End of roman republic
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Gregory D. Mansi California State University, Northridge 1999
The History of the last years of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Empire remain a subject of intense scholarly debate. Speculation and opinion embrace nearly every aspect of Roman society during this tumultuous period. Primary sources are somewhat scarce and sometimes unreliable. 1 Historians of the 20th century have dealt with the period of the end of the Republic from every angle; economic, social, political, medical, geographical, ethnic and spiritual. Yet in almost all of the treatments there lie a few commonalities which appear to have become thematic: social disturbance, party strife, factionalism and the conflict and contrast between important individuals. Within these interpretations it is natural to find contrary characteristics of, for instance, Caesar, Cicero and Augustus or conflicting theories as to the causes of the extinction of the Republic or the development of party politics in the last century before Christ. Presented in these pages is an attempt to compare some of the more traditional as well as revisionist scholarly treatments, focusing not only on the common themes but on the contrasting opinions in relation to the subject; the transition from a republican Rome governed by arguably democratic institutions within the framework of factional politics to an empire dominated by a single soul.2 All references to dates throughout this presentation are B.C. unless otherwise stated. This is a century of the evolution of sole power and if it were not Octavian in the end prevailing as sole ruler of the empire, it would have been another soul. The rapid expansion of the Roman state and the resultant increase in its wealth and influence produced changes in Roman culture and politics. This vast wealth, increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few important aristocratic families, hardly a new trend but certainly more prevalent than in the past, created unique strains in the social and political fabric of the ever-expanding Republic. 3
In 133, a year which marked the beginning of what would be a general shift in the internal power structure in Rome, Tiberius Gracchus, an aristocrat by birth, was elected tribune. His main platform, unique in Roman history up to that time, was a redistribution of public lands in favor of the lower classes and held in a lease arrangement by members of the powerful senatorial families. The Gracchi
"Nominally a democracy in that 'what the people has commanded to be is valid at law', the res puiblica was in fact organized as an aristocracy - or oligarchy. It was governed by a small circle of noble families, perhaps fifty, called 'nobles'. They were extensively intermarried, and their ideals, as expressed by the poet Lecretius, were 'to compete alike with native talent and high birth, and to come out on top, striving by night and day with unremitting labor, in order to enjoy abundant wealth and control of the business of the state."3
Certain of the most prominent patrician houses included the Valerii, Fabii, Cornelii, Claudii, Julii_Aemilii and Manlii had produced a whirlwind with their insistence that the Assembly of Tribes take a more active role in the political life of the Republic. The political ideas of Tiberius Gracchus did not perish with him. They lived on in the circle of his friends. In particular, his brother Gaius, soon took up his work with greater effect. Politicians with new ideas now appeared, opposing the senatorial politicians of the old school. These were also members of the Senate-according to Roman notions it would have been unthinkable for them not to be -but in opposition to the senatorial policy, steeped in class prejudice as it was, they wished to serve the interests of the people, and by means of repeated appeals to the popular assembly, to break the rule of a Senate incapable of producing timely reforms. 4 Although the people of Rome had for a long time the ability to legislate in the Assembly, there were few who had the political will to act on behalf of the proletariat. Those who did often found themselves in a political wasteland. Lily Ross Taylor suggests, the dissension between the optimates and populares developed first in the Senate when a group of nobles gained general control of that body and, with some powerful nobles, worked to prevent initiatives that were not favored by them. They referred to themselves as "good" men suggesting that their initiatives were in line with the interests of the Roman state and its people. Those senators who found themselves defeated then aligned themselves with the tribunes and tribal assemblies and "procured from the people the enactment of laws that accomplished their designs."5 She continues;
The strife between optimates and populares was in theory based on programs, but it was actually no more than a difference in method, as Sallust, once active as a popularis, recognizes. He declares that those "who assail the government used specious pretexts, some maintaining that they were defending the rights of the commons, other that they were upholding the prestige of the senate; but under pretense of the public welfare each in reality was working for his own advancement." 6 By the middle of the first century B.C., factional struggles within the Republic had become so severe that the authority of the Senate was severely weakened. No longer were the educated, worldly men of noble descent alone looked to for political and social guidance and stability. The center of Roman government, at least in appearance, now shifted from the marble floor of the Senate to the grassy fields of the assembly and its popularly favored leaders, although in reality the authority of the Senate remained for the entire republican period the real decision making body in Rome and her provinces. What is ultimately so interesting and ironic in relation to this period of social and political shifting is the political vacuum created by the weaker Senate and senatorial class. It was not, as would be expected, filled by the recently empowered populares, but from some of the oldest aristocratic families in Rome as was witnessed with the rise of Pompey, Caesar and Crassus to name a few.
