabinius (cos. 58 BC) and, of course, Clodius; Dio Cass. 38.17.1–​2; Plut. Cic. 30.4.

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just and prudent man, as well as a politically shrewd answer because he could shield himself behind his well-​known philosophical beliefs in case of later criticism.32 We do not know whether Piso used either of these terms, but it is entirely possible that he did use one or both of the words in his reply to Clodius’ question in the contio:  a reference to crudelitas would have reflected back on the constitutional debate in 63 BC, while a reference to misericordia would have had the added element of underscoring Piso’s Epicurean belief. Whether or not Cicero reported the content of Piso’s response as it was given, the different terminology (misericors as opposed to crudelitas) indicates that we cannot take these passages as exact quotations from Piso’s speech, although Piso could have developed his argument and used both terms. Moreover, while the message may have been clear enough for those involved, Cicero’s description also suggests that Piso did not say more than necessary. There seems to have been no direct criticism of Cicero, only Piso’s indication of personal inclination against cruelty. Like Pompeius, Piso may have possessed the skill of speaking without saying too much and possibly also the skill of speaking in deliberately vague terms.33 Piso’s performance in Clodius’ contio was his public communication of his support of Clodius and, by implication, lack of support of Cicero. Two days earlier, he had signalled the same message at a private meeting with Cicero and Cicero’s son-​in-​law where he is reported to have argued that each man has to look after his own interests, effectively refusing to help Cicero against Clodius because Clodius offered him a lucrative proconsular province (as Cicero said) and because his original deal with Caesar would have made it clear what he was to do (a possible aspect which Cicero carefully avoided mentioning so as not to risk offending Caesar).34 After Clodius’ contio, Piso was implicated in Cicero’s efforts to secure Pompeius’ protection against Clodius’ threats of exile. During March 58 BC, Cicero, his son-​in-​law Piso and senior senators pleaded with Pompeius, but unsuccessfully.35 The precise course of events is described with some variation by Cicero and in the later sources. Cicero explains how Piso deflected Pompeius’ attempt to place the burden of action in the 32 Cicero criticises exactly this expression of Piso’s by putting it into the context of their personal relation where, Cicero argues, Piso had obligations to Cicero (Cic. Red. sen. 17), and the context of senatorial power and obligation to act upon dangers to the res publica (Cic. Pis. 14–​16). 33 See Cic. Pis. 9, suggesting that Piso said very little on this occasion. 34 Cic. Pis. 12; for dating see Pis. 14: ‘idem illo fere biduo productus in contionem ab eo’. 35 Cic. Pis. 77; Dio Cass. 38.17.3; Plut. Cic. 31.2. Moles (1988) 177–​8 on Plutarch’s source (mainly Cic. Pis.) and interpretation. For dating and a possible reconstruction of events: Kaster (2006) 396, n. 6.

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hands of the consuls and the senate by using his Epicurean beliefs effectively.36 According to Cicero, Piso encouraged Cicero to take action into his own hands by giving up his resistance to the law and instead bow to the storm and save the state a second time; he also confirmed his and Caesar’s defence of Clodius’ tribunician rights, thus advocating an ostensibly constitutional view and policy of non-​violence. Even if Cicero’s description is aimed at placing Piso in as bad a light as possible, Piso’s rhetoric nonetheless seems to have been effectual in warding off Pompeius’ attempt to pass on the problem to Piso and Gabinius as well as in underscoring Piso’s public profile as a protector of peace and the res publica. He consistently argued that each man must protect his own interests, both to Cicero in private before Clodius’ contio and to Cicero’s friends after the contio. Piso’s answers reflect a sharp sense of the political game unfolding and the necessary skills to communicate his stance and isolate Cicero politically, redirecting the blame from himself and on to Cicero. This was no mean feat in the highly politicised situation. Although Piso’s message was directed at Cicero, Clodius, Gabinius, Caesar and Pompeius as well as the rest of the senate, his performance in the contio meant that it would go out to the public at large as well. Piso had chosen to move his career forward to a provincial governorship and he was willing to sacrifice his relationship with Cicero and Cicero’s supporters to achieve this. He articulated his choice in unambiguous terms, yet managed to leave an impression of a man guided by moral, even philosophical, principle. Although Cicero eventually did go into exile, the sustained efforts to recall him placed Piso in another situation where he had to voice his opinion publicly. When Cicero’s supporters worked for a recall in spite of a clause in Clodius’ law forbidding any senatorial discussion of the law,37 Piso tried to quell the discussion with reference to the clause, allegedly saying that he was ‘in favour of bringing such a motion, but hindered by the law’ (cupere uos diceretis, sed lege impediri).38 This argument from legal constraint ties in with his earlier statement that he and Caesar would not work against the actions of a lawful tribune (Clodius). Such arguments may reflect a certain legalistic notion of Piso or, at least, a self-​presentation as a law-​abiding consul. Piso was unwilling to compromise his status and 36 Cic. Pis. 78. Griffin (2001) 88–​9 for the philosophical background. 37 Cic. Att. 3.23.2 (SB 68); Red. sen. 4, 8; Dom. 70; Pis. 29. 38 Cic. Pis. 29. The dating is unclear, but Cicero’s reference to the clause of the lex Clodia in a letter from Greece (Cic. Att. 3.23.2 (SB 68)) in late Nov. 58 BC suggests a discussion before that date, probably during the autumn.

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endanger his appointment as governor of Macedonia, but with this type of response he could add a legalistic layer to his public persona as a man of principle.39 Our knowledge of Piso’s oratorical performances during his year as consul stems solely from the political struggle between Clodius and Cicero because Cicero is our main witness. Piso’s position as consul made it impossible for him to avoid involvement in this struggle, but he was also indirectly implicated through his family relation to Caesar who supported Clodius for political reasons. Presented with a clear choice between Clodius and the proconsular province of Macedonia on the one hand and Cicero with friends on the other hand, Piso unsurprisingly chose the former. What is more significant is the way he articulated his choice to both Cicero, senators and the public. Apparently not content to be seen simply as a politicking consul and proconsul, he couched his choice in moralistic and legalistic terms with a hint of Epicurean principles to present a consistent message. Piso’s speeches in support of Clodius’ laws had significant importance for the development of his career, as it paved the way for his proconsular command, made clear to the public his political alliances and allowed him to display his public persona.

The average orator? After his consulship, Piso left Rome to take up his proconsular command of Macedonia, his first securely attested command although he may have held a command as propraetor and have had earlier military experience.40 The facts which Cicero provide in his otherwise misleading descriptions in the speeches De Prouinciis Consularibus and the In Pisonem suggest that Piso’s administration and military activities were not extraordinarily extortionate, unjust, cruel or unsuccessful, as Cicero claimed, but typical for a governor of his time and position.41 Piso was recalled in 56 BC and returned to Rome the following year, but his recall owed more to political intricacies in Rome than to his military results. Evidently, Caesar 39 Piso left for Macedonia before 10 Dec. 58 BC, i.e. before the end of his term as consul, which was not always the case in the post-​Sullan period: Pina Polo (2011a) 237–​9, 243. 40 He was possibly propraetor in Hispania Citerior (60/​59 BC): Catul. 28; 47 with Syme (1956); Nisbet (1961) 180–​2; Lee (1990) 156, but we have no evidence of any previous military experience. 41 Nisbet (1961) 172–​80; Broege (1969) 60–​98 discuss this. Brunt (1971a) 469–​70 thinks Piso left Macedonia defenceless. See discussion of two honorific inscriptions from Beroea in Macedonia and Samothrace in Greece (Cic. Pis. 89): Bloch (1940); Cormack (1944) with Tod (1918–​19) 85–​6, no. 13.

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had not fought to keep his father-​in-​law in position. Once back in Rome, Piso ostentatiously did not apply for a triumph, an action which has been read as part of his self-​presentation as an Epicurean and less as reflection of his actions in Macedonia; possibly Piso also felt the way in which the political wind was blowing.42 But the recall, whether justified or not, must provide a partial explanation of his abstention from any advertisement of his proconsular achievements.43 Piso did not turn this command into a career-​enhancing factor –​as had Pompeius and Caesar –​but returned to Rome when recalled. Planned actions to further his public profile and future career may have been cut short by the recall:  his soldiers hailed him imperator and triumphal monuments were apparently built,44 both of which were conventional precursors to a request for a triumph. In the end, Piso’s proconsular command did not mark him out in the eyes of the Roman people and we only have Cicero’s word for Piso having boosted his personal fortune.45 During Piso’s time in Macedonia, Cicero had been recalled from his exile and had started a campaign aimed at a complete character assassination of Piso (and his consular colleague Gabinius) which culminated in his demand that Piso be recalled from his command. Cicero’s sustained verbal attack and the humiliating recall prompted Piso to speak out in the senate against Cicero shortly after his return to Rome in the summer of 55 BC.46 Soon, probably in early August 55 BC, Cicero responded in the senate and he reworked and circulated his speech as the In Pisonem.47 Cicero’s response provides us with potential quotations from and paraphrases of Piso’s speech. In his speech, according to Cicero, Piso expressed pride in his own electoral victories and in his birthplace of Placentia (Asc. 2; Pis. 2). Piso asked Cicero why he had expected Piso’s help in 58 BC and not relied on his own resources to defend himself against his political enemies (Pis. 18). We know from the negotiations in early 58 BC that Piso had already argued that Cicero should take action himself rather than relying on others and that each man look after his own interests; Piso seems to have repeated 42 Gruen (1968b) 166; Griffin (2001) 91. 43 Brunt (1971a) 469–​70 hints the lack of substantial military achievements made Piso forego a triumph. 44 Cic. Pis. 38, 92. Beard (2007) 216; Vervaet (2014) 126–​7 discuss Piso’s chances of a triumph. 45 Shatzman (1975) 314–​17 lists Cicero’s allegations of Piso’s enrichment in Macedonia. Cicero’s allegations could be used as a catalogue over possible ways of governmental enrichment. Even if Piso did enrich his coffers, he might have given the surplus back to the treasury upon return. 46 Asc. 2C. 47 Dating, debate and publication: Nisbet (1961) Appendix VIII, 199–​202; Lintott (2008) 210–​11.

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this point in his speech in 55 BC. Piso furthermore criticised Cicero’s decision to go into exile (Pis. 31). He apparently also disputed Cicero’s view that he had taken his country with him into exile by stating that Cicero had been deprived of his country (Pis. 34). He ridiculed Cicero’s eulogistic poems on his consulship and quelling of the Catilinarian conspiracy and Piso even stated that it was these verses and not the action itself which had harmed Cicero (Pis. 72–​4). Piso also bluntly told Cicero that he was fighting men he despised while leaving alone more influential men who were responsible for his exile (Pis. 75), and he maintained that he was the last man whom Cicero ought to treat as an opponent (Pis. 78). The first part of this final point was, in fact, true, as Cicero avoided blaming Pompeius and Caesar openly and instead placed the responsibility on Piso and Gabinius. Moreover, Piso explicitly challenged Cicero to prosecute him, as Cicero had threatened, but never dare to do in the end (Pis. 82, 94). Apart from his direct criticism of Cicero, Piso also defended his abstention from applying for a triumph based on his Macedonian victories (Pis. 56) and he even spoke mockingly about M. Pupius Piso’s (cos. 61 BC) desire for a triumph (Pis. 62). As mentioned above, Piso’s remark that such a desire for a triumph was wholly alien to his own stance could be seen as part of his Epicurean self-​representation,48 but it is entirely possible that Piso used such a self-​representation to gloss over the recall and low chances of obtaining a triumph. Piso’s earlier deft handling of his public image suggests that here he was again concerned with answering Cicero’s allegations in an attempt to save face and sustain his public profile. Piso’s speech was followed by an exchange, an altercatio, between Piso and L. Manlius Torquatus (cos. 65, proconsul in Macedonia 64–​63 BC), in which the latter probed Piso’s proconsular conduct. According to Cicero, Torquatus forced Piso to admit having left his province without the vast army that he had transported there, because he had disbanded it as an act of kindness (Pis. 47, 92). This suited Cicero’s point about Piso’s maladministration of his province, and he therefore took it up in the In Pisonem.49 Torquatus’ censure was a revenge for Piso’s ridicule of his wish for a triumph in spite of Torquatus’ adherence to Epicureanism.50 48 Cic. Pis. 62 with Gruen (1968b) 166; Griffin (2001) 91. Pupius’ relations to Pompeius and the implications for Piso’s criticism of Pupius: Gruen (1968b) 167–​9. Beard (2007) 216–​18 on Cicero’s criticism of Piso’s abstention from requesting a triumph. 49 Ironically, Cicero would himself leave his pro-​consular province of Cilicia in the charge of one of his legates, an action he criticises in Piso; cf. Broege (1969) 97. 50 Add to Pis. 47, 92 already mentioned Pis. 78, which indicates that Torquatus supported Cicero already in 58 BC. Griffin (2001) 94–​5 on Torquatus’ Epicureanism and Piso’s criticism of him, and Gruen (1968b) 166–​7 on the wider context of Pisonian animosity to Pompeius.

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In order to assess Piso’s oratorical aims and skills, as reflected through Cicero’s paraphrase, it is necessary to take a closer look at some of the points raised in 55 BC. For example, what was Piso’s motivation for referring explicitly to his elections suo anno? Could Cicero have made a point in 58 BC (and repeated it in 55 BC) about Piso’s election being owed only to his ancestral name or, perhaps more likely, may Piso himself have raised the point as an argument in general about his capabilities as a Roman magistrate in response to Cicero’s criticisms of his consulship and proconsulship? Piso’s reproach of Cicero’s decision to go into exile and his protest against Cicero’s claim to have taken the res publica with him into exile cuts into the two main strands of Cicero’s persona in his post-​exile speeches: the identification of himself with the state and his exile as a sacrifice for the sake of the res publica.51 However, Cicero also relates that Piso’s response to Cicero’s appeal for help in early 58 BC had been to suggest that Cicero should not resist Clodius’ law and thereby could save the state a second time.52 It seems contradictory if Piso had both encouraged Cicero to choose exile and then later ridiculed his decision, so perhaps this is rather Cicero’s version of the discussion. Cicero could easily have distorted Piso’s words, and Piso may instead have recommended Cicero to withdraw from the struggle in order to avoid escalation and still have mocked Cicero’s conduct before, during and after his exile. As a final point, Piso’s ridicule of Cicero’s poem on his consulship is significant as a likely direct citation of Piso’s words: Qui modo cum res gestas consulatus mei conlaudasset, quae quidem conlaudatio hominis turpissimi mihi ipsi erat paene turpis, ‘non illa tibi’ inquit ‘inuidia nocuit sed uersus tui’. … ‘Scripsisti enim: “cedant arma togae” ’. Quid tum? ‘Haec res tibi fluctus illos excitauit’. … (73) … ‘Tuae dicis’, inquit, ‘togae summum imperatorem esse cessurum’. … (74) … ‘At in altero illo’, inquit, ‘haeres: “concedat laurea laudi” ’. (72) At any rate, when he had praised the achievements of my consulship, the praise from such a disgraceful person was almost offensive to me, he said, ‘It was not any hatred of your person which harmed you but your poems’. … ‘For you wrote:  “Let arms yield to the toga”. This expression provoked those storms against you’. … (73) … ‘You say’, he says, ‘that the greatest general will yield to the toga’. … (74) … ‘But in the next line’, he says, ‘you are caught, “and laurels to laudation”’.53 51 May (1988) 94–​8, 103–​5; Dyck (2004) on Cicero’s public self-​projection after his exile. 52 Cic. Pis. 78. 53 Cic. Pis. 72–​4 (Griffin and Atkins (1991) for translation of the quotations from Cicero’s poem). Volk (2013) 105–​6; Volk and Zetzel (2015) 208–​11 discuss Cicero’s poem in the context of the In Pisonem.

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Cicero here acts as if he takes Piso’s joke seriously and he rejects the thought that it was Cicero’s poem, not his actions, which caused his unpopularity and exile. Although Cicero’s rhetorical point to some extent repaired the damage, Piso’s tactic helped to remind his audience of Cicero’s exaggerated self-​praise and thereby undermined Cicero’s claim to have been wronged by madmen such as Clodius, Piso and Gabinius; again and again Piso emphasised that the exile was Cicero’s own decision and not his responsibility. His line of reasoning was further supported in his contention that Cicero was pursuing the wrong people in his vengeful attack and that Piso should be the last person to blame. If we consider Cicero’s depiction of Piso’s speech of 55 BC with Cicero’s discussions of Piso’s earlier oratory, the converging of themes such as Cicero’s self-​help, Piso’s moderate or compassionate stance, and his unsympathetic view of Cicero’s actions of 63 BC, suggests that Cicero reports the meaning of Piso’s speech to a certain extent. Seen in that context, the possible snippets from Piso’s speeches give a profile of a politician consistent in his views and confident in asserting them. By underlining Cicero’s own responsibility for the exile and countering Cicero’s allegations of bad governorship, Piso claimed to be morally right, and, by challenging Cicero to prosecute him, he signalled lack of fear and confidence in his legal position. As with his public expressions as consul, Piso based his public statements on arguments of moral and legal principles and in this vein both opposed Cicero’s accusations and showed himself to be a man of consistency, justice and collected manner. Combined with his authoritative appearance,54 Piso emerged as a formidable adversary whom Cicero could not ignore. The forceful invective of the In Pisonem reflects not only Cicero’s anger with Piso but also his need to employ all his rhetorical and oratorical abilities to stand his ground against his opponent. The fact that only Cicero’s speech has survived should not make us forget that the In Pisonem was a speech in defence and response to Piso’s speech in the senate. Cicero’s strong accusations and provocative attacks on Piso’s person prompted Piso to compose a response in a pamphlet formulated as a speech (an oratio) and circulate it in the summer of 54 BC.55 The fact that about a year intervened between Cicero’s speech and Piso’s written response suggests that Cicero waited some time before he circulated 54 Nisbet (1961) xv:  ‘Piso was a formidable personage’; 179:  ‘Piso was uncommonly level-​headed’; Corbeill (1996) 37, 169–​73; Griffin (2001) 92–​5. 55 Cic. Q Fr. 3.1.11 (SB 21). The connection claimed between this pamphlet and pseudo-​Sallust Inv. Cic. is not tenable: RE Suppl. 1: ‘Calpurnius (90)’; Nisbet (1961) 197–​8.

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a written version of his speech.56 The content of Piso’s pamphlet is not known, but we can imagine an attempt at countering Cicero’s allegations, as he had done in his senate speech the year before. The fact that Cicero’s brother Quintus encouraged Cicero to write a reply suggests that Piso’s pamphlet had some public impact, but Cicero argued that nobody would read Piso’s pamphlet if there was no reply and that all schoolchildren were already learning his In Pisonem by heart. As Griffin notes, Cicero obscures the lack of political success achieved by his In Pisonem by focusing on the rhetorical and didactic success.57 This is the last known public expression in the harsh and highly personal exchange between Piso and Cicero in the years 57–​54 BC, and Piso had the last word.58 Cicero managed to effect the recall of Piso from Macedonia, as a revenge for Piso’s support of Clodius in 58 BC, but Piso’s repeated and public responses to Cicero’s accusations show that he was unwilling to accept Cicero’s version of the events and that he had the confidence to publicly and oratorically question Cicero’s depiction. The fact that he was never prosecuted de repetundis for his activity in Macedonia must have strengthened his public position and indeed his position vis-​à-​vis Cicero.59 It is striking that he used oratory in his attempt to rebuild his public standing after Cicero’s attacks and the recall, that his jokes about Cicero’s poetic self-​promotion are funny, and that Cicero allowed Piso the last word in their exchange; three further indications which should make us cautious in believing Cicero’s claim that Piso possessed no oratorical talent. In fact, his oral and written responses suggest that he was not necessarily an orator of only average talent and skill, and that a speaker without the reputation of eloquence could nevertheless produce speeches effective in both oratorical and political terms. The following years, Piso must have continued his political career as a senior senator, but we hear very little of him. This makes it difficult to assess the possible political damage of Cicero’s invectives on Piso’s political career. Indeed, one could argue that Piso’s near disappearance from the sources suggests that Cicero’s tactics had worked to alienate Piso from his senatorial peers, but this is speculation. As we shall see below, scholars have suggested various possibilities to explain the near absence of Piso in the sources. The single known forensic appearance of Piso, remarkable when compared to his frequent speeches in the senate,60 was 56 Also Nisbet (1961) 202 considers this a possibility. 57 Cic. Q Fr. 3.1.11 (SB 21). Griffin (2001) 94. 58 Still political enemies at the end of 50 BC: Cic. Fam. 8.12.2 (SB 98). 59 Blösel (2016) suggests Piso’s connections within the nobility helped him avoid prosecution. 60 See Appendix 4.

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his witnessing on behalf of M. Aemilius Scaurus in 54 BC. Piso joined a large number of senators in successfully defending Scaurus on charges de repetundis related to his propraetorship of Sardinia.61 The politicised context of Scaurus’ trial could explain Piso’s involvement, but he may have appeared in other court cases. Asconius provides no information on Piso’s performance or its effect and we can therefore not conclude that Piso’s testimony made any particular impression on the judges or the crowd of onlookers. The fact that Caesar contemplated divorcing Piso’s daughter Calpurnia around this time may owe less to any particular dissatisfaction with Piso and more to his wish to renew the relationship with Pompeius after the death of Pompeius’ wife and Caesar’s daughter Julia.62 In the end, Caesar stayed married to Calpurnia until his death a decade later, yet the sheer consideration still hints that Piso’s political position had weakened since the marriage alliance had been formed in 59 BC, possibly influenced by his recall from Macedonia and by Cicero’s invectives.

The moderate and moderating censor Following the near disappearance of Piso from the sources on the political scene in the four to seven years before, it is surprising to see that Piso was elected censor for 50 BC with App. Claudius Pulcher (cos. 53 BC).63 What happened between Caesar nearly dropping Piso as father-​in-​law in 54 BC and Piso achieving the most prestigious office in the Roman state? Frustratingly, we have no further evidence of Piso’s actions between 54 and 50 BC, so we are left to speculate.64 May we imagine Piso working for Caesar behind the scenes or in ways not easily recorded in our sources yet meriting a major political post, such as when Marcus Antonius helped Caesar raise funds for the war activities in 46–​45 BC and was awarded a consulship?65 Caesar’s position and possibly open support will have made a difference for Piso’s election, as would Piso’s famous ancestry and his networks in the senate;66 from 61 Asc. 28C. Alexander (1990) no.  295 with Gruen (1974) 333–​7 on the political implications of this trial. 62 Suet. Iul. 27. 63 Caes. BCiv. 1.3.6; Tac. Ann. 6.10; Inscr. Ital. xiii 132. Dio Cass. 40.63. 64 Broege (1969) 112; Hofmann-​Löbl (1996) 180–​1 suggests a temporary withdrawal, unrelated to Piso’s Epicureanism, from political life because of exhaustion from the feud with Cicero or lack of an official use of Piso on Caesar’s behalf. Perhaps this places too much weight on Piso as a political instrument of Caesar’s, as Piso was a powerful figure in his own right. The lack of information could simply reflect our reliance on Cicero as a source. 65 Ramsey (2004) on Antonius’ activities in 46–​45 BC and the difficulty of tracing these in the sources. 66 Suolahti (1963) 488 on further factors.

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Dio’s description of Piso’s activities in 50 BC, it seems that Caesar had managed to place his father-​in-​law in a powerful position at a time when his own proconsular command in Gaul was put under increasing pressure in Rome and that Piso did his best to favour Caesar’s cause. Dio further explains that Piso was made censor against his will and that he did not support the expulsions of senators carried out by his colleague.67 Such a passive stance has been understood as part of Piso’s self-​presentation as an Epicurean.68 But when Appius Claudius attempted to expel one of Caesar’s strongest supporters, the tribune Curio, Piso and the consul L. Aemilius Paullus stepped in and persuaded him otherwise. Piso was clearly Caesar’s man, as Dio also points out, and it again underlines the close relationship between Piso’s status as father-​ in-​law to Caesar and the promotion of his career. Piso continued his support of Curio and Caesar in the senatorial discussions of Caesar’s command at the end of 50 and start of 49 BC. Plutarch relates that Piso and Marcus Antonius supported Curio’s successful attempt to have the senate vote on both Caesar’s and Pompeius’ command at the meeting in the senate on 1 December 50 BC  –​clearly a Caesar-​ friendly initiative.69 Caesar himself describes how Piso in early January offered to deliver the senate’s opinion on Caesar’s demands, presumably banking on his personal relationship with the proconsul.70 But when Caesar led his army across the Rubicon and towards Rome, Piso left the city to avoid meeting him; a praiseworthy action in Cicero’s view.71 Piso’s action could be argued to stem from political wavering, or as a signal to Caesar of his displeasure with Caesar’s march on Rome,72 or as the consistent stance of a moderate politician influenced by Epicureanism.73 Yet, Cicero thought Piso was working for Caesar’s interests in the early months of the civil war.74 Piso’s continued attempts to negotiate between Caesar and Pompeius in the lead up to and during the civil war add to the picture of a politician intent on finding peaceful solutions.75 This moderate 67 Dio Cass. 40.63. 68 Griffin (2001) 89. 69 Plut. Pomp. 58.4. Pelling (1980) 139–​40 argues Plutarch transposing events from the 1 Dec. meeting to the meeting on 1 Jan. 49 BC; see Raaflaub’s (1974b) reconstruction. 70 Caes. BCiv. 1.3.6. Cf. Dio Cass. 40.63. 71 Cic. Att. 7.13.1 (SB 136); Fam. 14.14.2 (SB 145). 72 Münzer (1899) 1389. 73 Griffin (2001) 90. 74 Cic. Att. 7.17.3 (SB 141). 75 Aside from supporting Curio’s proposal in the senate on 1 Dec. 50 BC (Plut. Pomp. 58.4), and offering to negotiate with Caesar in early 49 BC (Caes. BCiv. 1.3.6), Piso stayed neutral and again offered to negotiate (Dio Cass. 41.16.1), also after Caesar’s return from Hispania (Plut. Caes. 37.1).

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outlook may explain his mention of M. Marcellus, Caesar’s long-​standing political enemy effectively in exile in Greece, at the senate meeting which saw Caesar declare his surprising pardon of Marcellus.76 What Piso said on these occasions is not known, but he was clearly acting as a senior senator, exerting his influence with his peers and willingness to follow his moderate outlook despite the risks involved. His relation to Caesar partly explains his position, but his will to negotiate shows that he acted as an independent politician with weight and authority, also through oratorical performances.

The senior consular after the Ides Piso’s career had undoubtedly benefited from his relationship with and support of Caesar, but by the murder of Caesar in March 44 BC and most likely before that, Piso could make himself heard in politics without the backing of Caesar.77 However, it was his status as father-​in-​law which lent authority to Piso’s request of the reading of Caesar’s will and a public funeral.78 Appian has Piso deliver a speech at this occasion which aroused clamour and indignation, but we cannot trust the content or impact to be authentic. Yet, both of Piso’s requests were met, so it is not unlikely that Piso exploited the dramatic situation and his personal relationship with the murdered Caesar through an emotional appeal (just as Marcus Antonius was to do a few days later in his funeral oration over Caesar).79 In fact, Appian may have transposed some of the drama and pathos from Antonius’ speech to Piso’s appeal. Piso’s role in the months following Caesar’s murder is unclear; could we imagine him again trying to negotiate between the opposing parties of the Caesarians headed by consul Antonius and the conspirators? There is no evidence to support such a proposition, but Piso was certainly not following Antonius’ lead. After a summer of Antonius’ dominating politics, Piso 76 Cic. Fam. 4.4.3 (SB 203). Unclear whether Piso gave a speech or simply mentioned Marcellus during the discussion (‘cum a L.  Pisone mentio esset facta de Marcello’); unclear whether Caesar himself instigated this scene to make a gesture; see How (1926) vol. ii, 405. Gelzer (1968) 281 non-​committal. 77 Griffin (2001) 92–​5; Ferrary (2001) 101; Benferhat (2002) 64. Hofmann-​Löbl (1996) 182–​3 sees the change during Piso’s censorship in 50 BC. 78 Suet. Iul. 83; App. B Civ. 2.135–​6. Weinstock (1971) 348, 350 discusses Piso’s role regarding Caesar’s funeral. 79 Cic. Att. 14.10.1 (SB 364), 14.11.1 (SB 365), 15.20.2 (SB 397); Plut. Ant. 14; Suet. Iul. 84.2; App. B Civ. 2.143–​6. Matijević (2006) 101, n. 168 presents an overview of scholarship on the speech. See discussion in Chapter 8 on Antonius, pages 264–6.

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openly criticised Antonius at the senate meeting on 1 August 44 BC –​ the first senator to do so publicly. He did not receive any support; Cicero was not in Rome and other senators may have been afraid of Antonius’ power as consul and de facto heir of Caesar’s popularity, funds and soldiers (although the young Octavian was already challenging this).80 Cicero presented Piso as the only consular worthy of his office and of the state.81 This presentation forms part of Cicero’s justification for returning to Rome at the end of August 44 BC and he therefore presents Piso as heroically as possible in order to make himself appear heroic in his decision to return and speak up against Antonius’ actions since the murder. Nevertheless, Piso’s criticism of Antonius fits into Piso’s public profile as a politician of a moderate political stance and a willingness to stand up to his own political notions. We have no securely attested details of Piso’s speech, but Ramsey has argued that a passage from Cicero’s twelfth Philippic speech could originate from Piso:82 L. Pisonis, amplissimi uiri, praeclara uox a te non solum in hoc ordine, Pansa, sed etiam in contione iure laudata est. Excessurum se ex Italia dixit, deos penatis et sedes patrias relicturum, si  –​quod di omen auerterint!  –​ rem publicam oppressisset Antonius. Quaero igitur a te, L.  Piso, nonne oppressam rem publicam putes, si tot tam impii, tam audaces, tam facinerosi recepti sint? Pansa, you rightly praised a splendid expression of Lucius Piso, that distinguished gentleman, and that not only here [in the senate], but even in a public assembly. He declared that he would leave Italy, abandon his household gods and his ancestral home, if  –​may the gods had averted the omen! –​Antonius extinguished the Republic. (15) Now I ask you this, Lucius Piso, would you not think the Republic extinguished if so many who are so immoral, so audacious, so wicked are taken back?83

If Piso ever uttered these words, they are in a high style full of drama, pathos and religious references worthy of a nobilis advocating the observance of tradition. We can easily imagine a similar kind of rhetoric adopted in Piso’s request for the reading of Caesar’s will and public funeral.84 Piso’s opinion received no support at the time, but it was not 80 Cic. Phil. 1.10, 1.14, 1.28, 5.19, 12.14; Att. 16.7.7 (SB 415); Fam. 12.2.1 (SB 344). 81 Cic. Phil. 1.14. 82 Ramsey (2003) 106. 83 Cic. Phil. 12.14–​15. 84 Ramsey (2003) 106 suggests Piso advocating the integration of Cisalpine Gaul into Italy to remove Antonius’ base of military support from which to threaten Italy and Rome.

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without effect. We know that the news of the speech spread quickly through Italy and reached Cicero at Leucopetra and undoubtedly others too. The report of Piso’s speech left an impression of a growing opposition to Antonius compelling enough to make Cicero change his mind about travelling to Greece and instead return to Rome. The main effect of the speech did not, however, arise from the style or delivery adopted, but much more from the situation in which it was delivered: a senior consular confronting the most powerful man in Rome in defence of the res publica and the household gods. Cicero argued that it was precisely his position as Caesar’s father-​in-​law which made Piso able to attack Caesar’s successor.85 Caesar’s shadow still loomed large over Roman politics and Piso still banked on the credit coming from his relationship with Caesar. As mentioned, Cicero may have played up the significance of Piso’s speech and, if the words from the twelfth Philippic do derive from Piso, he may have beefed up the rhetoric in the passage in order to justify and glorify his own re-​entry on the political scene as Antonius’ opponent and the protector of the state. Nevertheless, the fact that Piso delivered a speech critical of Antonius was one of the major contributing factors in Cicero’s decision to turn around and start fighting Antonius; a crucial event in this period of Roman history.86 Seen in this light, Piso’s oratory had immense consequences for the Roman state, but little direct consequence on his own career. The tension between Antonius, Cicero and Octavian intensified in the following months until, eventually, the senate held an extended debate on 1–​4 January 43 BC about the appropriate action to take in response to Antonius’ siege of Decimus Brutus in Mutina. Cicero advocated declaring Antonius a hostis and granting Octavian unprecedented honours in hope of his assistance in the struggle against Antonius. Piso possibly spoke against this proposal, because Appian makes Piso deliver a speech against Cicero’s proposal and urging Antonius’ opponents to be rebuked.87 Appian claims that Piso’s authority silenced the senators and that his speech was the main reason for Antonius avoiding the incriminating status of hostis at this point, but no other source mentions a speech by Piso at this occasion, and even if Piso did speak at this meeting, Appian may have distorted the speech, the senatorial proceedings and its result.88 Yet, such 85 Cic. Phil. 1.28. 86 Van der Blom (2003) discusses the reasons for Cicero’s return to Rome in Aug. 44 BC. 87 App. B Civ. 3.50.54–​61. 88 Manuwald (2007) 539, n. 16 gives no other sources. Gabba (1956) 167, n. 1, (1957) 329–​39 is sceptical as to the authenticity of such a speech, suggesting that the choice of Piso as speaker was based

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a speech would fit well with the public profile of Piso as a man advocating mercy and avoidance of excessive violence, promoting a legal viewpoint and demanding respect from his senatorial peers.89 Certainly, this could have been exactly the reason for Appian’s choice of Piso to express these opinions, and so we should not put too much trust in this passage. The senatorial discussions ended with a decision to send three senators as envoys to Antonius; the fact that Piso was sent together with Ser. Sulpicius Rufus and L. Marcius Philippus indicates his involvement in the proposal. The negotiations were unsuccessful,90 and, when Piso and Fufius Calenus a few months later proposed a second embassy to Antonius, the senate could not agree and the embassy was never sent.91 This is the last we hear of Piso.92

Conclusion Piso had a very distinguished career which resulted in consulship, proconsulship in a major province and the crowning censorship. As a descendant of several consuls and another censor, he could base his claim to political positions and influence on ancestral precedent, as he seems to have done according to Cicero. His ancestry and resultant networks was most probably also his main attraction to Caesar who repaid the marriage alliance with the consulship and the censorship. While Piso evidently worked for Caesar’s interests in the senate, he also worked for his own interests as any other politician in his position would do, supporting Clodius’ tribunician activities, defending his proconsular conduct and presenting a consistent public persona as a man of moderate opinions, peaceful solutions and abstention from the superficial praise inherent in the triumph. That this persona corresponds to Epicurean teaching indeed suggests that Piso was an adherent of this school of thought, but his use of its teachings was nevertheless often of a political character. His use of networks was entirely consistent with Epicureanism and, it seems, one of his strongest factors purely on compositional reasons. Broege (1969) 121–​2; Hofmann-​Löbl (1996) 185, n. 145 avoid taking a clear stand. Bosworth (1988) 96–​9; Gowing (1992) 236–​9 discuss further options for Appian’s inclusion of Piso’s speech. 89 Griffin (2001) 90; Benferhat (2002) 71 connect Piso’s stand against tyranny and Philodemus’ work De bono rege secundum Homerum (arguing against tyranny), addressed to Piso; but see Weinstock (1971) 182. 90 Cic. Fam. 12.4.1 (SB 363): Cicero is critical of Piso’s role as an envoy. 91 Cic. Phil. 12.1–​3. 92 Piso may have lived after 43 BC. His son became become pontifex and consul in 15 BC; see Syme (1986) 329–​45 on the son’s career.

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for political success.93 Piso also knew when to don his Epicurean cloak to explain his political actions and when not. Piso was a politician to be reckoned with. His family background meant that he was steeped in the political game and its networks from an early age. His response to Cicero’s character assassination shows a man aware of and defending his high status through an imposing appearance and powerful public performance, while his activities during and after the civil war demanded respect from his fellow senators, even Cicero. The gaps in our knowledge of his political activities before 59 BC and in the period 54–​51 BC is testament to our reliance on Ciceronian material; Piso emerged successfully from both periods as consul and censor respectively. Cicero would have used any unfavourable interpretation of these periods against Piso had they been available. But Piso seems to have wielded his influence mainly in the senate, shunning the courts and contiones whenever possible. His oratorical audience was the elite he belonged to and not the people. His ancestry and networks would have had most impact with his fellow senators, as would any hints of Epicurean motivation. His avoidance of contio goes hand in hand with his lack of advertisement of military achievements or popularis sympathies. Public speaking was, of course, an important means of communication in a political career. Cicero’s belittling of Piso’s oratorical skills formed part of his complete denigration of Piso’s person and career and the evidence examined in this chapter shows it to be misleading, even wrong. Even if Cicero’s citations and paraphrases of Piso’s oratory may be deceptive, the occasions and Cicero’s responses show that Piso did not accept Cicero’s attacks but responded to them in a credible and impressive way, so much so that Cicero let him have the last word. There is even a hint that Piso knew how to speak diplomatically and without committing himself too much. Certainly, Piso was not as bad an orator as Cicero would have us believe, and perhaps even of more than average abilities. Piso used his oratory to advertise his political (and philosophical) views, to fend off Cicero’s assaults and to attempt negotiations between the opposing parties during the tumultuous period from 50 BC until after the death of Caesar. He did not always enjoy success in his role as moderator, but he was nevertheless asked by his fellow senators to negotiate with Antonius in early January 43.

93 Friendship and networks endorsed by Epicureans: Diog. Laert. 10.154; Lucr. 5.1010–​27.

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Piso was chosen for this chapter to illustrate how a politician without any known outstanding military talents or forensic career to build up a reputation for oratorical talent could make a political career for himself. It could be argued that Piso was an average politician who nevertheless made it to the top through his ancestry, elite network, a marriage alliance and a consistent projection of a credible public persona. His skilful political manoeuvres in 58 BC, his powerful response to Cicero’s invectives and his authority in the senate should also make us beware of underestimating the oratorical skill and political impact of politicians not singled out by history as the greatest Roman politicians. His case is perhaps suggestive of a broader section of Roman senators than are any of the other figures analysed in this study, and he is therefore important as a figure by which we can measure the more extraordinary individuals of late republican politics.

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Cato the Younger and the impact of self-​presentation

Λέγεται δὲ Κάτων εὐθὺς ἐκ παιδίου τῇ τε φωνῇ καὶ τῷ προσώπῳ καὶ ταῖς περὶ τὰς παιδιὰς διατριβαῖς ἦθος ὑποφαίνειν ἄτρεπτον καὶ ἀπαθὲς καὶ βέβαιον ἐν πᾶσιν. It is said that Cato, from early childhood, displayed in speech, facial expression and in his play and games a character that was unchangeable, immovable and steadfast in all aspects.1

Plutarch’s presentation of M. Porcius Cato (95–​46 BC) lays out the main theme of his biography, namely Cato’s uncompromising character and unremitting adherence to principle. This portrayal fitted certain aspects of Cato’s life and career and it culminated in the account of Cato’s suicide at Utica. From both a historical and a compositional point of view, it made sense to focus on the stalwart and unbending side of Cato’s character.2 Plutarch was not alone in his description of Cato; the first literary works on Cato –​the three works written in support of Cato’s suicide and person, all entitled Cato, by Cicero, Brutus and Fabius Gallus and the two Anti-​Catos by Caesar and Hirtius  –​seem to have focused on this,3 and they were followed by much literature in the early imperial period.4 Cato the inflexible, imperturbable and steadfast man was not pure invention. 1 Plut. Cat. Min. 1.3 (Teubner). 2 Swain (1990a) 197–​201 evaluates Plutarch’s motivations for depicting Cato thus; cf. Duff (1999) 135–​41, 147–​58. 3 Cic. Att. 12.4.2 (SB 240), 12.5.2 (SB 242), 12.40.1 (SB 281), 13.27.1 (SB 298), 13.46.2 (SB 338); Top. 94; Orat. 35. Brutus’ and Fabius Gallus’ works called Cato: Cic. Att. 13.46.2 (SB 338); Fam. 7.24.2 (SB 260). Caesar’ and Hirtius’ works Anti-​Cato: Cic. Att. 12.40.1 (SB 281), 12.41.4 (SB 283), 12.44.1 (SB 285), 12.45.2 (SB 290). Cf. Quint. Inst. 3.7.28 on Caesar’s criticism of Cato, and Goar (1987) 15, 24–​5, 101; Stem (2005) 37–​49 for Cicero’s influence on Cato’s reception. 4 Goar (1987) analyses the reception of Cato from the first century BC to the fifth century AD. Griffin (1986) 64–​77, 192–​202 discusses philosophical aspects of Cato’s suicide. The later tradition of Cato is reflected, inter alia, in Sen. Prov. 2.9–​10; Ep. 104.30; Tac. Ann. 16.22 with Syme (1958) 104, 110, 140 for Curiatius Maternus’ tragedy Cato and its focus on the suicide, and Geiger (1979) 48, n. 1 for further literature on the topic.

