Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Eight orations of Cicero, together with selected passages and letters; online

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From a bust in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence.












Published June, 1903

^ :




THE text of the first six orations in this book is that
of C. F. W. Miiller, now commonly used in the best school-
books abroad. For the Pro Milone and the Pro Marcello,
the superior readings of A. C. Clark, in the Oxford series,
have been adopted. The SELECTED PASSAGES for extra
reading were chosen for their worth and beauty, and
these, together with the few short LETTERS, will afford a
glimpse of the orator in other fields of literature. But
the student's strength should be given to the understand-
ing of Cicero as an orator a task quite difficult enough
for a year's study.

All long vowels are marked in six orations, the con-
clusions of Bennett being generally followed. The rest
of the text is printed without marks, for the student must
learn to do without crutches, if he is to make progress in
the reading of Latin. It is devoutly to be hoped that
still-hunting for hidden quantities may not become the
chief diversion of our class-rooms.

The titles of the principal rhetorical divisions of the
speeches are inserted at the proper places in the text.
The running summaries are intended to suggest the ideas,
but not the words of the author. They have been printed

in full for each speech, in the NOTES.


The NOTES are designed for students, and have been
tested in actual use. No effort has been made to wrest
grammatical drill from the hands of the teacher, nor to
deprive him of ample leeway for the illustration and
elucidation of the subject-matter. The translations sug-
gested aim to lead the pupil into the paths of respectable
English, and to prevent the disastrous persistence of
crude impressions, received while his mind was groping
for ideas in a wilderness of unfamiliar words. The stu-
dent will find quite enough material left for the exercise
of his own powers. Grammatical references for com-
parison and illustration are uniformly directed to pas-
sages already studied, that the new knowledge may be
cemented to the old. The grammars referred to are those
of West (VV.), Allen and Greenough (A.), Harkness (H.),
Bennett (B.), and Gildersleeve (G.).

The sketch of Cicero in the World of Letters is
inserted in the INTRODUCTION in the conviction that the
life of his books is an integral part of the life of the
man. Copious references to the subjects discussed in
the INTRODUCTION make that an essential part of the
student's instruction.

The VOCABULARY treats of derivations and word-
formation in a way suited to the " preparatory " stage of
study. Common prefixes and suffixes appear alphabet-
ically in the list of words. All Latin words used for
reference in the VOCABULARY are translated, if not else-
where defined, so that no other dictionary may be needed
to explain this one.

The illustrations have been chosen with great care,


and it is hoped that they will be found useful and not

The book derives its essential character from class-
room experience, but it is naturally under deep obliga-
tions to the many works named in the bibliographies scat-
tered throughout its pages.

I am grateful to my colleague, Prof. Allen R. Benner,
for untiring counsel and friendly criticism ; to my col-
league, Mr. John L. Phillips, for reading the proofs of
the NOTES; to Prof. Andrew F. West, for cordial sup-
port; and to my publishers, Messrs. D. Appleton and
Company, for their generous response to my every wish.