The two centuries prior to the rise of Augustus as Emperor produced a was weary population in Rome. Throughout Italy and the provinces most aristocratic and popular leaders feigned at representing the people of the empire and their desire for the maintenance of a republican form of government. Conscious of the weariness of the public certain individuals, using and misusing either their inherited nobility or their newly gained political status worked to promote their own agendas and at capturing notoriety and wealth, sometimes by force and oratory persuasion, sometimes utilizing state issued largess. The violent struggle for control, initiated by the Senate during the Gracchan revolts of 133 and 123 set the stage for the political difficulties which lasted until the peaceful settlement of Augustus. Appian, in his Civil Wars, described the inauguration of political violence in Rome focusing the blame in no small part on the aristocracy who feared for the dismemberment of their power structure and status. The political strife in Rome after 133 quickly degenerated into chaos and changed little throughout the century. Appian's description is important enough to relate in its entirety.
The sword was never carried into the assembly and there was no civil slaughter until Tiberius Gracchus, tribune and law-bringer, was the first to fall victim to internal commotion; and with him many others, who were crowded together at the Capitol around the temple, were also slain. Sedition did not end with that abominable deed. Repeatedly the parties came into open conflict, often carrying daggers, and from time to time in temples, the assemblies, or the Forum, some tribune, praetor, consul, or candidate for these offices, or some person otherwise undistinguished, would be slain. Unseemly violence prevailed almost constantly, together with shameful contempt for law and justice. As the evil gained in magnitude, open insurrections against the government and large warlike expeditions against their country were undertaken by exiles, criminals, or persons vying with one another for some office or military command. Factions arose repeatedly, with chiefs aspiring to sole rule, some of them refusing to disband the troops entrusted to them by the state, others even hiring forces against each other on their own account, without public authority. Whenever either side got possession of the city the opposing side made war, ostensibly against their adversaries, but actually against their country. They assailed it lake an enemy's capitol: those on hand ruthlessly and indiscriminately massacred, others suffered proscription to death, banishment, confiscation of property; some were even subjected to excruciating torture. 7
The Senate weakened its own integrity further by opening up traditionally aristocratic offices to certain wealthy popular leaders and military men. Senatorial capitulation when dealing with theses new influential politicians did much to eliminate the auctoritas of their offices. In the end came a devastated Republic, unable to cope with social and economic ruin and ready for a leader whose force of personality combined with a strength or character, political astuteness and, most importantly, offering a promise of a measure of stability and peace not seen in a great many years in the Republic. Only such a leader could piece together an empire out of the turbulence of an irreparably damaged republic. Octavian was the direct heir of the politically disordered atmosphere developed in the last century of the Republic in Rome.
The weakening of the Senate led ultimately to increased party strife between patrician and plebeian. The limits on senatorial ambitions were fairly widely known. As Rome progressed from the capital of a group of Italian cities into an Mediterranean empire and dramatically increased its sphere of authority outside Italy it became the depository of an enormous amounts of tribute from those new territories under its direct control. This, coupled with the fact in 367 the consulship became open to men of plebeian status, transformed the political atmosphere of the Republic considerably. This new group of nobles consisted of men of patrician stock and wealthy businessmen primarily for the ranks of the cavalry, the knights, or equites who came primarily from the provinces and municipalities of Italy. They were the backbone of the business interests in Rome and dealt, for the most part, with banking, trading and tax farming, publicani. 8 The capitol was becoming wealthy beyond all expectations and with it a level of luxury to those in power. Livy, in his History of Rome offers a description of the changing lifestyles in Rome, particularly among the military.
Still worse things are being witnessed among his [Gnaeus Manlius Vulso] soldiers every day, for it was through the army serving in Asia that the beginnings of foreign luxury were introduced into the city. These men brought into Rome for the first time bronze couches, costly coverlets, bed curtains, and other fabrics, and, what was at the time considered gorgeous furniture, one legged tables and sideboards. Banquets were made more attractive by the presence of girls who played on the lute and harp and by other forms of entertainment, and the banquets themselves began to be prepared with greater care and expense. The cook, whom the ancients regarded and treated as the lowest type of slave, was raising in value, and what had been a servile task began to be looked upon as a fine art. Still what met the eye in those days was but the germ of the luxury that was coming. 9
The aristocratic senatorial element combined with the financial component created a political grouping which was unprecedented in Roman politics prior to the reforms of Gaius Gracchus.10 The astonishing influx of wealth, in the hands of what was now the "new rich", particularly from exploited provincial holdings resulted in an increased level of corruption as yet unseen in Rome. L.R. Taylor, expounding on Sallust's seemingly constant theme of Roman decay following the fall of Carthage, offers a fuller description:
The prizes of empire enriched and corrupted the senators and the knights, who together exploited the provinces, and at the same time resulted in the impoverishment of the common people of Rome and Italy. senators, as governors of provinces or as members of the governors' staffs, and knights as bankers, and also publicans, brought back to Rome the fabulous wealth of the provinces, the gold and silver of Spain and Macedonia, the riches gained from the bounteous agricultural products of Sicily, Sardinia, and Africa. They also brought back with them an abundant supply of slaves from every quarter of the empire. 11 Any student of Roman political institutions must be somewhat weary of Sullust's tendency to compare the level of corruption and debauchery in his own time with that of his overly pleasant description of these same institutions prior the destruction of Carthage, which he felt marked the beginning point of the decline of Rome. 12 The level of prosperity of the Republic was not derived from any outstanding domestic economic policies, on the contrary, Rome was becoming increasingly and solely dependent on their newly acquired provincial territories. The provinces provided all that was necessary to maintain the "imperial" lifestyle. Michael Grant, in his introduction to the Michael Grant's translations of Cicero's political speeches, describes the period which so affected the orator. The Roman empire had achieved a position which was unprecedented and has never been repeated: it had established control over the entire Mediterranean area. But Rome was showing itself more and more incapable of governing this vast territory. Administrators were corrupt, Italy itself was rift by an ever-deepening gulf between rich and poor and by a too grudging enfranchisement policy. The machinery of government at Rome, designed for a small Republic, had proved woefully inadequate for the guidance of huge empire. Politics was a selfish and ruthless struggle among aristocratic groups and grandees and business concerns (knights), each with their hordes of hangers on. 13
Factional politics, rarely ideologically based, created great rifts within the population of Rome. Political alliances, factio, favoring every aspect of Roman society became a major tool for the rising politician, along with wealth and family ties. L. R. Taylor, utilizing both Plautus and Cicero, relates that the former defined the term simply as "band of friends" and the latter, analyzing Greek political theory, stated: "when a certain number of men by virtue of riches or family or some advantage obtain possession of the state it is a factio, but they go under the name of optimates".14 Taylor suggests that the more derogatory use of the term, a corrupt aristocracy in control of the state, came into common use after the tribunate of Sallust. 15 The history of Rome from 133 on is one of constant turmoil; a tug-of-war between two factions. 16 According to Eric Grun, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (1974), the idea, traditional in scholarship prior to the twentieth century, of a two party political system of optimates versus populares, is, however, misleading in the sense that it implies an ideological difference where very little existed; a point well taken given Roman politicians were rarely, if ever, divisive in relation to matters of principle and ideology. As evidence for the idea that the term optimates signified no real ideological grouping Grun turns to Cicero who "could stretch the term to encompass not only aristocratic leaders but also Italians, rural dwellers, businessmen, and even freedmen".17 In his Defense of Sestius, Cicero, echoing the traditional senatorial or aristocratic position, describes the optimates as acting on behalf of all the "best people" in Rome, defined as those members of society from the upper classes who were eligible for the senate, business and freedmen, city-dwellers or those who lived in the country.18 Here, Cicero is defining not a political party or a group which bases its identity on some abstract ideology or economic station but a group of people who identify with certain accepted personal and character traits, mindful of citizenship in a greater body. My view is that this idea of what characteristics make up a good, honest, hard working citizen is an early form of a nationalistic sentiment.
Of course, in what seems typical of Cicero, his view of the optimates changed considerably after his exile in 58 by the very party in which he always sought to be a part. 19 Many modern historians have all too often defined the chaotic period of the end of the Republic in Rome in the narrow confines of party politics between these two opposing political extremes. Some modern historiography does not seem to be moving in the direction of the redefinition of the traditionally held beliefs in relation to party politics in the last two centuries of the Republic. Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (1939), notes that within the Senate, that body of distinguished aristocratic leaders, there existed a sub-grouping of nobiles, who made up the ranks of the descendants of consular houses, patrician or plebeian, who believed that it was their prerogative to hold supreme power as a result of their lineage and ambition. 20 While stopping short of stating that no real "parties" existed in Roman politics, which would certainly be an overstatement, E. Grun suggests that the possibility for a misunderstanding as to the true nature of the different political distinctions based on simplistic notions of party politics is real and should be more carefully studied free from the limiting nature of traditional scholarly labels. Yet there was a dual nature to Roman Republican politics; one in favor of the status quo, senatorial authority based on the privilege of the aristocracy and the other, following the example of the Gracchan movement, pursuing policies favorable to those outside the political system, a struggle between insiders and outsiders. The patricians in the Senate continued to dominate the political field but with ever decreasing effectiveness prior to the reversal of Sulla's reform measures. 21 Factional politics based on personal and economic considerations ushered in the last generation of the free Republic in Rome. Politics in Rome during this period was defined, according to Syme, not as the opposition between liberal and conservative ideologies, as in the modern sense, but by the "strife for power, wealth and glory" of individuals; contestants for the most prestigious positions in the state. 22 In his monumental work, Syme focuses on the theme of competition between a small group of men within the political structure of the res publica.