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Or, to put it more precisely, this image of Cato does not seem to be an invention simply created by Cicero and the later tradition surrounding him. Cato himself did much to promote and nurture this image through speech, appearance and action, although later works may have overemphasised the philosophical element in Cato’s self-​projection. Of all the politicians of his age, he was one of the most successful in projecting a specific image, and his career is therefore particularly illustrative of the relevance of self-​presentation for political success. The ingredients in Cato’s public profile of principle, austerity and authority were several but the recipe was partly recycled from Cato’s great-​grandfather, Cato the Elder (234–​149 BC).5 The adherence to Stoic philosophy in both public and private was central as was the advocacy and exemplification of a modest lifestyle. All the sources agree that his Stoicism and adherence to principles was no mere display but a genuine belief.6 In Plutarch’s portrait, Cato appears very rigid in his adherence to Stoic principles which sometimes brought danger to the state which he argued to protect.7 Moreover, strong expressions of protection of the state and tradition alongside a tendency to follow the letter of the law or any principle adopted, rather than what seemed most useful or practical in the specific context, lent further auctoritas to his argument. Cato consciously emulated Cato the Elder,8 and at least one later observer noted the similarity between the two Catos.9 That the younger Cato at times pushed the boundaries of tradition, for example, through his filibuster speeches, or at times acted with pragmatism rather than principle seems not to have dented his general image. Nor, indeed, did his two electoral defeats appear to diminish his self-​projection; instead he exploited them to enhance his role as martyr against the three dynasts and his image as a politician raised above the sordid game of canvassing and bribing the voters. It is exactly 5 Cato the Elder himself worked to create his public image: Cornell (2010) 20. 6 Cic. Att. 2.1.8 (SB 21), 12.4.2 (SB 240); Vell. Pat. 2.35.1–​2; Plut. Cat. Min. 1.2; Phoc. 3.1–​5; Dio Cass. 37.22, 37.57.3. 7 Plut. Cat. Min. 9.10, 14.7–​8, 30.9–​10, 36.5–​37, 39.2, 44.1; and Plutarch quotes Cicero’s judgement that Cato seemed to be speaking in Plato’s Republic and not the sewer of the Roman state: Plut. Phoc. 3.2, with Swain (1990a); Pelling (1997) 228–​30; Duff (1999) 141–​5 on Plutarch’s portrayal of Cato’s Stoicism in relation to his political conduct. 8 Cic. Mur. 66:  ‘De cuius [Cato the Elder] praestanti uirtute cum uere grauiterque diceres [Cato the Younger], domesticum te habere dixisti exemplum ad imitandum’. (‘When you [Cato the Younger] were speaking honestly and seriously about his [Cato the Elder] outstanding virtue you said that you had a role model in your house and family’. For discussion of this passage and the use of Cato’s example: van der Blom (2010) 154–​5. This is unlikely to be the only instance of Cato invoking the example of his great-​grandfather. 9 Dio Cass. 37.22.

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his conscious emulation of Cato the Elder, his occasional choice of pragmatic rather than principled solutions and his tendency for theatricality and showmanship which indicate that he actively sought to promote a certain public profile. The political career of Cato is unusual in terms of the relationship between magistracies obtained and political influence wielded. Cato seems at most junctures to have enjoyed more influence than his official status would normally have accorded him. When he convinced the senate that execution of the Catilinarian conspirators was the way forward, he spoke as tribune-​elect only, against the proposal of praetor-​ elect Caesar, and more successfully than speakers of consular status.10 Although he never became consul, he spoke and acted as if a senior statesman and was perceived to have a high level of auctoritas and dignitas.11 His priesthood as quindecemuir sacris faciundis lent some authority,12 as did his ancestry, but he was still astonishingly influential for his position in public life. Yet this auctoritas may not have translated into charm or charisma, as Plutarch makes clear in his introduction to Cato’s parallel Phocion. Plutarch describes how Cato’s character did not endear him to the people or make him popular in political life, because he was old fashioned in his uncorrupted dealings and high virtue, and this in turn meant that he was rejected in the elections and therefore was unable to steer the state towards a better moral state.13 This suggests that Cato’s political career was not shaped by personal charisma, unscrupulous exploitation of political tactics (although he was no stranger to these in other situations), or wealth. The question remains, to what extent did Cato’s oratory help him establish his public profile and his political career? Modern scholars have discussed specific aspects of Cato’s career and oratory –​the filibustering technique, the influence from his Stoic beliefs and famous speeches such as his prosecution of L. Licinius Murena and his speech in the debate on the Catilinarian conspirators –​but less attention has been given to Cato’s oratory in relation to his political career or 10 Cic. Mur. 13, 58, 60. McDermott (1970) 69 takes Cicero’s references to Cato’s auctoritas as ironic, but Fehrle (1983) 90 argues Cicero’s comments are genuine. For other anecdotes illustrating Cato’s auctoritas: Plin. HN Praef. 9; Sen. Marc. 20.6; Plut. Cat. Min. 14.2; Cic. Att. 1.14.6 (SB 14); Cic. Mil. 58. Steel (2006) 14 argues against underestimating Cato’s position at this point. 11 For the relation between election to magistracy and auctoritas/​dignitas: Earl (1967) 11–​23; Tatum (2007) 109; Pina Polo (2012a) 82. 12 Plut. Cat. Min. 4.1 with discussion of nature of priesthood and co-​optation: Geiger (1971) ad loc.; Rüpke (2008) no. 2808. 13 Plut. Phoc. 3.1–​5 with Geiger (1971) 93–​6; Duff (1999) 131–​60; M. Beck (2005) 111.

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the ways in which he communicated his career choices to the public.14 The scattered nature of the evidence, in spite of Malcovati’s collection, is partly to blame.15 There are no secure verbatim passages from Cato’s speeches, but there are a handful of potential ones and ample evidence of occasions at which he spoke. A close reading of passages mentioning his eloquence or giving descriptions of specific performances in the senate, the contio or the courts can help us judge the effect of his oratory and form an opinion on the role of oratory in his political career. In this chapter, the case of Cato the Younger shall be used to explore the ways in which oratorical performances could help a Roman politician to build and nurture a strong public profile and communicate career choices, and how such a profile could influence a political career but not guarantee electoral success in Rome. Before the detailed analysis of Cato’s oratorical performances, the extent of Stoic influence on his oratory shall be discussed, as this is a prominent feature in the description of his political activity. Dio provides a brief character sketch of Cato, in which his education is contrasted with that of his ancestral role model, Cato the Elder, who received a inferior Greek education than his descendant.16 Exactly what the younger Cato’s education consisted in, we are not told, and the contrast made could stem more from the elder Cato’s famous, but partly disingenuous, attack on all things Greek.17 Plutarch informs us that the younger Cato’s teacher was the wise and cultured tutor Sarpedon,18 and that he would later enjoy the company and conversation of Greek philosophers such as the Stoics Antipater the Tyrian, Athenodorus and Stratocles of Rhodes as well as a certain Antidotus.19 Cicero emphasises in the Brutus how Cato’s argumentation benefited from his studies into Stoic philosophy. But he adds that he learnt to speak from masters of oratory 14 Groebe (1905) analyses filibustering speeches in republican oratory. Ayers (1953–​4); Leeman (1982); Craig (1986); van der Wal (2007) compare Cicero’s speech for Murena with Cato’s prosecution speech, while Nelson (1950); McDermott (1970); Cavarzere (2000) 154–​7 consider Cato’s Stoic style, and Stem (2005) Cato’s oratory generally but not its influence on Cato’s career. Gelzer (1934); Afzelius (1941); Fehrle (1983) analyse Cato’s political career, but not the role of oratory in its formation and continuation. 15 Malcovati (1976) no.  126 provides most of the evidence, supplemented by other sources when relevant. 16 Dio Cass. 37.22. 17 Astin (1978) 157–​81. 18 Plut. Cat. Min. 1.4. Cato’s childhood and early influences on his political outlook: Plut. Cat. Min. 1–​3 with Harders (2010) 61–​7. 19 Plut. Cat. Min. 4.1, 10. Cf. Plin. HN 7.113 on Cato bringing home philosophers from his various trips abroad. Balsdon (1979) 54–​8 lists Greek(-​speaking) scholars attached to prominent Romans, setting Cato’s practice into perspective.

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and that he trained himself in their methods to avoid the pitfalls of dry dialectics without style.20 Cicero elaborates his point in the slightly later work, the Paradoxa Stoicorum, where he says that he has often observed Cato addressing the senate with substantial arguments taken from philosophy but not generally used in the law court and the assemblies, and that Cato’s oratory made his arguments acceptable to the general public.21 By singling out Cato as a perfect Stoic who is able to break free of the doctrine’s tight precepts for speaking and apply a more rhetorical approach, Cicero creates a flattering portrait of Cato but also of himself as a philosophically trained orator.22 Cicero also had political reasons for praising Cato at a time when Cato embodied the republican fight against Caesar’s supremacy. Clearly, Cicero wanted to portray Cato as a great orator and statesman. Yet, Cicero’s portrayal would have been implausible if Cato had not been seen to embrace Stoicism. Although Stem may read too much into these passages when arguing that Cato could speak like a Stoic when he chose to, but also more oratorically when he thought it better suited to the theme, occasion or audience, Cato was clearly associated with Stoicism.23 Two decades earlier, Cicero had ridiculed Cato’s Stoicism as part of his defence of Murena in 63 BC.24 Cicero’s attack on Stoic beliefs has been read as proof of Cato’s use of Stoic precepts in his oratory, and Cicero’s references to Cato’s speech have been interpreted with varying degrees of credence as reports of Cato’s speech. Here, I shall not discuss the individual passages or their possible relation to Cato’s actual words, but instead emphasise that Cicero’s speech confirms Cato’s public image as a Stoic. In his criticism, Cicero may simply have played on Cato’s public image 20 Cic. Brut. 119; cf. 118–​20. Probably completed in spring 46 BC before the news of Cato’s suicide in Utica had reached Rome: Hendrickson (1926) 249–​53; Douglas (1966) ix-​x; Narducci (2002) 401. Douglas (1966) 97; Stem (2005) 41, n. 15 discuss Cicero’s veracity on the point of Cato’s teachers. Cf. Cic. Fam. 15.4.16 (SB 110) (Dec. 51 BC), where Cicero flatters Cato by saying that the two of them brought true philosophy into the forum, the res publica, and the battlefield. 21 Cic. Par. Stoic. praef. 1–​3. Atherton (1988) 401–​3; Moretti (1995) 102–​5; Stem (2005) discuss these two passages in the philosophical, rhetorical and historical contexts, Stem (2005) 42 arguing for dating Brutus in the winter and spring of 46 BC and Par. Stoic. just after. 22 Baraz (2012) 131–​6 on Cicero’s aims in presenting Cato this way, arguing that Cicero’s compositional aims overshadowed historical reality. This may be true to some extent, but Cicero’s arguments would have appeared unconvincing without some level of reality. Wildberger (2013) analyses Stoicism’s associations with rhetoric and Cicero’s aims with presenting Stoic orators as stale. 23 Stem (2005) 43–​4. Cf. Cic. Fin. 4.61 suggesting that Cato could have been a better orator and politician if he had abandoned his overt display of philosophical allegiance. 24 Nelson (1950); Ayers (1953–​4); Craig (1986) discuss this speech and Cicero’s attack on Cato’s Stoicism.

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as a Stoic, rather than on Cato’s specific expressions in this speech, but Cicero’s mockery would have been more credible if Cato had indeed used such arguments. Whether Cicero praised Cato as a Stoic orator, as he did in his later works, or mocked Cato for the same, it is beyond doubt that Cato must have used his Stoicism to some extent in his public speeches: in choice of words and arguments and in his manner. The ancient sources differ in their evaluation of Cato’s particular strengths and weaknesses when addressing various kinds of audiences. Quintilian emphasises Cato’s skill in addressing the senate,25 while Plutarch tells us that Cato practised the kind of speech which is effective with the people (τὸν ὀργανικὸν εἰς πλήθη λόγον) and preferred practicing alone, not allowing anybody to hear him rehearse a speech.26 Plutarch’s anecdote helps him to illustrate Cato’s character through his actions: Cato’s solitary practicing underlines the later image of a politician not caring about the judgement of others and going his own way. But this story also suggests a politician careful about his preparation and aware of the importance of speaking for making his mark in politics. Cicero explains how training in Stoic philosophy did not help a speaker who needed to persuade the people;27 perhaps this is why Cato needed exercises in this kind of oratory. Moreover, Plutarch gives an example of Cato’s great oratorical success with his soldiers, even if we have no testimonia of specific occasions where Cato addressed a military contio,28 and another anecdote suggests that Cato was considered to have superior rhetorical and oratorical skills.29 While these sources highlight different aspects of Cato’s oratorical ability, none of them specify any particular faults or shortcomings. It is clear, however, that Cato had a public image as an adherent of Stoicism and that this influenced his public oratory.

Early career The first known occasion at which Cato spoke in public exemplifies well the image of a politician led by principle and adherence to tradition. As was typical for a young man of the senatorial elite, Cato started his 25 Quint. 11.1.36 (on the necessity of speaking appropriately to the circumstances). 26 Plut. Cat. Min. 4.3 (Teubner). Contrast how the fathers of Cicero’s fellow students turned up just to hear Cicero perform: Plut. Cic. 2.2. 27 Cic. Brut. 120. 28 Plut. Cat. Min. 54.5; cf. Plut. Cat. Min. 9.4, 12 for his good rapport with his soldiers, with Geiger (1979) 49–​50 on the source and high credibility of this information. 29 Plut. Cat. Min. 66.1.

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oratorical career in court, but in an unusual context. It was not a prosecution against any particular individual, but instead a civil suit, held before a praetor it seems, which involved a speech delivered as priuatus against the decision of the tribunes to pull down or move a pillar in the Basilica Porcia. Plutarch tells us that the tribunes thought the pillar was obstructing their arrangement of tribunal seats and that Cato opposed the decision because the Basilica Porcia had been dedicated by his great-​ grandfather Cato the Elder. His speech was much admired for its eloquence and because it showed Cato’s high character; it was judged not juvenile or affected but instead straightforward, rich in content and the tone simultaneously harsh and charming; in other words, persuasive. His voice was strong and he could speak for a whole day if needed.30 Plutarch’s description seems coloured by later occasions of Cato’s oratory in action, especially his filibuster speeches, and Plutarch no doubt chose this episode to illustrate the seeds to Cato’s later principled actions in politics.31 But what is noteworthy is Plutarch’s remark that this event was Cato’s first public performance,32 and that it was against his wish to speak already at this point; he afterwards went back to his silence and his discipline. This ties in with Cato’s wish to prepare well before entering the public scene,33 as remarked above, but also serves to show that Cato’s oratorical powers were highly regarded, perhaps already at this early stage, and certainly later. Cato was probably in his twenties when he delivered the speech against the tribunes’ decision on the Basilica Porcia,34 and if this dating in the late 70s BC is right, Cato’s speech came at a point when the extent of tribunician powers was much debated. Might Cato’s interjection with the tribunes be his contribution to this debate, setting a limit to tribunician

30 Plut. Cat. Min. 5.1–​3 with Geiger (2000) 215–​16. 31 Geiger (2000) 216 on the close parallels between Plut. Cat. Min. 5.1–​3 and the outline of the ideal orator in Plut. Mor. 802E-​803A, suggesting Plutarch had Cato in mind when writing about the ideal orator. Plutarch even ends his description of the ideal orator with Cato’s filibusters (Plut. Mor. 804C), indicating that Plutarch was thinking about Cato’s filibusters when praising his strong and enduring voice in the Life of Cato. Cf. Fehrle (1983) 21. 32 Geiger (1971) ad Plut. Cat. Min. 5.2, Geiger (2000) 215 reconciles this statement with Dio Cass. 37.22.4 (Cato’s first speech was against the honours proposed to Pompeius in 63): Plutarch meant the first speech in a court, and Dio Cass. presumably the first senate speech. 33 Paralleled in Cicero’s stated wish not to train himself in oratory through practice in the Forum, but to train himself in private before entering the Forum: Cic. Brut. 311. Mitchell (1979) 53 suggests Cicero’s underlying reason for delay was the political situation rather than a wish to burst on to the scene as a fully trained first-​rate orator. Indeed, Cicero’s and Cato’s reasons for delaying entry to the public scene may not be the same. 34 Dating of this episode is unclear, but it must have taken place early in Cato’s career; Fehrle (1983) 68–​9 suggests sometime in the period 75–​72 BC.

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influence, and thus the people’s influence, over elite culture? This speech certainly helped put Cato on the political scene as an upholder of pietas and tradition. This accords well with his new status as a member of the priestly college of the quindecemuiri sacris faciundis.35 The priesthood was, if not the most prestigious, still one of the four major priesthoods and the co-​optation of Cato was probably related to his status as member of a nobilis family –​as far as we know, this is the first step in his public career. To this image of pietas and tradition, Cato added a further facet of uprightness and high morals during his quaestorship. After a military tribunate served in Macedonia in 67 BC, and a couple of years in Rome, Cato was elected to the quaestorship of, most likely, 64 BC, in what so far appears a traditional career trajectory.36 We do not know the details of Cato’s election to the quaestorship, but once in office, Cato did much to professionalise and reorganise the tasks and personnel of the treasury, of which he was put in charge, and to advertise his efforts to the public.37 He delivered at least two speeches during his year in office. One was at the trial of a fraudulent clerk of the treasury, where Cato acted either as a prosecutor of the clerk (he had already dismissed another fraudulent clerk) or as a witness against the defendant. He seems to have spoken against the defence and subsequent appeal of Q. Lutatius Catulus who was censor in 65 BC, arguing that it was shameful of Catulus to defend a bailiff in his capacity as censor.38 Plutarch’s purpose for including this anecdote was to illustrate how far Cato’s decency and sense of justice extended, but it also says something about Cato’s willingness to publicly criticise a figure much his senior in years and status. By engaging in these trials and speaking in them, Cato could add an aspect of incorruptibility and concern with the treasury to his public image. A similar message could be found in Cato’s public rebuke and questioning of those Sullani who had killed for proscription money. Cato even claimed back the money for the treasury, thereby further underlining his concern for

35 When he was made priest is unknown. Plutarch’s chronology suggests Cato was a priest of Apollo (probably quindecimuir sacris faciundis) when he spoke on the Basilica Porcia (Cat. Min. 4.1). Rüpke (2008) no. 2808 places the co-​optation in 65 or 64 BC (not before 75 BC, as Plutarch’s suggests) and Fehrle (1983) 67 accepts; Geiger (1971) ad loc. argues after 75 BC. 36 MRR II.162 with n. 5; Geiger (1971) ad Plut. Cat. Min. 16.1. 37 Gruen (1974) 254 evaluates Cato’s reform as characteristic of Cato’s dynamism. For the position of the clerks see Purcell (1983). 38 Plut. Cat. Min. 16.5–​10. Geiger (1971) ad loc. discusses the details of these cases, concluding that the second clerk was probably prosecuted in a court-​like procedure. The anecdote and Cato’s words to Catulus are also included in Plut. Mor. 534D, 808E.

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the treasury.39 Noteworthy is Plutarch’s remark that Cato spoke with passion and eloquence (θυμῷ καὶ λόγῳ) and that his action resulted in murder trials of these Sullani. Cato was not alone in his view of the Sullani, as also Caesar and Ser. Sulpicius Rufus promoted themselves through actions against them,40 Sulpicius focusing also on boosting the treasury.41 Gelzer understands Cato’s rebuke as part of his abhorrence of dictatorships (a trait emphasised by Dio too),42 perhaps because he found the backlash against the Sullani a popular cause otherwise incompatible with Cato’s image. Cato may, of course, have acted from a principle against dictators and the corruption that could follow, but it did not hurt his reputation to support a generally popular cause, ensuring maximum public attention to Cato’s position. Geiger judges that Plutarch’s account of Cato’s quaestorship is very likely to stem, ultimately, from a laudatory account of Cato’s close friend Munatius Rufus.43 This suggests a high credibility for the facts related, even if the judgement may be tilted favourably. Plutarch’s choice of illustrative episodes to depict Cato’s quaestorship is another filter through which we try to glimpse Cato. However, we may conclude that if Cato had not been widely known before his quaestorship, he was surely on everybody’s radar screen afterwards as a politician of passionate oratory, high principles and a willingness to employ both at the expense of senior senators. Plutarch’s description of Cato’s early public performances suggests that Cato nurtured an image as an upright, almost righteous, politician already from the beginning of his career. Plutarch is likely to have projected Cato’s later public profile back to an earlier stage of his career by picking out episodes which fitted with Cato’s later image. Yet, even if Plutarch’s selection may not be representative of Cato’s early career and if he may have overemphasised the significance of these instances in order to illustrate specific elements of Cato’s character, Cato still appears to have spoken to 39 Plut. Cat. Min. 17.5–​6. Cf. Cic. Off. 3.88 with Dyck (1996) 610 for his concern for revenues in relation to the tax-​farmers’ request for lowering of their bid for the Asian taxes. 40 Cf. Dio Cass. 47.6.4. These men, including L. Luscius and L. Bellienus (Asc. 90–​1C), were prosecuted in the quaestio de sicariis where Julius Caesar was presiding as iudex quaestionis (Cic. Lig. 12; Dio Cass. 37. 10.2; Suet. Iul. 11). For Cato’s earlier opposition to Sulla’s regime: Plut. Cat. Min. 3.3–​7. For other measures against Sullani: Sall. Hist. 4.1 (= Gell. NA 18.4.4), and Caesar’s activities to give back citizen rights to the children of the proscribed: Dio Cass. 37.25.4; Plut. Cic. 12.2. Cf. Vell. Pat. 2.43.4 with Woodman (1983) 61; Pelling (2011) 158. 41 Sulpicius Rufus enforced the law of 72 BC making the purchasers of goods of the proscribed pay the full price to the treasury against the exemption granted by Sulla: Cic. Verr. 3.81–​2; Sall. Hist. 4.1M = 4.1 (McGushin). Gruen (1974) 414 remarks that there was no question of compensating the original owners. 42 Gelzer (1934) 74. Dio Cass. 37.22. 43 Geiger (1979) 52–​3.

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the effect described at these occasions. Cato may have displayed different opinions in other speeches, but it is nevertheless noteworthy that, early on in his career, he already projected himself as a man of honesty, piety and incorruptibility, and that he did so through public speeches.

Establishing a career and persona Between his quaestorship and his position as tribune in 62 BC, Cato was active in the senate, contio and in the courts, often, it seems, with a view to defending tradition and fighting injustice and illegalities.44 Plutarch relates that after his entry to the senate (as quaestor) he was the first to arrive in the senate in the morning and the last to leave it, never missing a session.45 His activity included a number of speeches; some became part of the legend of Cato but others are less well known. However, they all contribute to the impression of an active politician deeply engaged in daily political life and speaking on a regular basis. His speeches were not always successful –​compare the failure in the prosecution of Murena in 63 BC with the success in his speech on the Catilinarian conspirators just weeks after –​but he often made his mark on politics and continued to build up his public persona as a man of integrity and principle. When he spoke against Murena and for execution of the Catilinarians, he was tribune designate. Two features of Cato’s election to the tribunate are noteworthy. The first is his stated motivation:  Plutarch tells us how Cato abandoned his plan of a break from politics when he learnt about the candidature of Q.  Caecilius Metellus Nepos for the tribunate, telling his friends that he wanted to limit the damage he expected Metellus Nepos would do to the state. The second is the fact that he was elected, apparently with strong support from the people, as Plutarch argues, because they felt he did them and the state a favour by offering himself.46 This may be overstating Cato’s popular appeal. There is no suggestion in Plutarch’s narrative that Cato communicated his motivation beyond the circle of friends, but a passage from Cicero’s speech Pro Murena strongly suggests that everybody was aware of the antagonism between Cato and Metellus Nepos.47 Cato’s opposition to Nepos fitted nicely with his public 44 Appendix 5 lists Cato’s speeches in 63 BC. 45 Plut. Cat. Min. 19.1. Except when he boycotted the senate during Caesar’s consulate (Cic. Sest. 63). 46 Plut. Cat. Min. 20–​1. Geiger (1971) ad Plut. Cat. Min. 21.1–​2 emphasises, rightly, the romantic and rhetorical colouring of Plutarch’s description of Cato’s canvass for the tribunate. 47 Cic. Mur. 81 with Yakobson (1999) 167.

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profile of standing up to the state, even when personally inconvenient. Moreover, his earlier public performances arguing against disrespect of ancestors (Basilica Porcia), fraud, and the greed of the Sullani will have made his candidature somewhat attractive to the people as well as to his peers. His public persona as a man of justice and frugality must have helped in this election, and his nobilis ancestry will also have contributed to some degree.48 In this situation there is no sign of his lack of charm and unpopularity with the people, which Plutarch mentioned in his general description. Furthermore, Cato’s sudden decision to canvass for the tribunate suggests an impulsive character willing to change his career plans if he deemed it useful or necessary. The trial of Murena in late November 63 BC has attracted much scholarship, especially about the political background to the trial and Cicero’s speech at the trial.49 Our information about Cato’s speech comes mainly from Cicero’s defence speech and circumstantial detail in later sources.50 The fact that Cato prosecuted because he had publicly announced that he would prosecute any candidate in the consular elections who practised bribery was in itself an act of self-​promotion. His decision not to prosecute his brother-​in-​law, Silanus, illustrates the limits of Cato’s self-​presentation as an incorrupt man of his word.51 Cato was ridiculed by Cicero for his Stoicism and rigid adherence to principles, which reflects his public persona as a politician adhering to Stoicism, even if Cicero may have exaggerated it in his ridicule.52 It is also noteworthy, that Cicero referred to Cato’s auctoritas even if Cato was merely tribune designate, but we cannot be sure whether Cicero’s references and apparent quotations of Cato’s speech reflects truthfully upon his opponent’s speech.53

48 Yakobson (1999) 181 with n. 91 on Cato’s personal reputation and electoral strength (but Plutarch does not seem to me to say clearly that Cato adopted an openly optimate campaign). 49 For modern scholarship on Cicero’s speech: Craig (2002) 593. Scholarship on Cato’s speech: Nelson (1950); Ayers (1953–​4); McDermott (1970) 67–​71; Fehrle (1983) 88–​92; Craig (1986); Alexander (2002) 124; van der Wal (2007) 185–​93; Fantham (2013). 50 Cic. Mur.; Plut. Cat. Min. 21.4 (Plutarch’s little rhetorical exercise according to Geiger (1971) ad loc.); Cic. 35.3; Quint. 11.1.69–​71 (on Cicero’s rhetorical strategy). 51 Plut. Cat. Min. 21.2–​3; cf. Cic. Mur. 62, 64. Geiger (1971) ad loc. on Silanus’ plebeian status influencing Cato’s abstention because his co-​prosecutor, Sulpicius’, patrician status meant that he could only take up the consulship left by the patrician Murena. Yet, Cato’s abstention may still have been perceived as failing to live up to a promise. 52 Cic. Mur. 3, 60–​6. Cicero’s apology: Fin. 4.74. 53 Possible quotes and paraphrases: Cic. Mur. 2, 3, 6, 13, 13, 54, 62, 66, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 78. Nelson (1950) 66 thinks Cicero’s references represent fragments of Cato’s speech; Ayers (1953–​4) 248–​52 reconstructs Cato’s arguments (but not fragments) from Cicero’s speech.

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Cicero’s treatment of Cato’s arguments suggests a well-​organised speech dealing with the indications of Murena’s bribery. Cato’s style is difficult to discern from Cicero’s references. It may have been influenced by his Stoicism, but may, on the other hand, not have been very coloured by it, as Cicero’s ridicule may simply have played upon a more general image of Cato rather than his appearance and arguments in this trial. It seems fairly certain that Cato had called Murena a saltator (‘dancer’ with clearly negative associations) because Cicero makes much of all the associations with saltator which Cato had not exploited.54 Cato’s reply to Cicero’s humorous attacks on Cato’s self-​presentation was, according to Plutarch, ‘What a funny consul we have!’55 Moreover, Cato may have toned down his Stoicism in public performances so as not to cause further ridicule, although the lack of extant speeches from Cato makes it difficult to gauge the viability of this hypothesis.56 Note that Cato was unsuccessful in his prosecution even if Murena was clearly guilty; Cicero was a formidable oratorical opponent who could affect acquittal through a combination of arguments, humour and performance, and who had the authority of his office behind him.57 This observation leads us to the possible indications of Cato’s strategy for political advancement after the trial. McDermott has argued that Cicero’s success in defending Murena ‘drove Cato out of the courts’.58 It is true that the only attested forensic activities of Cato post-​63 BC are as a witness, as presiding praetor, as a juror or as present for the defendant –​not as prosecuting or defending advocate.59 The reasons may be several: prosecutions were traditionally seen as appropriate for young politicians only, and Cato may have considered himself beyond that after 63 BC.60 The sources could misrepresent Cato’s activities, but considering the wealth of material on his senatorial and contional activity in the period between 63 and 49 BC, the lack of forensic activity is striking. He could have abstained because an advocate worked with the constant risk of being criticised of corruption of the evidence, the case and his own morals (as happened to Cicero), and that this would go against his carefully crafted public profile. Moreover, as 54 Cic. Mur. 13 with Corbeill (1996) 137–​8. 55 Plut. Cat. Min. 21; Cic. 50.5 with Leeman (1982) 216–​17. 56 Nelson (1950) 69 on Cato’s use of Stoicicm, although his use of Sallust and Cato’s letter to Cicero (Cic. Fam. 15.5 (SB 111)) raises questions about these sources’ suitability for evaluating Cato’s public oratory. 57 Cicero’s use of his consular ethos in this speech: May (1988) 58–​69. 58 McDermott (1970) 70. 59 Evidence in Alexander (1990) nos. 236, 295, 303, 306, 309, 327 and in Appendix 5. 60 See Chapter 1, pages 27–31.

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argued in Chapter 1, the more a politician’s career progressed the less likely he was to act as prosecutor or defence advocate and more likely to act as character witness or other such support at the trial. Of course, when he prosecuted Murena, he was already tribune-​elect so the trial and its outcome did not have an immediate impact on his chances in this election, but he could use the occasion to influence public perception of himself and to signal what was in store in his tribunate. The trial of Murena had a high public profile and even if people were not personally present as onlookers to the trial in the forum, the main ideas could be disseminated later through conversation and gossip. Even if Cato did not succeed in securing Murena’s conviction, his appearance as prosecutor and his speech will have underlined his self-​presentation as the opponent of senatorial corruption. Cato had more oratorical success with his speech in the senatorial debate on the Catilinarian conspirators on 5 December 63 BC. Although he had already delivered several speeches before and attracted attention as quaestor, this was the speech which made him a name. There is plenty of scholarship on the Catilinarian conspiracy, the debate on the fate of the five captured conspirators, the senators participating in the debate, and on the aftermath; therefore I shall not go into details.61 What is important here is that Caesar almost convinced the senate to vote against capital punishment, but then Cato’s subsequent speech turned the opinion of the senate back to capital punishment even if Cato was not the first to advocate this solution.62 Plutarch says that this is the only speech of Cato’s preserved, because Cicero had arranged for short-​hand clerks to note down the proceedings, but Plutarch seems not to have read the speech himself.63 Nevertheless, Cato’s speech may have circulated in his own time and helped promote his oratorical and political profile. The ancient sources report differently on content and style of Cato’s speech: attack on Caesar or not, Cato’s praise of Cicero or not, Cato speaking in a calm and reasoned manner or in a passionate and strong manner.64 These 61 See Craig (2002) 593. On the senators:  Berry (2006) 147–​9; Riggsby (2010); cf. Cic. Att. 12.21.1 (SB 260). 62 Cic. Cat. 4, 7, 8, 10; Att. 12.21.1 (SB 260); Sall. Cat. 53.1, 55.1; Vell. Pat. 2.35.3–​4; Flor. 2.12.11; Plut. Cat. Min. 23.1; Caes. 8.1–​2; Suet. Iul. 14; Dio Cass. 37.36.3. App. B Civ. 2.6 seems confused. Arena (2012) 108–​11 on the Catilinarian debate reflecting debates about libertas. McDermott (1970) 72 oddly assumes that it was Cicero, not Cato, who persuaded the senate of the death penalty. Cato’s praise of Cicero (Cic. Orat. 41) could refer to this debate. 63 Plut. Cat. Min. 23.1; Geiger (2000) 217–​18. 64 Attack on Caesar: Plut. Cat. Min. 23.1, not in Sall. Cat. 52. Praise of Cicero: Cic. Att. 12.21.1 (SB 260), not in Sall. Cat. 52. Cato’s speech calm and reasoned: Sall. Cat. 52, but passionate and uehementer in: Plut. Cat. Min. 23.1; Vell. Pat. 2.35.3–​4; Cic. Sest. 61.

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disagreements complicate any attempt to judge precisely the content and style of the speech. But it is clear that Cato managed to persuade the senate of the necessity to adopt capital punishment and, with this oratorical success, Cato placed himself in the public eye as a principled man with little leniency in matters of justice. We have no indication that his advocacy of death penalty caused him unpopularity with the people in the way that Cicero experienced. Why did Metellus Nepos, who was the first person we know of to publicly criticise Cicero, not also criticise Cato of whom he was clearly not a friend?65 Cicero was arguably ultimately responsible for the executions as the consul who carried them out, while Cato was one of several senators to simply advocate execution and he voted in the collective senate on the proposal. Metellus (or later Clodius) could not have acted against a senator simply for having expressed an opinion during a senatorial debate, but he could act against a consul taking an executive decision, however much that consul argued to have the senate behind him. This speech was extremely important for Cato as it ensured instant fame and recognition. He entered the tribunate five days later as the man on the front page and a daily protagonist in high politics of Rome. Cato’s first action as tribune is striking for its appeal to popular sentiment. In December 63 BC or in early 62 BC, Cato successfully advocated an extension of the grain dole in the senate.66 Plutarch is our only source and he explains that Caesar stirred up the people who were angry with the execution of the Catilinarian conspirators; something had to be done to placate the populace. There is no indication that this anger was aimed at Cato personally, but the agitation may have been directed at (conservative) senators en bloc among whom Cato could be counted. Although Plutarch clearly indicates the political motivation behind the measure, his characterisation of Cato’s proposal as an act of humanity and kindness seems to read too much into Cato’s intentions, even if the poor benefited from the measure.67 What is remarkable, however, is the populist signal sent out by Cato; taken together with his criticism of the Sullani, this again suggests that in spite of the reports about his strong steadfastness 65 Metellus Nepos’ criticism of Cicero: Cic. Fam. 5.2.7–​8 (SB 2); Sest. 11; Gell. NA 18.7.7; Dio Cass. 37.42. Cato canvassed for the tribunate exactly to counter Metellus. 66 Plut. Cat. Min. 26.1; Caes. 8.6–​7; Mor. 818D. Brunt (1971a) 379; Pelling (2011) 171–​3 think it was a lex passed in a contio, but Mommsen (1904) 196; Geiger (1971) ad loc.; Fehrle (1983) 98; Bearzot, Geiger and Ghilli (1993) note ad Plut. Cat. Min. 26.1 think Plutarch indicates a senatus consultum. On contents of the measure: Brunt (1971a) 378–​9; Rickman (1980) 166–​72; Garnsey (1988) 208–​13; Pelling (1989). 67 Geiger (1971) 94 on Plutarch’s characterisation.

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and strict adherence to principle, he was able to act with political pragmatism when he himself deemed it necessary, that is, necessary to protect the existing political system.68 In any case, grain measures were not the sole prerogative of generally populist tribunes,69 and his presentation of the proposal to the senate (at least, in the first instance) reflects a respect for that body and traditional legislative process. Yet, Cato was willing to face violence in the assembly to fight for his point. He opposed the proposal of his tribunician colleague, Metellus Nepos, to recall Pompeius from his command in the East to round up the remaining Catilinarians, taking his forces into Italy and protect the city. In a speech in the senate, Cato is reported to have said that Pompeius would only enter the city in arms over his (Cato’s) dead body. When Metellus subsequently brought his proposal to the popular assembly to be voted on, Cato’s obstruction of the reading out of the bill led to violence: he, a sacrosanct tribune, was beaten with sticks and forced to leave the scene.70 The senate declared in Cato’s favour and Metellus fled to join Pompeius, shouting out that he was fleeing Cato’s tyranny –​perhaps reciprocating Cato’s rhetoric. Although we only hear of a speech at the first senate meeting, and Plutarch’s long and colourful description drew on the loyal eyewitness account of Munatius Rufus,71 Cato evidently made the most of this occasion: he showed his readiness to protect the state against the dominance of Pompeius and the violence of his supporters, and he used both physical and oratorical means to communicate his readiness. If we can believe Plutarch’s quotation of Cato’s words, they show a tendency to use bombastic phrases to give weight to his argument and to manipulate the opponent’s words: Metellus had proposed Pompeius should bring his troops to Italy and protect the city, but apparently Cato argued against Pompeius bringing his troops into the city itself (μεθ’ ὅπλων εἰς τὴν πόλιν).72 The impact 68 See Afzelius (1941) 118–​19; Gruen (1974) 54. Duff (1999) 152 on the law as sign of Cato’s (temporary) moderation. Yakobson (1999) 223 with n. 109 on this measure enhancing Cato’s popularity with the people. This effect may have been intended. Cato’s speech for the law may have been influenced by Cicero’s speeches against Rullus’ land bill in early 63 BC, which had sought to redefine the concept of popularis (esp. Cic. Leg. agr. 2 with Morstein-​Marx (2004) 207–​28). 69 Gruen (1974) 33–​4, 385–​6; Pina Polo (2011a) 300–​3 on grain distribution laws. Arena (2012) 173–​4 sees this bill as an example of the lack of opposition among the ‘optimates’ against this type of legislation. 70 Plut. Cat. Min. 26–​9 (with Geiger (1971) ad loc.); Dio Cass. 37.43.1–​3 (senate passing a so-​called senatus consultum ultimum); Cic. Sest. 62 (with Kaster (2006) 257–​8); Schol. Bob. 134S. On the legislation: Millar (1998) 113–​14; on the violence between the two tribunes in light of tribunician sacrosanctity: Steel (2010) 48–​9. 71 Geiger (1979) 50. 72 Plut. Cat. Min. 26.5 (Teubner).

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of this event on Cato’s political career was indirect, not campaigning for a further magistracy just yet, but nevertheless of some weight:  although he antagonised the influential Metelli, Caesar and Pompeius,73 and may even have angered the people through his obstruction of a popular measure, he articulated his motivation for seeking the tribunate –​his opposition to Pompeius and his supporters –​and his sacrifice of himself to this end. Cato’s other tribunician actions support this interpretation, as he carried on opposing measures proposed in Pompeius’ favour to the senate. He successfully opposed the postponement of the consular elections, which Pompeius had requested so that he could be present and support the candidature of M. Pupius Piso,74 and he successfully fought Pompeius’ canvass of the senate and the assemblies in favour of an agrarian bill to benefit his veteran soldiers.75 This opposition fits with Cato’s rejection of Pompeius’ offer of a marriage alliance.76 Cato spoke at other occasions too during his tribunate,77 but the speeches recorded in our sources suggest that his successes with the grain dole and his continued resistance to Pompeius-​friendly measures stuck out for their political implications. There is nothing to suggest that the speeches he delivered at these occasions were of particular brilliance in terms of style or argument, even if he managed to persuade his audience of senators; he was not alone in his resistance to Pompeius. Yet his continued and consistent antagonism helped make him the recognised leader of the opposition against Pompeius and his supporters, especially in the senate, but also to the people. We can read this in at least two ways: Cato’s opposition was an attempt to follow a principle of protecting the state against the dominance of Pompeius or other such powerful leaders with the means necessary or that Cato used his opposition to Pompeius simply as a means to promote himself in politics. These two scenarios could even be combined (as shall be discussed below), but, in any case, Cato showed skill in playing on the people’s sentiments  –​through legislation and oratory  –​and was clearly willing to employ populist tactics to achieve his aim, whether denigration of Pompeius’ side or self-​promotion or both. 73 On the relationship between Cato and Pompeius, and Cato and Caesar: Afzelius (1941) 102–​5. 74 Plut. Cat. Min. 30.2. Cf. Plut. Pomp. 44.1; Dio Cass. 37.44.4 on the event, but not Cato’s opposition. 75 Plut. Cat. Min. 31.1–​2, who connects this with Cato’s support of Lucullus. Plutarch is wrong about Cato’s successful defence of Lucullus against the tribune Memmius’ prosecution to block Lucullus’ request for a triumph (29.3), since Memmius was tribune in 66 BC when Lucullus came back but Cato away in Macedonia. Fehrle (1983) 84, n. 3 on Plutarch’s transposition of events. 76 Plut. Cat. Min. 30; Pomp. 44. 77 See Appendix 5.