I. Life of Cicero ix

Bibliography xxxiii

Chronological Table xxxiv

II. The Government of Rome xxxv

Bibliography xlviii

III. The Forum Romanum liv

Bibliography . . . . . . . . Ix

IV. The Rhetorical Structure of a Speech . Ixi
V. Ancient Manuscripts ....... Ixii

Bibliography . . . . . . . Ixvi


In Catilinam I I

In Catilinam II 18

In Catilinam III 34

In Catilinam IV 50

De Imperio Cn. Pompei ....... 65

Pro A. Licinio Archia .98

Pro T. Annio Milone . . . . . . .114

Pro M. Marcello 164



VOCABULARY .......... 366





M. TulliuS Cicero Frontispiece

The Suovetaurilia ......... xlii

The buried Forum looking East ...... li

Plan of the Forum Romanum ....... liii

Castor and Pollux ......... Iv

The Forum of the Empire restored Southeast end . . Ivii

The Forum of the Empire restored West end . . . Ivii

The Imperial Rostra restored ....... lix

The ruins of the Forum looking West ..... Ix

Map of Italy .......... I

Jupiter ........... 17

Gladiators and trainer . 22

The Mulvian Bridge (Ponte Molle) 36

A tablet sealed and unsealed ....... 39

A Vestal Virgin 51

A Roman street scene 60

Scipio Africanus Major .62

Cn. Pompeius Magnus -. 65

Gamesters quarreling 104

Entrance to the tomb of the Scipios ...... 109

Athena casting her vote for Orestes . . . . . . 117

A view on the Appian Way ....... 122

C. Julius Caesar 165

The Career ; section and plan 225

Map of Asia Minor 267




1. Birth and Education. Like many of the great
writers of the " Eternal City," Marcus Tullius Cicero was
not a Roman born. About sixty miles to the east and
south of Rome lies the little town of Arpino, on the Fibre-
mis, a branch of the river Liris. This is the site of the an-
cient Arpinum, near which, on the 3d of January, 106 B. c.,
Cicero first saw the light. He was the son of a prosper-
ous knight, who was delicate in health and devoted to
quiet and to study. Cicero often mentions his father with
respect, but of his mother, Hek'ia, he has left us no me-
morial. His brother Qnintus has given her an amusing
immortality as a scrupulous housekeeper by relating how
she, to outwit bibulous slaves, was wont to seal with wax
the empty as well as the full wine-jars in her cellar.

We are told that Cicero as a child was precociously
quick-witted, exciting the admiration of his schoolmates
and the jealousy of some of their parents who heard him.
His father brought the boy with his brother Quintus
to Rome, to be educated under the best masters of the
day, and after a time bought a house for permanent resi-
dence in the city. He was ambitious for his sons to rise
in the world of politics. From boyhood days Cicero
imbibed the resolute ambition to become a power in the
public life of Rome, and gave himself with all his energy
to the making of himself into an orator. His tongue



should win him his way. He studied grammar, rhetoric,
elocution, and history with avidity. On assuming the
toga of manhood he attached himself to a prominent
jurist Scaevola under whom he acquired legal knowl-
edge, and whose wise sayings he copied down and com-
mitted to memory. Upon the death of his patron he fol-
lowed a nephew of the same name Scsevola, the Ponti-
fex Maximus, " the most eloquent of those skilled in law,
the most skilled in law of the eloquent." He observed
studiously the delivery and gestures of the prominent
actors of the day, notably ^Esop and Roscius, and fol-
lowed with interest the speeches of the distinguished lead-
ers of the Forum, particularly admiring M. Antonius, a
brilliant, vivacious speaker, and L. Licinius Crassus, a
shrewd, elegant, witty, and lucid orator.

In 89 Cicero entered the army of Cn. Pompeius Stra-
bo, the father of Pompey the Great, and served for one
campaign, becoming in some measure acquainted with
military science, an almost necessary adjunct to a Ro-
man's education. But he was not enamored of the sol-
dier's calling and returned to Rome. He gave himself
up to further years of studious life, while Rome was un-
dergoing the agonies of a bloody revolution.

2. Politics in Rome (88-80). Fratricidal strife be-
tween democrat and aristocrat broke out in 88 with
Marius, the old-time savior of the state, as leader of the
people, and the calm-headed aristocrat Sulla as general
of the opponents. Marius was forced to flee from the
country. Sulla was master of Rome, but was obliged to
hasten to Asia Minor early in 87 to conduct the war
against Mithradates. The Marian party returned in
force, and a frightful massacre of nobles followed. Ma-
rius was chosen consul for the seventh time, but the
insanely vengeful old man died in the midst of his bloody

NOTE. Numerals for dates refer to years before Christ.


outrages in January of 86. His party continued in power
until the return of Sulla, who won a battle under the very
walls of the city and became dictator of Rome, with pow-
ers as unlimited as those of the kings of old. His revenge
upon his foes was frightful. Rome again reeked with the
blood of her citizens, slain literally in thousands. The
equites, or knights, to which class Cicero belonged, suf-
fered severely.