The competition was fierce and incessant. Family influence and wealth did not aloe suffice. From ambition or for safety, politicians formed compacts. Amicitia was the weapon of politics, not a sentiment based on congeniality. Individuals capture attention and engross history, but the most revolutionary changes in Roman politics were the work of families or of a few men. 23
With their increased wealth and their traditional role as leaders the aristocracy tended towards conspicuous consumption and lavish living and fought for their traditional position of dominance vis-à-vis the Consulate. At least at the onset of Plebeian entrance into state politics this was a relatively simple assignment since the Roman voting population, typically conservative in relation to choosing its representation, would be unlikely to elect anyone whose name they were not thoroughly familiar with in terms of history of their Republic.24 The contests of the last century of the Republic were, however, a consequence of the inability of the aristocracy to hold in check the political ambition of men outside the circle and the loss of their traditional justification for rule based solely on family lineage. As a direct result of an expanding empire and the growing need for men able and wealthy enough to govern, certain offices were opened up to a new breed of politician in Rome. Those men who benefited most from this situation were derived from a growing class of wealthy business men, who began to develop their power base.
These equites, or knights, the financiers, bankers and tax collectors of the Republic used their enormous wealth to compete politically with the senate and in the process created a new political class. Those with sufficient wealth bit without the noble lineage of the aristocracy, together with an ever dependent aristocratic senate became the new political grouping within the governing structure and attempted to curtail access to the most important offices in the Republic. The new hybrid patrician-plebeian nobility controlled virtually all business of the state, military, political and social elements, through the institution of clientela. Nobles were helped to office through the support of the people who in turn expected support for legislation which would directly benefit them. The relationship was hierarchical, but obligations were mutual. 25 Fergus Millar, The Political Character of the Classical Roman Republic, 200–151 B.C.," in Rome, the Greek World, and the East: The Roman Republic and the Augustan Revolution, casts doubt as to the importance of this particular institution in the political atmosphere of 1st century B.C. suggesting that it had lost its importance as a significant social institution by the end of the 2nd century B.C. 26 The noble was expected to efficiently direct the affairs of state. Occasionally, recognizing a particular talent, as in the case of Cicero, or realizing the need for the support of an important military leader like Marius, the Senate would open its doors to the 'new man' or novus homo, who might have rose to prominence in the public eye. 27 Working through traditional aristocratic channels they made up a pool of men whose ambition to power was sufficient to admit them into the cursus honorum.28 According to Mattius Gelzer, in his Die nobilität der römischen Republik (1912), by the time of Cicero's prominence in Roman politics the differences between political classes had become less relevant in relation to ambitions for public office. By this time a sort of artificial aristocracy developed based on anyone who could demonstrate direct descent in the male line from a consul. This theory rejects Theodor Mommsen's idea that all families possessing the ius imaginum, that is, descended from curule magistrates, were designated nobili. 29
The traditional aristocratic elements in politics were being distorted as a result of a growing awareness by the plebeian classes of their own political, social and economic power. This, according to E. Grun, forced the attention of the aristocracy into making certain concessions to important popular leaders. "The Gracchi were promoted by senatorial leaders, Marius sought cooperation and support from the nobility, and Sulla rose to power through the backing of aristocratic families." Moreover, throughout this period, even with the rise of great popular military men, behind the scenes lay the subtle hand of senatorial control. 30 Cicero, as an example, although a new man and subject to the constraints of that social status, urged that there a merger of all the various social classes within Rome and bound to loyalty to the dictates of the conservative senate. 31 Recognizing a destabilization within Rome, Cicero hoped that an alliance of all the interests within the Republic aimed directly at destructive sentiments of army commanders and their powerful and very well connected agents in Rome could and should be realized. During his consulship he achieved just such an alliance, first as the concordia ordinum, and later expanded to all of Italy as a consensus omnium honorum.32 Unfortunately, because of the accident of his unimpressive lineage and limited political connections, this effort lacked the necessary backing to be anything but an utopian, ideological exercise. 33 In other words, it was virtually impossible to be a moderate in late Roman republican politics even if the survival or the Republic depended on it. L. R. Taylor elaborates on this political atmosphere in greater detail highlighting the various political classes, social structures and economic realities of the last century B.C. One of the most dynamic elements of the Roman political system was the relationship between patron and client. The Roman noble had traditionally been in the position of patres, not only in relation to his function as office-holder within the political structure of the state, but also as heads of families which extended beyond his immediate household. The familia of the Roman aristocrat often included his extended family members as well as slaves and freedmen. For all these people he was the patronus. His responsibility to them was insuring that their interests were served in the civil courts where, until the Gracchan reforms, he served as mediator and judge regarding disputes which arose between litigants.34 The traditional relationship between the political patron and his client is a theme thoroughly examined by Professor Taylor. She offers a comparison between the Roman nobility and the British ruling class when describing the hereditary system through which the aristocracy maintained its privileged position. She makes a point, however, to note that, unlike the British system, the Roman aristocratic political structure was a closed system, averse to opening its ranks to outsiders. Competition for the more prestigious, more lucrative positions within the political order outweighed the ever increasing requirements of an expanding empire. The patron-client relationship, ostensibly based on reciprocal good faith was to emerge in the last half of the century as a political tool for the mounting number of popular military leaders and the established aristocracy in a clash for political advancement and governmental control. 35