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The great filibusterer During the following years, Cato continued his confrontational tactics and developed a further technique to exploit oratorical occasions in his own interest, namely his famous filibustering. Filibustering here means speaking continuously, sometimes for hours, so as to block any further proceedings before the end of the meeting at nightfall. Cato’s obstructionism sometimes caused even Cicero to despair, such as Cato’s rigid opposition to the renegotiation of the Asian tax contracts. But later Cicero acknowledged the potential benefits of this tactic.78 Cicero’s reaction to Cato’s behaviour gives a clear impression of Cato’s public persona as a man sticking to principles. Cicero describes how Cato tormented the tax-​ farmers for months and that he ‘iis a senatu responsum dari patitur. ita nos cogimur reliquis de rebus nihil decernere, ante quam publicanis responsum sit’. (‘won’t let the Senate give them an answer. So we are unable to pass any decrees on other matters until the tax-​farmers are given their answer…’).79 Cicero despaired in Cato because he thought Cato’s opposition to the Asian tax cancellation damaging to the political agreement between the senators and the equites, the concordia ordinum, which Cicero believed he had instituted during his consulship in 63 BC.80 But Cicero is likely to have overestimated the importance, perhaps even existence, of such an agreement, and he probably misinterpreted Cato’s obstruction when regarding it as politically unsound. It may have been unsound from the perspective of streamlining senatorial business, but from Cato’s perspective it made sense: by his action he upheld a principle of contractual duty, opposed a possible loss to the treasury and tried to block political opponents such as Crassus from benefiting politically and financially, living up to his publicly displayed persona of protector of the state and its treasury against corruption and domineering politicians.81 Whether or not 78 Cic. Att. 1.17.9 (SB 17), 1.18.7 (SB 18), 2.1.8 (SB 21); acknowledgement:  Cic. Leg. 3.40. Cf. Dio Cass. 38.7.4. Groebe (1905) 223 sees Cato’s obstruction of the tax-​renegotiation as the first instance of Cato’s filibustering; followed by Shackleton Bailey (1965) comment ad Cic. Att. 1.18.7 (SB 18); Geiger (1971) ad Plut. Cat. Min. 31.5. De Libero (1992) 15–​22 on Cato’s filibustering, with Drummond’s (1994) 124 corrections. Cicero is not explicit about Cato’s tactic, but the later scholiast on Cicero’s Pro Plancio (Schol. Bob. 157St., lines 29–​31) is. Considering Cato’s later securely attested filibuster speeches, he could have employed this tactic here, perhaps for the first time, but the scholiast may have projected back Cato’s later filibuster speeches. 79 Cic. Att. 1.18.7 (SB 18). Text and translation Shackleton Bailey (1999). 80 Cic. Att. 2.1.8 (SB 21). Strasburger (1931) discusses this concept; Wirszubski (1950) 40–​3 its connection to libertas; cf. Wood (1988) 193–​9; Marco Simón and Pina Polo (2000); Arena (2012) 246–​7. 81 Cic. Off. 3.88 with Dyck (1996) 610.

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he believed in such principles, he used his opposition here as a platform from which to raise his public profile to both the elite and the people as a man of principle. It made perfect political sense. Cato used this filibustering tactic at least four times during his career, which will be discussed in order of occurrence below.82 According to Groebe, there was one precedent for this technique, namely the prolonged speeches of senators in 72 BC hoping to obstruct a proposal in favour of Sthenius of Thermae (Sicily) and against the machinations of C. Verres.83 Cato seems not to have been in Rome at this point,84 he was too young to be a senator present at the meeting, and although he could have heard of the senators’ attempt, it is far from certain that he was inspired by this precedent. But Cato’s frequent filibustering appears to have inspired others,85 thereby underlining another way in which oratory can affect both policy-​making and political culture more broadly: politicians now had to take account of this technique in their political actions. When Caesar returned from his governorship in Hispania Ulterior in 60 BC and requested permission to canvass for the consulship through friends so that he could stay outside the pomerium in the hope of a triumph, Cato successfully blocked the permission by speaking for the entire day.86 Caesar gave up the triumph, entered the city and won the consular elections for 59 BC. As with the possible first such speech, the success depended not so much on the style or content, but rather on maintaining the flow and voice so as to avoid interruption. This must have demanded a general physical fitness, such as that Cicero advocated for a good orator.87 Plutarch inferred from such instances of filibustering that Cato had a loud, penetrating and strong voice; indeed it is hard to imagine a feeble voice being able to pull off speeches of several hours or whole days.88 82 Possible first time: senate debate on Asian tax-​farmers 61/​60 BC (see Groebe’s (1905); Appendix 5 for sources). Second time: Senate debate on Caesar’s triumph and consular candidature 60 BC. Third time: contio speech on Caesar’s Campanian land bill 59 BC. Fourth time: contio debate against lex Trebonia de prouinciis consularibus 55 BC. Fifth time: senate or contio debate against Caesar’s consular canvass in absentia. 83 Cic. Verr. 2.2.96. Groebe (1905) 230. Lintott (2008) 84 on Verres’ machinations. 84 Accompanying his half-​brother Caepio in the war against Spartacus: Plut. Cat. Min. 8. 85 Groebe (1905) 230–​5. 86 Plut. Cat. Min. 31.3; Caes. 13.1; Suet. Iul. 18.2; Dio Cass. 37.54.2, 44.41.4; App. B Civ. 2.8. Vervaet (2014) 78–​93 on a general keeping his imperium or auspicium intact by staying outside the pomerium. 87 Cic. Brut. 313–​14, 316. Physical fitness for filibustering was emphasised by Texas senator Wendy Davis as she obstructed the passage of an anti-​abortion bill by speaking for ten hours on 25 Jun. 2013, wearing trainers to prevent muscle strain and to signal fitness to take up the physical challenge. 88 Plut. Cat. Min. 5.2.

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Another point worth making in connection with the election of Caesar is that Cato opposed it so much that he was willing to accept bribery as a necessary means to reach his aim –​whether for the best of the state or self-​ promotion.89 We might interpret this as another instance of his tendency to dispense with his high-​principled persona when he deemed it useful, but he could always argue to have done so for the sake of the state. Cato continued his hostility to Caesar during Caesar’s consulship of 59 BC. Cato’s opposition and filibustering against Caesar’s agrarian bill spurred Caesar to have him dragged away and into prison; the sources disagree whether it was from the senate or the rostra in a contio, but Gellius suggests that Caesar himself had asked Cato to give his opinion.90 The whole drama echoed the violence at Metellus’ pro-​Pompeian proposal and it provided another means to ensure maximum attention to Cato’s arguments and his person. These actions, and his many public warnings against the dominance of the three dynasts,91 combined Cato’s public profile of opposition to dominance, of willingness to sacrifice himself to this principle and his readiness to use untraditional means such as filibustering to promote his own agenda. He may have believed in the legitimacy of his agenda, and his filibustering tactic suggests a politician who considered the ends to justify the means. Not all his speeches in these years were filibusters and not all his actions were in opposition. Cato’s surprise attack on the consul M. Pupius Piso was not a filibuster, but we cannot take Cicero’s positive description (‘uox plena grauitatis, plena auctoritatis, plena denique salutis’ –​‘a most impressive, powerful, in fact wholesome speech’)92 at face value either. Cicero’s praise was based more on political concerns than on oratorical appreciation, because Cicero was infuriated with Piso’s turncoat speech against Piso’s own proposal of a special court to try Clodius for sacrilege in the Bona Dea scandal; Cicero therefore made much of Cato’s speech against 89 Suet. Iul. 19.1. 90 Plut. Cat. Min. 31.5–​32. Senate house:  Dio Cass. (38.3.1–​2); Gellius (NA 4.10.8) with Dragstedt (1969) 76. Contio: Plutarch (Cat. Min. 33.1); Appian (B Civ. 2.11) with Morstein-​Marx (2004) 176. Plut. Caes. 14.7); Suet. Iul. 20; Sen. Ep. 14.12–​13 are unclear about the context. Val. Max. 2.10.7: in the senate against the publicani. Bellemore (2005) discusses the sources’ confusion concerning Cato’s opposition to Caesar’s measures of 59 BC and thinks Cato’s opposition to Caesar’s legislation an invention by the sources, but see Pelling (2011) 192–​5, 201–​2. 91 Plut. Pomp. 48.4; Caes. 13.3, 14.4; App. B Civ. 2.14. For Plutarch describing Cato’s foresight regarding the coalition:  Geiger (1971) comm. ad Plut. Cat. Min. 31.7, and Pelling (2011) 191–​2 on the context. 92 Cic. Att. 1.14.5 (SB 14); text and translation Shackleton Bailey (1999). Cf. Cic. Att. 1.13.3 (SB 13) for the lead up to this contio.

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Piso. But Cato’s sudden decision to speak against Piso adds to the impression of a somewhat impulsive character, even if he did not succeed in stopping Piso.93 In the same period, Cato proposed a number of senatorial decrees which must have involved speeches in the senate, and he had a law passed which aimed at diminishing false claims for triumphs.94 These constructive actions are often forgotten in the midst of all his attempts to counter the proposals of others, yet they point to another side of Cato’s public profile which may have been more prominent than our sources, especially Plutarch, would have us believe.

Fame and electoral defeat Cato’s dramatic tone was given a further notch with his shouting in public political contexts. At the consular election of Caesar’s father-​in-​law, L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Cato is said to have shouted that it was intolerable for the supreme power to be prostituted by marriage alliances and to see men helping each other to power, armies and provinces by means of women.95 Shouting in political contexts, especially in the assemblies, was usually associated with tribunes, especially the more controversial tribunes; Cato’s shouting indicates that he knew how to use populist methods, even when not a tribune, in order to articulate his views and underline his image.96 At this point, Cato’s speeches influenced the development of his political career in an unforeseen and, it seems, initially unwanted way. Cato’s opposition and filibustering made him unpopular with the dynasts and Clodius, and the latter placed Cato in charge of the annexation of Cyprus, effectively removing Cato from Rome for two years from spring 58 BC.97 Plutarch relates that Cato rejected Clodius’ offer because he understood the underlying purpose of removal, but Clodius pushed through the measure and Cato had to leave for Cyprus.98 In 93 Cic. Att. 1.12.3 (SB 12), 1.16.1–​6 (SB 16), 1.17.8 (SB 17); Har. 37; Mil. 46, 73, 87; Liv. Per. 103; Val. Max. 4.2.5, 8.5.5, 9.1.7; Asc. 49C; Sen. Ep. 97.2–​10; Quint. 4.2.88; Suet. Iul. 74; App. B Civ. 2.14; Plut. Caes. 10; Cic. 29; Dio Cass. 39.6.2; Schol. Bob. 85–​91St. (in Clod. et Cur.). Alexander (1990) no. 236 for further details, and Tatum (1999) 62–​86; Morstein-​Marx (2004) 187–​8 for discussion. 94 Cic. Att. 1.16.12 (SB 16): decrees against bribery. Cic. Att. 1.17.8 (SB 17); 2.1.8 (SB 21): making it an offence for jurors to accept bribes. Val. Max. 2.8.1 on the law restricting access to triumphs. 95 Cic. Sest. 60; Plut. Caes. 14.5: unclear whether in the senate or a contio. 96 Cf. Pelling (2011) 198–​9. 97 Cic. Sest. 60–​3 with Kaster (2006) 254–​60; Vell. Pat. 2.45.4. Oost (1955); Badian (1965); Fehrle (1983) 136–​55; Millar (1998) 143–​4 discuss the political background, legal foundation and outcome of this command. Whether Clodius’ plan was retrospective of the initial law confiscating Cyprus, it was still convenient for Clodius (and the dynasts) to remove Cato from Rome for several years. 98 Plut. Cat. Min. 34.

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response, Cato turned this unexpected situation into a display of Roman uprightness,99 and upon his return, the senate voted him an extraordinary praetorship and the right to wear a purple-​bordered robe when watching the games. We should probably understand his refusal of both extraordinary praetorship and the right to special clothes as a conscious signal of his uprightness and incorruptibility, especially since he was to canvass normally for the praetorship of 55 (elections were to be held in early 55 BC for that praetorship, owing to delay in elections).100 The senators no doubt wished to honour Cato for his achievements in Cyprus, but probably also to give a stronger voice and profile in the senate to an enemy of the dynasts. Indeed, the Cypriot command had not silenced Cato, who continued his opposition to Crassus, Pompeius and Caesar. Although Cato’s signal of modesty was directed at both the senate and the people, the offer of such honours formed part of a power game between the dynasts and their opponents within the senate. Cato’s opposition had negative implications for his career at this point. Pompeius and Crassus’ election to the consulship of 55 BC (in the interregnum period in the beginning of 55 BC), spurning the candidature of Cato’s brother-​in-​law L. Domitius Ahenobarbus,101 moved Cato to canvass for the praetorship himself. He was indeed elected by the first century, but through the machinations of Pompeius and his supporters (bribery, reference to unfavourable religious signs and sheer violence), Cato failed at the polls.102 Cato evidently did not want the outward signs and honours associated with the praetorship or the possible association with special favour 99 Geiger (1971) comm. ad Plut. Cat. Min. 34–​40, (1979) 50–​4 argues Plutarch’s sources to be Munatius Rufus (through Thrasea Paetus), adding credibility to the account. Oost (1955) 104–​7 doubts Cato’s uprightness in the sale of the goods confiscated from king Ptolemy of Cyprus, even if Cato is to have passed by the welcoming crowd of consuls and praetors in Rome in order to deposit the treasures brought back in the aerarium: Plut. Cat. Min. 39.1–​2; Val. Max. 8.15.10; Vell. Pat. 2.45.5. Cf. Cic. Off. 3.88 on Cato’s concern for the treasury, which may refer to the large sums Cato brought back from Cyprus. Sen. Controv. 10.1.8 (and possibly Plin. HN 8.196 if Caesareus’ reading of ‘Catonis’ for ‘Capitonis’ is right) on attempts to miscredit Cato upon his return. 100 Plut. Cat. Min. 39.4; Val. Max. 4.1.14; Dio Cass. 39.23.1. Fehrle (1983) 159–​61 argues this honour gave Cato right to vote in the senate as if a praetor (praetorio loco), but Geiger (1985c) 385 argues against this. Geiger (1971) comm. ad Plut. Cat. Min. 39.3–​4; Brennan (2000) 429 discuss this further. 101 Ahenobarbus and his candidature: Carlsen (2006) 58–​9. 102 Cic. Q Fr. 2.8.3 (SB 12); Livy Per. 105; Plut. Cat. Min. 42.1–​6 (with Geiger (1971) ad 42.5); Pomp. 52; Dio Cass. 39.32; Val. Max. 7.5.6. Afzelius (1941) 105 (168–​9 for more discussion) speaks of a plot against Cato’s election to the praetorship of 55 BC based on the dynasts’ fears of Cato. Broughton (1991) 37; Yakobson (1999) 170 view Cato’s defeat as a result of the dynasts’ plotting, and Gruen (1974) 167 thinks this one of the very few praetorian elections influenced by political concerns, much more usual in consular and tribunician elections.

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to attach to him, as he had refused those upon his return from Cyprus.103 He seems rather to have aimed for the actual power of the magistracy and a public persona untainted by favouritism in order to act against the measures of the dynasts. While there is no direct link between Cato’s public oratory and his career in this instance, as Pompeius’ machinations and not Cato’s speeches made the difference, an indirect link could be argued between Cato’s very public attacks on Crassus, Pompeius and Caesar in his speeches and the resulting antagonism and fear of future attacks which made the dynasts, firstly, wish him out of Rome (Cyprus) and, second, ensure his failure in the praetorian elections. However, it was not all negative, as Cato’s constant opposition forced the three men to such extreme actions such as electoral corruption, which Cato in turn could use to display himself as an incorrupt senator by contrast. While his strong criticism of the powerful dynasts may not have furthered his rise up the political ladder of offices, he added to his already strong public profile. Cato continued his opposition, delivering a filibuster speech in the contio against the lex Trebonia de prouinciis consularibus which assigned to the consuls five-​year commands over Hispania and Syria. The circumstances allowed this constant flow of speech to have its effect: at the final meeting before the vote, Cato was allowed two hours for speaking, but knowing that the audience would not change their minds, he opted for filibustering as a means to challenge the proposer, Trebonius, to pull him down from the rostra and thereby embarrass Trebonius.104 During the tumultuous days leading up to the vote, Cato even announced that he had heard thunder, in other words, he tried to obstruct the passage of the proposal by religious means, but was unsuccessful.105 This is the only attested instance of Cato seemingly using religious observance for political purposes, although he did not make the announcement in the capacity of quindecemuir but simply as a private citizen. Only augurs could announce signs from the gods (obnuntiatio) which would prevent public business and assemblies from going ahead.106 This made the announcement non-​binding to magistrates, 103 Plut. Cat. Min. 8.2: Cato had already refused prizes for valour and honour after his service in the war against Spartacus. 104 Plut. Cat. Min. 43.1–​7. This contio must have been held by a tribune friendly to Cato, i.e. either P. Aquilius Gallus or C. Ateius Capito: Geiger (1971) ad loc. Plut. Cat. Min. 42.6; see his comment on 43.1 for the dating of the passing of the lex Trebonia: between end April (Cic. Att. 4.9.1 (SB 85)) and Jul.–​Aug. (praetorian elections for 54 BC). On the political context: Millar (1998) 170–​1; Morstein-​Marx (2004) 184. 105 Plut. Cat. Min. 43.3–​6; cf. Sen. Const. 1.1; Ep. 14.13 for Cato being man h ​ andled by the crowd (possibly with incident recorded in Sen. Const. 14.3). 106 Beard, North and Price (1998) I, 110.

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but Cato’s religious office and his auctoritas as a politician may have lent his announcement more clout and embarrassed the dynasts when pushing through the measure in spite of Cato’s announcement. That Cato’s announcement was made from purely political motives is yet another sign of his pragmatic approach to politics in contrast to, or perhaps rather in conjunction with, his image as a stern and principled politician. Moreover, Fehrle is undoubtedly right in the view that the great throng of people listening to Cato’s speech against the lex Trebonia did not necessarily stay out of admiration of Cato. Instead, they probably stayed in expectation of a great spectacle about to unfold.107 Cato had by now gained a reputation for theatricality and showmanship, and he clearly knew how to exploit his dramatic talent to attract and communicate with the people. Cato also spoke against a law on Caesar’s provinces and armies, but again without legislative success because of the violent response of the dynast’s supporters.108 This instance, however, may say more about Plutarch’s compositional method than about Cato’s political behaviour. Plutarch may have applied hindsight when describing Cato’s opposition to the law on Caesar’s provinces and putting into Cato’s mouth the words that Pompeius was taking Caesar upon his own shoulders and that he would not have the power to put it away or strength to carry on when the burden became too great.109 However, Geiger sees this as the turning point in Plutarch’s account at which (Plutarch’s) Cato realises that he cannot oppose both Pompeius and Caesar and instead decides to try to bring Pompeius over to his side against Caesar.110 If Plutarch (and Geiger) is right, this realisation and change of strategy is crucial for Cato’s subsequent actions and therefore also for his career. Indeed, Cato’s later cooperation with Pompeius –​in city politics and, more markedly, during the civil war  –​could be used to support such an interpretation, although there is little evidence of the precise timing and motivation behind Cato’s swing to Pompeius’ side. Plutarch’s observation –​that Pompeius ignored Cato’s warnings because he did not believe Caesar would change or that his own power and fortune would be insufficient to withstand him –​fits into his characterisation of Pompeius in his biography, and Plutarch may therefore have added these details in his description of Cato’s speech; in 107 Fehrle (1983) 171, 173–​4. Arena (2012) 191–​2 on the spectacular aspect of Cato’s opposition to the bill. 108 Liv. Per. 105; Dio Cass. 39.34; probably in the senate. 109 Plut. Cat. Min. 41.5–​6. 110 Geiger (1971) ad Plut. Cat. Min. 43.8–​9.

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other words, it was an addition for historiographical reasons rather than a genuine reflection of Cato’s action. Plutarch again places words in Cato’s mouth when he relates Cato’s opposition to Caesar and warning against the ambitions of Caesar later the same year.111 Noteworthy is the fact that Cato’s initial speech in the contio against Caesar’s killing of German tribes spurred Caesar to write a pamphlet against Cato. Being away from Rome forced Caesar to present his arguments in written rather than in spoken form. However, this tactic backfired, according to Plutarch, as Cato took the opportunity to rebuke Caesar strongly in the senate.112 But, Plutarch continues, the senate was afraid of the people who wanted Caesar to dominate politics and Cato was therefore unsuccessful in his attempt to counter Caesar. Yet, Cato’s speech did result in the senatorial decision to send a commission to Gaul to check up on Caesar’s actions.113 Cato had the advantage of personal presence which allowed him an immediate response to Caesar’s pamphlet, indicating the importance of the spoken word in political exchanges, and although he was not entirely successful, he managed to cast a slur on Caesar’s military activity and present himself in a favourable light. This episode leads Plutarch to conclude that Cato had the senate under his influence, even if senators were afraid of Caesar’s supporters in Rome. This comment is striking as it accords well with Quintilian’s characterisation of Cato’s eloquence in the senate. Yet, it seems almost too clear a division of spheres of influence between Caesar’s popularity with the people and Cato’s dominance of the senate; the reality must have been less clear-​cut. Although Caesar was more popular with the people than with his fellow senators and Cato perhaps favoured by some senators, Caesar may already have started to use Gallic booty for loans to senators; certainly, nothing came of Cato’s threat to surrender Caesar to the Germans.114 Moreover, 111 Plut. Cat. Min. 51.1–​5; Caes. 22.4; Crass. 37.2; App. Celt. 18.2. Date is 55 BC, but Plutarch places it chronologically in 52 BC, suggesting a chronological error (Geiger (1971) ad 51.1–​2 offers other possible explanations). Geiger (1971) comm. ad 31.7 thinks Plutarch’s presentation of Cato’s foresight regarding the dynasts credible, and Plut. Cat. Min. 52.2 on Pompeius’ apparent admission of Cato’s view. For possible inspirations for Cato’s attack: Fehrle (1983) 178 (Cato the Elder’s criticism of Servius Sulpicius Galba’s attack on the Lusitanians in 150 BC); Weinstock (1971) 245 (Cicero’s attack on L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus two months earlier). 112 A parallel to this exchange was, partly, Cicero’s with L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus in 55 BC: Piso’s speech against Cicero, Cicero’s speech against Piso (In Pisonem), Piso’s pamphlet against Cicero (Asc. 2C; Cic. Pis.; Q Fr. 3.1.11). 113 Suet. Iul. 24.3. 114 Gallic booty as ‘loans’ attested from 51 BC: Plut. Caes. 29.3 with Pelling (2011) 296–​7; App. B Civ. 2.26, likely earlier too. Morstein-​Marx (2007) 161 on the context of Cato’s threat to surrender Caesar.

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Cato’s obstructive politics was not approved by all and his more populist measures and sense of drama may not have been so easily forgotten by the people. Even if his attempts at stopping the legislation favourable to Caesar were unsuccessful, he successfully raised public awareness of his opposition, created bad press for the dynasts and attracted attention to his own position and agenda. Cato’s opposition did more to underline his public persona as opponent to the dynasts’ dominance than to diminish Caesar’s power or further Cato’s own career. Against this view, Miltner has suggested that Cato’s speech against Caesar’s governorship was one of his most important and weighty speeches and that this speech helped him in his election to the praetorship of 54 BC.115 We know little about the circumstances of his election and the specific timing thereof in relation to his speeches of 55 BC, so it seems difficult to conclude that this speech against Caesar was the deciding factor in Cato’s election.116 That he succeeded in his second attempt at the praetorship owes perhaps less to any specific public performance of his and more to his general popularity as the dynasts’ main opponent; the fact that he had been elected by the first century in his first canvass suggests that his opposition was winning favour among certain people. In other words, his election was based mainly on his public profile articulated especially through public oratory and actions, and on the changing attitude of the dynasts who had obtained the magistracies and commands they wanted. The decreased opposition from the dynasts could also be a result of their waning influence over the elections. Indeed, Ahenobarbus was also elected consul for 54 BC in spite of his unsuccessful canvass for the consulate of 55 BC and his equally strong resistance to the power of the dynasts. With his election to the praetorship, Cato had reached the curule magistracies and this was to be his highest office. Plutarch describes how the majesty and dignity he added to the office through his good administration was overshadowed by his disgraceful appearance when presiding on his tribunal without shoes or tunic. There were even allegations, unjust, of presiding when he had drunk wine.117 Plutarch uses these details to highlight how Cato’s philosophical outlook influenced his public conduct, although the allegation of drunkenness was probably a vicious fabrication circulated by Cato’s enemies in the aftermath of his suicide.118 However, 115 Miltner (1953) 186. 116 Plut. Cat. Min. 44.1. 117 Plut. Cat. Min. 44.1–​2; Asc. 29C; Val. Max. 3.6.7; Hor. Epist. 1.19.12–​14. 118 Drunkenness: probably in Caesar’s Anti-​Cato: Geiger (1971) comment. ad Plut. Cat. Min. 6.2, 44.2.

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a detail in the story suggests that philosophy played only a minor part. For Cato excused his appearance by referring to the ancient custom that statues of maiores such as Romulus, Tatius and Camillus were dressed in togas without tunics.119 There was evidently a need to explain himself to the public, but rather than referring to philosophical notions of frugality and asceticism, Cato used ancestral exempla to justify himself.120 Moreover, this reference indicates that this was a conscious attempt on Cato’s side to exude a certain persona.121 Plutarch provides another example of Cato’s appearance as sign of his philosophical beliefs. After his second electoral defeat in the consular elections of 52 BC, Plutarch relates that Cato was unmoved by the shameful defeat and displayed his stoically inspired indifference by playing ball in the Campus Martius and coming to the Forum in his usual dress without shoes and tunic.122 But Meister has argued convincingly that Cato was rather drawing on a tradition that electoral candidates should avoid wearing a tunic, perhaps to avoid the allegation of hiding bribes in the tunic.123 Seen in this light, Cato’s clothing appears deliberately chosen to project a public image of incorruptibility and ancestral morals, rather than Stoic asceticism, as part of his public self-​presentation. As praetor, Cato became the presiding magistrate over the quaestio de repetundis, dealing with trials concerning charges of embezzlement of the provinces. He presided over the high-​profile trials against M.  Aemilius Scaurus (pr. 56 BC) and A. Gabinius (cos. 58 BC) and he must have spoken at these events, although we have no information of these speeches, their content or impact.124 More telling, however, is Cato’s senatorial decree against electoral corruption because it further underlined Cato’s image as an enemy of corruption, but also because he tackled opposition to the decree in a spectacular way. This decree was unpopular with the candidates and with the crowd, and the latter became violent one morning when Cato went to his praetor’s tribunal. Plutarch relates how Cato managed to get hold of the rostra and by his firmness and boldness of 119 Asc. 29C. For the importance of the maiores: Hölkeskamp (1996); van der Blom (2010) 12–​17. 120 Blösel (2009) 483–​4 suggests that Cato was imitating Cato the Elder in showing off war wounds with reference to virtuous service to the state. 121 The weather was extremely hot that summer (Cic. Q Fr. 2.16.1 (SB 20), 3.1.1 (SB 21)), although Cato did not use this as his excuse. Meister (2012) 86–​7 on Cato’s appearance as a fully calculated self-​fashioning. 122 Plut. Cat. Min. 50.1. May Cato have played on the general image of the Cynics as untidy, clothed in a short mantle (no tunic) and barefoot? See Zanker (1995) 129–​33 on this Cynic image. 123 Meister (2012) 88. 124 Alexander (1990) nos. 295 and 303.

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his appearance managed to silence the crowd and deliver a speech which stopped the disturbance completely.125 If this is true, this is a sure sign of his ability to control the crowds through his appearance and oratory, undoubtedly helped by his general auctoritas built up over the preceding years and his filibustering technique of speaking through hostile noise. He may have been most persuasive in the senate, but he could clearly also manage the crowd through his oratory. The proposal was vetoed by the tribune Terentius and therefore unsuccessful.126 Cato’s antagonism to C.  Pomptinus’ request for a triumph over the Gauls highlights another feature of Cato’s public conduct. Cato’s opposition in 55 BC was predictable:  Pomptinus sought a triumph through the praetor Servius Galba and the popular assembly and against the traditional prerogative of the senate to grant triumphs. The occasion allowed Cato to display himself as the protector of tradition and fair play. Moreover, Cicero explains how Cato declared that Pomptinus would triumph over his (Cato’s) dead body and that Cicero thought this utterance would disappear in the air like many other of Cato’s forceful declarations (‘Cato tamen adfirmat se uiuo illum non triumphaturum. id ego puto ut multa eiusdem ad nihil recasurum’).127 As a contemporary and probable eyewitness, Cicero is a good observer of what Cato said at this occasion (whether in the senate or in a contio), and even if Cicero was annoyed at Cato’s rigid adherence to rules and belittled the (lack of ) force behind Cato’s words, there is no particular reason for Cicero to distort Cato’s words in a letter to Atticus. This therefore seems one of the few instances where we get fairly close to Cato’s own words. The content of Cato’s expression fits sentiments and viewpoints recorded at other occasions –​remember his outburst that Pompeius would only return to fight Catiline over Cato’s dead body128 –​and it complements an image of Cato 125 Cic. Att. 4.17.3 (SB 91); Plut. Cat. Min. 44.2–​4: the decree apparently stipulated that magistrates elect who were not prosecuted after election should voluntarily come before a court and offer accounts of their election. See Cic. Mil. 58 for another instance of Cato silencing the crowd by his sheer auctoritas, with Pina Polo (1996) 18, n. 45; (2011b) 288 for other examples. 126 The tribunes instead agreed to deposit ½ million sesterces each with Cato and make him referee of the elections; should anyone use bribery, the deposit was lost. However, when Cato judged one candidate corrupt, the others defended him: Cic. Att. 4.15.7 (SB 90); Q Fr. 2.15.4 (SB 19); Plin. HN praef. 9. 127 Cic. Att. 4.18.4 (SB 92)  end Oct./​early Nov. 54 BC. Paraphrase inspired by Shackleton Bailey (1965). See Cic. Fam. 3.4.6 (SB 24) on Cato’s opposition, and Dio Cass. 39.65 on the triumph. 128 Plut. Cat. Min. 26.5 (Teubner):  ‘ὅτι ζῶντος αὐτοῦ’ is a remarkably similar expression to the present one discussed, arousing suspicion of transposition in the sources. Given that Cicero seems a more reliable witness to Cato’s words than Plutarch, in spite of his use of Munatius Rufus’ account, Plutarch would be more likely to have transposed this saying of Cato, if this is indeed

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as fond of pronouncing dramatic and non-​conciliatory public statements. Cato’s motive for this statement may not have been to block the triumph by all means, but rather to nurture his public image as traditionalist and to do so with as much attention as possible. After his praetorship, Cato remained in Rome, as he had declined to take up a province.129 His motivation for this is not explained by Plutarch or articulated in any other sources, but it is not hard to imagine that he preferred to stay in Rome in order to work against the dominance of the dynasts. Gem portraits dated to 53–​52 BC suggest that a veritable Cato cult was springing up at this point, presumably on the basis of his opposition to the dynasts.130 While he was very active in his opposition, we have no direct evidence of his speeches in either senate, courts or the contio; presumably, he spoke more often in the senate than elsewhere, considering his status as ex-​praetor. Geiger has suggested that a phrase forming part of a speech put into Cato’s mouth by Plutarch may stem from Cato himself.131 In the speech, Cato criticised Pompeius for using the title of imperator et proconsul (in Plutarch:  αὐτοκράτωρ καὶ στρατηγὸς), even if Pompeius was not an imperator since his last triumph in 61 BC. We can easily imagine Cato making a public point about Pompeius’ illegitimate use of a title, in light of Cato’s public image as adherent to principles and laws, and this suggests that we have here another snippet of Cato’s public expressions. Another aspect of Cato’s public appearance during these years was his combination of displayed austerity with crowd-​pleasing. Plutarch includes an anecdote in which Cato took over the duty of his good friend, the aedile Favonius, to put on public games in the summer of 53 BC.132 Instead of offering expensive gifts and prizes, Cato handed out simple things like olive branch crowns, vegetables and other produce and fire wood. This was taken as a sign of Cato relaxing his usually severe manner and the people preferred this to the lavish games conducted by the other aedile, Curia, in the other theatre.133 This colourful story appealed to Plutarch, what happened. Both Plutarch and Cicero could be right, especially considering Cicero’s remark that such outbursts from Cato were common. 129 Plut. Cat. Min. 45.3. 130 Zwierlein-​Diehl (1973) 272–​87 (suggesting a connection with Cato’s consular canvass in 52 BC); Fehrle (1983) 200–​1. 131 Plut. Cat. Min. 45.4 with Geiger (1971) ad 45.7. 132 Date of Favonius’ aedileship unclear: Plut. Cat. Min. 46 suggests 53 BC, while Dio 40.45.3 suggest 52 BC; MRR II.240 keeps both options open. 133 Plut. Cat. Min. 46. Another anecdote, about Cato leaving the theatre during the festival of Floralia to allow the actresses to strip, underlines the same popular reaction to Cato’s public display of high morals: Val. Max. 2.10.8; Sen. Ep. 97.8; Mart. 1. epist.

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but if just half of it is true, it also suggests to us that Cato was capable of winning over the crowds and playing on their goodwill and their perception of him, and thereby that his lack of charm in certain public contexts was a choice rather than a result of his character. No speech is attested for this occasion, but the skill in putting on and carrying through a popular show (without large funds to back it up) is important to note in relation to the present examination of the development and articulation of Cato’s political career. Evidently, wealth was not a preferred (or possible) means to promote his career, but rather again the conscious projection of a certain persona.

The approaching civil war and second electoral defeat While political life as he knew it was changing, Cato stuck to his usual tactics, oratorical and political, except in his attitude to Pompeius. The turbulent political situation of electoral postponements, bribery, prosecutions and violence made senators consider conferring the dictatorship on Pompeius so he could sort out the situation. Cato initially opposed this idea, apparently saying, according to Plutarch, that the laws ought not to derive their security from Pompeius, but Pompeius’ security from the laws (οὐ τοῖς νόμοις ἐκ Πομπηΐου φάμενος, ἀλλ’ ἐκ τῶν νόμων Πομπηΐῳ δεῖν ὑπάρχειν τὴν ἀσφάλειαν).134 Geiger may be right in thinking this ‘a genuine statement of Cato’s conservative legitimist credo’,135 as it fits Cato’s image as an opponent to domination with a fondness of legalistic arguments. Yet, it may also be Plutarch’s elaboration on his portrait of Cato to give life and colour to his descriptions of Cato’s tendency to harp on about legalities. Plutarch’s further observation –​that Cato’s inclusion as juror in trials in this period shows how Cato’s image of integrity made the defence counsel avoid the ejection of Cato because each side of the case could eject five jurors from each of the three orders, but an ejection would signal their lack of confidence in their defence –​again fits Plutarch’s portrait, but also fits the public profile nurtured by Cato over the years: integrity as quaestor in the treasury paralleled the integrity as juror.136 Once the talk about Pompeius’ sole consulship became reality after the murder of Clodius in early 52 BC, Cato, surprisingly for some, spoke in favour of Bibulus’ proposal to appoint Pompeius to the sole consulship. 134 Plut. Cat. Min. 47.1 (Teubner). 135 Geiger (1971) ad loc. 136 Plut. Cat. Min. 48.5, followed by Fehrle (1983) 211–​12.

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But he characteristically snubbed Pompeius’ gratitude by saying that his support had nothing to do with Pompeius but rather with the interests of the state; again Cato signalled that he did not accept Pompeius’ leading position but acted from principle.137 Cato also challenged Pompeius’ proposal for a lex de ambitu. In the senatorial debate, Cato opposed the retrospective element of the bill out of principle, even if one could argue that the retrospective measure would clear up past cases of bribery and severely discourage future breaches.138 Yet, his support of the sole consulship, a completely new position, shows again that he could leave aside his principles of following rules and tradition when he could argue to do so out of care for the res publica.139 While such a behaviour could be perceived as inconsistent, even hypocritical, Cato successfully combined his public persona of severity and adherence to the law with a publicly announced concern for the state. The same concern seems to have guided Cato in the discussions and negotiations around Milo after his murder of Clodius in early 52 BC.140 Apart from being selected by Pompeius to act as juror in the trial,141 Cicero testifies to Cato’s involvement in two attested meetings in the senate and a contio. In the senate, Cato is said to have approved of the murder of Clodius, while his speech in the contio concerned the related issue of Milo’s freed slaves.142 Cato apparently argued that slaves who had saved their master’s life should not only be given their freedom, as Milo had ensured in order to make them Roman citizens not liable to torture during interrogation, but also every reward. Even if we cannot be sure that Cicero has reproduced Cato’s words precisely  –​his presentation formed part of his speech in defence of Milo, so not impartial –​the ethical sentiment accords with other public expressions of Cato while Cato’s approval of Clodius’ murder paralleled Brutus’ approval.143 Moreover, Cato addressed a rowdy 137 Plut. Cat. Min. 47.3, 54.5–​6; Pomp. 54.7; Caes. 28.7; App. B Civ. 2.23; Livy Per. 107. Gruen (1974) 233 suggests that both Cato and Bibulus were behind the proposal and Morrell (forthcoming) argues that Cato cooperated with Pompeius in this crucial year. 138 Plut. Cat. Min. 48.5–​6. As Geiger (1971) ad loc. notes ‘this seems to be the most outspoken opposition to retroactivity we happen to possess from the Republic’ and therefore even more noteworthy. 139 And it goes back to the point when Plutarch says Cato realised that he could not oppose successfully both Pompeius and Caesar: Plut. Cat. Min. 43.8–​9. 140 Cato was one of the jurors at Milo’s trial and witnessed in defence of Milo: Cic. Fam. 15.4.12 (SB 110); Asc. 34C, 53C-​54C; Vell. Pat. 2.47.5; Plut. Cat. Min. 48.5 with Alexander (1990) no. 309. In late 52 or early 51 BC, Cato acted as juror in the trial against T. Munatius Plancus Bursa (tr. pl. 52 BC) and Cato also prevented Pompeius from delivering a laudatio:  Plut. Cat. Min. 48.4–​5; Val. Max. 6.2.5 with Alexander (1990) no. 327. 141 Cic. Mil. 21–​2; Asc. 38C on Pompeius’ selection. 142 Senate: Cic. Fam. 15.4.12 (SB 110); Asc. 34C. Contio: Cic. Mil. 57–​8. 143 Asc. 41C.

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contio (turbulenta contio), but managed to silence it simply by his auctoritas. Cicero’s description forms part of his letter to Cato in late 51 BC, when he was hoping to flatter Cato into supporting his request of a supplicatio after his proconsulship in Cilicia, which means that Cicero could have emphasised Cato’s action more than it warranted. Nevertheless, he cannot have invented a contio when writing to Cato and it seems entirely possible that Cato spoke on behalf of Milo and that he calmed the crowd, as he had done in 54 BC.144 These two public expressions hinted that Cato found Milo’s action justified, but it is unclear whether Cato voted for acquittal of Milo. Most modern scholars think that he did, based on his statements discussed above, but it might also be possible that he concealed his vote so as not to interfere with the legal process.145 If this is true, his public statements supported his profile as someone putting the res publica before the life of an individual, while his concealment of his vote underlined his image of incorrupt politician. Cato returned briefly to his filibuster technique when he tried to obstruct the proposals to meet Caesar’s request to stand for a second consulship in absentia (so that he could keep his provincial command and political immunity). Pompeius supported the bill and it was passed with the backing of all ten tribunes.146 We have no indication of context –​senate or contio147  –​or the specific content of Cato’s speech, but we may imagine an attack on Caesar’s dominance of Roman political life, criticism of his Gallic command and an analysis of the illegalities of the privilege requested. In a situation of tribunician agreement, Cato’s opposition to the bill appears less directed at overturning the bill and more as a stunt to advertise his stance and attract attention to himself, cultivating his persona of opposition to domination. Cato’s decision to run for the consulship of 51 BC can be understood in the same way. While both Plutarch and Dio understand Cato’s aim to be a platform from which to counter the two remaining dynasts, the canvass 144 Morstein-​Marx (2004) 63 suggests that Cato’s silencing of the crowd may have been Virgil’s inspiration for Neptune’s calming of the storm in Verg. Aen.1.148–​56 –​if so, it is another success for Cato’s image building. 145 Vote for acquittal: Alexander (1990) no. 309; Gruen (1974) 340 more cautious. For the argument that Cato concealed his vote, see Morrell (forthcoming). 146 Cic. Att. 7.3.4 (SB 126), 8.3.3 (SB 153); Caes. BCiv. 1.9.2, 1.32.3; Liv. Per. 107; Suet. Iul. 26.1; Plut. Pomp. 56.3; Dio Cass. 40.51.2–​3; Flor. 2.13.16; App. B Civ. 2.25. Morstein-​Marx (2007) reinterprets Caesar’s motives for requesting the privilege. 147 The sources are unclear; Groebe (1905) 235 thinks senate, but apparently without positive evidence. Pina Polo (1989) Appendix A does not list the meeting under known contiones, suggesting the senate.