What was Cicero doing while all this turmoil was
going on ? As we have seen, he was quietly studying the
art of speech and legal lore, as if the world were at peace,
and regretting only that the courts were suspended, and
that therefore no model speeches were to be heard. Sulla
framed anew the constitution of Rome in a party spirit,
giving complete control of the government into the hands
of the senatorial body, which was increased in numbers.
Practically no magistrate was permitted to present a bill
to the people without a previous indorsement of it from
the senate. This destroyed the constructive importance
of the plebeian tribunate. The tribunes were further
restricted to the original use of their power of veto as
a protection for private individuals against the arbi-
trary action of a magistrate; they were not permitted
to employ it for the obstruction of governmental meas-
ures. The office itself was discredited by the enactment
of a law decreeing that no man who should hold the
office of tribune should thereafter be eligible for any
higher magistracy in the Roman political organization.
Furthermore, the right of electing the members of the
priestly colleges was taken from the people, and those
bodies were to fill vacancies by their own choice (coop-
tatlo). There were then sound reasons for the consoli-
dation of the populace into a strong party opposed to the

There was another, much more vigorous class which


was injured and afterward ignored by the Sullan regime.
It was formed of the prosperous business and financial
men of Rome, animated by commercial enterprise, and
quite willing to forego the distinctions of office, provided
only that sufficient power was left in its hands to protect
its members in the profitable pursuance of their business.
This class, called equites, or knights, had charge of the
farming of the revenues in the provinces. The govern-
ors of these provinces were members of the ruling sena-
torial party. Naturally they were in a position to ob-
struct, if they chose, the business affairs of the knights.
To protect the business men in their provincial dealings,
C. Gracchus had had a law passed giving to the eques-
trian order the exclusive right to sit as jurymen in the
regular courts. The governor of a province had there-
after constantly to fear a trial for extortion or criminality
before this court on his return from office. This fear
was the safeguard of the knights. Sulla deprived the
equites of jury rights, and bestowed them upon the
senate. He also hurt the pride of the knights by with-
drawing their privilege of reserved seats in the theater.
The equestrian order was therefore also a strong party
of opposition to the Sullan senate. With it was bound
to lie the balance of political power, if it were well

3. Cicero as Advocate. Cicero, associated by birth
with this party, was led by personal interests as well as
by natural sympathies to throw in his lot with the oppo-
nents of the aristocrats. He saw in this body of his com-
peers a power capable of lifting him on his ambitious
way. But he was resolved also to repay it with ample
services on his part. He began his career as an advo-
cate while Sulla was supreme in Rome. The first speech
which we have preserved to us is of little importance,
but the next, delivered in 80, was more than a plea at law,


for it had also a political significance. It is a defense of
one Roscius of Ameria, who was accused of parricide by
one of Sulla's favorites, a freedman who was seeking to
protect property criminally obtained. The defense was
an easy matter judicially, but a dangerous procedure
politically. Nevertheless, Cicero dared to risk the dis-
pleasure of the despotic ruler, and even uttered covert
but sharp criticisms of his policy. The young man was
marked for distinction in the ranks of the opposition
from that day. His health failing, or perhaps the neigh-
borhood of Sulla becoming too warm for him, he left
Rome in 79 and spent two years in traveling through
Greece and Asia Minor, studying with several famous
teachers of rhetoric and philosophy as he paused in his
journeyings. On his return to Rome he married Teren-
tia, a lady of good family and considerable property, with
whom he lived for over thirty years, and by whom he
had a daughter, Tullia, and a son, Marcus. Sulla had
died during his absence from Rome.

4. Political Life to Consulship. In the year 76
Cicero was elected to the qusestorship, and during the
next year he served in/aicily, with headquarters at Lily-
baeum. Of his goverrjtnental performance we know little
beyond the fact that fie was honest and capable, and won
the esteem of the Sicilians.