The two consulships open every year did not supply adequate opportunity to satisfy the ambitions of all the men who were determined to equal or surpass the glories of their ancestors. In the contest for office each noble depended on his family and his relations by blood, marriage, and adoption. The basis in popular support was the noble's clients and adherents in Rome and in the citizen communities of Italy and his old soldiers. Each noble had masses of such adherents, many of them inherited from his ancestors. But he needed further support, and that he got from his personal friends among the nobility and their clients and adherents. 36 The "friendship" or amicitia that Taylor is here describing is what she refers to as the Roman substitute for the modern political party. This element of the traditional mos maiorum (what is done by precedent is done by right), was a Roman political obsession and produced the politics of deal making that was so prevalent in the Republic. Groups of like-minded associates would form alliances in order to maintain control of certain positions of authority within the government or, if deemed necessary to "shut out" those undesirables from any influence. According to Gelzer, coalitions among powerful patrons were "the stuff of politics".37 Taylor utilizes an electioneering pamphlet written by Cicero's brother to illustrate just how personal the process was. The endeavors of friends should be enlisted by kindnesses and observance of duties and old acquaintance and affability and natural charm. But that word "friends" has a wider application in a canvass than in the rest of your life, for anybody who ows you some good will, or cultivates your society, or calls upon you regularly, is to be counted as a "friend".38
The practice of "political" friendship grew increasingly more important for any man aspiring to political office towards the end of the first century B.C. The clearest examples of this trend are illustrated in a examination of the careers of Cicero and Caesar; the former, a new man, sought the support of important men by developing trusting friendships in the law courts and the latter, a noble of distinct genealogy, creating for himself a client base among the soldiers under his command while maintaining close ties with important aristocratic personalities within the Senate. Post Gracchan Rome witnessed the rise of demagogues, astute and capable, building political careers as military leaders and developing their own clientela by promising tangible rewards for political support. Land grants were offered to soldiers in return for honorable and faithful service and political support, not to Rome itself, but to the individual commander. Powerful plebeians were now entering the tight orbit surrounding the center of power in Rome with great success. They secured for themselves the necessary following and courted a client base from the weaker members of their own class. Gelzer points arguably, "the very fact that they had clients of their own did more than anything else to make them the social equals of the patricians". Powerful plebeians may have become, in some sense, political equals with the patrician class but in no way equal in social status in the eyes of the citizens of the republic. The power of the nobility rested on the patron-client relationship with its purpose of mutual advancement. 39 These extraordinary commands were given to certain military men by the ruling oligarchy as a result of the continuous warfare facing the republic. According to R. Syme; Lack of capacity among the principal members of the ruling group, or more properly, personal ambition and political intrigue, constrained them, in mastering these manifold dangers, to derogate from oligarchic practice and confer exorbitant military power on a single general, to the salvation of Rome's empire and to their own ruin. 40
This situation, according to Gelzer, resulted in a shifting of the power base from the traditional oligarchic rule of the Republic to "the figure of the victorious general" who obtained his political support based more on ability than heredity. Dignitas, now depended less on a man's social status and more on his capability to win and maintain authority and political power. 41 Political ideologies, conservative versus liberal, seem to have been relegated to the back bench, as it were, to ambition and achievement of power as the end in and of itself. This, according to L. R. Taylor, was the cause of the decline of republican institutions in Rome when she claims that what changed in Rome was not its constitution,but the underlying political system by which it had been established centuries before. "New men", like Cicero, by virtue of his considerable talent as an orator, and his remarkable career as a lawyer and administrator became the chief non-military statesman in Rome. Jealous of aristocratic privilege and wealth, he worked assiduously in his early career at self-promotion and a financial fortune which supported him politically. A stall worth constitutionalist early in his career, as the political atmosphere changed he shifted away from his adherence to established Roman constitutional principles and, like most politically motivated men of his age, gave in to his own personal ambitions. Born at Arpinum in 106, Cicero was educated in Rome by some of the most noted teachers of philosophy, law and politics of the day.42 As the son of a wealthy knight, Cicero had the resources to pursue his education and the freedom to travel about as a citizen of Rome. As a young man, the future consul was slight of body, weak and delicate in constitution, which explains his less than distinguished reputation as a military man. 43 D. R. Shakleton Baily, Cicero (1971) suggests;
The 'new man', naturally had to work harder to establish himself as a political prospect and collect votes. He might do it by making a name for himself as a soldier, like Marius. That was no good for Cicero. His only experience of military life, until he found himself in command of an army in his middle fifties, was as a recruit of seventeen during the war between Rome and her revolted Italian allies. Though brief, it was apparently enough to give him a lasting distaste for active service. 44 By the time that order was restored in Rome by the overthrow of the Marian party, Cicero was ready to enter the Forum as a pleader. He made his first speech there in 91 at the age of twenty-five. The brilliance he had shown as a youth became immediately apparent to those around him and it was at this time that he felt it feasible to make a political career for himself based solely on his educational background and oratory skill. The following year he was handed the responsibility of the defense of Sextus Roscius of Armenia, which involved the genuine risk of offending Sulla.