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itself would also help Cato underline his image as opponent.148 Moreover, Cato’s career up to date pointed directly forward to the consulship; it would be the obvious next step after his well-​timed lower magistracies. The reason for Cato’s failure in the election is interesting:  aside from the opposition of the Caesarians and the unpopularity of Cato’s recent measures against electoral bribery,149 Plutarch and Dio explain that Cato abstained from any active canvassing of the people  –​neither personally nor through friends, neither with money nor with violence –​and it was this passivity which cost him the magistracy. A noteworthy parallel is the anecdote about Cato being alone in obeying the law forbidding nomenclators for candidates when he was canvassing for the office of military tribune.150 In short, he behaved in exactly the opposite way of what was expected from a candidate. Of course, his abstention also deprived him of the chance to articulate his motivation for seeking the office and soliciting votes on account of his opposition to the dynasts. When Cicero criticised him for not engaging with the people, Cato is supposed to have answered that since there was no foul play involved in the elections (as there was in the praetorian elections in 55 BC in which he lost too), he could not blame his failure on corruption but rather on the fact that he had offended the people through his behaviour (abstention from canvass), but continued that no man should change himself to please others, and that if he stayed the same, he would never suffer a similar defeat.151 By quoting Cato’s response to Cicero, Plutarch underlined his main point about Stoicism as Cato’s guiding principle in politics and life. However, we may also interpret Cato’s abstention from active canvassing as an ostensible return to ancestral morals and general disgust among the upper class with canvassing for the people’s favour.152 I have already mentioned how Cato’s unusual 148 Plutarch (Cat. Min. 49) thinks Cato aimed to counter Caesar; Dio (40.58.1–​3) says he hoped to counter both Pompeius and Caesar to avoid civil war and subsequent one man rule. Cf. Liv. Per. 108; Caes. BCiv. 1.4.1; Sen. Helv. 13.5; Ben. 5.17.2. Dragstedt (1969) 85 notices that Cato’s repulsa was important enough to make history. 149 See Afzelius (1941) 179–​80. 150 Plut. Cat. Min. 8.4. But note that Cic. Mur. 77 says that Cato employed a nomenclator for the campaign for the tribunate of 62 BC. Geiger (1971) ad Plut. Cat. Min. 8.4 discusses this apparent contradiction between Plutarch’s and Cicero’s reports; Jehne (1995) 69–​70 discusses Cato’s public views on how to solicit votes in connection with the trial of Murena for ambitus in 63 BC. 151 Plut. Cat. Min. 49; Dio Cass. 40.58.1–​3. Cf. M. Juventius Laterensis’ similar refusal to follow traditional campaigning tactics and subsequent defeat (Cic. Planc. 7–​8, 11–​12). Yakobson (1999) 107, 216–​17, 222–​3; Tatum (2007) 111–​15 on the significance of this passage for our understanding of both Cato’s candidature and the needs of electioneering in republican Rome. 152 Tatum (2007) 111–​15. For the disgrace attached to repulsae:  Yakobson (1999) 118 with n.  20. Sen. Helv. 13.5 argues against any disgrace in Cato’s case, possibly reflecting the imperial respect for Cato.

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clothing –​no tunic or shoes –​appears a conscious attempt to advertise an alleged adherence to mos maiorum, and his refusal to solicit votes by active campaigning can be seen in a similar light.153 When he lost the election, he tried to turn his defeat into a further display of incorruptibility, as argued above; as ever he focused on his public persona. Considering the main question of oratory’s importance for Cato’s political career, it is exactly the conscious abstention from public speaking in formal and informal settings (and networking) which caused his defeat, highlighting the significance of both factors for electoral success.154 This observation is all the more clear when seen in connection with Ser. Sulpicius Rufus’ success in the election; according to Dio, Sulpicius was elected because of his ability (presumably displayed during his canvass too) as an orator, although Plutarch argues that others thought that Sulpicius tapped into Cato’s popularity and was seen as thankless for this support (even if not by Cato himself ).155 Cato made an important career choice in standing for the consulship, but he rejected the chance to communicate this choice to the electorate. Flower argues that the real reason behind Cato’s lack of canvassing was not, as Cato would have us believe, a philosophically motivated principle of incorruptibility, but rather a result of a compact struck with the Marcelli and other opponents of Caesar aimed at dominating the consular office and using the consular power against Caesar.156 Given their shared opposition to Caesar and the good odds on the Marcelli, and given their election to the consulship in three successive years (51–​49 BC), this seems entirely possible and would underline Cato’s pragmatic approach to politics. The result of his failure in the consular elections, so Afzelius argues, was that Cato accepted his defeat and took it to mean that he should keep a second-​rank position in the state and only act as praetorius when the consuls and consulars fell short.157 Sure, Cato never again canvassed for the consulship, but if Flower is right, the compact with the Marcelli lasted until the outbreak of the civil war in 49 BC, which left no further chances to canvass for office. Afzelius is right that Cato let others take the overall commands on Pompeius’ side during the civil war, both in the Greek camp and when in Africa,158 but until the outbreak of the war, he was very 153 Cf. Meister (2012) 87–​8. 154 Tatum (2013) on the relative lack of candidate’s election speeches at Rome. 155 Dio Cass. 40.58.3. 156 Flower (2010) 152, n. 43, and Flower in paper ‘M. Porcius Cato’s Failure to Reach the Consulship’ (Classical Association Conference 2014). 157 Afzelius (1941) 180. 158 Pompeius’ overall command in war: Plut. Cat. Min. 52.3; Pomp. 61.1. Africa: Plut. Cat. Min. 57.3; App. B Civ. 2.87; Dio Cass. 42.57.3; Liv. Per. 113; Vell. Pat. 2.54.3. Dragsted (1969) 70 links Cato’s

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active in politics, not taking a back seat or waiting to be called upon. He may have had a second-​rank position in formal terms, but in reality much more auctoritas and influence than his praetorian status allowed for. One incident illustrates well the difficulty of understanding Cato either as a man of principle or as a political opportunist. His actions and expressions in relation to Cicero’s and Bibulus’ requests for supplications (as provincial governors of Cilicia and Syria respectively) from the senate in 50 BC have been read in various ways in modern scholarship. Some have argued that Cato’s support of his son-​in-​law Bibulus’ request and rejection of Cicero’s request for what seemed a fairly similar military achievement signified Cato’s nepotism and willingness to bend his principles,159 while detailed analyses by Wistrand and Hall show the situation to be more complex and the conclusion to be perhaps less negative on Cato’s part.160 The discussions of Cato’s behaviour are based on the exchange of letters between Cicero and Cato in 50 BC.161 Cato’s response to Cicero’s initial request highlights various aspects of Roman aristocratic social etiquette,162 but also gives a glimpse into Cato’s public speaking because he paraphrases his own speech in the senate on the topic of Cicero’s request: quod pro meo iudicio facere potui, ut innocentia consilioque tuo defensam prouinciam, seruatum Ariobarzanis cum ipso rege regnum, sociorum reuocatam ad studium imperi nostri uoluntatem sententia mea et decreto laudarem, feci. … triumpho multo clarius est senatum iudicare potius mansuetudine et innocentia imperatoris prouinciam quam ui militum aut benignitate deorum retentam atque conseruatam esse; quod ego mea sententia censebam. I paid you tribute with my voice and vote for defending your province by your integrity and wisdom, for saving Ariobarzanes’ throne and person and for winning back the hearts of our subjects to a loyal support of Roman rule. (…) (2) On the other hand, the Senate’s judgement that a province abstention from African command with a possible need to concede the superstition of the army who thought a Scipio could not lose in Africa (Plut. Cat. Min. 57.3); a need which made Caesar find a ‘Scipio’ to lead his army there. 159 Tyrrell and​Purser (1901–​33) iii, 33; Stockton (1971) 238–​9; Rawson (1975a) 170–​1; Shackleton Bailey (1977) I, 449. 160 Wistrand (1979) 10–​49; J. Hall (1996). Wistrand’s analysis of Cato as a principled man (13–​14) is based on Sallust’s depiction in Cat. 50–​3, but we must read Sallust’s portrait of Cato as part of his overall message in Cat. and, at most, as a reflection of the later reception of Cato post-​Utica. 161 Cic. Fam. 15.4 (SB 110), 15.5 (SB 111), 15.6 (SB 112). For discussion of this negotiation:  Gelzer (1934) 68–​9; Griffin (1989) 35 (the Stoicism in Cato’s answer to Cicero); Kaster (2005) 134–​5 (Cicero’s emotions towards Cato); Beard (2007) 193–​4 (Cicero’s motivations and Cato’s lukewarm response); Lintott (2008) 265–​7 (Cato’s correction of Cicero’s philosophising argumentation). 162 Explored by J. Hall (1996), (2009a); Wistrand (1979) 31–​4.

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This is the closest we can get to the words of any speech of Cato. This passage illustrates how Cato was capable of using flattery to sweeten a bitter message (all part of Roman social etiquette164), that he appealed to almost philosophical ideals and, finally, that he employed abstract concepts such as innocentia, mansuetudo and benignitas; a feature noted by scholars of Cato’s style.165 We cannot be certain that Cato’s words reproduce his speech in the senate faithfully; in his paraphrase he may well have tailored his argumentation and vocabulary slightly to lessen the offence to his addressee, and in this he succeeded initially.166 Cicero responded politely and gratefully to Cato’s letter and thanked him for delivering the praising speech in the senate, a speech of which Cicero had subsequently received various testimonies from friends.167 If Cato’s paraphrase differed substantially from the delivered speech, Cicero would have known and perhaps not have been so positive in his thanks. Cato must also have known when writing that Cicero would hear of his speech through friends and minimised any alterations to his message and style. In the course of the autumn of 50 BC, however, Bibulus requested a supplication for his military actions in Syria. When Cicero heard of Cato’s support of Bibulus’ request, he was offended because he regarded their military achievements as on an equal level.168 Why did Cato support Bibulus and not Cicero, and what does this say about Cato’s political outlook and public self-​projection? The traditional approach to Cato’s nepotism includes the fact that Bibulus had married Cato’s daughter Porcia in 59 BC (or 58 BC), when he was consul with, or rather against, Caesar.169 In 52 BC, Bibulus was the proposer of making Pompeius sole consul, a proposal surprisingly backed by Cato.170 Cato’s choice of Bibulus as kinsman and their political cooperation against the dynasts could suggest that Cato 163 Cic. Fam. 15.5.1 (SB 111); text and translation Shackleton Bailey (2001). 164 J. Hall (1996) 27–​30. 165 Nelson (1950) 67, 68–​9. Baraz (2012) 73–​5 on Cicero’s reference to philosophy in his letter to Cato. 166 Cic. Att. 7.1.7–​8 (SB 124):  Cicero expresses appreciation with Cato’s letter and speech in the senate. 167 Cic. Fam. 15.6.1 (SB 112). 168 Cic. Fam. 15.4 (SB 110), 8.11.1–​2 (SB 91), 15.5 (SB 111), 15.6 (SB 112), 2.15.1 (SB 96); Att. 7.1.7–​8 (SB 124), 7.2.5–​7 (SB 125), 7.3.5 (SB 126). 169 Syme (1987) 187–​9 170 Plut. Pomp. 54; Cat. Min. 47.

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had not only personal (nepotistic), but also political reasons for supporting Bibulus’ request of a supplication, namely, the continued collaboration against Caesar. While Wistrand is not blind to this political angle, he argues that Cato’s behaviour stemmed from a general, if personal, principle regarding triumphs and supplications:  Cicero’s military achievements did not satisfy the criteria for a triumph or a supplication but that Bibulus’ military activity (as leader or through his legates) did deserve a supplication because he had successfully fought the much-​feared Parthians.171 Hall, on the other hand, suggests in a footnote that Cato’s support of Bibulus’ request was a political move designed to overshadow Caesar’s equally long supplication of 55 BC.172 Both interpretations rightly take the tense political context into consideration. But when evaluating the possible motives for Cato’s behaviour, it is possible to go a little further. Caesar may have spurred Cicero to become offended with Cato’s support of Bibulus,173 but the fact that, first, Cato tried to justify his lack of support to Cicero and, second, that Caesar could play on a notion of Cato’s unfair distribution of support suggests that Cato’s behaviour could be presented as biased and against a principle of fairness and rightful political conduct –​whether or not this was Cato’s intention. An allegation of nepotism was not impossible if one wished to slander Cato. Three possible angles on Cato’s responses to Cicero’s and Bibulus’ requests for supplications have been presented as close to mutually exclusive: nepotism, principle and political opportunism against Caesar’s position. Yet, in light of Cato’s other political actions and public expressions of career moves, it is not unthinkable that we see here a combination of these three motivations. The nepotism and political opportunism go hand in hand because the elevation of Bibulus would not only favour Bibulus’ and Cato’s political side, but also help to put Caesar’s achievements in a worse light. Moreover, Cato would be able, if not in his polite letter to Cicero then to others, to argue his rejection of Cicero’s request on grounds of principle, as outlined by Wistrand,174 while also achieving his possible other aims of benefiting Bibulus and doing damage to Caesar’s military fame. Cato could even argue, if pressed, that this political opportunism was in the best interests of the state, which would be harmed by Caesar’s 171 Wistrand (1979) 39. 172 J. Hall (1996) 29–​30, n. 38. Caesar’s and Bibulus’ twenty-​day supplications were unusually long. 173 Cic. Att. 7.2.7 (SB 125) with J. Hall (1996) 30. 174 Wistrand (1979) 25–​34.

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machinations. Playing on his public profile was one of Cato’s specialities, especially when combined with political concerns. Cato’s antagonism to Caesar continued over the following years and into the crucial senatorial meetings of early January 49 BC when Caesar’s demands were debated.175 Cato spoke against negotiations with Caesar.176 Velleius Paterculus even says that Cato insisted that they should fight to the death rather than allow the Republic to accept a single dictate from a mere citizen, and that the stern Roman of the old-​fashioned type would praise the cause of Pompeius, while the politic would follow the lead of Caesar, because he would recognise on the one side greater prestige, and on the other more strength.177 While Cato might well have argued like this, the final clause seems to echo Cicero’s characterisation of the situation,178 and Velleius may have transposed Cicero’s viewpoint to Cato.179 Caesar himself argued in his Bellum Ciuile that Cato’s opposition was spurred by his long-​time enmity with Caesar and the pain from his election failure (‘Catonem ueteres inimicitiae Caesaris incitant et dolor repulsae’).180 Caesar meant Cato’s second repulsa in the consular elections for 51 BC, and he had political, compositional and perhaps emotional reasons for suggesting these reasons for Cato’s opposition. While it was unclear whether Cato had indeed suffered from dolor repulsae in 52, it was also unclear whether this was his motivation for opposing Caesar’s negotiations in early 49, but the fact that Caesar argued this in the Bellum Ciuile indicates that it was a viable explanation: readers of Caesar’s work could easily imagine Cato reacting in revenge of Caesarian opposition to his candidature in 52 BC and the shameful rejection at the polls. Caesar’s sentence about Cato highlights both the mileage in exploiting the shame of repulsa and the expectation that his readers would know exactly at which electoral 175 Plut. Cat. Min. 51.5: Cato’s opposition to Curio’s suggestion that both Pompeius and Caesar lay down their commands; although the wording may not be genuine, its meaning (and tone) fits Cato. Drumann and Groebe (1919) 5, 190 also thought this outburst suggested Cato voting against Curio’s proposal. 176 Caes. BCiv. 1.4.1; Plut. Pomp. 59.4. 177 Vell. Pat. 2.49.3. For another possible speech of Cato in the early weeks of the war: Plut. Cat. Min. 52.1–​2; only attested in Plutarch and the familiar theme of Cato warning Pompeius against Caesar tempts one to disregard the content, if not the occasion, of this speech. 178 Cic. Att. 7.20.2 (SB 144), 8.2.2–​4 (SB 152), 8.3.2–​6 (SB 153), 8.8.2 (SB 158), 8.15.2 (SB 165), 9.4.2 (SB 173). 179 Indeed, less than a month later, Cato preferred slavery to war:  Cic. Att. 7.15 (SB 139)  of 26 Jan. 49 BC. 180 Caes. BCiv. 1.4.1. Raaflaub (1974a) 113–​25 on Caesar’s remark in the context of his ongoing emnity with Cato; Yates (2011) on the context of Caesar’s work; Grillo (2012) 43–​5 on Caesar’s attempt to write out Cato of the story.

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failure he was hinting. Cato’s electoral failure was big news and although he tried to control his public image in spite of the shame, Caesar’s comment suggests that gibes could still be thrown at him. Miltner sees Cato’s intervention in the senate as one of the contributing factors to the formal breakdown of negotiations with Caesar.181 This is very likely, considering the information in the sources as well as our knowledge of Cato’s opposition in the years preceding. In this sense, Cato’s speech or speeches were influential for the momentous outbreak of civil war and, indirectly, for his career. With the start of civil war and Pompeius’ departure from Rome, the Roman state was never to function in the same way as before, changing the patterns of political careers and public speaking, and indirectly therefore also influencing Cato’s own political career. He signalled his sorrow of the situation by not having his hair or beard cut, and, after Pompeius’ defeat at Pharsalus, dining in a sitting rather than reclining position182 –​as ever, he was aware of conveying his opinions and notions through appearance. He was never to hold another political office, but military commands were instead given to him as he joined Pompeius’ side in the war. With the breakdown of traditional politics in Rome and Cato’s departure to Pompeius’ camp, his opportunities for public speaking changed. After this we have only scattered references to speeches of Cato held in Syracuse or Utica.183 While these speeches may have been eloquent and crucial at the time, they did not promote Cato’s career. Nor do the sources, mainly Plutarch, allow us to conclude on the content or style. However, these speeches, in particular those delivered to the Romans in Utica, may have affected the development of Cato’s posthumous repute as the Stoic republican who refused to accept Caesar’s mercy.184

Conclusion: Cato’s public profile Over the two to three decades, which his career spanned, Cato developed a compelling public profile as a strong-​willed politician guided by 181 Miltner (1953) 193. Raaflaub (2003) 40–​6 blames Cato for the outbreak of the civil war; Boterman (1989) does not, but unconvincingly so: Jehne (2010a) 193, n. 27. 182 Plut. Cat. Min. 53.1, 56.4. 183 Syracuse:  Plut. Cat. Min. 53.2–​3 (although a very different speech attributed to Cato:  B Civ. 1.30.5). Miltner (1953) 195 on the background. Utica: Plut. Cat. Min. 59.2–​60 (see also Caes. BAfr. 88.1); Plut. Cat. Min. 64.5. 184 See Plut. Cat. Min. 66.2. Plutarch attributes the figure of the Stoic sage to Cato: 60.1, 64.5, 71.1 with Geiger (1971) comm. ad 60.1.

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principles of justice and republicanism, a practicing Stoic with a modest lifestyle, and a man of authority, dignity and integrity irrespective of official status. Already from the beginning of his career, Cato exuded a persona of principle and uncompromising attitude which he continued to nurture over the course of his career. Cicero, who observed Cato’s political activities close up, regarded him a proper Cato and a true descendant of the great Cato the Elder. But Cato’s contemporaries also experienced Cato’s opportunistic streak, obstructive political tactics and his impulsive and theatrical behaviour. He could be pragmatic when he deemed it necessary to protect the res publica and its traditions as he knew it, and this sometimes caused frustration among his peers. Central to Cato’s profile was his oratory. The many testimonia to his public speeches suggest that Cato was an eloquent orator and shrewd politician who could tailor his political messages to the audience addressed, yet was fearless when confronting powerful individuals or popular notions. Cato used his oratorical performances, words, appearance and gestures, to create and nurture his public image, articulate his views and notions, display his concern for the state and its institutions, and to communicate his career choices. It is telling that his abstention from communicating his motivation for his candidature in 52 BC caused his electoral failure, even if intended. Usually, Cato embraced such communication and his choice can only be explained as a political tactic. Although his decision to stand for the tribunate was unexpected, Plutarch’s anecdote about Cato justifying his decision to his followers may stem from an attempt to use these followers to communicate further his motivation for the candidature. Plutarch’s misguided emphasis on Cato’s philosophical motive in his discussion of Cato’s two repulsae may also tell us more about Cato’s tactic of communicating through his supporters than about Cato’s thoughts on the situation. As for most Roman politicians, it was not the case that specific speeches propelled Cato into office, but rather that specific speeches made a real impact on his reputation (for example his speech against the Sullani or in the Catilinarian debate), on the general understanding of possible political means available (filibuster speeches) and on the political agenda, where Cato’s constant opposition to Pompeius and Caesar played a part in forming and breaking up the famous coalition. Moreover, Cato actively sought out occasions to address a public audience and to make his voice heard, and carefully tailored his messages to the relevant audience. These oratorical performances helped Cato to communicate his messages and to maintain and refine his public profile.

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Other factors influenced Cato’s profile and career, but much less, it seems from the evidence, than his oratorical performances. While Cato is often depicted as a lone ranger, his collaboration with Bibulus, Ahenobarbus and likeminded senators show that he did not operate on his own.185 However, while he may have communicated his career choices through his network of political collaborators and supporters, there is little indication that networking as such pushed forward his career. Moreover, the relatively few recorded instances when Cato made explicit and implicit references to his great-​grandfather indicate that this particular ancestral example provided some support to Cato’s self-​projection as an upright traditionalist and practicing Stoic walking in the footsteps of his ancestor. However, considering Plutarch’s emphasis of Cato’s Stoicism, one is struck by the very limited number of such references to Cato the Elder and the fact that they appear early in Cato’s career, which suggests that they were most useful in the early stages of career-​building and less so once Cato had established his public persona.186 Plutarch’s judgement that Cato lacked charisma may be true, but even so, Cato’s career demonstrates a clear understanding of how to influence his public audience and make himself appear credible, also through speeches. Two final factors, military achievements and wealth, seem similarly insignificant in driving forward Cato’s career. His activities as a military tribune are portrayed by Plutarch as praiseworthy, but in the extant sources Cato makes no reference to this early public service, and his task in Cyprus was administrative rather than military in nature. The least conspicuous of factors in Cato’s career was money. Rather than promoting himself through lavish public appearance and generous loans, Cato chose the opposite tactic of displaying a modest lifestyle through dress, contempt for political bribery and the celebration of inexpensive, yet seemingly traditional, prizes in Favonius’ aedilician games. This display was not just a rejection of the power of money in politics, but a calculated show of adherence to old republican values to complement his public profile. His public profile, in turn, influenced his career. His auctoritas certainly made it easier for him to make his mark on politics, as he was asked to speak in the senate from a fairly junior position. Although his status as tribune-​elect gave him the right to speak in the senate, it is notable that Cicero asked him to give his opinion as the first (and, as far as we know, the only) among the tribune-​elects at the debate about the Catilinarian 185 Gruen (1974) 53–​7 traces these relationships. 186 On the timing of references to exempla of new men: van der Blom (2010) 159.

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conspirators. The image of austerity and principled outlook would have given his contemporaries the impression that he never worked for his own benefit, but solely for the state, thereby lending the weight of objectivity to his arguments. Cato made the most of this chance to address the senate by further promoting his public image and his political outlook. At times, his strong promotion of his public profile backfired as when Cicero found that Cato’s rigid principles obstructed the best interests of the state.187 Even if Cicero may have misunderstood Cato’s intentions in the case in question (the debate about the Asian tax contract), Cicero’s reaction highlights the limitations of any public profile to provide persuasive explanation of public actions. Cicero’s misunderstanding opens up for a consideration of Cato’s public conduct and the aims that guided it. Cato’s famous filibustering has been seen as the obstructionism of an inflexible and hyper-​idealistic senator. However, when we consider the context of each filibuster speech, it is possible to discern a conscious political tactic which served several aims: the first and most basic aim was to obstruct a particular political debate, vote or action. The second aim was to create negative press about his political opponents by arguing his side of the case and forcing them to desperate actions, for example, Caesar dragging Cato from the rostra and into prison.188 The third aim was to use the dramatic element of the occasion to gain attention and accrue popularity with the people, who appreciated a good show. This element should be seen in relation to Cato’s other aggressive oratorical device of shouting in the assemblies. With his filibustering, Cato may have appeared obstructionist, but his tactic had real political effect above and beyond mere obstruction, and illustrated  –​in an oratorical context –​his willingness to go further than most in pursuit of his political objectives. As such, his filibustering supported his claim to work for (his version of ) the res publica and thereby his public profile. We should understand Cato’s dramatic acts in a similar way. He may have enjoyed playing the showman, but his theatricality can also be interpreted as conscious attempts to make political points, for example about the dominance of the dynasts, to foster a link with the popular audience by circumventing Pompeius’ and Caesar’s popularity with the people, and, third, to attract people to come to his assemblies or other meetings in competition with similar meetings. His performance at the aedilician 187 Cic. Att. 2.1.8 (SB 21). 188 Gruen (1974) 54 also detects in Cato’s activity the aim to push the dynasts to extreme measures and positions which would undermine their standing.

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games suggests an attempt to both underline his modest lifestyle and to compete successfully with the rival and contemporaneous games taking place. It is worth remembering the competitive nature of late republican politics, not only within meetings but also between simultaneous meetings, especially contiones.189 A promise of drama could attract an audience which could, in turn, be hoped to be persuaded and, by its sheer presence, give the impression of stronger backing and legitimisation, leading to claims of having ‘the people’ on one’s side.190 Cato staged his dramatic acts –​often in an oratorical setting –​to gain effect, but also to use this effect to bring about real political change. The element of Stoicism was important in Cato’s public image and provides a further avenue to understanding his political career. Cicero’s mocking of Cato’s Stoicism shows that already in 63 BC, Cato had a reputation for harbouring such philosophical views. Indeed, Cato may have nurtured a genuine belief in Stoicism, but he could also play on it in public. In Plutarch’s narrative, it is exactly his philosophical belief which allows Cato to take his electoral defeat in the consular elections of 52 BC with calm and almost playful carelessness, which is remarkable as it contrasts with expected behaviour in the highly competitive political culture. This again makes one suspicious of Cato’s oblivion with his public profile, as depicted in Plutarch; such behaviour would help Cato to both underline his already powerful public persona while also take away the sting of shame from the defeat. Plutarch appears at times to have distorted his portrait of Cato by making Cato’s Stoicism the overriding principle in Cato’s motivation and decision. As a philosopher himself, Plutarch seems to have misread Cato’s actions, being influenced by the posthumous reputation of Cato which underlined the Stoic element above all.191 Cato’s suicide brought him lasting fame, and his memory influenced Roman politics in both the immediate aftermath and in the centuries to come. Cato may have played on Stoic beliefs in his public career, but his Stoicism was to play a much greater role in his posthumous reception. While we may understand Cato’s reaction to his two repulsae in 55 and 52 BC in light of his Stoicism, as does Plutarch, it makes more sense to see them in a political sense. His defiant reaction to his first defeat appears an 189 See discussion in Chapter 3 on Gaius, pages 98–100. 190 Morstein-​Marx (2004) 120–​8 analyses the use of ‘the people’ as legitimising claim. 191 Goar (1987) analyses the tradition about Cato; Griffin (1986) 195–​6 and Duff (1999) 141–​5 analyse the attempt to parallel Cato with Socrates in later literature; Ingenkamp (1992b) takes Plut. Cat. Min. as example of Plutarch’s purpose of presenting historical role models to his contemporaries.

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attempt to turn the defeat into a show of martyrdom and righteous resistance to corruption and unjustified dominance, exemplifying the element of unselfish dedication to the public cause in his public profile. Cato tried to diminish the shame of his second repulsa by appearing unconcerned with the result, referring to his Stoic beliefs, but also sporting attire associated with incorrupt electoral candidates.192 Plutarch links Cato’s defeat directly to his refusal to canvass for votes in the run-up to the election, and while Plutarch may be right in this link, the biographer may have read too much philosophy into Cato’s decision not to canvass. A political motivation (that is, the compact with the Marcelli) seems much more likely. Plutarch’s overall portrait of Cato as a principled man who could not interact effectively with the real world of Roman politics seems not to hold true when we look at his more pragmatic actions.193 Indeed, Plutarch misrepresents Cicero to make his point: while Cicero did write to Atticus that Cato thought he lived in Plato’s Republic and not in Romulus’ cesspool, Cicero did not link this observation with Cato’s defeat in the consular elections, as Plutarch would have us believe.194 In fact, Cato appears to have conducted himself according to a different measure, namely the self-​projection as an old-​fashioned republican politician with high moral standards and abhorrence of political corruption and dominance. Cato was a man of strong principles and showed great willingness to follow them, but if we are to understand the seemingly confusing combination of principles and pragmatism in Cato’s actions and expressions, it is necessary to identify an overarching principle of the best interests of the state and to see his activity in relation to this principle. This principle may have been influenced by Stoicism, but probably not to the degree which Plutarch and other later writers would have us believe. It was also a genuine Roman republican principle and it seems to have guided Cato throughout his life  –​the ultimate proof is his suicide in Utica. He had other, lower-​ranking, principles of justice, legalism and morally correct behaviour, but these he was willing to bend if he deemed it necessary for his unique interpretation of the benefit of the res publica. His populist tactics and oratory, his acts of bribery and adaptable understanding of tradition are examples of this flexibility. Moreover, Cato was a shrewd political 192 Electoral defeat was not uncommon and some delayed canvass to collect more capital (real, moral and political) before successful election to magistracy: Broughton (1991); Konrad (1996) on also-​ rans. Pina Polo (2012a); Baudry (2013) discuss electoral losers. Cf. Cic. Pis. 2 for his pride in reaching the consulship suo anno and thus without repulsae. 193 Duff (1999) 151–​2 analyses Plutarch’s depiction of Cato’s refusal to canvass. 194 Plut. Phoc. 3.2, misquoting Cic. Att. 2.1.8 (SB 21).

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operator who could play on his publicly promoted principles to produce a consistent, credible and appealing public profile on which to build his claim to political power and influence and, from this political platform, work for the benefit of what he deemed best for the state. His oratorical performances –​words, gestures and behaviour –​formed an integral and essential part of his promotion of his views and claim to political influence, and served to advance his career and his political objectives.

8

Career-​making in a time of crisis Marcus Antonius’ oratory

The career of Marcus Antonius, the triumvir (c. 83–​30 BC), coincided with and contributed to the last turbulent decades of the Roman Republic. He obtained his first magistracy during the violent late 50s BC, was promoted through his loyal support of Caesar during the civil war, grasped control of Rome in the aftermath of Caesar’s murder and could have kept his role as leader of the state had he won the civil war against Octavian. The politically and militarily charged context of the 50s and 40s BC made public speech in the assemblies, the senate and in military contexts one of the major means to persuade the audience (whether the populus as a whole, the senators, or the soldiers) of a particular course in the fast-​ changing events of the period. We have evidence of a number of speeches held by Antonius, mainly in the senate and contiones, both political and military. Performances in the law courts are very rare, perhaps owing to his personal inclination or, more likely, a result of his long absences from Rome in the 50s, 40s and all of the 30s BC as well as a political situation with little time for lengthy trials. The major events in Antonius’ career are well known, but the role of his oratorical performances for advancing his career during this time of crisis is poorly understood. Yet, he delivered speeches at crucial points of the political crisis and they proved crucial for his career as well. Modern scholarship has dealt with Antonius’ speeches, in particular his funeral oration over Caesar, but little attention has been given to the relationship between his oratorical performances and the development of his political career.1 There is, however, a great deal of evidence 1 Deutsch (1926–​9); Lyons and Montgomery (1968); Kennedy (1968); J. Hall (2014) 134–​40 on the funeral speech; Motzo (1940) on the post-​Ides of March speeches; Frisch (1946) 133–​5 on Antonius’ response to Cic. Phil. 1; Scholz (1963); Mahy (2013) on Antonius’ oratory; Kennedy (1972) 297–​9 on Antonius as an orator; Huzar (1982) on Antonius’ oral and written expressions; Calboli (1997) on Antonius’ alleged ‘Asiatic’ style.

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in contemporary sources, mainly Cicero, and later historical works, especially Plutarch, Cassius Dio and Appian.2 This material is not unproblematic: Cicero’s enmity with Antonius (especially from 44 BC) must be taken into account when considering his presentation, while the inclusion of ‘speeches’ in the historians raises another issue of credibility.3 Cicero’s Philippics, the second speech in particular, have left us with an image of Antonius as a drunkard and womaniser who needed a teacher in rhetoric to help him prepare a tolerable response to Cicero’s defence of republican standards in the senate. That this presentation is unfair has long been agreed, and Antonius’ oratory has been assessed more neutrally in modern scholarship.4 I shall return to these issues in connection with specific instances. Another difficulty with the material in the later sources is the level of pro-​Octavian propaganda which has influenced the reception of Antonius to some extent.5 This chapter discusses Antonius’ oratory in relation to his political career in order to assess his use of oratory to promote his public persona, to articulate his career choices and to further his career. The fact that we have no securely attested speeches of his after 43 BC means that the discussion shall focus on his activities in the 50s and 40s BC, and mainly those taking place in Rome. The evidence leaves the impression of a politician fully able to deliver an effective speech when needed and crucially aware of the implicit sentiments to be explored in his address. Antonius was an effective speaker at the known instances of addressing the senate and the people and sometimes when addressing the troops. He grasped most of the unique possibilities and challenges posed by the chaotic two decades in which his career unfolded and he often delivered speeches at crucial points of his career, and with great effect. Before we turn to the specific speeches delivered by Antonius, we need to consider his education and oratorical style in order to provide the context for his individual speeches. General testimonia to Antonius’ oratory deal with his education in rhetoric and oratorical practices, stress his talent for speaking, in particular when addressing his soldiers or the people, and give some information about his oratorical and literary style. We 2 See Malcovati (1976) no. 159; Appendix 6 presents a revised list of oratorical occasions. 3 For discussion of speeches in the historians: Millar (1961); Miller (1975); Gowing (1992) 225–​45. 4 Especially Kennedy (1972) 297–​9; Huzar (1982) (on all of Antonius’ literary efforts including letters, official documents, his de sua ebrietate, and indeed his orations); Calboli (1997); Tatum (2008) 169–​72, 174. 5 Charlesworth (1933); Toher (2009) esp. 139–​40. Welch (2009) shows that many of the authors of memoirs and history in the Augustan age were past anti-​Caesarians.

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have little positive evidence of Antonius’ education, indeed of the first twenty-​five years of his life in general. However, Antonius’ background in a distinguished family descending from the Julian gens on his mother’s side and the Antonii (who had consuls in the past two generations, including the famous orator M.  Antonius (cos. 99 BC)) on his father’s side, makes it more than likely that he received a traditional education in Greek and Latin literature and in rhetoric. At some point, perhaps in 58 BC, he went to Greece where he practised military exercises and studied oratory, and here he is said to have adopted the so-​called Asiatic style of speaking, a point we shall return to below.6 At that time, it was becoming fashionable for young men of the senatorial class to study abroad, so it was not an unusual step for Antonius to take.7 Shortly afterwards, he joined the proconsul Gabinius in Syria as praefectus equitum,8 and his military career proper started. After his time with Gabinius in Syria and Egypt, Antonius allied himself with Caesar and served as his legate in Gaul.9 He was quaestor in 52 BC or, more likely, in 51 BC,10 and continued under Caesar’s command until December 50 BC when he took up his tribunate for 49 BC. In 50 BC, he had also been elected augur ahead of the more senior L. Domitius Ahenobarbus. This is the point at which Antonius started to make his mark on Roman political life, coinciding with the civil war. Cicero mentions briefly in a letter to Q.  Thermus in 50 BC, that Antonius and his two brothers were ‘non indiserti’, that is, that they were not without command of language.11 This piece of evidence is important as it is one of the few contemporary judgements not tainted by Cicero’s later enmity with Antonius, and it would seem to suggest that Antonius possessed some effectiveness in his ability to deliver speeches. 6 Plut. Ant. 2.7–​8. Pelling (1988) 119–​20 argues for an oral source and, if placed rightly in the Life, the trip to Greece should be dated to 58 BC. Similarities between Cic. Phil. 2 and Plut. Ant. 1–​30 suggest Plutarch’s heavy use of Cicero’s speech, but not other speeches, for that part of his biography: Pelling (1979) 89–​90, except, perhaps, Antonius’ reply to Cic. Phil. 1: De Wet (1990). 7 Daly (1950); Bengtson (1977) 29–​30; Rawson (1985) 6–​13. 8 Plut. Ant. 3.1; Huzar (1978) 27–​9. Hayne (1978) 98 suggests Pompeius recommending Antonius to Gabinius. Welch (1995) 185 argues that Antonius demanded the prefecture from Gabinius although he originally was only to join as a priuatus, which illustrates Gabinius’ high regard for his talents. Huzar (1978) 26 thinks Gabinius persuaded Antonius to join his staff (no evidence). 9 Cic. Phil. 2.49. 10 Modern scholars differ on this point; Linderski and Kaminska-​Linderski (1974) presents an overview of the discussion and argue for 51 BC. 11 Cic. Fam. 2.18.2 (SB 115). Cicero had already politely agreed to support Antonius’ canvass for the quaestorship (Cic. Phil. 2.49), on the request of Pompeius and Caesar, but Cicero and Antonius were evidently not yet enemies.

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Plutarch gives us further clues to Antonius’ oratorical skills when he presents Antonius as a ‘persuasive speaker when addressing the people, and as gifted as any man of his day in leading (or moving) an army with words’.12 His persuasive skill when addressing his soldiers is, in a circular way, related to his popularity with his soldiers, which, Plutarch notes, is again based partly on his eloquence. Indeed, Plutarch may have had compositional aims with his description rather than good evidence.13 However, Antonius does seem to have had a talent for relating to his soldiers through his behaviour and understanding of their situation and through his effective appeal to their sympathy.14 The most famous episode to that effect is Antonius’ arrival at Lepidus’ camp in Gallia in May 43 BC, when Antonius hoped to join forces with Lepidus. Plutarch explains how Antonius arrived with unkempt hair, long beard and dark clothes, clearly signifying mourning –​of his defeat at Mutina, the murder of Caesar, or the general state of the Caesarian cause at the time, it seems. The soldiers were moved by his appearance and wished Antonius to lead them instead of Lepidus, but Antonius persuaded them not to kill Lepidus. Then the pact between the two leaders was sealed.15 Plutarch’s description is colourful, but Antonius’ entry into Lepidus’ camp is reported in similar ways in Velleius’ and Appian’s narratives, suggesting that Plutarch drew his material from a common source rather than inventing the entire episode.16 Antonius’ rapport with soldiers was an important element in his oratorical technique and influential on the outcome when addressing the troops. At some point in his career, Antonius took up declamation practices. Suetonius mentions that Antonius (as well as the young Octavian) maintained the ‘declamandi consuetudo’ (‘habit of declaming’) during the siege of Mutina in the spring of 43 BC.17 Others had engaged in rhetorical 12 Plut. Ant. 40.8 with Pelling (1988) 228–​9. The translation is an adaptation of Pelling’s. Cf. Plut. Ant. 18.2–​3. 13 Plut. Ant. 43.5:  Antonius’ popularity based on his λόγου δύναμις as well as his high birth, his simplicity of manners, his generosity and his liking for pleasures and social life. Chris Pelling suggested to me the very probable solution that Plutarch may have used this description of Antonius’ relationship with his soldiers, including the role of eloquence for the relationship, for the compositional purpose of preparing the reader for the transfer of Antonius’ attractiveness to the relationship with Cleopatra and to presage his shocked passivity after Actium with a similar passivity in the middle of his Parthian campaign. Cf. Pelling (1988) 220–​1 for the parallels in Plutarch’s descriptions of the Parthian campaign and Actium. 14 Plut. Ant. 18, 40.8, 43.5. 15 Plut. Ant. 18. 16 Vell. Pat. 2.63; App. B Civ. 3.83–​4; cf. Pelling (1988) 162–​4; Magnino (1983) 107–​8. 17 Suet. Rhet. 1.3 (= 25.3 in Kaster (1995)).