By virtue of his quaestorship he returned to Rome a
life member of the noble senate. He was naturally elated,
but on one occasion his vanity received a crushing rebuff.
He tells the story himself : " When I arrived at Puteoli
in the height of the season, ... I almost collapsed when
a man asked me on what day I had left Rome, and was
there any news ? On my answering that I was traveling
from my province, he said, ' Why, to be sure, from Africa,
I believe ? ' Already vexed and disgusted, I said, ' Not at
all from Sicily.' A bystander, with the air of knowing


everything, spoke up : ' Why, don't you know that the
gentleman has been quaestor at Syracuse?' ... I swal-
lowed my chagrin and moved off." [We must bear in
mind that he was at Lilybaeum as quaestor, not at Syra-

For the next four years Cicero was busy in the law
courts pleading causes. In the year 71 Cnaeus Pompeius
Magnus, Pompey the Great, returned to Rome after a
long-protracted struggle in Spain against the brilliant
Marian general Sertorius. Sulla had demonstrated that
with a capable general, supported by devoted troops, rest-
ed the last word in the politics of the degenerate state.
Pompey had his army with him. He desired a triumph,
and also the consulship for the year 70, without having
held the quaestorship and the praetorship, as the law de-
creed. The nobles resented his haughty conduct, and put
obstructions in his way.

The knights and the people had long been struggling
for the recovery of the privileges taken from them by
Sulla. They saw in Pompey the power which might win
them back what they had lost, and they made a compact
with him. He was elected consul for the year 70. The
democrats were paid by the restoration of the tribunician
powers, and the knights by the reestablishment of their
prerogatives in the jury courts.

Cicero claimed the honor of effecting the change in
the judiciary by his conduct, in this year, of the famous
case against a rapacious and cruel scoundrel, Verres,
for three years governor of Sicily. The outrages of
this man were beyond human endurance, and at the
close of his term of office the Sicilians begged Cicero
to aid them in bringing the villain to justice. He
was only too glad to assist in a case that promised to
hurt the aristocratic party, the supporters of Verres, by
an exposition of the evils resulting from a system whereby


governors feared no punishment for their conduct, be-
cause tried before their fellow aristocrats. Verres fled
into exile at Massilia, where he long after fell a victim
to Mark Antony's proscription. The case was the more
triumphant for Cicero because the losing advocate was
the hitherto greatest pleader of the day, Q. Hortensius.
Cicero and he afterward joined forces in many cases in
court and were friendly rivals for oratorical honors.
Cicero had shown himself as an ally of the vainglorious,
but undoubtedly imposing military politician, Pompey,
whose passion was exalted station.

In 69 Cicero filled the office of curule aedile, and in
66 he was pr&tor urbanus, having the presidency of the
courts for cases of extortion. While praetor he delivered
his first avowedly political speech, the De Imperio Cn.
Pompei included in this volume. The circumstances
which called forth this speech are set forth in the intro-
duction to the Manilian Law (p. 261, ff.). By it Cicero
advocated the bestowal upon Pompey of a power not
indeed unprecedented in Rome, but nevertheless quite con-
trary to the principles of a republican government. The
praetor Cicero was looking forward to his own candidacy
for the consulship, and the support of Pompey's power-
ful influence would be a very weighty consideration in
the contest for votes against strong rival candidates.
It was customary for a praetor at the expiration of his
year of office to accept the governorship of a province,
but Cicero, perhaps remembering with chagrin the for-
getfulness of the Romans when he was quaestor, waived
this privilege, and determined to bend all his energies to
canvassing for the consulship of 63.

For three generations back only one plebeian had sat
in the consul's chair, and that one was Marius, a towns-
man of Cicero. The nobles jealously guarded the seat
as a birthright of the highest social order, and showed


a frowning front to the daring aspirant of humbler origin.
' Fato Roma fiunt Metelli consules ' was a proverbial
saying, in which Metelli stand for the high-born. But
Cicero's oratory and honorable record had won him
friends. Nevertheless, it is possible that he would not
have overcome the opposition of the nobles had not the
dread of political panic and anarchy driven them to unite
on him as a safe and honest man.

Of his six competitors two only need to be mentioned
L. Sergius Catilina and Gains Antonius. Rumor said
that Catiline was plotting anarchy, and the report helped
to defeat him. Cicero was elected amid shouts of ac-
clamation, and with him Antonius, the friend of Catiline,
as colleague. Overjoyed at the consummation of his
cherished ambition, he boasted to his equestrian friends
that " he had shown them the way into the stronghold
which the nobility had held with its garrisons." He at
once bound to his service the suspected Antonius by yield-
ing to him the appointment to the governorship of rich
Macedonia for the year following the consulship, although
it had been allotted to himself.