The case involved the division of the estate of a wealthy man from Armenia among his immediate family members, although a substantial portion was fraudulently confiscated by one of Sulla's freedman, Chrysogonus, who succeeded in placing the murdered man's name on one of Sulla's famous proscriptions lists. The freedman then, in an attempt to insure the spoils of the crime, made the decision to have the heir to the dead man's estate, Sextius Roscius, eliminated. To accomplish this the conspirators had Roscius framed for the murder. The case was given to Cicero.
If it [defense of Roscius] was done by a man of rank, Sulla might feel his authority challenged; a young man, little known and of comparatively humble position, would be better for the job. At the request of Roscius' aristocratic protectors, who appeared in court to support him, Cicero spoke for the defense. The speech is one of the best, in spite of its juvenile exuberance, for which he later apologized, and its aura of the rhetorical classroom. 45 Cicero's accomplishment was widely recognized and, fearing both political and, perhaps, physical repercussions by the dictator and on the pretense of poor health, he made his way to Greece for two years; a wise move considering the proscriptions of Sulla would last until the dictators retirement in 79. Shakleton Baily makes it a point to de-emphasize the "courage" of Cicero stating that in his defense of Roscius, Cicero clearly exonerates the Dictator of any responsibility and suggests to the reader that the programs which Sulla was initiating may have offered little time to deal with the young orator. By taking the calculated risk of defending Roscius, Cicero This case attained for him a level of fame unprecedented among previous 'new men', with the exception of military leaders. Moreover, it furthered his political ambitions by attracting support from the nobles unable to deal with Sulla's level of power and more importantly, gained for the orator a certain popular reputation for defending the rights of citizens from the increasingly unpopular authoritarian government. H. J.. Haskell, This Was Cicero: Modern Politics in a Roman Toga (1942), agrees that the prime motivations for Cicero taking this "difficult and dangerous" case was not out of a purely altruistic notion of defending an innocent man, but as a way of increasing his dignitas in the face of a closed aristocratic political system; the only way for a "new man". 46 Sulla made no attempt at reprisal and Cicero's fame and demand in court grew rapidly. In 77, Cicero returned to Rome and became prominent at the bar. A year later he married Terentia who bore him two children. 47 Success at the bar provided Cicero an opening into the cursus honorum which he proceeded to move through with usual speed. He held his first office in 75, that of quaestor, an office he oversaw with integrity. In 70, he prosecuted Verres, Sicily's propraetor (74) and then governor (73-71) accused of plundering the island of Sicily with impunity, a case which, according to L.R.Taylor, and which is fairly obvious given his political ambitions, he would not have taken if he was not sure it would further increase his dignitas and consequently his career goals. 48 The case is an important one not only because it shows Cicero at his finest in relation to his skill as a persuasive orator but also as an illustration of how the provinces were being governed in the last century B.C. Further, it exposed the scandalous rule of the oligarchy into who's hands the government had fallen under the dictatorship of Sulla. By this time in the history of the Republic, provincial offices became a sure way to prosperity. Many young nobles borrowed vast sums of money in order to launch their own political careers knowing that they would be able to repay any debts incurred through canvassing for office from the enormous wealth they would procure as provincial governors or propraetors. 49 Creditors were more than willing to make the loans. Verres is known because we have the famous case and the writings of Cicero, but he was apparently not unique. Taking this case was, again, for Cicero a bit risky in that his opponent at the bar was none other than the famous lawyer Q. Hortensius. 50 A prominent noble and jurist, Hortensius had been receiving funds which Verres had acquired while in Sicily, some of which was being funneled into the hands of anti-Pompeian cliques, whose leader, Hortensius was using to procure the election to the consulate for the next year (69). 51 At this time a dangerous struggle was being waged between the various factions in Rome. Pompey's reforms, directly impacted the authority of the Senate cutting through the heart of the courts. Sulla had stripped the knights of their capacity as jurors in the courts and given it to the Senate. The corruption that followed, including bribery by provincial officials like Verres, created intolerable conditions throughout the empire. E. Gruns warns suggests, however, that a reappraisal of the Sullan administration bay be in order since most of our source material in relation to the corruption is derived from Cicero's Verrines and Pro Cluentio. "In this, as much as else, the orator's motives for distortion are relevant." 