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exercises in adulthood,18 but it was still rather unusual and this explains Suetonius’ need to comment on Antonius’ activities.19 We also know from Suetonius that Antonius (and Octavian) were said to have been pupils of the rhetor M. Epidius, who had opened a school of oratory.20 The context of this piece of information makes it difficult to date these lessons but they are most likely to have taken place in the late 50s or the 40s BC.21 Lastly, Cicero derides Antonius for hiring Sex. Clodius as rhetor to assist him in producing and practising a response to Cicero’s first Philippic speech, a response which Antonius delivered in the senate on 19 September 44 BC. Cicero argues that this assistance was entirely wasted on Antonius, who had no talent or skill in oratory.22 In spite of Cicero’s derision, Antonius was clearly aware of the benefits derived from effective oratory, at least in critical political situations. Antonius’ practices during the siege of Mutina should probably be seen in light of the ongoing oratorical battle with Cicero and the anti-​ Caesarians in Rome. When away from Rome, Antonius tried to influence the senators through intermediaries and letters,23 but he must have envisaged a time when he would again need to address an audience (and not just his own soldiers) in order to persuade them of his viewpoint. Seen in light of Cicero’s own continued declamation practices, this information does not, in itself, demonstrate Antonius’ lack of oratorical skill. At the most, it could be argued to indicate a certain lack of self-​confidence on Antonius’ side. The difficulty of dating the time when Antonius was taught by Epidius makes it impossible to judge precisely how far advanced was Antonius’ career and oratorical experience, and therefore whether the lessons were part of a common pattern of education or more exceptional and suggestive of Antonius’ need for extra lessons. Finally, Cicero’s ridicule of Antonius’ decision to hire Sex. Clodius as oratory coach forms part of a very biased presentation of Antonius, indeed Cicero’s most famous invective. We could, perhaps, imagine that Sex. Clodius was more of an entertaining element at Antonius’ parties than 18 Pompeius: Suet. Rhet. 1 and 3 (= 25 and 27 Kaster (1995) with 298–​300). Hirtius and Pansa: Cic. Att. 14.12.2 (SB 366)). Cicero: Suet. Rhet. 1 (= 25 Kaster (1995). 19 Kennedy (1972) 312–​22. 20 Suet. Rhet. 4.1 (= 28.1 in Kaster (1995)). 21 Kaster (1995) 301–​5. 22 Cic. Phil. 2.8, 2.43, 2.101, 3.22 with Ramsey (2003) 173–​4, 225; Manuwald (2007) 405–​7. See Suet. Rhet. 5.1 (= 29.1–​2 in Kaster (1995) with comm. 310–​12) for further discussion. Cicero also criticises the fee, allegedly taken from public funds, which Antonius paid Sex. Clodius. 23 Some of Antonius’ letters quoted and paraphrased: Cic. Phil. 8.25–​8, 13.22–​48 with Lintott (2008) 445–​7 and Ramsey (2010).

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a teacher proper, as the word dicax (‘given to making clever remarks at another’s expense’ OLD) suggests.24 Cicero’s criticism taps into a Roman aversion against the use of speech writers,25 and possibly overemphasises Sex. Clodius’ role in relation to Antonius’ speech-​writing. Yet, Antonius may have wanted to strengthen his oratory against Cicero’s brilliant but biting oratorical attacks. The final element in the general testimonia to Antonius’ oratory is the style he adopted when speaking. Plutarch claims that Antonius took up ‘the Asiatic style of oratory, which was especially popular at that time and bore a close resemblance to his own life, which was boastful and arrogant, full of empty exultation and a distorted sense of honour’.26 As remarked by Pelling, Plutarch likes to illustrate his subject’s characters through their rhetorical style, and that this does not necessarily mean that Plutarch knew Antonius’ speeches at first hand; in fact, he probably did not read Antonius’ speeches.27 We should therefore be sceptical about Plutarch’s description of Antonius’ style. The proclaimed elegant Attic style as opposed to the allegedly abundant Asiatic style was a current topic of discussion in Antonius’ day.28 Suetonius relates that Augustus (although it is unclear when) criticised Antonius for writing with the aim of being admired rather than understood, and for his bad taste and inconsistent style which included archaisms from Cato the Elder.29 However, Huzar’s evaluation of Antonius’ literary style concludes that this criticism is much overstated in that Antonius was perfectly capable of writing in standard formal prose and ‘conveying his content and attitude in writing as well as in oratory’.30 This does not mean that Antonius did not write in a style which included figures related to the more abundant Asiatic style, but rather that the criticism levelled at him was more a matter of taste than skill or, even, simply a reflection of the frequent use of the negative buzz­ word of ‘Asiatic’ to blacken an opponent. 24 Kaster (1995) 309–​10, 312. 25 Kennedy (1968) 427–​8, n. 12, (1972) 12–​13 with n. 14; See discussion of speech writers in Rome in Chapter 4 on Pompeius, pages 118–20. 26 Plut. Ant. 2.8. 27 Pelling (1979) 89; Pelling (1988) 119–​20; Geiger (2000). Cf. Calboli (1997) 14, 26 who also notes the relation between Plutarch’s presentation of Antonius’ character and style. 28 Wisse (1995) on the ancient (and modern) discussions. Cf. Cic. Opt. gen. 8–​10, who argues against these styles as fixed, and Brut. 51, 325–​6 which explains to some degree the background. 29 Suet. Aug. 86.2. 30 Huzar (1982) 641–​2; Calboli (1997). J. Hall (2009a) 87–​99, 169–​78 shows Antonius’ capability in writing letters in both polite and aggressive styles. Ovid Pont. 1.1.23: Antonius’ written works still read in the Augustan age.

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This limited information about Antonius’ oratory reflects the sources’ attempts to make it fit into their narratives and depictions of Antonius the general popular with his soldiers or Antonius the politician with an abundant lifestyle and a rhetorical style to suit it. Looking at the occasions when he delivered speeches in public will offer more nuance, new aspects and a certain corrective to these images.

From quaestor to consul The first known occasion at which Antonius addressed a public audience was in the trial of Milo on 7 April 52 BC who was prosecuted for the murder of Clodius. This is the only extant evidence for a forensic speech of Antonius throughout his career, and all we know about this speech is that it took place. Marcus Antonius prosecuted alongside Appius Claudius Pulcher and P. Valerius Nepos.31 The three of them were allotted two hours in total for speaking, so we might imagine Antonius as a junior prosecutor speaking rather briefly.32 Yet the fact that Antonius prosecuted is an important clue to understanding his career development. If we are to believe Cicero, Antonius had been a friend of Clodius during the latter’s tribunate in 58 BC but later tried to kill Clodius, during the tumultuous summer of 53 BC.33 However, once Clodius had been killed by Milo, Antonius swung over again to the side of the Clodiani and was one of the prosecutors of Milo. This was all for political reasons. By defending Clodius’ memory, Antonius hoped to tap into Clodius’ popularity with the plebs, take over his supporters and take up the vacant position as the leader of the politicians working for the interests of the people.34 Antonius’ prosecution has also been placed in the context of his canvass for the quaestorship: Linderski and Kaminska-​Linderski have argued that the murder of Clodius and the resultant unrest in Rome made it necessary 31 App. Claudius Pulcher (cos. 38 BC) was son of Clodius’ brother C. Claudius: Lewis (2006) 318. 32 Asc. 41C. Cicero’s circulated speech in defence may reflect some of the arguments from the prosecution, but truthfulness is uncertain; if truthful, we do not know who of the three prosecutors brought forward these arguments: Cic. Mil. 34, 36, 48, 54, 57; see Quint. Inst. 6.3.49. Fotheringham (2013) 220, 237, 267, 281, 286 calls each of the references a ‘pseudo-​quotation’, implying these untruthful reflections of the proceedings. 33 Friends:  Cic. Phil. 2.48; Plut. Ant. 2.5. Attempt at Clodius’ life:  Cic. Mil. 40; Phil. 2.21, 2.49. Tatum (1999) 235–​6 says that Antonius only offered to assassinate Clodius, and only if we believe Cicero (date: summer of 53 BC). Fotheringham (2013) 247–​8 does not comment on this allegation. 34 Welch (1995) 186. Later he secured the recall of Clodius’ right-​hand m ​ an Sex. Cloelius on behalf of Clodius’ son (condemnation: Asc. 55–​6C; recall: Cic. Att. 14.13.6 (SB 367), 14.13A.2 (SB 367A), 14.13B.3 (SB 367B), 14.14.2 (SB 368), 14.19.2 (SB 372) and he married Fulvia, Clodius’ (and then Curio’s) widow.

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for Antonius to sever his links with the anti-​Clodian side in the hope of election. According to their reconstruction, the prosecution of Milo was the perfect way to advertise his new alliance with the Clodiani, but by that time, the elections for the quaestorship of 52 BC were too close for Antonius to bank on his change of political side, and so he decided to wait for the election to the post in 51 BC.35 Seen in this light, Antonius’ prosecution of Milo was a crucial step towards his election to the quaestorship and, in the long run, his claim to popular favour. It may also have been regarded favourably by those senators who hoped to get rid of both Clodius and Milo in one action and therefore provided further goodwill for Antonius in quarters of the senate. The speech itself did not make an impact on the tradition, and it may not have been remotely memorable or even effective (although Milo was condemned), but simply by his appearance in the trial, he could communicate his career change from an enemy of Clodius to a potential leader of the Clodiani and a friend of the people. Before his quaestorship, Antonius had been a prefect with Gabinius in Syria and, since 54 BC, a legate with Caesar in Gaul. His alliance with Caesar appears to have promoted his career to a considerable degree; Caesar had a habit of nurturing the careers of loyal and capable men.36 He was elected augur in 50 BC in front of Caesar’s staunch political enemy L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, an election credited to Caesar’s and Curio’s efforts on Antonius’ behalf in the highly politicised election.37 Welch underlines the influence of pro-​Antonian voters of Cisalpine Gaul and the prestige from his grandfather’s augurate,38 but there is no doubt that Caesar’s patronage and money provided forceful promotion of Antonius’ early career. In 50 BC, he was also elected tribune of the plebs, an election Cicero regarded as foolproof because of his high birth and enterprising qualities alongside a certain talent for speaking.39 Cicero hits the nail on its head in pointing out Antonius’ ancestry, networks and ability to address an audience as positive factors for Antonius’ career progression. 35 Linderski and Kaminska-​Linderski (1974); accepted by Welch (1995) 186. See Hayne (1978) 98–​9 for a different hypothesis. 36 Syme (1939) 44–​5, 61–​77; Wiseman (1971) 175–​7; Steel (2009) 118–​22; Steel (2013d) 242–​4. This trend is particularly notable in Caesar’s nurture of homines noui: see van der Blom (forthcoming 1). 37 Caesar: Cic. Fam. 8.14.1 (SB 97); Caes. BGall. 8.50.1. Curio: Cic. Fam. 8.14.1 (SB 97); Phil. 2.4; Plut. Ant. 5.1. Hayne (1978) 100 on Caesar’s support; Bergemann (1992) 128; Millar (1998) 188–​90; Yakobson (1999) 155–​6, 176 on the political aspects of the election. 38 Welch (1995) 185. 39 Cic. Fam. 2.18.2 (SB 115); Plutarch (Ant. 5)  argues Curio’s contio speeches secured Antonius’ election.

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One of his first acts as tribune was to deliver a speech at a contio on 21 December 50 BC.40 Cicero explains that this speech contained a denunciation of Pompeius, a protest on behalf of those condemned and a threat of armed force. Pompeius was offended and his reaction is telling as he calls Antonius ‘quaestor eius infirmus et inops’ (‘weak and powerless quaestor of his’, i.e. Caesar’s), admittedly in comparison with Caesar, yet clearly a nobody in Pompeius’ opinion.41 The ‘condemned’ (damnati) mentioned by Antonius were probably the Marians in the civil war since Cicero says that Antonius’ speech contained a denunciation of Pompeius ‘a toga pura’ (‘from the day he came of age’), and his notorious cruelty against Sulla’s enemies.42 Antonius’ speech was part of the ongoing public discussions on the termination of Caesar’s proconsular command, his right to stand for a consulship in absentia and the threat of civil war should no agreement be reached. Pompeius was right that Antonius was working for Caesar, but he may have underestimated how far Antonius could and would go in his service to Caesar –​his speech was not just words but had the backing of Caesar. Cicero’s report of Antonius’ speech shows that Antonius could speak clearly and forcefully. In terms of his career, Antonius banked on Caesar coming out the stronger from the debates and, eventually, the civil war, and he therefore backed Caesar wholeheartedly. Caesar’s letter to the senate, delivered by Curio on 1 January 49 BC, offered that he would give up his army and provinces, if Pompeius would give up his provinces of Hispania Citerior and Ulterior and his army there. If the senate and Pompeius did not accept these terms, Caesar would take steps to protect his interests.43 Antonius and C. Cassius Longinus, as tribunes, forced the consul L. Lentulus to allow the letter to be read out, but he resisted their demand that its content should be put to a vote. Such a proposal was not at all unwelcome to the majority of the senate, who apparently had voted 370–​22 in favour of both commanders laying down their armies and provinces at the senate meeting of 1 December 50 BC, 40 Antonius was probably also present at the senatorial debate on 1 Dec. 50 BC (although no evidence of a speech), when Curio was still tribune and working for Caesar’s interests: Plut. Pomp. 58; cf. Plut. Ant. 5 with Pelling (1980) 139–​40 on Plutarch’s transposition of events from the 1 Dec. meeting to the 1 Jan. 49 BC meeting and from Curio to Antonius. Raaflaub (1974b); Bengtson (1977) 46–​50 also reconstruct the events. 41 Cic. Att. 7.8.5 (SB 131); text and translation Shackleton Bailey (1999). Millar (1998) 194–​6 on the wider political implications of the letter’s dissemination. 42 Val. Max. 6.2.8 with Steel (2001) 146–​7, Steel (2013a). Shackleton Bailey (1968) 308 suggests that Antonius referred to those convicted under Pompeius’ retrospective bribery law of 52 BC, but the ‘a toga pura’ phrase suggests reference to damnati much earlier in Pompeius’ career, or indeed both (Lintott (2008) 279). 43 Famously, to protect his dignitas (Caes. BCiv. 1.7.7); see Morstein-​Marx (2009).

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before the consul had stopped the proceedings.44 In other words, Antonius and Cassius were not simply being populists when they demanded a vote at the meeting of 1 January, but were working for what had been the general consensus a month earlier. Several senate meetings took place between 1 and 5 January (the precise content of the discussions, and their chronology, is confused in the sources) at which the senate passed the proposal made by Pompeius’ father-​in-​law, Metellus Scipio, which required Caesar to give up his army or be considered an enemy of the state, and which Antonius and Cassius vetoed.45 On 7 January, the senate voted to replace Caesar in Gaul and to cancel his right to stand for the consulship in absentia. Again, Antonius and Cassius vetoed the proposal, but were overruled. They then fled to Caesar.46 Antonius and Cassius were central figures during this debate and the fact that their veto was overruled was subsequently used by Caesar to legitimise the start of war: he was simply protecting the people’s tribunes and their sacred right and duty to stand up to the people’s best interest. We have no information as to the wording of Antonius’ speeches during the debate, but he must have spoken at least at the two vetoes, and more likely, more than that. We have no possibility of judging his speeches’ content or style, but the effect of his actions, the vetoes, was ultimately the beginning of the civil war. In so far as the civil war and Caesar’s ensuing dictatorship brought Antonius to new heights in his political career, his action and words at the senatorial debate in January 49 BC could be said to have been crucial. Yet, it was not so much the quality or style of his performances, as the forthright action of vetoing the proposals in the senate which pushed forward the train of events. Antonius carried out his tribunician activities without a fault and Caesar rewarded his loyal service. The sources to the role of Marcus Antonius in the lead up to the civil war of 49 BC are tricky, but not impossible to disentangle. Cicero’s depiction in his second Philippic speech is meant to illustrate how, in Cicero’s view, Antonius had operated against all rules and senatorial authority in the aftermath of Caesar’s murder, and therefore Cicero focuses on 44 Plutarch may have transposed events from the 1 Dec. meeting to the 1 Jan. meeting (Pelling (1980) 139–​40), but the 370–​2 vote more plausibly took place at the first meeting; the second meeting may have covered the same grounds, even if not putting the same proposal to the vote. 45 Caes. BCiv. 1.1–​3. 46 Caes. BCiv. 1.1–​3; Cic. Phil. 2.50–​1 with Ramsey (2003) 235–​7; Plut. Ant. 5 with Pelling (1988) 126–​ 30; App. B Civ. 2.33. Pelling (1980) 129 suggests Antonius’ and Cassius’ speeches in Plut. Ant. 5.10 at the Rubicon was more likely delivered by Caesar himself: Plut. Caes. 31.3. Lintott (2008) 281–​2 reconstructs the events.

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Antonius’ support of Caesar in late 50 and early 49 BC as an act against the interests of the senate and the res publica. The depiction is not very detailed and heavily moralising in tone in order to demonise Antonius for Cicero’s purposes of alienating him from the senatorial establishment in autumn 44 BC.47 Plutarch’s account also has a moralising undercurrent, but also more detail and contextual evidence to the events of early 49 BC.48 While Plutarch’s account in itself presents problems of interpretation because of transposition of events and individuals,49 part of the differences from Cicero’s depiction relate to his purpose of depicting Antonius’ character through his actions. For this purpose, Antonius’ activities must be placed in their context whereas Cicero expects his audience to know the details of the event to which he refers. Where Cicero’s account establishes that Antonius spoke at the senate meetings in early January 49 BC and finally used his veto, Plutarch’s account also shows that Antonius was an effective orator, speaking with clarity and force and a willingness to negotiate with the senate (together with Curio) on behalf of Caesar. Although Caesar kept a close watch on the events in Rome, Antonius and Curio must have acted partly on their own initiative and at their own discretion in these negotiations. This aspect of time and development is not present in Cicero’s account. There are further layers to each account than what has been drawn out here, but this brief discussion serves to show that an eyewitness account is not necessarily a more credible one, and that a comparison of two sources to the same event not only can highlight different elements and aspects, but also help to confirm certain facts:  Antonius was a central figure in the January debates, he operated on behalf of Caesar, he delivered more than one speech to this effect, and in spite of the final senatorial decree against Caesar, he had an impact on the debate through his oratory. Irrespective of Cicero’s and Plutarch’s bias, their depictions suggest that Antonius was a capable speaker who used his public performances to further his own political agenda. If that agenda was to show Caesar his support, and all evidence indicates this, Antonius even succeeded. Antonius was placed in charge of first Sulmo, then Italy while Caesar was away.50 These appointments conflicted with the rules about tribunes of the plebs acting and remaining in the city of Rome. The sources explain 47 Cic. Phil. 2.50–​1 with Ramsey (2003) 235–​7. 48 Plut. Ant. 5. 49 Pelling (1988) 126–​9. 50 Caes. BCiv. 1.18, but see Cic. Att. 8.4.3 (SB 156). Dio Cass. 41.18.3; Plut. Ant. 6.4; App. B Civ. 2.41.

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how unpopular Antonius was with the political elite.51 He was sent to Rome in late 48 BC to become magister equitum and thus help Caesar maintain order in Rome, where Caelius and Milo had already challenged Caesar’s newly established control in the city.52 When in Rome, Antonius tried to build up his own powerbase, partly through his marriage with Clodius’ and Curio’s widow, Fulvia, who could offer the brand of ‘friend of the people’ based on Clodius’ memory and popularity with the urban plebs.53 We have little information about speeches delivered by Antonius, but he must have addressed the plebs, presumably in contiones, in order to build up his position as the people-​loving politician. Cicero’s colourful story of Antonius vomiting on the tribunal of the magister equitum, while performing official duties in front of the populus, does not include a speech, but it is likely that such an occasion would have involved giving one.54 Caesar had promoted Antonius for several years, rewarding him for good service, and not just to the quaestorship, the augurship, and the tribunate alongside the propraetorship in Italy (49 BC), but also to the post of magister equitum (October 48–​October 47 BC). After that position had expired, Antonius almost disappears from our sources for eighteen months. Many scholars have argued, influenced by Cicero’s invective, that Antonius fell out with Caesar and that Antonius’ career took a downturn until, perhaps helped by his ambitious and politically adept new wife Fulvia,55 Antonius suddenly regained some of his political influence and favour with Caesar.56 However, Ramsey has persuasively argued that Antonius was placed in charge of raising funds for Caesar’s campaign by buying up the confiscated property of Pompeius and reselling it; the income flowing into the treasury ensured the continued payment of Caesar’s troops and Antonius was rewarded from the summer of 45 BC onwards, culminating in his joint consulship with Caesar for 44 BC.57 51 Cic. Att. 10.8 (SB 199), 10.10 (SB 201), 10.11.4 (SB 202), 10.12 (SB 203), 10.13.1 (SB 205); Plut. Ant. 6.6. 52 Cic. Fam. 8.16 (SB 153); 8.17.2 (SB 156); Caes. BCiv. 3.21; Dio Cass. 42.22.2–​23.2. 53 In rivalry with Dolabella: Bengtson (1977) 62–​3; Welch (1995) 190–​5. For a more traditional interpretation of Fulvia’s ‘influence’ over Antonius: Smethurst (1960) 158. 54 Cic. Phil. 2.63; cf. Plut. Ant. 9.6 repeating Cicero’s story. Pelling (1980) 129–​30 on Plutarch’s inclusion of the circumstantial, probably invented, detail about a friend holding a toga in which Antony could vomit. 55 Welch (1995) 192–​5. Bengtson (1977) 63–​4 is puzzled by Antonius’ choice of wife. 56 Gap in the narrative from the end of 47 BC to 45 BC in Plut. Ant. 10–​11; cf. Bengtson’s (1977) 311 timeline leaving out the period 47–​44 BC; Ramsey (2004) 165, n. 16 lists scholarship. 57 Ramsey (2004).

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Caesar had probably requested discretion in anticipation of controversy over this asset-​stripping activity, which would explain the near silence in the sources. Antonius too, we can assume, was disinclined to advertise publicly his task in order not to sully his image with associations of low-​ status money handling and proscription-​like property sales. During this period of financial dealings, Antonius was brought into a contio in March 45 BC and questioned by a tribune about his mounting debts.58 When asked about his reason for coming to Rome (he had been in Narbo in Gallia Narbonensis), Antonius replied that he had come on private business. Cicero, who tells this story, places it as part of his narrative of Antonius’ return to Rome to become reunited with his wife, Fulvia, but also stresses the threat of bankruptcy facing Antonius and the widespread fear that his sudden return to Rome suggested a secret and menacing mission on behalf of Caesar.59 We cannot trust Cicero’s wording of Antonius’ reply to be accurate (‘te rei tuae causa uenisse’ –​‘that you had come on an affair that was personal’), but Antonius evidently tried to stall the fears his arrival in Rome had caused.60 Ramsey argues that Antonius’ debt was a result of his purchase of Pompeius’ confiscated properties with resale in mind, and that the fact that Antonius had to calm down fears by making a public statement shows that he must have been viewed as one of Caesar’s trusted lieutenants.61 Antonius was known to be Caesar’s right-​hand man, often carrying out the dirty work for Caesar, and this image now necessitated a public statement. Antonius had to communicate a message of being in Rome on a personal business (Fulvia, debt or both) rather than on Caesar’s, and he appears to have succeeded. Even if his private life and finances may have been a mess, Antonius managed to articulate his position and his purpose for coming to Rome. If Antonius was brought forward in this contio, he was perhaps also attending and speaking at other contiones during his time in Rome, even if the sources are silent. Again, his loyal services to Caesar paid off when Caesar came out the victorious part in the civil war and Antonius was given the consulship of 44 BC. A final speech of his, before he took up his consulship, was delivered in the senate in the latter half of 45 BC. Antonius threatened to use his religious position against the election of 58 Dating: Cic. Att. 12.19.2 (SB 257; 14 March 45 BC). 59 Cic. Phil. 2.78. 60 The translation of Shackleton Bailey (rev. by Ramsey and Manuwald) (2009) aptly confers the double meaning of res as referring to both business and love affair. 61 Ramsey (2003) 273–​4, (2004) 166.

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Dolabella to the consulship of 44 BC, which he would have held together with Antonius himself after Caesar’s planned departure for Parthia in spring 44 BC.62 This was a precursor to more speeches on this issue, as we shall see. So far, Antonius’ career had not followed the traditional course of magistracies (even if he had been quaestor and tribune), nor had he made a name for himself in the law courts. Arguably, the traditional cursus honorum had disintegrated to some extent during the tumultuous years of civil war and Caesar’s dictatorship. Antonius’ choice of a military career was a common one, but once he was back in Rome, the ever-​changing political landscape and constant challenge of traditional political structures and institutions made it useful, if not necessary, to forge a career through networking and patronage with the individuals (perceived to be) in power. After a possible alliance and later fall-​out with Clodius, Antonius associated himself with Caesar and his continued loyalty in the face of political opposition and outright danger was the main factor in the promotion of his career. When in Rome, he functioned as Caesar’s extended arm in his capacity as magistrate or senator, and in this respect, it could be said that his speeches favouring Caesarian policy promoted Caesar’s continued patronage of him and thereby Antonius’ career. He successfully communicated his messages and his public profile as Caesar’s trusted lieutenant. Once Caesar was gone, Antonius had to move beyond the role of a loyal supporter receiving offices and benefits and instead move his career forward on his own initiative.

Consul Caesar made Antonius his consular colleague for 44 BC.63 This was not a traditional election and Antonius did not have to canvass his candidature to the people, but could thank his services to Caesar for his elevation. Although Caesar’s dominant position had changed the political workings and therefore may have diminished the number of oratorical performances to be expected from the consuls as part of their duties, Antonius did deliver speeches in this capacity. He gave his first speech as consul on the first day of his office, immediately defending his newly obtained political 62 Cic. Phil. 2.81 with Ramsey (2003) 278–​9. 63 The events of 44–​43: Frisch (1946) who focuses on Cicero; Bengtson (1977) 72–​134 and Matijević (2006) who focus on Antonius; Lintott (2008) 339–​424, 440–​5. Caesar’s appointments:  Jehne (1987) 110–​30.

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power. On 1 January, the senate assembled to discuss, among other items, Caesar’s wish to have Dolabella elected consul for 44 BC together with Antonius (Caesar was also consul, but planned to leave Rome to fight the Parthians as soon as weather permitted). Cicero explains how first Dolabella spoke, followed by Antonius’ threat to invalidate the election of Dolabella by means of auspices in his capacity as augur. Cicero later ridiculed Antonius’ tactic, because it overlooked the fact that Antonius could do a similar obstruction in his capacity as consul.64 When the electoral assembly for Dolabella’s candidature took place shortly after, Antonius, in his capacity as consul in charge of elections, let the voting go ahead, but announced ‘alio die’ (‘meeting adjourned’) at the end, thus not actually obstructing Dolabella’s election but questioning its validity.65 Antonius’ animosity could not derive from constitutional concerns with Dolabella’s appointment as his own advancement to the office had been very similar. Nor was Dolabella much younger or of lesser status, except that Antonius had served Caesar longer and more loyally. His grudge may have been personal as he had divorced his wife Antonia on the grounds of her adultery with Dolabella,66 but he could not say as much in public, so he instead used supposed religious obstacles. After the murder of Caesar, Dolabella’s election was approved by both Antonius and the anti-​Caesarians, hence Cicero’s remark that Antonius used the reference to the auspices according to his political wishes.67 This incident –​which stretched over several months if we remember the initial senate meeting in 45 BC –​shows how Antonius used a religious office (even if mistakenly, as Cicero claims) to further political ends. Such misuse had become very common during the late Republic, and it is no surprise to see Antonius too employing this tactic.68

64 Cic. Phil. 2.79–​81 (all meetings: Cic. Phil. 2.79–​84 with Ramsey (2003) 274–​82). Antonius’ actions and Cicero’s evaluation: Linderski (1986) 2198. 65 Cic. Phil. 2.82–​4. 66 Cic. Phil. 2.99; Plut. Ant. 9. 67 Ramsey (2003) 277, 282 argues convincingly that the approval was agreed on 17 March 44 BC. 68 Cf. Cic. Phil. 1.25, 2.98–​9, 3.9, 5.7–​10; Plut. Ant. 11 on Antonius passing laws against the auspices in the months after Caesar’s murder. Although not the same using a priestly office for political ends, Antonius’ neglect of religious observance indicates his priority of political ends over religious duties. Cic. Phil. 2.98–​9 (election for the censorship) suggests that Antonius did respect the auspices taken at this occasion, as it was advantageous. App. B Civ. 3.7 on the obstruction at the contio transferring the province of Syria to Dolabella. Here, Antonius, as presiding officer, ignored the tribune Asprenas’ falsely announced unfavourable signs. This suggests an amalgamation of his religious and political powers. Jehne (1987) 376–​7 discusses Dolabella’s reaction to Antonius’ obstructions.

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A similar use of religious office for political purposes can be seen in Antonius’ performance at the Lupercalia on 15 February 44 BC. The new third college of luperci, the luperci Iulii, was headed by Antonius as its magister. As part of the ritual, Antonius offered Caesar a diadem, which Caesar refused in response to the negative reaction from the surrounding crowd. The diadem was seen as a royal symbol and therefore associated with the hated institution of kingship. Antonius is said, by Cicero, to have delivered a speech in almost nude appearance (although with a loin cloth) as part of the group of luperci, although we have no knowledge of the content of this speech.69 Later, Cicero expressed outrage, not only about the nudity, but especially because Antonius addressed the people at a point when he was also consul, but not dressed in the appropriate toga praetexta; this forms a part of Cicero’s allegation that Antonius was not worthy of political offices in Rome and not able to fulfil them correctly.70 However, Antonius was not concerned with correct behaviour for a consul, but rather exploited his religious office to communicate a message of political nature, namely the claim that Caesar was another founder of Rome.71 His communication was not clear enough, as ancient authors and modern scholars have seen Antonius’ offer of the diadem as a coronation ritual and thereby one of the contributing factors to the murder of Caesar on the basis of the fear of Caesar declaring himself king.72 Whether or not he intended it, it seems that his action (and perhaps his speech) was significant for moving forward the events and promoting his own career to become the leading consul (with Dolabella as second fiddle) after Caesar’s murder; something, of course, which could not have been predicted by Antonius. At the time of Antonius’ next known speech, the political situation had changed dramatically. Caesar’s murder on 15 March 44 BC altered 69 Cic. Phil. 2.86 (with Ramsey (2003) 286–​7), 2.111, 3.12 (with Manuwald (2007) 363–​6), with Harries (2006) 217. Cf. Dio Cass. 46.5.1–​3 for a, probably invented, ‘speech’ of Fufius Calenus in response to Cicero and in defence of Antonius, and Matijević (2006) 329, n. 574 for further literature on this priesthood. 70 Meister (2012) 46–​7 discusses the implications of Cicero’s criticism and Antonius’ lack of clothing. Dio Cass. 45.30–​2 places a speech in Cicero’s mouth which attacks Antonius for having begged Caesar to accept the diadem; accepted by Huzar (1982) 650, although Cicero would have made use of this in his Philippics. 71 North (2008) 159–​60 (against political message, emphasises instead the placement of Caesar in a tradition of founders of Rome); Weinstock (1971) 330–​40 on the kingship ritual; Jehne (1987) 316–​ 18 thinks it is Caesar’s test of public opinion. 72 Cic. Phil. 2.85–​7, 13.31; Nic. Dam. Aug. 73–​4; Plut. Caes. 60–​1; Suet. Iul. 76.1, 78–​80; App. B Civ. 2.110; Dio Cass. 44.11, 46.17–​19. Caesar’s intentions at the Lupercalia: e.g. Weinstock (1971) 331–​40; Rawson (1975b); Pelling (1988) 144–​5; Wyke (2007) 201–​2; North (2008); Pelling (2011) 445–​6.

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everything and the situation developed rapidly over the following days. After initial negotiations between the conspirators and the Caesarians, the latter led by Antonius and Lepidus, Antonius spoke in the senate meeting. Cicero is our (and Plutarch’s it seems) main source for Antonius’ speech which apparently advocated concordia between the two sides.73 Cicero and Munatius Plancus also argued successfully for amnesty of the conspirators (whom we can call ‘anti-​Caesarians’74). Both Antonius and the anti-​ Caesarians accepted Dolabella as Antonius’ consular colleague, in spite of past opposition.75 Caesar’s acta were ratified and it was agreed that he should have a public funeral and his will should be read. The exact events are muddled in the sources, but Antonius revealed himself as a quick-​ witted politician who understood the need for swift action to gain control of the situation, some reconciliation with the anti-​Caesarians and the importance of getting the people on his side. Indeed, a contio was held after the senate meeting and, if we are to believe Appian, Antonius addressed this contio and later Lepidus addressed another crowd in the Forum.76 Antonius had showed himself capable of seizing the possibilities by action and by speech. More important for winning over the people was Antonius’ funeral speech in honour of Caesar, probably delivered on 20 March 44 BC.77 We have no surviving fragments of Antonius’ speech, but he evidently sensed the feelings of the crowd and decisively grasped this opportunity to relate to them. Antonius transformed a traditional funeral speech into a dramatic address of the people’s love of the dead dictator, using the full range of props (Caesar’s bloody garment) and pathos, ending in the unregulated cremation of Caesar and uncontrolled fires in the city. Even if we should be very doubtful about the authenticity of Dio’s and, to

73 Cic. Phil. 1.2–​3, 1.31, 2.90; Plut. Cic. 42.3; Ant. 14.2; Brut. 19.1; App. B Civ. 2.126–​135. 74 Welch (2012) 130–​5 argues for ‘republicans’, but either side argued that they were fighting for the res publica. 75 Cic. Phil. 1.31. 76 Cic. Phil. 1.32 (contio but nothing of speakers); App. B Civ. 2.130–​2. Motzo (1940); Yavetz (1969) 62–​9; Jehne (1987) 286–​331; Nippel (1988) 145–​7; Pina Polo (1989) Appendix A nos. 346–​52; Pina Polo (1996) 159–​62; Morstein-​Marx (2004) 150–​8; Sumi (2005) 76–​96 discuss this and other contiones held after the murder. Gowing (1992) 228–​34 evaluates Appian’s and Dio’s inclusion of post-​ murder speeches in their narratives. Huzar (1982) 650 emphasises Antonius’ skill of persuasion and politicking in the post-​murder situation. Wiseman (2009) 219–​33 reconstructs the events and evaluates the sources. 77 Cic. Att. 14.10.1 (SB 364); Phil. 2.90–​91 (with Ramsey (2003) 291–​5); Plut. Ant. 14 (with Pelling (1988) 153–​5); Plut. Cic. 42.3; Plut. Brut. 20.3–​4; Suet. Iul. 84.2; App. B Civ. 2.143–​47; Dio Cass. 44.35.4–​50.4.

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some extent, Appian’s depictions,78 a letter from Cicero a month later describes the ‘laudatus miserabiliter’ (‘pathetic eulogy’) followed by the cremation and firebrands in the city.79 Suetonius focuses on the setting and the props, and says that Antonius had a herald recite the senatorial decree voting Caesar all kinds of divine and human honours and the oath of allegiance and then ‘he added very few words of his own’ (‘perpauca a se uerba addidit’).80 Although Cicero’s description is coloured by his own views and emotions, it would have been difficult for him to describe Antonius’ speech as a laudatus (‘eulogy’) had Antonius not spent enough words to lay out the situation in his interpretation. The careful setting and use of props, so thoroughly described by Suetonius, clearly underlined Antonius’ message that an outstanding general and leader had been brutally and unjustly murdered, yet Antonius must nevertheless have said enough to articulate this message. Moreover, Antonius’ speech inspired others to compose speeches in praise of Caesar.81 With his speech, Antonius in one act appropriated for himself Caesar’s popularity with the crowds and Caesar’s soldiers, isolated the anti-​Caesarians as murderers and emerged as both consul and political heir to Caesar’s power and resources.82 He managed to voice the opinion of the majority of the people, give them his version of the event and step into the power vacuum left by Caesar. Antonius’ speech was effective, which was perhaps not as easy as we may now think considering the highly volatile situation, and his reading of the political situation was sharp. It must have taken some talent and skill to produce such a speech, whether fully planned or partly improvised.83 With his speech, he communicated his dramatic career change from co-​consul and loyal lieutenant to, effectively, sole ruler in Rome. The speech was the crucial moment in Antonius’ career and, in that perspective, his oratory proved essential for furthering his political career. It was also a crucial moment in the political crisis following Caesar’s assassination which could have had a very different outcome

78 Gowing (1992) 228–​34; Jehne (1987) 109, 255–​60 discuss Appian’s description. J. Hall (2014) 134–​40 focuses on the props used by Antonius. 79 Cic. Att. 14.10.1 (SB 364). 80 Suet. Iul. 84.1–​2. 81 Cic. Att. 14.11.1 (SB 365), 15.20.2 (SB 397). 82 Resources which he had already taken into possession: Caesar’s papers and personal fortune, the treasury and, he hoped, Caesar’s legions. 83 If Appian’s description of the props can be trusted (a spear to lift up Caesar’s bloody clothes, a wax portrait of Caesar), it suggests careful preparation. Weinstock (1971) 346–​55 discusses the plausibility of Appian’s account in ritual terms.

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had it not been for Antonius’ speech. In this respect, Antonius effected a turning point in the history of Rome through his funeral address. Aside from the immediate impacts of the speech, long-​term effects can be traced too. In fact, this is the one speech of Antonius on which the later sources and modern scholars have focused.84 The surviving ancient sources (and we should remember that important sources such as the history of Asinius Pollio are lost) seem to modify the event with increasing elaboration the further away in time they are from the event itself. Plutarch’s restrained Antonius and Suetonius’ Antonius of a few words seem a world apart from Appian’s description of a highly staged event and even further away from Dio’s elaborate and most likely fictitious account. These authors had their own agendas to push, but it is also clear that Antonius’ speech, the theatricality of the event and the impact of speech and the event on Roman history grew as the tradition about the speech and the event developed. Shakespeare’s dramatic depiction in his Julius Caesar, putting a speech into Antonius’ mouth beginning ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears…’, cultivated the tradition further.85 The image on the front cover of this book, G. E. Robertson’s (1864–​ 1926) oil painting ‘Mark Antony’s Oration over the Body of Caesar’, emphasises the speech and the show of Caesar’s blood-​stained clothes as the pivotal moment of a highly emotional and evidently violent occasion. Today, some still see Marlon Brando in their mind’s eye when they think of Antonius because the iconic actor played Mark Antony in the 1953 film version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; indeed, American cinema seems more generally to have focused on Antonius’ speech as the trigger for the riot ending the funeral.86 There is no doubt that the speech was crucial for Antonius’ career and for the turn of the events, but it also seems that the evolving tradition about Antonius’ laudatio may have shifted our attention away from the possibly spontaneous elements of the speech and the 84 Cic. Att. 14.10.1 (SB 364); Phil. 2.90–​91 (with Ramsey (2003) 291–​5); Plut. Ant. 14 (with Pelling (1988) 153–​5); Plut. Cic. 42.3; Plut. Brut. 20.3–​4; Suet. Iul. 84.2; App. B Civ. 2.143–​47; Dio Cass. 44.35.4–​50.4. Deutch (1928); Kennedy (1968); Bengtson (1977) 81–​4; Kierdorf (1980) 150–​8; Gotter (1996) 26; Sumi (2005) 100–​12 (funeral and speech); Matijević (2006) 101–​4 (with overview of scholarship at 101, n. 168); Mahy (2013) 339–​40. 85 Act 3, scene 2, line 1617 onwards. 86 The frontispiece of Robertson’s painting inside this book shows the full painting, including the dagger held up by a member of the audience in order to indicate the violence of the occasion. A  Metro-​Goldwyn-​Mayer film, written and directed by Joseph L.  Mankiewicz. Wyke (2007) 181 argues that in US cinema, as opposed to Italian cinema, it was Antonius’ speech rather than Caesar’s victories, generosity and gruesome murder by pardoned enemies which caused the riot at the funeral.

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occasion, and that it may even have affected our view of oratory as a political tool in moments of crisis. To return to the events at the time, we know of a senate meeting shortly after the murder of Caesar and Antonius’ successful proposal to abolish the office of dictator, the latter applauded by Cicero. Cicero explains how Antonius presented his proposal to the senate which then immediately passed his draft decree without debate.87 Even if it was a very short presentation, Antonius must have addressed the senate and we can imagine him doing so on other occasions too during the period just after the murder of Caesar and before he left Rome later that spring to gather Caesar’s legions under his own standard. From spring to October 44, Antonius must have spoken in both senate and contiones, and we know of a senate meeting and a couple of contio speeches.88 Cicero tells us that at one of these occasions (the dating is unclear, but sometime between spring and October 44 BC89), Antonius kept sitting on his magistrate’s chair while speaking, indicating an unusual or inappropriate behaviour on Antonius’ part. He is said to have told the audience that he would be the guardian of Rome and keep an army near the city until the Kalends of May (43 BC), that he would enter and leave the city as he pleased, and that none but the victors would be left alive.90 Manuwald observes that the final expression of Antonius, ‘dixit, nisi qui uicisset, uicturum neminem’ (‘he said that none but victors would be left alive’), is phrased as a question in Cicero’s depiction, ‘confirming that Antonius actually made such an appalling statement’ and that it stands 87 Senate meeting: Joseph. AJ 14.10.10; Cic. Phil. 2.31 with Sumi (2005) 133; Ramsey (1994). Office of dictator abolished: Cic. Phil. 1.3; cf. 1.32, 2.91. Dating disputed: Ramsey (2003) 89 arguing for the period between Caesar’s funeral and the end of March 44 BC, while Lintott (2008) 440 places the decree on 17 March as a result of the senate meeting on that day. 88 Most are known from Cicero’s Philippic speeches, including the senate meeting on 1 Jun., followed by a contio on 2 Jun.: Cic. Phil. 1.6, 1.8, 2.108–​9; Att. 14.14.4 (SB 368), 14.22.2 (SB 376), 15.4.1 (381). Cic. Phil. 1.6 indicates that Antonius and Dolabella praised the consuls-​elect in contiones at this time. App. B Civ. 3.15–​20, 3.32–​8 relates two speeches by the young Octavian to Antonius and Antonius’ replies. Magnino (1984) 135 rightly judges Octavian’s first speech unlikely, and I should think the same about the second and about Antonius’ replies, at least in the form given by Appian. Gowing (1990) 164, n. 21 discusses the verbal echoes in the second speech compared with other speeches in Appian, which suggests Appian’s authorship rather than Antonius’. Cf. Gabba (1956) 156–​61 on Appian’s motives with his narrative. 89 Manuwald (2007) 420–​2. Given that Antonius spoke pro aede Castoris (in front of the Temple of Castor) and that this podium has been associated with voting (Taylor (1966) 41–​4) could suggest that Antonius was holding a vote at the tribunal there, for example, the vote in early June to change his province of Macedonia to Gallia Cisalpina and Gallia Comata; this would then offer a more precise date. I owe this point to the anonymous reader for the Press. 90 Cic. Phil. 3.27, 5.21 with Morstein-​Marx (2004) 40, n. 23; Manuwald (2007) 421 on the inappropriateness of sitting while speaking.