5. Cicero as Consul. The greater part of his year of
office was occupied with routine duty. By his speech
Contra Rullum he assisted in defeating a dangerous bill
which was directed against Pompey and which aimed to
place all the public lands and the booty of war into the
charge of a commission with such unlimited powers that
the orator witheringly calls it the " ten kings." The great
pride of his consulship, however, was the crushing of the
infamous conspiracy for overthrowing the government
organized by his disappointed and bankrupt rival Cati-
line. The story of this overfamous plot is told in the
introduction to the Catiline Orations (p. 191, ff.)- Sev-
eral of the leaders were arrested and, after a vote of the
senate, were put to death at the command of Cicero, con-


trary to the provision of the law that no citizen of Rome
should be judicially executed, without the right of appeal
to the sovereign people. -Popular sentiment never quite
forgave Cicero his share in this breach of law. When
he ascended the Rostra to make his farewell address to
the people on laying down his office, a tribune forbade
him who had deprived Roman citizens of their right of
speech in defense to address the burgesses of Rome.
Cicero obeyed, but on taking the customary oath of the
executive he shouted that he had saved the country, and
the people cried out their approval.

6. After the Consulship. Naturally the overthrow
of such a wide-spread conspiracy called forth much hos-
tility as well as much praise. Disappointed plotters,
envious rivals, and the ill-disposed of all classes mur-
mured their curses against the " vain upstart " who had
dared to become famous by saving the state.

The consul's politics had taken a new turn during his
struggles for office, and his purposes had become more
clearly outlined as his terms of administration progressed.
He believed that it was possible for him to form a new-
party of good government out of the well-intentioned
men of both senate and equites. Accident and the dread
of conspiracy for a time did actually unite the two orders
in harmonious action under his leadership. Cicero fondly
hoped that a new era of a regenerated state, with an
upright and capable senate as guide, was now at hand.
But the seeming union of naturally hostile parties did not
last long after the passing of the danger which had occa-
sioned it. Old animosities soon appeared, and with them
the old separation. From this time on the life of Cicero
is darkened with disappointments and saddened by grief ;
but he clung to his dream of a united state through all
his vicissitudes, and thereby failed to win the name of
statesman in history.


7. Clodius and the Exile of Cicero. We have now
to speak of a private quarrel which led to disastrous
results for the ex-consul. In 61 a reckless young patri-
cian, P. Clodius Pulcher, was accused of violating the
celebration of the rites of the Bona Dea sacred to
women. He had sneered at Cicero's conduct as con-
sul, taunting him with illegal assumption of authority
and representing him as pompously remarking that he
" had got information " about the conspirators, as if
that were a quite sufficient explanation for doing away
with a legal trial. The spirited young scapegrace appar-
ently had been bored by the orator's endless self-lauda-
tion, for the latter could hardly speak on any subject
without reverting to his own " glorious actions " as
consul. Cicero was sorely piqued, and for some time
shunned the hateful word comperire which Clodius jeer-
ingly quoted. While the trial of Clodius was going on,
Cicero appeared as a witness and toppled over a nicely
planned alibi set up by the defendant. The two became
cordial foes thereafter, and Clodius resolved to ruin the
ex-consul, if opportunity offered. Clodius was acquitted
through the help of Caesar, who persuaded the wealthy
Crassus to buy up the jury. The nobles led by Cato
had interested themselves to bring Clodius to punish-
ment, and the action of the jury, composed chiefly of
knights and their friends (the tribuni cerarii), served to
emphasize the breach between the two classes. Cicero's
cherished plan of a unified party securing political domi-
nation to the senate and financial security to the equestrian
order was forever shattered. Another greater than Cicero
was now forming plans of a more practicable nature.
Csesar had become the acknowledged leader of the demo-
cratic party. In the year 60 he returned from the govern-
orship of Spain and found Pompey estranged from the
senate. He formed a compact with the disgruntled gen-


eral and the rich Crassus to unite interests, in order to
dominate the senate and the Forum. This alliance is
known as the First Triumvirate. It succeeded admirably

Online LibraryMarcus Tullius CiceroEight orations of Cicero, together with selected passages and letters; → online text (page 1 of 47)