52 The case against Verres revolved, according to L.R. Taylor, around two main ideas: (1) the guilt of the defendant and (2) the reformation of the juries. "Were senators to continue to as arbiters of the misdeeds of their associates"? 53 Cicero won the case and became the recognized leader in the bar displacing in prominence Q. Hortensius. By 63 he had attained the consulship. 54 It was during this year that Cicero successfully prosecuted the case against Cataline, a case that made his consulship famous. L. Sergius Catalina, a man of noble descent had established a following among the popular elements of Roman society, as well as prominent aristocrats, including Caesar and Crassus, supporters of his candidacy for the consulship in an effort to outwardly oppose Pompey and the Senate. 55 Cataline had a reputation as a villain with a depraved and violent nature but Haskell suggests that this reputation came later as a result of an organized political campaign against him. The case involved a coup d'état against the Senate and its authority, in cooperation with Pompey, and believed to be backed by Caesar and Crassus. 56 After Cataline's defeat at the polls he banded together with a group of friends and attempted to overthrow the government by force and seize control of the Senate. The plot was discovered, thanks to the careful and diligent work by Cicero who proceeded to successfully prosecute the case. The ensuing fame brought with it claims, particularly by the Senate, that he had saved the country. That sentiment was not shared by all. Some of those who had elevated Cicero to the office of Consul, quietly in sympathy with Cataline, were declaring their dissatisfaction with Cicero because of his close association with the patrician party. This claim was undoubtedly fostered by Caesar and Crassus and it furthered the agitation between the various factions vying for political supremacy within the Republic. This issue here, less in terms of the prosecution and consequent execution of the defendant, was more an argument in relation to who had the constitutional authority to inflict the most severe punishment. As it relates to the actual execution of the defendants:
The conservatives, and at this stage (until hindsight intervened) many or most Senators, said yes; the populares, however, who stressed the sovereignty of the people, habitually said no, not without right of appeal to the Assembly. The populares looked to Caesar - who in another case earlier in the year had questioned Cicero's defense of the Senate's powers in this respect.57 The conservatives, and at this stage (until hindsight intervened) many or most Senators, said yes; the populares, however, who stressed the sovereignty of the people, habitually said no, not without right of appeal to the Assembly. The populares looked to Caesar - who in another case earlier in the year had questioned Cicero's defense of the Senate's powers in this respect.58 For Cicero it was the security of the state itself that was in question and he meant to do whatever he felt necessary as Consul to maintain the Republic. The prevailing sentiment, particularly by the conservatives within the Senate, that Cicero had "saved the republic" is obviously an overstatement but had Caesar and Crassus been successful the end of the Republic may have come sooner and with a completely different outcome. This headstrong attitude is revealed within the speeches Cicero gave to the Senate prior to the execution of Cataline.
Attend, then Senators, to the security of the state. Gaze well at all the storms which menace its very existence, unless you are able to forestall them. This is not just a repetition of Tiberius Gracchus facing the ordeal of your stern verdict because he aimed to become tribune a second time, nor of Gaius Gracchus because he had incited the land reformers to revolt, nor of Lucius Saturninus because he had murdered Gaius Memmius. No, the men whom we have under arrest today are those who stayed on in Rome to burn the entire city down, to assassinate you all - to welcome Catilina!59
The debate in relation to the fate of the conspirators was long and arduous. Obvious political motivations existed on either side and reflected the political maneuverings so apparent between the leading factions of the day. 60
I see up to now there are two proposals. One was made by Decimus Silanus who moves that the men who have attempted to destroy our community should be put to death. The other is the proposal of Gaius Caesar, who sets aside the death penalty but welcomes the full vigor of all the other punishments. Each of these two gentlemen, in accordance with his lofty rank and the grave issues involved, desires that the greatest severity should be shown…That proposal (imprisonment) seems to me unfair if you intend to order the towns to accept the prisoners, and difficult to implement if you limit yourselves to the mere expression of a wish. Still, let it be so resolved, should that be your pleasure. If so, I shall assume the necessary responsibility, in the hope of finding people in the townships who feel they are in honor bound not to refuse a request which, after all, you will be only making in order to preserve us all. 61
Cicero won in the end and his decision, made unilaterally, was carried out. He also did not mince words in relation to Caesar's brand of politics, falling skillfully close to accusing him of hypocrisy. It is a passage worthy of reading in its entirety.