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out for its ‘elegant wording’.91 If this is true, we have not only a fragment of Antonius, but even a stylish one, which contradicts Cicero’s harsh judgement of Antonius’ oratorical skills. We should, however, be cautious about taking such statements as verbatim quotations, as other instances of Cicero’s quotations of his opponent’s oratory illustrate the possibilities for manipulation.92 Cicero’s description is meant to show Antonius’ disregard for traditions and crude manners, and he may have altered his depiction for that purpose. On the other hand, Cicero’s criticism would have much more force if it referred to a genuine remark of Antonius. If Antonius behaved as Cicero said, he clearly signalled his superior position as the political and military ruler in Rome. No longer concerned with appearing a conciliatory ruler, he instead took the opportunity to express in public the exact nature of his planned military control of Rome and Italy. Perhaps more conciliatory was another speech delivered at a contio during July 44 BC.93 At least, Cicero says in his first Philippic speech that he received a copy of Antonius’ speech (contio) when on his way to Greece and that it pleased him so much that this was the first time he considered turning around and back to Rome.94 Cicero had his own motives for portraying Antonius as providing hope for reconciliation in the summer of 44, but Antonius was evidently active in the contio and acted in a way of which Cicero approved. He may have shown willingness to negotiate with the anti-​ Caesarians or shown opposition to Octavian, who was trying to appropriate Caesar’s supporters for himself through honours in Caesar’s memory and to promote a certain candidate (perhaps himself!) in the tribunician elections.95 Antonius was still operating partly through speeches in order to communicate his own stance, to keep both the anti-​Caesarians and Octavian at bay, and to promote his, increasingly fragile, position as heir to Caesar. Antonius’ oratorical skills were to be seriously tested, however, by Cicero’s decision to come back to Rome and, later, enter the fight against Antonius’ political dominance.96 At the senate meeting called by Antonius 91 Manuwald (2007) 423. Cf. Tac. Hist. 1.50.2 for a similar message. 92 See discussion in Chapter 6 on Piso, pages 185–9, 191–4. 93 Dating disputed:  Ramsey (2001). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no.  359 says Aug. 44 BC or shortly before. 94 Cic. Phil. 1.8. Cf. Cic. Att. 16.7.1 (SB 415). See Cic. Att. 16.7.1 (SB 415), 16.7.5; Fam. 10.1.1 (SB 340) with Ramsey (2001) 265–​6; van der Blom (2003) on Cicero’s attempt to backdate his thoughts on and motivation for turning back to Rome in order to put himself in a favourable light at the time of delivering and circulating his first Philippic. 95 Ramsey (2001) 265–​6; Sumi (2005) 148–​50. 96 On the turning points in Cicero’s decision to return to Rome and enter the fight: van der Blom (2003).

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on 1 September 44 BC, Antonius proposed additional honours to Caesar. Cicero, who was just back in Rome, did not come, excusing himself on the grounds of exhaustion from travelling but in all likelihood to avoid alienating the anti-​Caesarians by having to vote in favour of the proposal or openly defying the Caesarians. Antonius took Cicero’s absence badly and, if we are to believe Cicero, he threatened to have Cicero’s house pulled down.97 Ramsey has explained that Antonius may rather have threatened to have Cicero’s doors smashed as an old-​fashioned, yet valid, punishment for non-​attendance.98 The tone of Antonius’ speech in the senate was, nevertheless, aggressive and impatient. Antonius was still working through the senate, but as consul and de facto ruler, he showed an increasing impatience with the opposition within the senatorial community; this opposition had already been voiced in the speech of L.  Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus on 1 August 44 BC.99 If indeed Antonius’ threats referred to an ancient custom for penalising absentees, his action was less sheer brutality (as Cicero would have us believe) and rather an attempt to use tradition as a foil for his purposes:  the action of a well-​educated political operator. Antonius communicated his superior position of power, but within the confines of mos maiorum, legitimising his attack on Cicero and his own position. Antonius’ proposal was possibly successful (we have no certainty), but, more importantly, his speech sparked the oratorical contest with Cicero which was to lead to further hostility and, ultimately, to Antonius’ status as hostis and the murder of Cicero. Cicero responded to Antonius’ speech the following day at a senate meeting where Antonius was not present. This speech we know in its circulated form as the first Philippic speech, interpreted as both a harsh attack on Antonius’ person and policies since the Ides of March and as a conciliatory speech.100 Antonius took it hard and responded at the next senate meeting, on 19 September, when Cicero was again absent.101 Cicero later derided Antonius for having spent the period between the delivery 97 Cic. Phil. 1.12, 5.19. The traditional interpretation of Cic. Phil. 1.11–​13 is that Antonius proposed adding an extra day in honour of Caesar to all supplicationes (thanksgivings to the gods), but Ferrary (1999) has argued that Antonius was simply putting into effect a similar proposal of 45 BC (Dio 43.44.6, 45.7.2). 98 Ramsey (2003) 111–​12. 99 Cic. Att. 16.7.1 (SB 415), 16.7.5. 100 Harsh: Syme (1939) 140; Frisch (1942) 136, 138; Habicht (1990) 79. Moderate: Stockton (1971) 293; Mitchell (1991) 301. Mild: Rawson (1975a) 271. 101 Cicero feared for his life, as he says in his (biased) description of the sequence of meetings and speeches: Cic. Phil. 5.18–​20; cf. Cic. Fam. 10.2 (SB 341) (Cicero’s fears), 12.2.1 (SB 344), 12.25.4 (SB 373).

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of Cicero’s first Philippic speech on 2 September and 19 September in his Tiburtine villa preparing his speech with the help of the rhetor, Sex. Clodius, as discussed above.102 There is no doubt that Antonius put a great deal of energy into composing his speech as it was to counter the arguments of Rome’s greatest orator and, indeed, defend his personal and political position in a period of much political tension and subsequent instability. After Antonius’ speech, Cicero composed a reply, the second Philippic speech, which he did not deliver, but it was circulated as a pamphlet, at first only to a very limited circle, later more broadly.103 One can try to reconstruct Antonius’ speech on 19 September from Cicero’s response in the second Philippic speech, as Frisch has done.104 It seems that Antonius dealt with three main themes in his speech:  he criticised Cicero for violating their friendship, he attacked Cicero’s political actions and he ridiculed Cicero’s person. He also accused Cicero of instigating the murders of Clodius and Caesar; the latter was a dangerous allegation in the present political climate. In that sense, Cicero’s second Philippic speech was just as much a speech in defence of himself against Antonius’ criticisms as an attack on Antonius’ person and policies. Cicero’s refutation includes passages which appear to paraphrase rather closely, perhaps even quote, Antonius’ words, but we should be very cautious about taking these passages at face value.105 At most, they show us the themes which Antonius used to attack Cicero and Cicero’s refutation. Antonius’ three-​pronged attack suggests careful preparation:  the element of invective would emphasise the point about Cicero’s inability and perhaps gain a few laughs too, while his moral point about Cicero’s violation of their amicitia could help to underline his point about Cicero’s misjudgement in political affairs.106 The accusation of violation of amicitia must be seen as part of a wider cultural anxiety at the time about friendship and politics in the aftermath of Caesar’s murder, as reflected in Cicero’s contemporary 102 Cic. Phil. 2.8, 2.43, 2.101, 3.22. Suet. Rhet. 5.1 (= Kaster (1995) ad 29.1–​2, comm. pages 310–​12) for further discussion, mentioned above page 252. 103 For modern scholarship on Phil. 2 and, in particular, the possible circulation: Ramsey (2003) 158–​9. 104 Frisch (1946) 133–​5. The relevant passages in the speech are: Cic. Phil. 2.1, 2.3 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.10, 2.11, 2.12, 2.15, 2.16, 2.17–​18, 2.20, 2.21, 2.23, 2.28, 2.29, 2.30, 2.33, 2.37, 2.38, 2.39, 2.40, 2.42, 2.48, 2.49, 2.70, 2.71, 2.75, 2.76, 2.95, 2.111, 2.112. Plut. Cic. 41.6 explains that Antonius criticised Cicero for throwing out the wife at whose side he had grown old (divorce from Terentia), joked about Cicero’s preference for life in Rome and his lack of ability in public and military activity. Such criticisms could have been included in Antonius’ speech from 19 Sep. 44, although certainty is impossible. The mention in Ovid Pont. 1.1.23 that Antonius’ written works were still being read in his day could refer to a circulated version of Antonius’ speech. 105 Cic. Phil. 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.11, 2.16, 2.17, 2.21, 2.23, 2.25, 2.28, 2.30, 2.40, 2.70. 106 Cf. van der Blom (2003), section ‘The relationship between Cicero and Antony’.

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correspondence with the Caesarian C. Matius and his treatise on friendship, the De amicitia.107 Moreover, these writings show Cicero’s personal concerns. If the dating of the letters and the circulation of the treatise comes before Antonius’ speech, as Griffin suggests, then Antonius’ accusation of violation of friendship could have been targeted exactly to attack Cicero with his own argument.108 Antonius was pointing Cicero’s own weapon back on Cicero in another way too: he was using Cicero’s strongest means of attack, oratory, against Cicero. Significant is Antonius’ willingness to enter into an oratorical contest with Cicero, in spite of Cicero’s acknowledged brilliance. This is a sign of the crucial importance of political oratory in this politically turbulent period because Antonius was forced to counter Cicero’s criticism through a public speech. Antonius’ well-​prepared speech rested both on oratorical effects and on his stronger political and military position. While Antonius was consul and, in effect, leader of several legions, Cicero had only his consular status and auctoritas to support his claims, hence his careful circulation rather than public delivery of his second Philippic speech. Although Antonius did not silence Cicero, he did put a limit to Cicero’s immediate audience. Antonius’ speech showed the public that he did not accept Cicero’s version of the events, that he was the consul in charge and that he could counter his sharpest senatorial critic with his own weapon. During the autumn months of 44 BC, Antonius was very busy trying to build up his brand as the true heir to Caesar and the legitimate leader in Rome, challenged by, on the one side, Octavian and, on the other side, Cicero and the senate. He now openly left the conciliatory policy, which he had appeared to advocate since the murder of Caesar, and tried to rebrand himself as a Caesarian against the anti-​Caesarians. We can observe some of this activity in Antonius’ frequent appearances in contiones during October and November 44 BC. When brought to the contio held on 2 October by the tribune Cannutius, Antonius condemned the anti-​Caesarians and argued that Cicero stood behind all the actions of the anti-​Caesarians and indeed of Cannutius.109 This seems a 107 Cic. Fam. 11.27, 28 (SB 348, 349); Amic. The letters and the treatise discussed by Brunt (1988) 379–​ 81; Griffin (1997) 86–​109. 108 Griffin (1997) 89, n. 12 dates the letters to Aug. 44 BC (and not mid-​Oct. 44 BC), and the treatise to Mar.–​Nov. 44 BC. 109 Cic. Fam. 12.3.1–​2 (SB 345), 12.23.3 (SB 347). An interesting example of a contio where the presiding tribune is censured by a person called by the tribune to speak. Antonius barred Cannutius from the senate meeting on 28 Nov. 44 BC (Cic. Phil. 3.23). Suet. Rhet. 4.1 (= 28.1 in Kaster (1995)); Vell. Pat. 2.64.3; App. B Civ. 3.41; Dio Cass. 45.6.3, 45.12.4, 48.14.4 on Cannutius.

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calculated move on Antonius’ part to ensure his position as the leader of the Caesarian side in competition with Octavian. By openly accusing Cicero of complicity in the murder, Antonius could present himself as the loyal avenger of Caesar’s memory. But Antonius’ tactic was undermined by Octavian’s clever and surprising support of Cicero against Antonius (even if not openly on the anti-​Caesarians’ side). Antonius’ change in policy thus backfired. Antonius probably advocated his new persona of avenger at several occasions and in front of different audiences (senate, people and legions). The contio recorded in Cicero’s letter suggests that Antonius tried to communicate his new stance to the people and in a rather forceful way. The subsequent events show that he was not ultimately successful in this change, although not altogether as a result of his oratorical skills. Shortly afterwards, Antonius went to Brundisium to meet the Macedonian legions and raise new legions of veterans in Campania. Cicero relates that the legions rejected the rewards promised by Antonius, presumably in a military contio, should they follow him and he reciprocated with an execution of the instigators of the mutiny.110 The failure to convince the soldiers to follow him, even if related to his lack of funds to support the promise of great rewards, contrasts with the testimonia of his special skills in addressing his soldiers; had Antonius lost the touch or was the report on his skill related more to a compositional concern of Plutarch? Was he perhaps persuasive mainly when he had funds to back up his promises and not able to convince when not?111 As a result, he lost the loyalty of his soldiers at a crucial point and the failure of his oratory had a great impact on the subsequent events and his career. Indeed, the two important Macedonian legions, the Fourth and the Martian, defected from Antonius to Octavian in late November 44 BC, both reinforcing Octavian’s military strength but also helping along the perception that Octavian was a major player in the political and military game.112 Before that, Antonius had returned to Rome,113 where he called a meeting of the senate for 24 November. But hearing of the defection of the 110 Cic. Att. 16.8.2 (SB 418) Phil. 3.3–​4, 3.6–​7, 5.22. Manuwald (2007) 322, 339, 343, 632 is surely right to emphasise the soldiers’ opposition to Antonius as related less to constitutional concerns and more to Octavian’s promise of higher rewards. Cf. App. B Civ. 3.43, although ‘Antonius’’ speech is likely Appian’s creation. 111 Contrast with Caesar’s ability to sway the mutinous troops in spite of bad track record of payment of promised rewards; see page 175, n. 140. 112 Cic. Phil. 3.24. 113 Cic. Att. 16.14.1–​3 (SB 425).

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Martian legion, he postponed the meeting to 28 November and went to Alba or possibly Tibur to try to recover the loyalty of the Martian legion. Then he went back to the senate meeting in Rome where he changed the agenda after the news of the defection of the Fourth legion, which altered the military positions of Antonius vis-​à-​vis Octavian. After the meeting, Antonius left Rome to march towards Gaul in order to demand, as consul and coming proconsul, the proconsulship of Cisalpine Gaul from Decimus Brutus.114 When Antonius met the legions between 24 and 28 November (whether in Tibur or Alba), he addressed the troops at a military contio, of which we only know that Cicero called it ‘pestifera illa contio’ (‘that pernicious speech’),115 and that it was partly unsuccessful as the defection continued. It is unclear exactly which legions Antonius addressed and therefore also whether some stayed loyal while the Fourth legion defected. The original agenda for the senate meeting on 28 November had been ‘de re publica’ or ‘de Caesare’,116 and Antonius had clearly attempted to have the senate pass a decree against the actions of Octavian who was recruiting an illegal army. But with the mutinies, he changed the agenda to the allotment of provinces for the following year; Antonius was allotted Macedonia on top of the already allotted Gallia Cisalpina and Gallia Transalpina.117 It was Antonius’ last speech in Rome for some time. Antonius had to fight on several fronts at the same time and project different personae to different audiences:  in the senate, he tried to project himself as legitimate consul and proconsul, following the rules and tradition and looking out for the interests of the state; in the popular assembly, he appeared as the authoritative consul avenging the popular dictator against Cicero and the anti-​Caesarians; when addressing his soldiers, his rhetoric combined the promotion of his generosity and his policy of zero tolerance towards mutiny leaders. It was a delicate balance and not very successful. It had been a tumultuous year as consul and Antonius’ speeches in the senate, at contiones, at the Lupercalia and the funeral of Caesar show that he could be a tremendously effective orator, capitalising on the general confusion and popular sentiment, but also that he was not always persuasive in front of a hostile audience, be it the senate or his troops. The 114 Chronology of events confused: Cic. Phil. 3.20, 3.24, 5.23–​4, 13.19; App. B Civ. 3.45–​6; Dio Cass. 45.13.5), but Manuwald (2007) 398–​9 offers a credible reconstruction. 115 Cic. Phil. 13.19. 116 Cic. Phil. 3.20–​1, 3.24, 5.23, 13.19. 117 Cic. Phil. 3.24–​6. On the legality of this allotment see Manuwald (2006), (2007) 416–​17.

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funeral speech affected a turning point in history, and had he convinced his soldiers to stay loyal, the events of 43 BC could have panned out very differently. The lack of consistency in his oratorical persuasiveness owes perhaps less to his oratorical abilities and more to the ever-​changing circumstances and availability of funds to support his viewpoints. At the funeral, Caesar’s testamentary bequest of his gardens to the people and money to Caesar’s troops will have been known, as his will had been read one or two days before in Antonius’ house, and Antonius is likely to have made it public in his speech too.118 But Antonius’ offer of a donative to his own troops in the autumn of 44 BC could not compete with Octavian’s offer, making Antonius’ claim as commander less persuasive. His initial conciliatory policy was abandoned once he needed to sharpen his public profile in contrast to Octavian’s. It was a combination of political shrewdness, oratorical talent, financial backing and authority as the political heir to Caesar which helped Antonius carve out the leading role after the Ides of March. When the finances and authority were challenged, his oratory and political ability were stretched to their limit and not entirely convincing.

Proconsul From this point onwards, we have evidence of military contiones at which Antonius addressed his troops, but no proper speeches delivered in Rome or other places outside the military context, except for a speech delivered to the citizens of Athens. This reflects the fact that Antonius was only rarely in Rome from 43 BC and never saw it again after his last visit in 40 BC when he and Octavian held triumphs (although back in Italy for a last time in 37 BC). Moreover, the triumvirate of Antonius, Lepidus and Octavian and the subsequent civil war meant that public speech was used less for traditional purposes such as self-​promotion to the electorate, legislative proposals and forensic argument and more for propaganda aimed at the general public and troops. Being away from Rome meant that Antonius had to further his side of the story through different media. Antonius’ addresses to his soldiers are, furthermore, mostly found in the later historians, in particular Appian, and we should be especially cautious with taking such ‘speeches’ as records of an actually delivered speech, let alone the content reported. 118 Suet. Caes. 83 on the reading and content of the will; Plut. Caes. 68 with Pelling (2011) 491–​2; App. B Civ. 2.147–​8; Dio Cass. 44.50.

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Cicero’s inclusion of Antonius’ letter to the consuls of 43, Hirtius and Pansa, and to Octavian in his thirteenth Philippic speech gives us an indication of Antonius’ manner of writing, which gives suggestions to his oratorical style.119 It seems to have been rather harsh and slightly clumsy, yet  also including striking phrases such as denoting Cicero a lanista, a gladiator trainer, and threatening the consuls and Octavian into collaboration by reminding them of the attitude of the Pompeians:  ‘Namque si uicti Pompeiani tam insolentes sunt, uictores quales futuri sint uos potius experiemini’ (‘For, if the Pompeians are so arrogant when defeated, it will be for you, not me, to find out what they will be like when victorious’.).120 This elegant use of alliteration (uicti, uictores, uos) echoes the phrasing use by Antonius in the contio speech of 44 BC where he announced that he would keep an army close to the city (and Cicero’s quotation of that passage as well). Although this was never a delivered speech, the style suggests that the later testimonia on Antonius’ oratory were not entirely wrong. One military contio which could be genuine is the one Antonius held in North Italy in late April or early May 43 BC, that is, after the battle of Mutina and before he escaped over the Alps to join forces with Lepidus. On 9 May 43 BC, Decimus Brutus wrote to Cicero that he had received a written version of a speech Antonius had delivered to his troops. Antonius had asked his soldiers to follow him across the Alps and told them that he had an understanding with Lepidus. Decimus then reported the reaction to Antonius’ message, namely that the soldiers had shouted ‘aut in Italia pereundum esse aut uincendum’ (‘death or victory in Italy’) and begged him to march on Pollentia (which Decimus Brutus managed to take just an hour before Antonius’ cavalry arrived), to which Antonius agreed.121 Scholars have disagreed on whether this report to Decimus was a ploy on Antonius’ side to confuse Decimus, but Shackleton Bailey has convincingly argued the authenticity of Antonius’ threat.122 This does not necessarily mean that the report of Antonius’ speech is accurate or even genuine, but he probably did hold a contio and he could indeed have been unsuccessful, initially, in persuading his troops into following him across the Alps, even if he did lead them over the Alps later in May. These uncertainties make it difficult to conclude on Antonius’ oratorical performance, 119 Cic. Phil. 13.22–​48 with Lintott (2008) 445–​7; Ramsey (2010) for the text and translation of Antonius’ letter and discussion of Cicero’s aims and rhetoric and the historical situation. 120 Cic. Phil. 13.40, 13.45. 121 Cic. Fam. 11.13.3 (SB 388): text and translation Shackleton Bailey (2001); Pina Polo (1989) App. C, no. 122. 122 Shackleton Bailey (1977) I.530–​1.

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but it is not unimaginable that Antonius was initially unsuccessful. The eventual crossing of the Alps and alliance with Lepidus was, however, crucial in that it forced Octavian to abandon the anti-​Caesarians and turn to Antonius and Lepidus instead. Other military contiones are reported in Plutarch, Appian and Dio, but should perhaps primarily be considered as types of speeches included to illustrate a character trait or further the narrative, rather than credible reports of speeches actually delivered.123 As mentioned in the discussion of Antonius’ education and oratorical style, Plutarch’s description of Antonius knowing how to interact with his soldiers through his behaviour and appearance, seems to be related to his compositional aims rather than Antonius’ actual rapport with his troops.124 A final occasion of Antonius addressing the people is recorded. On 7 December 43 BC, Cicero was murdered in the proscriptions instigated by the triumvirs. His head and hand (possibly both hands) were cut off and brought to Antonius in Rome. According to Plutarch, Antonius was in the middle of conducting an election in the forum, when the news arrived and Cicero’s head and hand(s) were presented to him.125 The sources agree that Antonius then displayed the head and hand(s) on the rostra in full view of the people, causing a reaction of shock and fear.126 The focus of the sources is on Cicero’s death, Antonius’ reception of the body parts and, in particular, Antonius’ failure in silencing Cicero whose speeches lived on to tell the tale. Only Plutarch and Seneca report a possible expression of Antonius at the sight of Cicero’s head and hand, namely that he cried out that the proscriptions were now over.127 Whether or not he actually said so, it is likely that he did say a few words to the people present, especially if he was interrupted in conducting a meeting. This occasion, his action and words were perhaps of less importance for the immediate events and Antonius’ career than for the afterlife of Cicero’s memory and Antonius’ 123 Plut. Ant. 18, 44.2–​3 with Pelling (1988) 233. Cf. Plut. Ant. 40.5, 43.2 for comments on Antonius’ talents in addressing the troops. Selections from Appian and Dio:  App. B Civ. 4.119–​20 (with Huzar (1982) 653; Magnino (1998) 254), 4.126, 5.4–​5; Dio Cass. 50.16–​22 with Gowing (1992) 239–​45. Plut. Ant. 57.2 has Antonius address the citizens of Athens in Cleopatra’s presence. Huzar (1982) 653–​4 discusses these ‘speeches’. 124 Plut. Ant. 40.5. 125 Plut. Cic. 49.1–​2. Moles (1988) 200 remarks that these elections were necessary after the formation of the triumvirate and the proscriptions. 126 Sen. Suas. 6.17 (reporting Livy’s account), 6.19, 6.20–​1; 7; Vell. Pat. 2.66–​7; Plut. Cic. 49.1–​ 2; Ant. 20.2; Val. Max. 5.3; Sen. Ep. 83.25; App. B Civ. 4.19–​20; Dio Cass. 47.8. On Cicero’s death:  Homeyer (1964); Roller (1997); Richlin (1999). On the significance of Cicero’s written speeches: S. Butler (2002). 127 Plut. Cic. 49.1; Sen. Suas. 6.19 (Cremutius Cordus speaking).

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role therein. Yet, it provides a glimpse into Antonius’ actions as triumvir in Rome and how public speaking still played a part.

Conclusion Antonius delivered speeches in the senate, the contio and to his soldiers, mainly when he functioned as a magistrate (tribune, magister equitum, consul) or general and rarely when simply senator in the senate or produced in the contio; only once do we know of a forensic speech. We also know that Antonius was perfectly capable of using his religious offices of augur and lupercus for political purposes, and that this activity included delivering speeches during official and public events. The uneven distribution of speeches between the various fora for speaking may simply reflect the sources’ attention to serving magistrates but could, of course, be said to indicate Antonius’ preference. Yet it seems even more a result of the period in which Antonius operated, namely during the last years before the civil war and during the civil war when Antonius went from one position to the next as Caesar’s loyal supporter. Once out of Rome, and that was indeed an entire decade (and the last) of his life, Antonius’ oratory is very scantily and insecurely attested. No secure fragments survive of his oratory, which makes it difficult to conclude on his style. We mainly hear of the effect of his speeches on his audiences, and that is to some extent suggestive of his skills. What the effect tells us about his style is that he did know how to play on his audience’s feelings, using pathos, exemplified in his speech to the senate on 17 March 44 BC and his funeral speech to the people over Caesar a few days later. His letters show how he managed to convey his meaning in a clear way, perhaps even elegantly; the testimonia suggesting a love of archaisms and features from the so-​called Asiatic style comes mainly from a hostile later tradition. Did Antonius, in fact, have such a good rapport with his soldiers and such talent in addressing them, as Plutarch argues? Antonius appears to have had a certain talent in understanding the sentiments of others and how to play on them. This was very useful when addressing soldiers (and the people), but the later historians focus on Antonius’ behaviour with the soldiers in less formal circumstances: when he sat down with them, he enjoyed the simple pleasures which they liked, and signalled equality even when highly superior in status. This talent of showing (perceived) empathy clearly helped in speech situations. But when the military situation was unfavourable and his promises not competitive with that of rival

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generals (such as those of Octavian in autumn 44 BC), Antonius showed less talent for persuasion. Most of Antonius’ recorded speeches can be argued to have had a great effect on his career; indeed, this is probably the reason they were recorded. He is likely to have delivered speeches with less impact, direct or indirect, only these are not recorded to the same extent. This focus on major turning points leaves an impression of a speaker whose major performances changed the course of the events of his country and indeed the development of his own career. Sometimes the content of the speech was of less importance but the delivery and the occasion of speaking were crucial factors for the turn of the events. In order to place Antonius’ oratory in context, we need to consider which other factors influenced his career. Antonius’ ancestry was respectable, but not impressive. The Antonii was a recent senatorial family and Antonius’ father and uncle had disgraced the family. His father’s spendthrift habit had also bankrupted the family and Antonius seems to have inherited this habit together with the lack of funds. In this way, he could not bank on buying his way to political offices and influence. His mother’s family of the Julii had, of course, a much longer history as patricians, but was only recently becoming prominent through C.  Julius Caesar and his uncle, L. Caesar. There was little to boast of in terms of ancestry (except perhaps his grandfather M. Antonius the orator), yet the family provided crucial links to prominent politicians whose patronage Antonius enjoyed. The most important was undoubtedly the link to Julius Caesar, who promoted Antonius’ early political and military career to a considerable degree by supporting his elections to quaestor, augur and tribune and by offering him progressively higher military posts. During the civil war, Antonius became one of Caesar’s most trusted men and Caesar’s dominant position explains Antonius’ rise to the positions of magister equitum and consul and to high military positions (and that of magister luperci). It is impossible to imagine how Antonius would have fared without a Julius Caesar changing the Roman political landscape. Antonius may also have benefited from a possible early connection with Clodius, learning the trade of contio tactics from the master himself. When he married Clodius’ widow Fulvia in 47 BC, Antonius seems to have appropriated an influential, intelligent and ambitious political adviser, together with Fulvia’s money and the popularis brand inherited from Clodius. A less concrete, yet entirely real, factor is Antonius’ charisma. He was clearly able to create a special rapport with his soldiers, the people and the women with whom he surrounded himself. His active social life promoted

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an image of a man enjoying the simple things in life, an image which helped him reach out to these groups of people. He was not always able to transmit this charisma from the speaker’s platform, but on the crucial occasion of Caesar’s funeral oration, this charisma as well as his sense of political possibilities and an effective employment of pathos carried the day. The surviving portraits of Antonius exude strength and sheer physical force.128 This appearance will also have helped him when speaking publicly. However, the most important factor for his initial career was his indisputable military talents. From the early career with Gabinius in Syria onwards, he displayed solid military skills and it seems to be these which made Caesar notice Antonius. Through his loyal services to Caesar, military and political, Antonius secured a continued promotion of his career. The circumstances of civil wars allowed him to continue his military career alongside his political career. Once his political career was underway, he had to nurture both his military skills and uphold his political credentials in Rome through networking and public appearances. The later sources, especially Plutarch, depicted him as having the image of a strong soldier, never an intellectual; if they are right then that image must have followed him on the speaker’s platform. But oratorical occasions and political situations analysed here suggests that Antonius was a very adept politician. Antonius did not so much build his career and obtain his political positions on his oratory, as he did on patronage and military talents. Once in a position to wield his power, his oratorical skills helped him to make the most of the chances presented to him and to obtain the position of one of Rome’s leaders for more than a decade.

128 Southern (1998) provides telling examples with explanations.

Conclusion

Towards a new Brutus

All republican politicians had to use oratory as part of their public career, but the careers of Gaius Gracchus, Pompeius, Caesar, Piso, Cato and Marcus Antonius show that there was no monolithic way of forging a political career or using oratory to push it forward. Instead, they give us a multifaceted, variegated and complex picture of the relationship between oratory and political career-​making. The early careers of these six politicians show that not all sought out occasions to address a public audience, and that those who did adopted different ways to do so. Only Caesar took up a forensic route to political office and he combined it with a parallel military career. Even Gaius Gracchus, who was universally acknowledged as a brilliant orator, did not go down the forensic route, mainly because his ancestry made him a household name with the electorate and paved the way to the tribunate in which his oratory made a real difference to politics and to his career. Seen in this light, Cicero’s route to political office through the courts appears less standard. The record of Cato’s early career seems messy, but in fact shows that Cato took every opportunity to make his opinion known in public, whether as witness, magistrate or magistrate elect. Clearly confident in his own oratorical abilities and in the importance of his views to the wider public, Cato’s career shows that such an attitude combined with some oratorical ability could lead to fame among the electorate and influence among peers. We know too little of Piso’s early career to establish his route to political offices, but Marcus Antonius clearly based his ambitions on his military skills. So did Pompeius and while his success in his early career is extraordinary, his focus on a military career is not. Where oratory came into his career, and indeed in that of Marcus Antonius, is when they reached their first magistracy. Once a political career was begun and the first offices obtained, oratory was an intrinsic part of political activity. Yet, again, the six politicians 280

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studied here show that there was no standard way to employ oratory or operate within political life. Very few continued or took up a forensic career as advocates in the courts; in fact, for the late Republic, it seems that only Cicero, Hortensius and M.  Licinius Crassus, Pompeius’ consular colleague, repeatedly appeared as advocates when senior senators.1 None of the six politicians in this study were regular advocates in the courts. Indeed, for all Pompeius’ appearances in the courts during the 50s, he seems for the most part to have provided character testimonies or other statements based on his auctoritas and dignitas and not on detailed forensic arguments. Cato’s activity was also mainly in capacities which did not include acting as defence advocate. Although such appearances were important not only for the defendant, but also for the character witness who could nurture a public persona as protector of friends, these were not necessarily oratorically demanding statements or unavoidable occasions of public speech. Established politicians had less of a choice in senatorial debates and, to some extent, when called to address a contio. This is where most of the political battles were fought and, apart from some high-​profile trials during the 50s BC, this is where politicians had to be prepared to expose their opinions and ability to deal with a public audience. The case of Piso shows that a successful political career did not necessitate a close relationship with the people or regular appearances in the contio, but the politicians who mastered both senatorial debate and contional oratory, such as Pompeius and Cato, could build up different, yet credible, public personae according to the audience addressed. These two politicians also show more than any of the other how a public image could be nurtured through a combination of oratory, behaviour, dress and spectacle. Cato’s talent for theatricality was based on more modest foundations than Pompeius’ spectacular triumphs and theatre complex, but still attracted the crowds to see him perform. Although Cato was remembered in antiquity as a great orator, Pompeius was not. Likewise, Gaius Gracchus and Caesar had reputations for high oratorical talent, while Piso and Marcus Antonius had none such. What characterises the three politicians with reputations for great oratory is that they all looked for opportunities to express their view and build their public profile through oratory; oratory was evidently part of their plan to further their public career. Pompeius, Piso and Marcus Antonius, 1 Alexander (1990) 220–​1: Cicero has 74 known appearances as advocate; Hortensius 19; M. Licinius Crassus 8; M. Antonius (RE 28) 6; M. Caelius Rufus 5; C. Aurelius Cotta 4.

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on the contrary, did not seek out oratorical occasions but rather spoke when expected or necessary, whether as magistrates, senators or otherwise directly related to a particular event. In spite of this difference in oratorical volunteering, all six had outstanding careers and used public speeches to communicate their political messages and to underline a broader point about their suitability for office and influence. The picture emerging of the republican political system from the analysis above is that it did not work in terms of good versus bad oratory, which is otherwise the impression one could get from Cicero’s Brutus. In this work, oratorical ability formed Cicero’s expressed criterion for inclusion in his history of great Roman orators operating in republican politics (and political outlook provided a further implicit criterion2). Instead, the present study shows that the political system rewarded successful communication of a credible public profile and successful justification of career choices. If a politician managed to communicate a narrative about his capabilities and career moves and managed to excite his audience, he stood a much better chance with the electorate and with his senatorial peers. Such a narrative was articulated mainly through oratory, although not necessarily technically brilliant oratory. The very public nature of Roman politics and the force of public speaking meant that oratory mattered for all politicians and that public speeches provided an important medium through which to articulate career moves. But these case studies also show that effective communication could take place with more basic oratorical skills and through other means, such as dress, public behaviour, messengers, written works, building works and public spectacle, as long as the message was clear and appealing. The story could be muddied by rival versions through the same means as well as other channels of communication which were difficult to control such as rumour and graffiti.3 Therefore, the narrative about a politician’s career and career choices had to be credible and interesting enough for other people to talk about it and support its main message. Pompeius chose to exude an almost kingly appearance through his inaccessibility, magnificent theatre complex and emphasis on recusatio and selection, rather than election, to office. Through this self-​projection he offered a model to both Caesar and, later, Augustus of how to appear as princeps inter pares (‘first among equals’). Pompeius clearly made people 2 Steel (2003). 3 Rumour: Lawrence (1994); Pina Polo (1996) 94–​113, (2010). Graffiti: Morstein-​Marx (2012).

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talk about him. While Pompeius built up this image across his career, Caesar picked it up later in his career; first with his building project plans from 54 BC and later, as dictator, in a full-​blown version.4 This regal manifestation was not the same as crowd-​pleasing, even if Pompeius was a master of that as well, because Cato’s talent for entertaining and even calming the crowd had none of the kingship associations. Instead, his career shows that a public profile could contain elements which could be combined in a number of ways. His successful combination of regard for the state and its treasury, Stoic principles and steadfast outlook, obstructionism and dramatic talent was rather unorthodox but nevertheless successful in putting Cato on the political map. The focus on articulation of career choices gives us important insights into the political system in Rome, what mattered and what did not, and into the ways in which politicians navigated in the system. Pompeius’ communication in 71–​70 BC of his willingness to operate through the contio and senate in spite of his extraordinary military success and display at triumph and transuectio highlights the importance of giving the impression of playing by the rules. The audience for this message was his senatorial peers whose anxiety with Pompeius’ disregard of law and tradition could become an obstacle for political success in Rome. Indeed, the same anxiety resurfaced at Pompeius’ return from the East in 61 BC and, combined with jealousy, pushed Pompeius away from the senators with whom he had hoped to collaborate and into the arms of Caesar and Crassus. Although the old principle of senatorial collegiality had been broken many times before, it was clearly still important. However, Pompeius cleverly managed to signal collegiality while also showing his exceptional position as a magistrate selected to the job without canvassing for it. This image of being handpicked was one he tried to keep up throughout his career, and because it placed the responsibility on those selecting him, whether the people or a broader group of people and senate, rather than on him, it could work in combination with the appearance of following rules and customs for senatorial behaviour. The manner in which Gaius Gracchus communicated his decision to follow in his brother’s footsteps shows that an argument based on traditional family values (brotherly pietas) could be combined with an appeal to act on behalf of the people and for justice. This appeal was not new as politicians had worked to increase the rights of the people vis-​à-​vis the 4 Jehne (1987) 286–​331; Yavetz (1983).

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elite for several hundred years, but it was a combination of conservative and non-​conservative values and ideas, which implied that the senatorial elite was no longer capable of governing the state in a manner in line with the interest of its inhabitants or with justice. Gaius’ message was therefore not just that he was a politician intent on and capable of a political career but that the status quo of elite dominance had to be challenged and that his relationship to Tiberius and other senators made him the right man to do this.5 While Pompeius acknowledged the senatorial traditions and gave the impression of wanting to operate within them, Gaius’ communication challenged senatorial dominance and thereby put the debate that was to rage in Rome in the period 133–​100 BC and beyond at the centre of his claim to political power. Gaius’ choice and the way he used his political influence shows that political ideology was not sacrificed to personal ambition entirely. His decision to stand for the tribunate was not simply to reach a popular audience on which to build a political career for himself, but rather to do something about his brother’s legacy and the situation in Rome, Italy and the provinces. That later tribunes tapped into his oratorical style and contional rhetoric does not mean that they all wanted the tribunate for the same reasons, far from it. But Gaius’ oratory and his articulation of career choice show that ideology was a valid argument for political action. Cato acted from his own ideology about what was right for the res publica, and he used the argument about the state’s best interest to explain his impulsive decision to run for the tribunate. Although only implicit in his argument that he wanted to counter Metellus Nepos who also ran for a tribunician office, it was clear to his contemporaries what he meant. Because of his consistent self-​projection as a protector of the state and traditional values from very early in his career, no one could be in doubt that he meant to oppose Metellus Nepos’ tribunician activity, which he expected to be damaging to the state. Although Cato had a very personal vision of what was best for the res publica, and he played on his public profile to a great extent, his vision was also his ideology of what the state should represent and how its magistrates should govern it. His statement to counter Metellus Nepos’ tribunate shows not only Cato’s sharp focus on building a profile, but also the way in which references to political concepts and ideas offered valid justification in a period in which most such concepts were being challenged. 5 Yakobson (2010), (2014); Morstein-​Marx (2013) discuss the discourse of and between elite and people.

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That Gaius Gracchus’ oratorical and political activity set new standards for future tribunes has long been acknowledged. The same can be said about Pompeius’ regal appearance and building programme. But all the politicians in this study, perhaps with the exception of Piso, pushed boundaries for what could be expected of political behaviour, including the use of oratory.6 Caesar introduced the funeral speech for a young woman (his wife), showed the extent to which a consul could take up political tactics and rhetoric otherwise associated with tribunes and illustrated just how important he considered his public profile by personally writing about his exploits in Gaul.7 Cato developed a different method for using oratory to support his objective, namely his innovative, if provocative, filibuster speeches, which were taken up by other politicians, including Clodius. Marcus Antonius paved the way for a new kind of career politician who not only depended on a prominent patron, but on the leader of the state. His loyal service and readiness to take up power after the fallen dictator point forward to a type of behaviour associated with the imperial period. Although he lost the civil war to Octavian, his activity and rhetoric set a model for how to deal with a monarchical leader and to appropriate power for oneself. The career patterns represented by the six politicians studied here do not suggest that there was a hierarchy of importance between the factors for political career-​making:  ancestry, wealth, patronage and networks, military exploits, personal charisma and oratory. Rather, these cases have shown that the most important factor for political success in Rome by far was the willingness and ability to communicate the various elements in a politician’s public profile (such as military success, political and moral principles, ancestry, charisma and dignitas) in a credible, consistent and appealing manner through a range of communicative means such as public appearances, spectacles, messengers of various kinds and, not least, public oratory. In this process of creating, nurturing and communicating a public profile, all the factors for career-​making could play a role, depending on the availability and quality of each factor for the individual politician and depending on his choice (influenced by the public reception too) of which to emphasise over others. In a situation of no overall hierarchy of factors for political success, the system for political advancement becomes more open to newcomers. Indeed, only ancestry could be argued to have been the sole domain of Flower (2010) discusses the innovative behaviour from political and military angles. 7 Caesar not the first consul to appear as a champion of popular rights: Yakobson (2014) 292–​3. 6

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nobiles and other established members of the political elite, and while the political elite may more easily have had access to wealth, patronage, military opportunities and oratorical skills, nothing precluded a wealthy newcomer from acquiring these through education, hobnobbing and sheer determination. This conclusion ties in with the findings of Hopkins and Burton about access to the consulship in the period 250–​49 BC.8 What their study could not conclude upon was the reason for this relatively open access to the highest political office. Although the present study does not claim to provide the only answer to this question, it does present one suggestion as to why so many newcomers, whether without senatorial ancestors at all or simply from non-​consular families, managed to climb the cursus honorum:  they successfully managed to advertise their career choices and claim to political power, the most important factor for political success. The crucial role of a public profile also suggests a political system less oligarchic and less dominated by patronage and aristocratic groupings than sometimes argued by modern scholars.9 Yes, the system favoured the elite yet placed the votes in the hands of the people, but in a system where public appearance and public perception of individual politicians had serious implications for the politician’s electoral or political success, the audience of this appearance and the groups among which this perception was held maintained serious power. Even with a broad division of elite and common people, it is clear that a successful public profile had to appeal to both audiences because, on the one hand, the people voted in the assemblies on both elections and legislation, which were central to a politician’s career progression and political success, and, on the other hand, the politician operated as a member of and within a senatorial elite which directed the public discourse. The case study of Caesar suggests that he presented the same public profile to both audiences, even if he continued to develop it over time from the well-​formulated forensic orator, to the politician working for the interests of the people, and on to the victorious general, and ultimately the all-​powerful dictator. By contrast, Pompeius operated with two parallel public profiles:  to the people, he presented himself as the triumphant commander who enlarged the Roman empire and could always be trusted and called upon to solve Rome’s problems. When in the 8 K. Hopkins and G.  Burton (1983):  ‘Political succession in the late Republic (249–​ 50 BC)’, in: K. Hopkins, Death and Renewal, Cambridge, 31–​119. 9 And indeed underlines the republican ethos of individual identity of electoral candidates rather than a ‘party’ identity: Yakobson (1999) 177–​9.

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senate, he toned down the triumphant rhetoric and combined his image as a successful commander with that of a senator operating through traditional means and on par with his fellow senators. While he also developed his profiles over time, the unusual start to his political career –​with the top magistracy of consul as well as two triumphs  –​meant that he had less need to expand his public profile into new areas. Some politicians would have slightly different public profiles depending on the audiences addressed, especially between a contional and senatorial audience, while others tried to nurture one for all audiences. In some cases, we can imagine that popularity with one group could spread to another group: at least, the senatorial elite had to take seriously any politician who was popular with the people, while the people may have favoured someone appearing to uphold traditional senatorial values because these could be presented as traditional Roman values. The latter possibility would help to explain Piso’s electoral success in spite of very few known appearances in either contional or forensic contexts. The case of Gaius Gracchus is the one that most clearly shows how engagement with different groupings within the people (as opposed to the senate) could influence a career. While his overall profile as a politician working for the interests of the people, taking up his brother’s political programme, was designed to appeal broadly to the people at large, Gaius’ failure either to realise or act upon the fact that his various legislative initiatives and speeches to promote them did not appeal to all subgroups saw his popular reputation dwindle. The urban plebs liked the grain law but not necessarily the agrarian law and certainly not the bill on the rights of the Latins and Italians; the rural plebs saw advantages in the agrarian law but also disadvantages in the bill on the Latins and Italians; the equestrians favoured the law on equestrian juries; while the Latins and Italians were concerned with increasing their rights towards those of Roman citizenship. In spite of his great political insight, people skills and brilliant oratory, Gaius did not manage to differentiate sufficiently between these groups in his communication of his political initiatives. His actions suggest that he operated with a dichotomy between senate and people, which failed to take into account the complexity of this non-​senatorial group. While this conclusion should warn us not to take ‘the people’ as one homogenous group, our sources do not always allow us to distinguish sub-​groups within the people in relation to oratory in front of the people. Therefore, we must often still operate with one group of ‘the people’ which most often would have consisted of the urban plebs.

288

Themes and oratorical careers

A further implication of the centrality of a public profile for political success is that it opens up the modern debate about the contio as locus for public communication to all public or semi-​public speech venues. Although a senator could present himself differently to different audiences, his various profiles had to be broadly compatible in order not to undermine the trust and credibility of the senator in question because the audiences at the different venues were overlapping to some extent. This means that the communication with and especially the self-​presentation to the people in the contio was inextricably linked to the communication and self-​presentation in other oratorical venues –​senate and courts –​and must be seen within this broader context. We need to broaden out the study of the contio and contional oratory to cover forensic and senatorial contexts too, and not just represented by Cicero, as a fundamental element in the public discourse between elite and people in Roman republican politics. Blösel has argued that ambitious politicians over the course of the first century BC turned their attention away from administration-​heavy provincial commands and instead preferred to stay close to political life in Rome in order to nurture their political influence and career prospects there, while Pina Polo has demonstrated that the consulship became a civil magistracy, as opposed to a military office, after Sulla.10 It does not follow automatically that oratory became more important, yet there are some signs of increasing attention to the possibilities offered by speech-​making. The first Latin handbooks in rhetoric were written in the 90s and 80s BC; the first Latin school of rhetoric was closed in 92 BC; study trips to the Greek east, which included rhetorical study, became increasingly popular during the first century BC; and written versions of delivered speeches were increasingly circulated.11 Whether or not this trend is linked to the decreasing interest in provincial commands and the decreasingly military nature of the consulship, oratory offered the unique opportunity for communication on a large scale irrespective of literacy levels. An orator could use speeches to influence large groups, whether the people, the judges and the onlookers at a trial, and the senators, and he could try to move 10 Blösel (2009) ­chapter 5, (2011); Pina Polo (2011a). 11 M. Antonius wrote a ‘little book’ (libellum) on oratory, probably in the 90s BC: Cic. De or. 1.94, 1.206, 1.208, 3.54, 3.189; Orat. 18, 69. The anonymous work Rhetorica ad Herennium and Cicero’s De Inventione were probably written in the late 90s or the 80s BC, offering rhetorical guidelines for composing speeches. Latin school of rhetoric: Cic. De or. 3.93–​5; Suet. Rhet. 1.1; Tac. Dial. 35; Gell. NA 15.11.2. Study trips: Daly (1950); Bengtson (1977) 29–​30; Rawson (1985) 6–​13. Written contio speeches circulated: Mouritsen (2013).

Conclusion: towards a new Brutus

289

not just individual opinions but the general opinion. He could also give his audience a direct impression of himself and thereby influence public opinion about his own person. In a period characterised by an increasing and increasingly diverse citizen body and senate and an increasing competition for offices and influence, every politician had to work harder to stand out and secure power for himself. While politicians chose different ways to stand out, they all had to work at their public profile and oratory provided a matchless access to large audiences and a stage on which to display the qualities associated with the public profile. This study has aimed to offer alternatives to Cicero’s career, which is much studied but less well understood in its broader context. The careers of Gaius Gracchus, Pompeius, Caesar, Piso, Cato and Marcus Antonius have shown that Cicero’s career is unrepresentative in several respects and that brilliant oratory was not a necessity for a successful political career. But what this study has also brought is a pool of further examples to illustrate our general points about Roman politics and oratorical activity and the fact that oratory in some form was a necessity for a successful political career. Indeed, oratory, irrespective of quality, mattered in political careers because the choices made had to be articulated to the public in order to build up a credible public profile on which to base further career advances. Oratory was part of a larger nexus of ways in which to promote and communicate career choices and nurture future career advances. If we were to rewrite Cicero’s history of orators at Rome, the Brutus, the main criterion for inclusion would no longer be oratorical ability and political outlook. The main criterion would instead be the ability to project a coherent and exciting narrative about one’s person, claim to political power and influence, and the choices made along the way. This criterion would mean that not only Gaius Gracchus, Pompeius and Caesar, whom Cicero could not overlook in his Brutus, but also Piso Caesoninus, Cato and Marcus Antonius, as well as Sulla, Catiline, Clodius and many other excluded individuals, would be included in a story about speech-​making in late Roman republican politics.

Appendi x  1

Gaius Gracchus’ public speeches

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

132–​27 BC?

Court

Plut. C. Gracch. 1.3; Alexander (1990) no. 19.

131 BC

Contio

126 BC

?

124 BC

To the censors

Gaius spoke in defence of his friend Vettius Sabinus at a quaestio extraordinaria (for association with Ti. Gracchus?). Outcome unknown. Gaius spoke in support of Papirius Carbo’s proposal to allow re-​election to tribunate. The bill was not passed. Gaius and Fulvius Flaccus also questioned Scipio Aemilianus’ opinion of Tiberius’ murder in a contio, most likely in connection with the Papirian proposal. Gaius delivered a speech on M. Pennus’ (tr. pl. 126 BC) bill to expel foreigners from Rome. Gaius defended himself against charges of dereliction of duty by leaving his post with the governor of Sardinia; successful.

290

Liv. Per. 59; Char. 313, 18; 255, 29; 262, 18; 287, 25. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 186. Cf. Plut. Ti. Gracch. 21.3; Regum et imperatorum apophthegmata Scip. Afr. Min. 22 on Gaius’ and Flaccus’ questioning of Scipio Aemilianus. Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.388; cf. Cic. Brut. 109. Cic. Orat. 233; Plut. C. Gracch. 2–​3; Char. 101, 1.

Appendix 1

291

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

124 BC

Contio

Gell. NA 15.12.1–​2. Pina Polo (1980), App. A, no.191.

124 BC

?

(124 BC)

(Court)

Gaius delivered a speech in the contio again defending himself against charges of dereliction of duty by leaving his post with the governor of Sardinia; successful. Uncertain whether two speeches apud censores and ad populum in contione.1 Gaius spoke pro se, perhaps against the charges of complicity in the revolt at Fregellae.2 (If passage pro se not from forensic context, Gaius also defended himself against charges of complicity in the revolt at Fregellae; acquitted.) Gaius (as tribune I) delivered a speech about the murder of Tiberius and the execution without a trial of Tiberius’ supporters, maybe in the context of his legislative proposals aimed at M. Octavius and Popillius Laenas (maybe in separate meetings of the assembly).3

Dec. 124 or Contio Jan. 123 BC

Prisc. GL II.513, 16; De vir. ill. 65.2. Cf. Plut. C. Gracch. 3. (Plut. C. Gracch. 3; De vir. ill. 65.2. Alexander (1990) no. 24). Plut. C. Gracch. 3–​4; Gell. NA 11.13.1–​3; Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310, IV.269. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 192.

(continued)

1 Stockton (1979) 219 discusses the issue of one or two speeches. 2 Fraccaro (1913) 87–​8, Malcovati (1976) no. 48.29, and Alexander (1990) no. 24 suggest placing this fragment of the speech pro se in the Fregellan context, while Stockton (1979) 219 argues against this interpretation. 3 Stockton (1979) 220 places these fragments in the context of Gaius’ attacks on Popillius Laenas and argues the existence of two such speeches against Popillius. Plutarch’s chronology is notoriously unreliable, but it may have been at the same meeting that Gaius first spoke about Tiberius and then presented his bills aimed at Octavius and Popillius Laenas.

292 Date

Appendix 1 Place

Dec. 124 or Contio Jan. 123 BC

Prob. early Rural town Jan. 123 BC assemblies (conciliabula)

Topic discussed

Source

Gaius (as tribune I) excused M. Octavius from his bill on removal of magistrate in office, on the request of Cornelia. Gaius (as tribune I) delivered speeches against Popillius in rural town assemblies.

Plut. C. Gracch. 4.2–​3.

123 BC

Contio

Gaius (as tribune I) delivered a verbal attack on L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi.

123 BC

Contio

123 BC

At corn distribution

123 BC/​ 122 BC

?

123 BC5

Contio

Gaius (as tribune I) proposed a grain law. Gaius (as tribune I) publicly criticised Piso Frugi in an informal exchange at the corn dole distribution. Gaius (as tribune I) may have delivered his speech de legibus promulgatis at this point or perhaps in 122 BC; the context is uncertain. See below under 122 BC. Gaius (as tribune I) spoke against the proposal of Aufeius regarding the grant of Phrygia to Mithridates V of Pontus; proposal fell.

Gell. NA 1.7.6. Possibly Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.346, IV.268; Diom. GL I.374, 17. Cic. Font. 39; Schol. Bob. 96St., 26. (Prisc. GL II.386, 3; Isid. Etym. 2.21.4.)4 Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 193. Cic. Sest. 103. Cic. Tusc. 3.48. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 194. Schol. Bob. 81St.; Gell. NA 9.14.16–​17, 10.3.1–​3; Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310.

Gell. NA 11.10.1. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 195.

4 These two passages in Priscianus and Isidorus are attributed (Fraccaro (1913) 98–​9; Malcovati (1976) 48.42–​3) to this speech, but Stockton (1979) 220 thinks the context unknown. 5 Morstein-​Marx (2004) 267 suggests Gaius spoke while quaestor in the year of his election to his first tribunate, i.e. 124 BC. But unless Gaius introduced his grain bill immediately after having taking up the tribunate, this incident would better be dated to 123 BC.

Appendix 1

293

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

123 BC6

Senate?/​ contio

App. B Civ. 1.22; Cic. Leg. 3.20; Diod. Sic. 37.9.

123 BC

Contio

123 BC

Senate

123 BC

Contio

122 BC

Contio

122 BC

Contio

Gaius (as tribune I) spoke against the corruption of senators and for the judicial proposals. Perhaps the famous occasion where Gaius turned his face from the senate and Comitium to address the people in the Forum directly. Gaius (as tribune I) promoted his law on the composition of the juries (repetundae law) and possibly turned his face from the senate and Comitium to address the people in the Forum. Gaius (as tribune I) persuaded the senate to sell Spanish grain, sent by pro-​praetor Fabius, and send the money back to the cities of Spain. Gaius (as tribune I) asked the people for a favour, namely the election of Fannius to consul of 122 BC; successful. Gaius (as tribune II) proposed the foundation of two colonies. No specific speech attested. Gaius (as tribune II) proposed his Italian bill. No specific speech attested.

Plut. C. Gracch. 5.3. Pina Polo (1989) App. A no 196.

Plut. C. Gracch. 6.2.

Plut. C. Gracch. 8.1. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 197. Plut. C. Gracch. 8.3; App. B Civ. 1.23. Plut. C. Gracch. 5.1, 8.3, 9.3; App. B Civ. 1.23. (continued)

6 App. B Civ. 1.22 says that this took place during Gaius’ second tribunate, in 122 BC, but this is not supported by Plutarch’s description (Plut. C. Gracch. 5.3) of Gaius’ parallel promotion of the bill in the contio.

294 Date

Appendix 1 Place

123 or 122 BC7 ?

(122 BC)

?

(121 BC)

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Topic discussed

Source

Gaius (as tribune I or II) spoke de legibus promulgatis (on the publishing of the laws), in what seems to have been a speech about the rights of the Italians in light of Roman dominance. Gaius appears to have spoken against Fannius. Gaius (as tribune?) spoke against the proposal of M. Minucius Rufus (tr. pl. 121 BC) to repeal the lex Rubria which had authorised the founding of the Gracchan colony of Junonia/​Carthage. The following rioting resulted in the deaths of Gaius and Fulvius Flaccus. Gaius spoke against Q. Aelius Tubero. Gaius spoke against L. Metellus (unknown which Metellus). Gaius spoke against Furnius (unknown). Gaius spoke against Maevius (unknown). Gaius spoke against Plautius, perhaps M. Plautius Hypsaeus (cos. 125 BC with M. Fulvius Flaccus). Gaius spoke at the rogatio of Cn. Marcus Censorinus (unknown, as is the nature of the rogatio).

Schol. Bob. 81St.; Gell. NA 9.14.16–​17, 10.3.1–​3; Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310.

Cic. Brut. 100.8 Festus, Gloss. Lat. IV.310.

Prisc. GL II.88, 4; cf. Cic. Brut. 117. Diom. GL I.311, 16. Diom. GL II.401, 2. Isid. Etym. 19, 32, 4. Val. Max. 9.5, est. 4.

Char. 270, 12.

7 Stockton (1979) 222 argues for early 123 BC, but most would argue for early 122 BC, including Courtney (1999) 129. 8 Fraccaro (1913) 113; Stockton (1979) 122 argue that this passage implies a speech by Gaius against Fannius.

Appendix 1

295

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

121 BC?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Gaius delivered what appears to be a speech towards the end of his life. Passages scattered over several sources, but seemingly belonging to the same speech by Gaius, in which he defended his mother’s conduct publicly. Unknown context, but snippets of Gaius’ public speeches. Passages of doubtful veracity in connection to Gaius’ public speeches.

Cic. De or. 3.214; cf. Quint. 11.3.115; Iul. Vict. 24. Sen. Dial. 12.16.6; Plut. C. Gracch. 4.5; Char. 130, 19; Serv. ad Aen. VII 715; Terent. Maur. V. 985, GL VI.354. De dum. nom. GL V.577, 30; Char. 137, 19; Gell. NA 20.6.10. App. B Civ. 1.22; Diod. Sic. 34/​35.27, 37.9; Florus 2.1.

Appendi x  2

Pompeius’ public speeches

Date

Place

82 BC

Sicily

Topic discussed

Pompeius presiding at legal proceedings when de facto praetor of Sicily for Sulla.1 71 BC, autumn Contio outside Pompeius promised to pomerium return tribunician powers and tackle the corruption of the courts, declared that he would disband his army after his triumph, and announced that he would be no more grateful for the consulship than for having Crassus as his colleague.2 3 70 BC Senate Pompeius (as consul I) raised the issue of the tribunician powers; Catulus in favour.

Source Cic. Verr. 2.2.113.

Plut. Pomp. 21.4, 22.2. Cic. Verr. 1.45. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 241.

Cic. Verr. 1.44. Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 621, table 27.

1 Brennan (2000) 481–​2 offers helpful context. 2 Plutarch presents these announcements at different events, but Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 241 is probably right in taking the first announcements (restoration of tribunician powers and tackling of the exploitation of provinces and the corruption of the courts, as well as disbanding of army) to derive from the same meeting. The final announcement about Crassus as colleague may also fit this occasion because Pompeius would have made the most of such a meeting called by a tribune and held outside the pomerium. 3 Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 621 dates this meeting to 70 BC, when Pompeius was consul and could the more easily put the question of the tribunician powers on the agenda; however, it is also possible that the meeting was held in 71 BC, in a temple outside the pomerium, and that Pompeius as consul designate took the opportunity of speaking to introduce this question. The latter chronology would fit Cicero’s description in Verr. 1.44–​5.

296

Appendix 2

297

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

70 BC

Transuectio equitum

Plut. Pomp. 22.3–​6.

70 BC end

Contio

Pompeius (as consul I) solicited his discharge from military service at a transuectio equitum in front of the censors. Pompeius (as consul I) and Crassus are publicly reconciled.

70 BC

Contio?

69/​68 BC?

Court

67 BC

Contio

66 BC

63–​61 BC?5

62 BC 62 BC

Pompeius (as consul I) promised publicly not to take up province after consulship. Pompeius defended a Manilius Crispus.

Dio reports a speech of Pompeius in the contio where he appeared reluctant to take the Gabinian command against the pirates. Possibly a literary invention. In the East Pompeius ordered Tigranes to rule (as client king) in what appears a staged event.4 In the East or Pompeius praised Deiotarus, at Rome probably at official recognition of Deiotarus as king of Galatia. In the East Pompeius ordered Ariobarzanes to rule (as client king). Military contio Pompeius conferred Roman citizenship to Theophanes of Mytilene.

App. B Civ. 1.121; Plut. Pomp. 23.1–​2. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 242. Vell. Pat. 2.31.1.

Val. Max. 6.2.4. Alexander (1990) no. 188. Dio 36.25–​36a; Plut. Pomp. 25.5–​7. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, 246.

Cic. Sest. 58; Val. Max. 5.1.9. Cic. Phil. 11.34.

Val. Max. 5.7.ext.2. Cic. Arch. 24; Val. Max. 8.14.3. Pina Polo (1989) App. C, 82. (continued)

4 Kaster (2006) 251–​2 for further sources and scholarship on this event. 5 Ryan (1998) 366 argues for 62–​61 BC and for a speech in the senate, but this is conjectural.

298

Appendix 2

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

62 BC, Dec.?6

Senate

Pompeius proposed to send a fleet to sea off Italy.

62/​61 BC

Senate?

61 BC, post-​ Jan. 257

Contio

61 BC, Feb.8

Contio and senate

Pompeius praised Cicero in public (when he no longer dared criticise) but was, in fact, envious of Cicero. Pompeius’ first public speech after his return from the East. Pina Polo suggests that the speech of unknown date reported in Plutarch may belong to this meeting. Pompeius delivered speeches in the contio and senate on the Bona Dea sacrilege trial.

Cic. Flac. 30. Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 623, table 27. Cic. Att. 1.13.4 (SB 13).

61 BC, before 28 Sep.9

Contio

61/​60 BC10

Senate

Pompeius presented his achievements in the East sometime prior to his triumph. Pompeius’ organisation of the East challenged by Lucullus and Cato; Pompeius proposed land distribution to his veteran soldiers.

Cic. Att. 1.14.1 (SB 14). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, 275, who appends Plut. Pomp. 54.1. Cic. Att. 1.14.1–​6 (SB 14). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, 276; Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 623, table 27. Plin. HN 7.99. Pina Polo (1989) App. A., no. 277. Plut. Cat. Min. 31.1–​2; Luc. 42.6; Pomp. 46.3; App. B Civ. 2.9; Dio Cass. 37.49.4–​50.1. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 623, table 27.

Dating: Cicero dates this proposal 62 BC and Pompeius arrived back in Rome towards the end of this year. 7 Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no.  275:  Dec. 62 or Jan. 61 BC. Considering Cic. Att. 1.13.4 (SB 13), it would seem odd if Cicero did not refer to Pompeius’ first contio in that letter, should it have happened at that time (25 Jan. 61). Therefore, the contio referred to here probably took place after that date. 8 Dating:  Shackleton Bailey’s dating of Cicero’s letter, but Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 276 argues for January. 9 Pina Polo (1989) App. A., no. 277 dates Pompeius’ speech to Jan. 61, not to the triumph in September. 10 Different chronologies in the sources, but this discussion of Pompeius’ acta may have taken place on and off during 61 and 60 BC. 6

Appendix 2

299

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

61–​60 BC,11 various dates

Senate

Pompeius praised Cicero’s consulship in several speeches.

60 BC

Contio?

60 BC, early June

Senate

59 BC, Jan.–​Apr.

Senate/​ contio

59 BC

Contio

Pompeius publicly supported tribune L. Flavius’ unsuccessful agrarian bill which would have provided his veterans with land. Pompeius spoke at meeting to discuss Clodius’ transfer to plebeian gens.12 Pompeius gave vague expressions on Caesar’s legislative proposals. Pompeius (and Crassus) supported Caesar’s agrarian bill. Quotations of speech possibly literary inventions.

Cic. Att. 1.19.7 (SB 19) (Mar. 60 BC), 1.20.2 (SB 20) (May 60 BC), 2.1.6 (SB 21) (Jun. 60 BC). Cf. Cic. Off. 1.78 with Dyck (1996) 210 for further parallels. Cic. Att. 1.19.4 (SB 19).

59 BC, c. 25 Jul.

Contio

Pompeius discussed consul Bibulus’ edicts.

59 BC, Aug.

?

59 BC?

Contiones?

Pompeius thanked Bibulus for warning against a plot on his life; perhaps at informal event. Pompeius may have expressed public support of Clodius, according to Clodius himself.

Cic. Har. resp. 45. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 624, table 27. Cic. Att. 2.16.2 (SB 36). Vell. Pat. 2.44.4; App. B Civ. 2.10; Plut. Pomp. 47.4–​5; Dio Cass. 38.4–​5. Pina Polo (1989) App. A., no. 285. Cic. Att. 2.21.3 (SB 41). Pina Polo (1989) App. A., no. 287. Cic. Att. 2.24.2 (SB 44). Cic. Dom. 66.

(continued) Although all three letters are dated to 60 BC, Cicero seems to refer not only to the immediate past, but also back into 61 BC, with references to events in 61 mentioned just before this meeting mentioned in Cic. Att. 1.19.7 (SB 19). Pompeius started praising Cicero’s action in public in early 61 (Cic. Att. 1.14.2–​3 (SB 14)). 12 Tatum (1999) 96–​101 on this issue and on Pompeius’ expressed opinion. 11

300

Appendix 2

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

59–​50 BC

Court

Val. Max. 7.7.2.

58 BC, 1 Jun.

Senate

58 BC, Aug./​ Oct.13

Colony of Capua

57 BC, 1 Jan.

Senate

Pompeius may have given evidence at trial of the son of Marcus Anneius Carseolanus, on inheritance dispute. Senate meeting on the return of Cicero from exile. Pompeius in favour but resolution vetoed. Cicero mentions various occasions of Pompeius’ support. Pompeius publicly attacked Clodius’ law on Cicero’s exile. Senate meeting on the return of Cicero. Pompeius spoke in favour.

57 BC, c. 9 Jul.14

Contio

57 BC, 8 Sep.15

Senate

Late 57 or early 56 BC (before 13 Jan.)

Senate

Contio following senate meeting decreeing the return of Cicero from exile. Pompeius spoke in favour. Pompeius spoke about his newly granted cura annonae and named Cicero one of his legates. Pompeius spoke positively of Lentulus Spinther in connection with the controversial possible restoration of king Ptolemy XII Auletes to the Egyptian throne.

Cic. Sest. 67. Cf. Cic. Dom. 27, 30; Har. resp. 46; Prov. cons. 43; Pis. 80; Fam. 1.9.11 (SB 20); Mil. 39. Cic. Red. sen. 29; Pis. 25. Cic. Red. sen. 5; Dom. 69; Sest. 74; Pis. 34. Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 624, table 27. Cic. Red. sen. 29; Red. pop. 16, 17; Sest. 107–​8, 129; Pis. 34–​ 35. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 307. Cic. Att. 4.1.7 (SB 73). Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 625, table 27. Cic. Fam. 1.1.2 (SB 12). Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 625, table 27.

Dating:  Kaster (2006) 398 with n.  18; Nisbet (1961) xiii (spring 57 BC) without arguments. 14 Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 307: Aug. 57 BC, but Kaster (2006) 363, 400 argues convincingly for 9 Jul. 15 Dating: Kaster (2006) 402. 13

Appendix 2

301

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

56 BC, 2–​9 Feb.

Court (in contiones) and senate

Court speeches (in contiones) and following discussion in senate on the charges de ui against Milo. Pompeius spoke on Milo’s behalf.

56 BC, Feb.–​Mar.

Court

56 BC, late June or early July

Senate

56 BC

Contio

Pompeius spoke as character witness for P. Sestius, prosecuted on charges de ui. Pompeius seemingly supported Lentulus Spinther as person to restore king Ptolemy XII Auletes. Pompeius called to speak at contio by consul Cn. Lentulus Marcellinus on the question of his possible candidacy for the consulship of 55 BC.

Cic. Q Fr. 2.3.1–​3 (SB 7); Fam. 1.5b.1 (SB 16); Balb. 4; Mil. 40, 68; Asc. Mil. 48C. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 314; Alexander (1990) no. 266. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 625, table 27. Cic. Fam. 1.9.7 (SB 20).

56 BC, autumn Court

Pompeius spoke in defence of L. Cornelius Balbus.

56–​55 BC

Court

Pompeius spoke in defence of T. Ampius Balbus.

55 BC, 11 Feb.

Senate

Consuls Pompeius (as consul II) and Crassus spoke against proposal on newly elected praetors.

Cic. Fam. 1.7.3 (SB 18).

Val. Max. 6.2.6; Plut. Pomp. 51.5–​6; Crass. 15.1. (Dio Cass. 39.30.1–​2 places this discussion in the senate).16 Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 317. Cic. Balb. 1–​5, 17, 19, 59; Planc. 25 with 156St. Alexander (1990) no. 276. Cic. Leg. 2.6. Alexander (1990) 281. Cic. Q Fr. 2.8.3 (SB 13). Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 626, table 27. (continued)

Millar (1998) 165 rightly points out that the public setting clearly suggests it took place in a contio. 16

302

Appendix 2

Date

Place

55 BC

Contio

55 BC, Oct.

55 BC

54 BC, summer 54 BC, autumn18

53 BC

Topic discussed

Pompeius (as consul II) proposed bill to extend Caesar’s command in Gaul. Court before Pompeius (as consul II) the censors spoke, in some capacity, for L. Scribonius Libo; in altercation with Helvius Mancia. Senate Pompeius (as consul II) spoke of his legislative bill (unsuccessful) to broaden the remit of extortion laws.17 Court Pompeius gave testimony on behalf of M. Aemilius Scaurus prosecuted de repetundis. Assembly or Pompeius either spoke at letter an informal assembly of the populace outside the pomerium or wrote a letter in defence of A. Gabinius in connection with the latter’s trial de repetundis.19 Contio

52 BC, 18 Jan.–​ Contio? 1 Feb.

52 BC, 18 Jan.–​ Senate 1 Feb.

Pompeius and Hortensius nominated Cicero to augurship. Pompeius, irate at Caelius’ attacks on his legislation, declared that if compelled he would defend the res publica with arms. Pompeius dismissed senate, saying he was afraid of Milo.

Source Vell. Pat. 2.46.2.

Val. Max. 6.2.8. Not in Alexander (1990). Cic. Rab. post. 13.

Asc. 28C. Alexander (1990) no. 295. Cic. Rab. post. 34; Dio Cass. 39.63.4–​5. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 321. Cf. Dio Cass. 39.60.4 for earlier support of Pompeius. Cic. Phil. 2.4. Asc. 36C. Not in Pina Polo (1989), App. A. Asc. 36C; poss. Asc. 51–​2C.

Siani-​Davies (2001) 150 discusses this proposal. 18 Dating: Klodt (1992) 34–​6. 19 Millar (1998) 178; Siani-​Davies (2001) 194 discuss the form of Pompeius’ testimony. 17

Appendix 2

303

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

52 BC, Feb.

Contio

52 BC, late intercalary month

Contio

Cic. Mil. 65–​6; Asc. 51–​2C. Not in Pina Polo (1989), App. A. Cic. Mil. 15, 31, 70.

52 BC, 26 Mar.–​7 Apr.

Court

52 BC20

Court

51 BC, various dates

Senate

Pompeius spoke of planned plot of Milo to murder Pompeius. Also referred the matter to the senate. Pompeius (as consul III) spoke about his lex de ui, having just been made sole consul. Milo prosecuted on charges de ui for murder of Clodius; Pompeius (as consul III) had elected L. Domitius Ahenobarbus as leader of the enquiry. Pompeius (as consul III) pleaded (as character witness, it seems) for his father-​in-​law Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica, who was prosecuted de ambitu. Senate meetings on Caesar’s Gallic command: Pompeius spoke vaguely at first, then more forcefully.

50 BC, early

Senate/​ contiones

49 BC, early Jan.

Senate

Pompeius defended himself against verbal attacks by Curio. Pompeius on Caesar’s proposals for a deal.

Cic. Mil. 22.

Val. Max. 9.5.3. See Alexander (1990) no. 321 for further references to the trial. Cic. Fam. 8.4.4 (SB 81), 8.9.5 (SB 82), 8.8.9 (SB 84); Plut. Pomp. 57.5; Caes. 33.4. Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 628, table 27. Cic. Fam. 8.11.3 (SB 91). Caes. BCiv. 1.6.1. (continued)

20 Dating: Alexander (1990) no. 321 (after the consular elections and before the new consul Scipio Nasica took up office in August).

304

Appendix 2

Date

Place

49 BC, Jan.

Senate

Topic discussed

Pompeius answered questions from Cato and others about his state of preparedness for war. Possibly also occasion for Pompeius’ remarks on power play in using envoys and on whom to consider supporters and opponents in the war. 49 BC, Feb. Italian towns Pompeius’ speeches in Italian towns to gain support for his side against Caesar in the civil war. 48 BC, Sep. At Larisa, Pompeius may have Greece delivered a speech in the town of Larisa the day after the defeat at Pharsalus. 48 BC, 28 Sep. Not delivered Pompeius had prepared a speech in Greek to deliver to Ptolemy, which he reread in the boat going to Alexandria, moments before he was murdered. Military Pompeius will have contiones delivered further speeches to his soldiers, but the speeches recorded in the later historians may to some extent be literary inventions. Sententiae Various statements attributed to Pompeius.

Source Caes. BCiv. 1.30.5; 1.32.8–​33.3; 1.34.1–​3.

Cic. Att. 7.21.1 (SB 145).

Val. Max. 4.5.5.

Plut. Pomp. 79.2

Caes. BCiv. 3.82.1, 3.45.6, 3.72.4, 3.82.1, 3.87.5–​6, 3.94.5; Plut. Pomp. 41.4–​5, 43; App. B Civ. 2.50–​1, 2.72. Quint. Inst. 6.3.111; Vell. Pat. 2.33.2, 2.33.4.

Appendi x  3

Caesar’s public speeches

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

77 (or early 76) BC

Court

Caesar prosecuted Cn. Cornelius Dolabella de repetundae; unsuccessful.

76 BC

Court

Caesar prosecuted C. Antonius Hybrida de repetundae; unsuccessful.

End 70s BC?1

?

70 BC2

Contio

69 BC

Contio

Caesar spoke on behalf of the Bithynians; outcome unknown. Caesar spoke in support of lex Plautia (return of citizen rights to surviving participants in Lepidus’ revolt of 78 BC); law passed. Caesar (as quaestor) delivered a funeral oration in honour of his aunt Julia (Marius’ widow).

Vell. Pat. 2.43.3; Tac. Dial. 34.7; Quint. Inst. 12.6.1, 12.7.3–​4; Asc. 26C, 74C; Suet. Iul. 4.1, 55.1; Val. Max. 8.9.3; Plut. Caes. 4.1; Gell. NA 4.16.8. Alexander (1990) no. 140. Cic. Tog. cand. 2; Comment. pet. 8; Asc. 84C, 87C; Quint. Inst. 12.6.1 (cf. 12.7.3–​4); Plut. Caes. 4.1–​ 2; Juv. 8.105. Alexander (1990) no. 141. Gell. NA 5.13.6; Iul. Rufin. RhL 40, 23. Suet. Iul. 5; Gell. NA 13.3.5. Cf. Dio Cass. 44.47.4. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 243. Suet. Iul. 6.1; Plut. Caes. 5.1. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 244.

(continued)

1 Dating: late 70s BC: Klotz (1917) 260–​1; Gelzer (1968) 29; Dahlmann (1938) 343–​6; Ward (1977); Fantham (2009) 146. Pelling (2011) 140: late 74 or early 73 BC. 2 Dating: uncertain, but communis opinio is now 70 BC: Hinard (2008) 117–​18.

305

306

Appendix 3

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

69 BC

Contio

Suet. Iul. 6.1; Plut. Caes. 5.1. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 244.

67 BC

Contio

66 BC

Contio

64 BC

Court

64 BC

Court

Caesar (as quaestor) delivered a funeral oration in honour of his wife Cornelia. Caesar spoke in support of lex Gabinia (according Pompeius command against pirates in the Mediterranean). Evidence may have been transposed from speech in support of lex Manilia (below).3 Law passed. Caesar spoke in support of lex Manilia (according Pompeius command against Mithridates). Evidence may have been transported from speech in support of lex Gabinia (above). Law passed. Caesar as iudex quaestionis or prosecutor in trial of L. Bellienus on charge of de sicariis et ueneficis (murder of Q. Lucretius Afella during Sullan proscriptions); conviction.4 Caesar may have delivered speech if he was prosecutor. Caesar as iudex quaestionis or prosecutor in trial of L. Luscius on charge of de sicariis et ueneficis (three murders of people proscribed under Sulla); conviction.5 Caesar may have delivered speech if he was prosecutor.

Plut. Pomp. 25.3; Dio Cass. 36.43.2. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 245.

Plut. Pomp. 25.3; Dio Cass. 36.43.2.

Asc. 91C; Suet. Iul. 11; App. B Civ. 1.101; Dio Cass. 37.10.2. Alexander (1990) no. 215.

Asc. 90–​1C; Suet. Iul. 11; Dio Cass. 37.10.2. Alexander (1990) no. 216.

3 Strasburger (1938) 63, 100–​1; Gruen (1974) 80, n. 142, Seager (1979) 33, n. 49 and Watkins (1987) on whether Caesar backed the lex Gabinia or lex Manilia. Ryan (1998) 364 lists a possible senate speech by Caesar: Plut. Pomp. 25.3. It is unclear whether Caesar spoke in the senate, but it is indeed possible. 4 Iudex quaestionis or prosecutor?:  Strasburger (1938) 117–​19; Gelzer (1968) 42; Gruen (1974) 76, n. 124; Marshall (1976/​77) 135–​7. 5 See previous note.

Appendix 3

307

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

64 BC

Court

Cic. Att. 1.16.9 (SB 16); Sul. 81; Pis. 95; Asc. 90–​1C; Suet. Iul. 11; Dio Cass. 37.10.2. Alexander (1990) no. 217.

63 BC

Court

60s BC?7

Court

63 BC, 5 Dec.

Senate

63 BC, Dec.

Court

Caesar as iudex quaestionis or prosecutor in trial of L. Sergius Catilina on charge of de sicariis et ueneficis (three murders of people proscribed under Sulla); acquittal.6 Caesar may have delivered speech if he was prosecutor. Caesar as duumuir (presiding officer) in trial of C. Rabirius on charge of perduellio (murder of tribune Saturninus in 100 BC); conviction but trial stopped. Caesar may have delivered speech, but uncertain. Caesar spoke in defence of Decius the Samnite (perhaps part of Caesar’s attempts to vindicate victims of Sulla’s regime); outcome unknown. Caesar (as praetor-​elect) spoke against execution of Catilinarian conspirators and proposed distribution among Italian towns and confiscation of property; unsuccessful. Caesar (as praetor-​ elect) prosecuted C. Calpurnius Piso (cos. 67) de repetundis; unsuccessful.

Cic. Rab. perd.; Suet. Iul. 12; Dio Cass. 37.26–​7. Alexander (1990) no. 220.

Tac. Dial. 21.5–​6.

Cic. Cat. 4.6–​10; Sall. Cat. 51; Plut. Caes. 7.7–​9; Dio Cass. 37.36.1; App. B Civ. 2.1.6; Iul. Victor RhL 379, 15. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 622, table 27. Cic. Flac. 98; Sall. Cat. 49.2. Alexander (1990) no. 225.

(continued)

See previous note. Marshall (1976/​77) deals with the trial of Catiline specifically. 7 Mayer (2001) 158 suggests late 70s BC, which is equally possible. 6

308

Appendix 3

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

62 BC, Jan. 1

Contio

Suet. Iul. 15; Dio Cass. 37.44. 1; Cic. Att. 2.24.3 (SB 44). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 271.

62 BC, Jan.8

Senate

62 BC, Jan.

Senate

62 BC, Jan.

Contio

Caesar (as praetor) demanded explanation from Catulus regarding the delay in the restoration of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus and he proposed the task be transferred to a more competent man. Caesar (as praetor) defended himself against accusations of complicity with the conspiracy. Caesar (as praetor) supported tribune Metellus Nepos’ proposals to allow Pompeius to stand for consulship in absentia and to recall Pompeius to round up the remaining Catilinarians; Caesar may have spoken. Caesar (as praetor) supported tribune Metellus Nepos’ proposals to allow Pompeius to stand for consulship in absentia and to recall Pompeius to round up the remaining Catilinarians; Caesar may have spoken. Cato obstructed proceedings and meeting ended in violence.

Plut. Caes. 8.3; Suet. Iul. 17.

Plut. Cat. Min. 26–​29 with Geiger (1971) ad loc.; Plut. Cic. 23.4; Dio Cass. 37.43.1–​3; Cic. Sest. 62 with Kaster (2006) 257–​8; Schol. Bob. 134St.; Suet. Iul. 16.

Plut. Cat. Min. 26–​29 with Geiger (1971) ad loc.; Plut. Cic. 23.4; Dio Cass. 37.43.1–​3; Cic. Sest. 62 with Kaster (2006) 257–​8; Schol. Bob. 134St.; Suet. Iul. 16. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 273.

Dating:  Plutarch argues that this happened a few days after the debate about the Catilinarians on 5 Dec. 63, but Pelling (2011) 170 argues convincingly that Plutarch has transposed this event from early 62, because Suetonius’ chronology is more credible in this instance. Ryan (1998) 366 sticks to Plutarch’s chronology. 8

Appendix 3

309

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

62 BC, Jan.

Senate

Plut. Cat. Min. 26–​29 with Geiger (1971) ad loc.; Plut. Cic. 23.4; Dio Cass. 37.43.1–​3; Cic. Sest. 62 with Kaster (2006) 257–​8; Schol. Bob. 134St.; Suet. Iul. 16. Pro Q. Metello: Suet. Iul. 55.3 with Lossmann (1957) 52–​3

61 BC, ante May 15

Court

Dec. 61–​Jan. 60 BC

Senate

59 BC, Jan.

Senate

59 BC, Jan.

Contio

Discussion of the violence which broke out in the contio on Metellus Nepos’ proposals in favour of Pompeius (above). Caesar (as praetor) is likely to have spoken in defence of his own actions.9 Separate evidence of a speech pro Q. Metello, which may be linked to this meeting. Caesar gave evidence against P. Clodius Pulcher charged with sacrilege at the rites of Bona Dea; acquittal. Scholiast argues that Caesar supported the request by Asian tax collectors (publicani) to lower the price of their contract, which Cato opposed. Caesar (as consul I) proposed a lex agraria; not received favourably. Caesar must have spoken at this meeting. Caesar (as consul I) brought his proposal of a lex agraria to the assembly and brought forward Pompeius and Crassus to speak in support; Bibulus spoke against and Cato too, on the voting day, and was dragged off the rostra. Law eventually passed. Caesar possibly spoke badly of Cato at this occasion.

Plut. Caes. 10.9; Cic. 29.9; Suet. Iul. 74.2; Dio Cass. 37.45.2. Alexander (1990) no. 236. Schol. Bob. 157St., 159St.; cf. Cic. Att. 1.17.9 (SB 17), 1.18.7 (SB 18), 2.1.8 (SB 21); Dio Cass. 38.7.4. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 623, table 27. Plut. Cat. Min. 33; Pomp. 47.4; Dio Cass. 38.4–​6; App. B Civ. 2.10–​12. Plut. Cat. min. 33; Pomp. 47.4; Dio Cass. 38.4–​6; App. B Civ. 2.10–​12. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 285. For Caesar’s invective against Cato: Quint. Inst. 3.7.28.

(continued)

9 Strasburger (1938) 103–​5 doubts the story of Caesar being stripped of his praetorship and then restored to office by the senate at this meeting.

310

Appendix 3

Date

Place

59 BC, Apr.

Contio

59 BC

59 BC, end July

59 BC, Oct.

58 BC

56 BC 49 BC, Jan.

49 BC

Topic discussed

Caesar (as consul I) proposed a second lex agraria (Campana). Law eventually passed. Senate Caesar’s (as consul I) blunt expression to use his Gallic command to make his enemies submissive. A possible fragment is preserved. Contio Caesar (as consul I) tried unsuccessfully to stir up the people against his colleague Bibulus who had postponed the consular elections to October. Contio Caesar (as consul I) convened a contio to bring forward Vettius’ view on the alleged plot against Pompeius; Caesar may have spoken. Senate Caesar delivered three speeches against two praetors C. Memmius and Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus. In Caesar discussed in public Aquileia, certain candidates for public praetorship. Senate Caesar called the senate and spoke about his motivations for starting the civil war. Contio After following Pompeius to Brundisium, Caesar addressed a public meeting there.

Source Cic. Att. 2.16.1 (SB 36).

Suet. Iul. 22.

Cic. Att. 2.21.5 (SB 41). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 288.

Cic. Att. 2.24.3 (SB 44). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 289 and 291.10

Cic. Sest. 40; Suet. Iul. 23.1, 73.1; Ner. 2.2; Schol. Bob. 130St., 146St. Cic. Vat. 38. Caes. BCiv. 1.32.2–​33.3.

Cic. Att. 9.15a.1 (SB 184).

10 Pina Polo lists two separate contiones convened by Caesar (the second meeting co-​ convened with Vatinius). Cicero, however, only mentions Vatinius as convener for the second meeting, although it seems probable that Caesar was present at this second meeting and could, perhaps, have spoken. Cf. Kaster (2006) 373 who also argues that only Vatinius convened the second contio.

Appendix 3

311

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

49 BC?

?

Cic. Lig. 33.

49 BC

Public meeting, Cordoba ?

Caesar gave his opinion on his distinction between opponents and supporters; apparently expressed often. Caesar may have addressed a public meeting at Cordoba, Hispania. Caesar repeatedly spoke negatively of Deiotarus. Caesar may have addressed a public meeting at Utica, Africa. After his return from Utica, Caesar (as consul III) may have delivered a grand speech about his victory. Caesar (as consul III) spoke negatively of the mime Laberius. Caesar (as consul III) granted his pardon of M. Claudius Marcellus (cos. 51 BC), after commenting on Marcellus’ ‘acerbitas’. Caesar may have criticised Marcus Antonius in the senate, although the source is heavily biased. Caesar (as consul IV) announced the consulship of C. Caninius Rebilus for the last day of the year only. Caesar (as consul V) announced that he would make Dolabella consul before leaving for Parthia.

? 46 BC 46 BC

Public meeting, Utica Contio

46 BC, Sep.11

?

46 BC, Sep.

Senate

46 BC?

Senate

45 BC, Dec.

Centuriate assembly

44 BC, 1 Jan.

Senate

Caes. BCiv. 2.21.1. Cic. Deiot. 9. Cf. Caes. BAlex. 68.1–​2. Caes. BAfr. 90.1. Plut. Caes. 55.1 with Pelling (2011) 409–​10.

Gell. NA 8.15; Macrob. Sat. 2.7. Cic. Fam. 4.3.3 (SB 202). Cf. Cic. Marc. 25. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 629, table 27. Cic. Phil. 2.74.

Cic. Fam. 7.30.1 (SB 265).

Cic. Phil. 2.79–​81.

(continued)

11 Date: see Panayotakis (2010) 50.

312

Appendix 3

Date

Place

44 BC?

Court Caesar (as consul V?) presided presided over case of over by veteran and possibly Caesar engaged in argument with the defendant. Semi-​public nature of Caesar’s rulings. Court? Caesar spoke in defence of the Numidian prince Masintha. Altercatio with king of Numidia Hiempsal. Outcome unknown. Senate Caesar spoke in defence of king Nicomedes’ daughter Nysa; Cicero responded with an offensive joke. ? Sententiae of Caesar without a context. Military Caesar will also have contiones delivered speeches to his soldiers, but the speeches recorded in the later historians are to some extent literary inventions. This list includes the ‘Quirites’ speech in the mutiny of 47 BC (App. B Civ. 2.93–​4; Dio Cass. 42.53–​ 5; Suet. Iul. 70; Tac. Ann. 1.42.3; Plut. Caes. 51.2); its authenticity is debated.13

?12

?

?

Topic discussed

Source Sen. Ben. 5.24.1–​3.

Suet. Iul. 71. Not in Alexander (1990).

Suet. Iul. 49.3.

Quint. Inst. 1.8.2. Caes. BGall. 1.40, 2.20–​1, 5.52.5, 6.3, 7.52–​3; BCiv. 1.7.1–​8, 1.23.3, 1.85, 3.6.1, 3.53.5, 3.73.2–​74.1, 3.80.6, 3.85.4, 3.90.1–​2, 3.97.4; BAlex. 8–​9.1, 16.3; BAfr. 18.4, 54, 81.1–​2, 86.3; Livy Per. 104; Dio Cass. 38.36–​ 46, 41.4.1, 41.26–​35, 42.53–​ 5; App. B Civ. 2.33, 2.47, 2.52–​3, 2.55, 2.73–​4, 2.93–​4; Luc. 5.319–​64; Suet. Iul. 33, 55.4, 66, 70, 83.1; Tac. Ann. 1.42.3; Plut. Caes. 51.2. Cf. Pina Polo (1989) App. C.

Butler and Cary (1927) 131: 62–​61 BC; Gelzer (1960) 40: shortly after Caesar’s prosecution of Piso in 63 BC. 13 Most scholars trust the story:  A  list in Chrissanthos (2001) 63, n.  7 to which can be added Jehne (2000c) 161; Pelling (2011) 395–​7; Hölkeskamp (2013a) 13, but Chrissanthos (2001) 63–​4, 73–​5 is doubtful. 12

Appendi x  4

Piso’s public speeches

Date

Place

63 BC, 5 Dec.?

Senate

58 BC, 20 Feb. or shortly thereafter2

58 BC, perhaps March 58 BC, before Dec.3

Topic discussed

Piso appealed for the life of the Catilinarian conspirator Cethegus; the appeal may have been at a later date.1 Contio Piso (as consul) was called by tribune Clodius to express his opinion about Cicero’s consulship in relation to Clodius’ lex Clodia de capite ciuis Romani (directed against Cicero) and the bill on the proconsular provinces for Piso and Gabinius. Public speech Piso (as consul) advised or private Cicero to stop resisting conversation? Clodius’ pressure, essentially to go into exile. Senate Piso (as consul) argued that Clodius’ law prohibited a discussion of Cicero’s possible recall.

Source Cic. Red. sen. 10.

Cic. Red. sen. 17; Sest. 33, 35; Pis. 14; Dio Cass. 38.16.6. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 296.

Cic. Pis. 77–​8; Plut. Cic. 31. Cic. Sest. 69; Pis. 29.

(continued) 1 Griffin (2001) 88. The scholiast to Cic. Cat. 10 (Schol. Clun. at 270St) suggests Clodius, Piso and Gabinius, as supporters of Catiline, were absent from the senate meeting on 3 Dec. This allegation regarding Piso may derive from his appeal on behalf of Cethegus, but this makes more sense as motivated by family relationship and compassion. However, the scholiast may be right about Piso’s absence. 2 Dating: Kaster (2006) 395. 3 Dating unclear, but since Cicero refers to the clause of the lex Clodia (Cic. Att. 3.23.2 (SB 68)) in late Nov. 58 BC, the issue must have been discussed before that date, probably during the autumn.

313

314

Appendix 4

Date

Place

55 BC, Jul.4

Senate

54 BC, summer

49 BC, Jan.

46 BC, Sep.

44 BC, c. 17 Mar. 44 BC, 1 Aug.

Topic discussed

Piso replied to Cicero’s strong attacks in his post-​ exile speeches. Cicero responded in turn with his In Pisonem. Court Piso acted as character witness for M. Aemilius Scaurus; Scaurus acquitted. Senate Piso (as censor) attended a meeting called by Pompeius and volunteers to inform Caesar of the senate’s opinion. Senate Piso mentioned M. Marcellus in a senate meeting, followed by Caesar’s pardon of Marcellus. Antonius’ house As Caesar’s father-​in-​law, and/​or senate Piso advocated the reading of Caesar’s will and possibly spoke in public. Senate Piso spoke against M. Antonius’ political conduct since the murder of Caesar.

43 BC, 1 Jan.

Senate

43 BC, Feb.–​Mar.

Senate

Piso possibly spoke against Cicero’s proposal to honour Octavian and declare M. Antonius a hostis.5 Piso and Fufius Calenus suggested a second embassy to M. Antonius.

Source Cic. Pis. 2, 18, 31, 34, 39, 47, 56, 62, 64, 72–​3, 75, 78, 82, 92, 94; Asc. 2C. Asc. 28C. Alexander (1990) no. 295. Caes. BCiv. 1.3.6; Plut. Pomp. 58.4.

Cic. Fam. 4.4.3 (SB 203). Suet. Iul. 83; App. B Civ. 2.135–​6. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 629, table 27. Cic. Att. 16.7.7 (SB 415); Fam. 12.2.1 (SB 344); Phil. 1.10, 1.14, 5.19, 12.14. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 629, table 27. App. B Civ. 3.54–​61.

Cic. Phil. 12.1–​3.

Dating: Asc. 1C says that Cicero’s In Pisonem was a reply to a speech delivered by Piso after his return from Macedonia, which cannot be earlier than July (Nisbet (1961) 200). Cicero’s speech was probably delivered a few days before 12 Aug. 55 when the temple of Venus Victrix was dedicated as part of Pompeius’ new theatre (Cic. Pis. 75, cf. 72–​4). 5 Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 630, table 27 does not include Piso among the speakers. 4

Appendi x  5

Cato’s public speeches

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

(75–​68 BC?)

Court

Plut. Cat. Min. 5.1–​3.

c. 66–​65 BC

Forum

c. 64 BC

Court

c. 64 BC

Senate or contio?

Cato opposed tribunician proposal to remove a pillar of the Basilica Porcia; successful. Cato assisted friends in the forum; may this involve public speeches?1 Cato (as quaestor) gave evidence against a fraudulent clerk of the treasury; successful. Cato (as quaestor) spoke against Sullani; successful.

Before 63 BC

Court

63 BC, spring

Contio?

63 BC

Contio

Cato responded wittily to Lentulus’ offensive spitting in his face.2 Cato spoke against tribunician proposal to give Pompeius extraordinary honours; unsuccessful. Cato (as tribune-​elect) declared to prosecute whomever used bribery in the consular election, except his brother-​in-​law Silanus.

Plut. Cat. Min. 16.1. Plut. Cat. Min. 16.3–​5. Plut. Cat. Min. 17.4–​ 5; Dio Cass. 47.6.4. Not in Pina Polo (1989). Sen. Ira 3.38.2. Dio Cass. 37.21–​2; cf. Vell. Pat. 2.40.4. Not in Pina Polo (1989). Plut. Cat. Min. 21.2–​3; cf. Cic. Mur. 62, 64. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 265. (continued)

1 McDermott (1970) 70 thinks Plutarch’s remark does not necessitate public speaking on Cato’s part; Geiger (1971) ad loc. thinks Cato acted as patronus. 2 Context for this incident given by Seneca is simply a trial. Stone (1999) 73, n. 89 states that the Lentulus in the passage is P. Cornelius Lentulus Sura (pr. 63 BC); if so, the trial must have taken place before Lentulus’ execution in 63 BC, possibly Alexander (1990) no. 219, a prosecution of Lentulus for two counts of bribery.

315

316

Appendix 5

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

63 BC, Jul.?3

Senate

63 BC, late Nov.

Court

Cato (as tribune-​elect) declared to prosecute whomever used bribery in the consular election. Cato (as tribune-​elect) prosecuted L. Licinius Murena de ambitu; unsuccessful.

63 BC, 3 Dec.

Senate

Cic. Mur. 62, 64. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 621, table 27. Cic. Mur. 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 31, 54, 56, 58, 62, 66, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 78; Plut. Cat. Min. 21.4; Cic. 35.3. Cf. Quint. Inst. 12.7.3–​4. Cic. Phil. 2.12; Fam. 15.4.11 (SB 110).

63 BC, 5 Dec.

Senate

Cato (as tribune-​elect) expressed approval of Cicero’s consulship, probably at the meeting at which Cicero was awarded a supplicatio. 4 Cato (as tribune-​elect) argued for death penalty of the five captured Catilinarian conspirators; successful.

63 BC, after Senate 10 Dec. (or early 62 BC)

Cato (as tribune) proposed extension of grain dole; successful.

63 BC, after Senate 10 Dec. (or early 62 BC)

Cato (as tribune) argued against measure transferring command in the war against Catiline to Pompeius proposed by fellow-​tribune Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos. First in moderate style, but, after Nepos’ verbal attack, vehemently.

Cic. Sest. 12, 61; Att. 12.21.1 (SB 260); Sall. Cat. 52–​3; Vell. Pat. 2.35.3–​4; Plut. Cat. Min. 23.1; Caes. 8.1–​2; Cic. 21.3; Suet. Iul. 14; App. B Civ. 2.6; Dio Cass. 37.36.2–​3; Iul. Victor RhL 379, 15. Possibly also Cic. Orat. 41; Sen. Ep. 14.12–​13. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 622, table 27. Plut. Cat. Min. 26.1; Caes. 8.6–​7; Mor. 818D. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 622, table 27. Plut. Cat. Min. 26.

3 Ryan (1998) 364 suggests July on the basis that Cato may have expressed this threat in the contio shortly after his election to the tribunate (Plut. Cat. Min. 21), and therefore possibly repeated the threat in the senate. 4 Ryan (1998) 365; Ramsey (2003) 178 on the distinction between this meeting and that on 5 Dec. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 621, table 27 does not include Cato among the speakers at this meeting.

Appendix 5

317

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

62 BC, Jan.

Contio; temple of Castor

62 BC?, Feb.

Senate

62 BC

Contio

Cic. Sest. 62; Plut. Cat. Min. 27–​29; Dio Cass. 37.43.1–​3; Schol. Bob. 134St. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 273. Plut. Cat. Min. 30.2; cf. Plut. Pomp. 44.1; Dio Cass. 37.44.4. Plut. Cic. 23.6; cf. Cic. Pis. 6. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 272.

61 BC

Senate

61 BC, Feb.

Contio

61 BC, ante 15 May

Court

Cato (as tribune) tried to prevent (verbally and physically) fellow-​ tribune Metellus Nepos from passing measure transferring command in the war against Catiline to Pompeius; successful. Cato (as tribune) argued against Pompeius’ proposal to postpone the consular elections; successful. Cato (as tribune) praised Cicero and termed him ‘father of the country’. Cicero himself argued (Cic. Pis. 6) that Q. Catulus conferred him the title.5 Cato supported Lucullus’ side against Pompeius over the settlement of Pontus and opposed Pompeius’ proposal of land distribution to his veteran soldiers; successful. Cato criticised consul M. Pupius Piso Frugi for back-​pedalling on his proposal to set up special court to try Clodius in Bona Dea sacrilege case. Cato gave evidence against Clodius in trial of Bona Dea sacrilege. Clodius acquitted for political reasons.

61 BC, Jun.7

Senate

Cato and L. Domitius Ahenobarbus (cos. 54 BC) passed decrees: 1) permitting magistrates’ houses to be searched; 2) offence against state to protect distributing agents (diuisores) in one’s house. Must have involved speech by Cato.

Plut. Cat. Min. 31.1–​2; Luc. 42.6; Pomp. 46.3. Cic. Att. 1.14.5 (SB 14); cf. Cic. Att. 1.13.3 (SB 13). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 278. Cic. Att. 1.16.1–​6 (SB 16), 1.17.8 (SB 17) (on trial, not Cato’s participation); Liv. Per. 103; Sen. Ep. 97.2–​10; Plut. Cat. Min. 19.5–​6.6 Alexander (1990) no. 236. Cic. Att. 1.16.12 (SB 16). Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 623, table 27.

(continued) 5 Discussion in Kaster (2006) 353–​4; Fehrle (1983) 101. Morstein-​Marx (2004) 144–​5, n. 136 suggests that Catulus proposed this in the senate while Cato announced the senatorial decree to the people. 6 Plut. Cat. Min. 19.5–​6 seems to refer to this trial and not an earlier one against the Vestal Fabia: Moreau (1982) 233–​9, 253, n. 761; Tatum (1990) 203–​4. 7 Dating based on Cicero’s letter, but Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 623, table  27 suggests end July.

318

Appendix 5

Date

Place

61 BC?, Nov.

Senate

Dec. 61–​Jan. 60 BC

60 BC, Jun.8

59 BC, Jan.

Topic discussed

Source

Cato appears to have proposed (or Cic. Att. 2.1.8 (SB 21); at least supported) decree to have cf. Cic. Att. 1.17.8 corrupt equestrian jurors tried in (SB 17). court. Must have involved speech by Cato. Senate Debate on the request by Asian tax-​ Cic. Att. 1.17.9 (SB collectors (publicani) to lower 17), 1.18.7 (SB 18), the price of their contract. Cato 2.1.8 (SB 21); Schol. opposed over several meetings. Bob. 157St.; Dio This request was not met until 59 Cass. 38.7.4. Cf. BC. Groebe (1905) 223 argues this Bonnefond-​Coudry first instance of Cato’s filibuster (1989) 623, table 27. speeches, but Cicero not clear about this. Only scholiast says it outright, but may overinterpret on the basis of Cato’s later actions. Senate Cato argued against proposal to allow Plut. Cat. Min. 31.3; Caesar’s canvass for consulship in App. B Civ. 2.8; absentia so he could also hope for Dio Cass. 37.54.2. triumph; successful. First securely Cf. Plut. Caes. 13.1; attested filibuster speech. Suet. Iul. 18.2; Dio Cass. 44.41.4. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 624, table 27. Senate and Caesar proposed first agrarian bill Dio Cass. 38.3.1–​2 subsequent (lex agraria) to senate, but faced (senate); Gell. NA contio opposition, perhaps from Cato. 4.10.8 (senate); Plut. Caesar then took the bill to the Cat. Min. 31.5–​33 people in the contio and faced (contio); App. B further opposition. Later, he Civ. 2.11 (contio). proposed second agrarian bill (lex Cf. Plut. Caes. 14.7 Campana). At some point, Cato (unclear); Suet. delivered filibuster speech but was Iul. 20 (unclear); dragged away to prison. Released Val. Max. 2.10.7 before entering. Cato unsuccessful (Cato’s speech in blocking Caesar’s legislation against publicani); but successful in making Caesar Sen. Ep. 14.12–​13. unpopular with senate. Sources Pina Polo (1989) confused about the details of Cato’s App. A, no. 285. Cf. opposition to Caesar’s legislation Bonnefond-​Coudry during 59 BC.9 (1989) 624, table 27.

Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 624, table 27 dates this meeting to July. 9 Bellemore (2005) argues that the depiction of Cato’s opposition to Caesar’s legislation of 59 BC is mainly invented by the sources, however, see Pelling (2011) 192–​5, 201–​2. 8

Appendix 5 Date

Place

59 BC

?

Topic discussed

319 Source

Cato’s warnings against the dominance App. B Civ. 2.14; Plut. of Caesar, Pompeius and Crassus; Cat. Min. 33.3; possibly literary inventions. Pomp. 48.4; Caes. 13.3, 14.4. 58 BC, winter/​ Contio/​senate Cato publicly criticised consul Cic. Sest. 60. Not in spring L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus on Pina Polo (1989). the background of Cicero’s exile. 56 BC Senate Discussion of Cato’s governorship of Plut. Cat. Min. 39.4–​ Cyprus (58–​56 BC). Cato argued 40.4, 45.2–​4; Val. against proposal to grant him an Max. 4.1.14; Dio extraordinary praetorship, against Cass. 39.22–​23. Clodius’ allegations that Cato had Cf. Bonnefond-​ appropriated Cypriotic treasure Coudry (1989) 626, for himself, and against Cicero’s table 27. proposal to have Clodius’ tribunate declared illegal; successful in all three cases. 55 BC?, Feb. Contio Cato defeated in praetorian elections Plut. Cat. Min. 42.5. through Pompeius’ machinations Pina Polo (1989) App. (misuse of auspices, bribery, A, no. 319. ejection of voters); he subsequently spoke at contio and criticised Pompeius and Crassus for their dominance of politics. 55 BC, early in Contio Cato spoke against the lex Trebonia Liv. Per. 105; Plut. the year on the consular provinces; Cat. Min. 43.1–​7; unsuccessful. Another filibuster Dio Cass. 39.34. Cf. speech. Sen. Constant. 1.1, 14.3; Ep. 14.13. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 320. 55 BC Senate? Cato spoke against a law on Caesar’s Liv. Per. 105; Dio provinces and armies. Cass. 39.34; Plut. Cat. Min. 41.5–​6. 55 BC, Senate Cato opposed the proposal for Cic. Fam. 15.4.11 (SB Feb.–​Mar. a supplicatio for P. Lentulus 110); cf. Cic. Fam. Spinther.10 1.8.7 (SB 19). (continued)

Identification of this man is ‘no doubt Lentulus Spinther’ according to Shackleton Bailey (1977) I.447 and dating according to Ryan (1998) 370. 10

320

Appendix 5

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

55 BC?11

Contio/​ Senate12

Plut. Cat. Min. 51.1–​5; Caes. 22.4; Crass. 37.2; App. Celt. 18.2; Suet. Iul. 24.3. Not in Pina Polo (1989), in Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 627, table 27.

54 BC, Jul.–​Sep.

Court

54 BC?, autumn

Contio

54 BC, autumn

Court

Cato criticised Caesar’s killing of German tribes (as governor of Gaul), first in a contio. Apparently, Caesar answered in a pamphlet, upon which Cato answered in the senate. Cato unsuccessful in persuading people to punish Caesar, but senate sent commission to Gaul to check up on Caesar’s actions. Cato (as praetor) presided in the trial de repetundae against M. Aemilius Scaurus. Cato (as praetor) proposed in the senate that all magistrates elected should be tried for misconduct. He successfully defended this proposal against the displeased crowds in a contio. Cato (as praetor) presided in the trial de repetundae against A. Gabinius.

54 BC, late

Senate?13

53–​52 BC?

?

53–​52 BC?

?

Alexander (1990) no. 295 with sources. Plut. Cat. Min. 44.2–​ 4. Cf. Cic. Att. 4.17.3 (SB 91). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 322.

Alexander (1990) no. 303 with sources. Cato (as praetor) argued against Cic. Att. 4.18.4 (SB C. Pomptinus’ request of a 92); Q Fr. 3.4.6 (SB triumph. 24); Dio Cass. 39.65. Speech against Pompeius put into Plut. Cat. Min. 45.4 Cato’s mouth; one phrase possibly with Geiger (1971) a paraphrase of a genuine speech of ad loc. Cato: Pompeius illegally using title of imperator and proconsul. Speech against suggestions of making Plut. Cat. Min. 47.1 Pompeius dictator put into Cato’s with Geiger (1971) mouth; one phrase possibly ad loc. originating from Cato: the laws should not derive security from Pompeius, but Pompeius security from the laws.

Placed in 52 BC by Plutarch with Geiger (1971) ad 51.1–​2 for possible explanations to this dating. 12 Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 627, table 27; Ryan (1998) 370 place this event in the senate, and it is excluded from Pina Polo (1989): senate is therefore most likely. 13 But not in Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 627, table 27. 11

Appendix 5 Date

Place

52 BC, late Contio Feb. or early intercalary month 52 BC, Senate sometime after 18 Jan. 52 BC, Feb. Senate

52 BC

Senate

52 BC, Apr.

Court

52 BC

Senate

52 BC

Senate

10 Dec. 52 BC–​end Jan. 51 BC

Court

321

Topic discussed

Source

Cato argued that Milo’s freed slaves should not be called in to witness under torture to Milo’s actions in relation with the murder of Clodius. Cato defended Milo’s murder of Clodius.

Cic. Mil. 57–​8; Asc. 51C. Pina Polo (1989) App. A. no. 330.

Cic. Fam. 15.4.12 (SB 110). Cf. Asc. 53C-​54C. Cato supported the proposal to make Livy Per. 107; Plut. Pompeius sole consul for 52 BC. Cat. Min. 47.3; Pomp. 54.5–​6; App. B Civ. 2.23. Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 627, table 27. Cato argued against Pompeius’ proposal Plut. Cat. Min. 48.3. for harsher penalties for bribery. Cato juror and defence witness in trial Asc. 34C, 53C-​54C; de ui against Milo for the murder of Vell. Pat. 2.47.5. Cf. Clodius. Milo convicted. Alexander (1990) no. 309. Cato delivered a filibuster speech Caes. BCiv. 1.32.2–​3; against proposal to allow Caesar Liv. Per. 107; Plut. to stand for second consulship in Cat. Min. 49.1–​2. absentia; unsuccessful as Pompeius Not in Pina Polo and all ten tribunes supported it. (1989), but in Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 628, table 27. In connection with his failed canvass Plut. Cat. Min. 49.1–​ for the consulship of 51 BC, Cato 2. Cf. Liv. Per. 108; appears to have persuaded the Dio Cass. 40.58.1–​ senate to pass a decree that all 3; Suet. Iul. 30.3. candidates should canvass in person only. Perhaps in this connection that Cato declared to impeach Caesar when he disbanded his army. Cato juror at the trial de ui against Plut. Cat. Min. T. Munatius Plancus Bursa. Cato 48.4–​5; Val. Max. also prevented Pompeius from 6.2.5. Alexander delivering a laudatio; conviction. (1990) no. 327 with sources. (continued)

322

Appendix 5

Date

Place

50 BC, Apr.

Senate

Topic discussed

Source

Cato opposed Cicero’s request for a Cic. Fam. 15.4. (SB supplicatio; unsuccessful. Advocated 110), 8.11.1–​2 (SB supplicatio for Bibulus. 91), 15.5 (SB 111), 15.6 (SB 112), 2.15.1 (SB 96); Att. 7.2.5–​7 (SB 125), 7.1.7–​8 (SB 124), 7.3.5 (SB 126). Cf. Bonnefond-​Coudry (1989) 628, table 27. 49 BC, 2 Jan. Senate Cato argued against negotiation and Caes. BCiv. 1.4.1; Vell. reconciliation with Caesar. In the Pat. 2.49.3; Plut. end, senate decided to designate Pomp. 59.4. Cf. Caesar enemy of the state, should Bonnefond-​Coudry he not dismiss his army –​civil war (1989) 628, table 27. broke out. 49 BC, ante 17 Senate Caesar marched on Rome; Cato Plut. Cat. Min. 52.1–​2; Jan. argued that all power should be put Caes. BCiv. 1.30.5. in Pompeius’ hands. Possibly also Cf. Bonnefond-​ the occasion where Cato and others Coudry (1989) 629, asked Pompeius about his state of table 27. preparedness for war. 49 BC, Meeting Cato addressed the Syracusans in a Caes. BCiv. 1.30; Plut. Feb.–​Apr. in Syracuse public speech, advising them to Cat. Min. 53.2–​3. join Pompeius’ side. Pina Polo (1989) App. C, no. 98. 46 BC Utica Cato possibly delivered speeches to Plut. Cat. Min. the Romans at Utica, to L. Caesar, 59.2–​60, 64.5, 66.2; and to Cn. Pompeius (the son) but Caes. BAfr. 22, 88.1. may also be literary inventions. 46 BC Utica Cato’s speech before suicide –​literary Sen. Ep. 24.7; possibly invention. also Sen. Ep. 95.70. Possible public expressions of Sen. De Vita Beata unknown date 21.3; Quint. Inst. 8.2.9; Plut. Luc. 40.3 with Cat. Min. 19.5.

Appendi x  6

Marcus Antonius’ public speeches

Date

Place

Topic discussed

52 BC, 7 Apr.

Court

Antonius prosecuted Milo for the murder of Clodius; other prosecutors: Appius Claudius Pulcher and P. Valerius Nepos; successful.

50 BC, 21 Dec.

Contio

49 BC, Jan. 1–​7

Senate

49 BC, early ? 45 BC, Mar. Contio

45 BC, second half 44 BC, 1 Jan.

Senate Senate

Source

Asc. 41C. Alexander (1990) no. 309. Arguments of the prosecution: Cic. Mil. 34, 36, 48, 54, 57; Quint. Inst. 6.3.49. Antonius (as tribune) denounced Cic. Att. 7.8.5 (SB 131). Pompeius, protested on behalf of Pina Polo (1989) condemned (prob. under Pompeius’ App. A, no. 340. bribery law of 52 BC) and threatened of armed force. Senatorial meetings discussing Caes. BCiv. 1.1–​3; Cic. Caesar’s offer of giving up army Phil. 2.50–​3; Plut. and provinces if Pompeius were to Ant. 5; App. B Civ. do the same; Antonius (as tribune) 2.33. and Cassius vetoed two proposals unsuccessfully. Antonius (as tribune) promised 500 Cic. Fam. 10.32.4 (SB denarii to each soldier turning up in 415). Caesar’s camp. Antonius questioned by tribune about Cic. Att. 12.19.2 (SB his mounting debts. 257); Phil. 2.78. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 344. Antonius threatened to use religious Cic. Phil. 2.81. observances to block Dolabella’s election to consul of 44 BC. Antonius (as consul I) issued another Cic. Phil. 2.79–​81, threat of using religious observances 2.99. (auspices) to block Dolabella’s election to consul of 44 BC. (continued)

323

324

Appendix 6

Date

Place

44 BC, Jan.

Contio

Topic discussed

Source

Electoral assembly where Antonius’ (as Cic. Phil. 2.82–​4. Not consul I) announcement questioned in Pina Polo (1989) the validity of Dolabella’s election to App. A. the consulship of 44 BC. 44 BC, 15 Lupercalia: As leader of the ritual, Antonius (when Cic. Phil. 2.86, 2.87, Feb. public consul I) addressed the people 2.111, 3.12; Dio religious and tried unsuccessfully to place a Cass. 46.5.1–​3. Pina ritual diadem on Caesar’s head. Polo (1989) App. A, no. 345. 44 BC, 17 Senate In the wake of the murder of Caesar, Cic. Phil. 1.2–​3, 1.31, Mar. Antonius (as consul I) advocated 2.90; Plut. Cic. 42.3; concordia. Timing and order of Ant. 14.2; Brut. 19.1; events confused in sources. App. B Civ. 2.126–​ 135. Cf. Bonnefond-​ Coudry (1989) 629, table 27. 44 BC, 17 Contio Immediately after (or during?) the Cic. Phil. 1.32 (contio Mar. senate meeting, Antonius (as but nothing of consul I) and Lepidus addressed the speakers); App. B people. Civ. 2.130–​2. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 350–​1 dates two contiones to 16 and 18 Mar. 44 BC, c. 20 Contio Antonius (as consul I) delivered Cic. Att. 14.10.1 (SB Mar. funeral speech over Julius Caesar; 364); Phil. 2.90–​91; successful in turning the feelings Plut. Ant. 14; Plut. against the conspirators and for the Cic. 42.3; Plut. Brut. Caesarians incl. Antonius himself. 20.3–​4; Suet. Iul. 84.2; App. B Civ. 2.143–​46; Dio Cass. 44.35.4–​50.4. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 353. 44 BC, Senate Antonius (as consul I) proposed Cic. Phil. 1.3; cf. 1.32, between to abolish the office of dictator; 2.91. 17 and successful. end March1 44 BC, ? Consuls Antonius (as consul I) and Cic. Att. 16.16A.6 (SB shortly Dolabella agreed to examine cases 407A). after 15 under senatorial decree. Mar. 1 Dating: Ramsey (2003) 89 (between Caesar’s funeral and the end of Mar. 44 BC); Lintott (2008) 440 (17 Mar.).

Appendix 6

325

Date

Place

Topic discussed

Source

44 BC, 11 Apr.

Senate

Receipt of Jewish ambassadors; Antonius (as consul I) and Dolabella presided and confirmed Caesar’s acta relating to the Jews be upheld. Possibly Brutus given dispensation for absence from Rome.2 Antonius (as consul I) threatened the people of Sidicinium and Puteoli for adopting Cassius and the Bruti as patrons. Antonius (as consul I) presided in senate, originally intending to have senate change proconsular provinces for 43 BC, but changed plan. Sitting on his magistrate’s chair, Antonius (as consul I) told the audience that he would be the guardian of Rome, keep an army until Kalends of May (43 BC), and that only the victors would be left alive. Antonius (as consul I) claimed to follow Caesarian acta, talked about the situation as a struggle between two parties. Antonius (as consul I) delivered speech; content unknown, but received positively by Cicero.

Joseph. AJ 14.10.10; Cic. Phil. 2.31.

44 BC, late ? Apr.–​May 44 BC, 1 Jun.

Senate

44 BC, Contio between March and November3

44 BC, Senate/​ between contio March and December 44 BC, Jul.4 Contio

44 BC, before 1 Sep.

Senate/​ contio

Antonius (as consul I) proposed judiciary reform and a law about popular appeal available to convicts of maiestas.

Cic. Phil. 2.107.

Cic. Phil. 1.6, 1.8, 2.108–​9; Att. 14.14.4 (SB 368), 14.22.2 (SB 376), 15.4.1 (SB 381). Cic. Phil. 3.27, 5.21. Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 354 dates this to April 44. Cic. Phil. 5.7–​12, 5.32.

Cic. Phil. 1.8. Cf. Cic. Att. 16.7.1 (SB 415). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no. 359. Cic. Phil. 1.19–​20; 5.12–​16; 8.27; 13.3, 13.37. (continued)

Sumi (2005) 133. Ramsey (2003) 208 suggests this dispensation was given a few days after 12 Apr. Ramsey (1994) discusses the consuls’ publication of Caesar’s acta, including this on the Jews. 3 Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no.  354 dates this to Apr. 44, but Manuwald (2007) 420–​2 argues sometime in the period Mar.–​Oct. 44 BC; Sumi (2005) 168–​70 places it just after 20 Nov. 44 BC and in the context of the defections of his legions to Octavian. 4 Dating:  Ramsey (2001). Pina Polo (1989) App. A, no.  359 says Aug. 44 BC or shortly before. 2

326

Appendix 6

Date

Place

Topic discussed

44 BC, 1 Sep.

Senate

44 BC, 19 Sep.

Senate

44 BC, 2 Oct.

Contio

Antonius (as consul I) proposed to add Cic. Phil. 1.12, 3.33, Caesar’s name to the thanksgivings 5.19–​20. to the gods; possibly successful. Angry with Cicero’s absence, Antonius threatened to pull down Cicero’s house (if we are to believe Cicero). Antonius (as consul I) responded Cic. Phil. 2.1, 2.3 2.4, harshly to Cicero’s senate speech of 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.10, 2 Sep. 44 BC. 2.11, 2.12, 2.15, 2.16, 2.17–​18, 2.20, 2.21, 2.23, 2.28, 2.29, 2.30, 2.33, 2.37, 2.38, 2.39, 2.40, 2.42, 2.48, 2.49, 2.70, 2.71, 2.75, 2.76, 2.95, 2.111, 2.112, 5.18–​20; Fam. 12.2.1 (SB 344), 12.25.4 (SB 373). Antonius (as consul I) expressed Cic. Fam. 12.3.2 (SB condemnation of the conspirators 345), 12.23.3 (SB and alleged that Cicero was behind 347). Pina Polo all actions of the Caesarians. Contio (1989) App. A, assembled by tribune Cannutius. no. 360 (which also covers other contiones assembled by tribune Cannutius). Antonius (as consul I) held contio Cic. Fam. 12.22.1 (SB speeches against Q. Cornificius, 346). Cannutius and others. At Brundisium, Antonius (as consul Cic. Phil. 3.3–​4, 3.6–​7, I) addressed his Macedonian 5.22. Cf. App. B legions, which rejected his offer, and Civ. 3.43. Pina Polo Antonius executed the instigators of (1989) App. C, the mutiny. no. 118. At Alba or Tibur, Antonius (as consul Cic. Att. 16.8.2 (SB I) tried to win back the defected 418); Phil. 3.24, Martian legion; only partly 5.23–​4, 13.19; App. successful as defection continued. B Civ. 3.45–​6; Dio Cass. 45.13.5.5 Pina Polo (1989) App. C, no. 119.

44 BC, after Contiones 19 Sep. or 2 Oct. 44 BC, Military Oct.–​ contio Nov. 44 BC, end Nov.

Military contio

Source

5 See Manuwald (2007) 398–​9 for a reconstruction of the confusing train of events.

Appendix 6

327

Date

Place

Topic discussed

44 BC, end Nov.

Senate

44–​43 BC, late 44–​ early 43 43 BC, late April or early May

?

After the news of the defection of Cic. Phil. 3.20, 3.23, the Fourth legion, Antonius (as 3.24, 5.23–​4, 13.19; consul I) changed the agenda App. B Civ. 3.45–​6; of the meeting from a debate of Dio Cass. 45.13.5. Octavian’s position to the allotment of provinces for 43 BC. Antonius’ public expressions in Cic. Phil. 6.10, 7.3, 9.7. unknown contexts.

Military contio

After battle at Mutina, Antonius asked his troops to follow him over the Alps to Lepidus; unknown whether this speech was successful, but eventually he did lead his legions over the Alps. 43 BC, Dec. Electoral During an election, Antonius (as contio triumvir) received the severed head and hand(s) of Cicero and possibly stated that the proscriptions were over. 42–​32 BC Courts Antonius presided over the trial of Boethus of Tarsos at Tarsos (42–​41 BC), and at two other trials during the triumviral period (Plut. Ant. 58.11, 67.2–​3).6 Military Antonius will have delivered further contiones speeches to his soldiers, but the speeches recorded in the later historians are to some extent literary inventions.

Source

Cic. Fam. 11.13.3 (SB 388). Pina Polo (1989) App. C, no. 122. Sen. Suas. 6.17 (reporting Livy’s account); Plut. Cic. 49.1–​2; Ant. 20.2. Strab. 14.5.14.

Plut. Ant. 18, 44.2–​3; cf. 40.5, 43.2. Further selections from Appian and Dio: App. B Civ. 4.119–​20, 4.126, 5.4–​ 5; Dio Cass. 46.56.2, 50.16–​22. Plut. Ant. 57.2.

Antonius addressed the citizens of Athens in the presence of Cleopatra; possibly invention. Statements of unknown date or Val. Max. 5.1.11. context.

For further details: Balbo (2009) nos. 3.6, 4.5, 4.6. 6

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