Well, we have then, from Caesar, a proposal which is in keeping with his own lofty distinction and the renown of his ancestors, and must clearly be regarded as a pledge of his everlasting goodwill towards our country. It is also a vivid indication of the contrast between the light-weight pronouncements of mere demagogues and a truly democratic mentality devoted to the welfare of the state. I see that some of the men who like to be considered supporters of popular causes are not here today, and I appreciate that this is because they want to avoid voting on a capital charge concerning Roman citizens. But Caesar, on the other hand, the day before yesterday, backed both the decision to arrest Roman citizens and the decree that there should be a thanksgiving in my name. And yesterday, too, he favored the resolution that substantial rewards should be conferred upon the witnesses. When a man had voted a guard for the defendants, a congratulatory tribute to the investigator, and a reward for the witnesses, no one can entertain the smallest doubts about the views he holds concerning the rights and wrongs and implications of this whole affair. 62
Political fallout would come at a later date. There were many men in the patrician class who were sympathetic to the plight of Cataline and among them was a young noble, Publius Clodius Pulcher, a friend of Cicero who assisted in his investigation of Cataline. 63 In 62 Clodius was caught up in a scandalous affair involving a religious festival at the home of J. Caesar. He was arrested and tried for the offense, with the assistance of Cicero's testimony against him.64 Through certain bribes Clodius was able to secure for himself an acquittal. 65 As soon as Clodius was himself elected Tribune and he passed legislation which called for the outlawing of any person who had put to death a Roman citizen without benefit of trial. 66 Caesar and Crassus lead a tide of public opinion hostile to Cicero and his consulship and were now joined by Pompey, returning from the war with Mithridates and at this time in opposition to the Senate. The three had now joined forces as the first Triumvirate. Shakelton Baily suggests "The coalition between Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus…changed the face of Roman politics. Pompey's prestige and veterans, Caesar's authority as Consul and hold on the city populace, and Crassus' money were combined into a concentration of power before which a Senate majority was helpless.67 Initially they offered a position to the powerful orator. Cicero refused, and as a punishment the tree yielded to the angry Clodius and gave support to his bill. Cicero, fearing for his life, voluntarily left Rome. 68 The results of the conspiracy and its aftermath changed the Republic entirely. From that time onward, the Republic was now clearly in the hands of "factions" lead by ambitious and popular, mostly military, leaders. Among these men was Marcus Porcius Cato. Finley Hooper Roman Realities (1979) of Cato; "Those who think Cicero as a typical bull-headed Old Roman have probably never heard of Cato the Younger". 69 The "self appointed foe of all tyrants" was in no small way responsible for Cicero's decision to execute those involved with the conspiracy. He was an avowed Stoic who carried his philosophical ideals into his office with the same zeal that Cicero showed in the courtroom. 70 L. R. Taylor described him simply as "an efficient public servant". Although a staunch defender of the optimate tradition, his criticisms could touch some of their leading men. Elected tribune in 63, one of his first acts was to support a measure providing an annual grain distribution to the poor. This move, it seems, was aimed not at any notion he may have had in relation to gaining popular favor but as an attempt to curtail the growing popularity of Caesar. 71
Along with Cicero, Cato was of the "old school" who took his job very seriously. His first major political battle involved Pompey who, upon returning from his was against Mithridates, was being considered for a 'special command' against the political uprisings caused by the Catilinarian controversy.72 In L. R. Taylors words, Cato; "rushed to the public meeting, ascended the tribunal of the temple of Castor, and exercised the veto by pushing himself between Caesar and Pompey's tribune and preventing the bill from being read.73 What Cato feared more than the uprisings within the Republic was an army entering the city with Pompey at its head. In an apparent attempt at reconciliation, Pompey sought the hand of one of Cato's daughters but was soundly rebuffed. Pompey then turned to Caesar who, through his daughter Julia, forged a new and more dangerous alliance than Cato could have imagined; popular leaders in control of the optimates. 74 She goes on to point out in unequivocal language that;
It was Cato's uncompromising resistance to three men who appealed to the people against the Senate that had led to the union of the three in a collation which had overcome the optimates not only among the people but in the Senate and had even temporarily eliminated Cato from politics. The new group had shown itself to be a real oligarchy, not simply a group with oligarchical designs. 75
The affairs of state were now in the hands of three men, Caesar, Pompey and Crassus with Caesar being the more powerful and the more popular of the group. The triumvirate was born.
Born in 100, Caesar was descendant from one of the oldest patrician families in Rome. He was a very young, ambitious man when Sulla became dictator of Rome. Anxious of the relationship between the young Caesar and Marius, a cousin by marriage and enemy of the aristocratic party in Rome, Sulla, very early on, blocked Caesars attempts at entering into the political arena. Suetonius writes of Sulla's opposition to Caesar stating; " Everyone knows that when Sulla had long held out against the most devoted and eminent men of his party who interceded for Caesar, and they obstinately persisted, he at last gave way and cried, either by divine inspiration or a shrewd forecast. 'Have your way and take him; only bear in mind that the man you are so eager to save will one day deal the death blow to the cause of the aristocracy, which you have joined with me in upholding; for in this Caesar there is more than one Marius.'" 76 The irony of this situation should not be lost on the reader of the many biography's of both Sulla and Caesar as the latter, it seems, quite successfully imitated the former in relation to his own political career. Caesar's biography, as thoroughly enlightening as it is in revealing the political atmosphere of the last century of the republic, is much too long to relate in its entirety in these pages. For that reason, I shall pass over his early career leaving that to the curious reader of his many biographers and move forward to the point at which he propels himself to the head of republican politics.
Identifying himself with the Marian party, and ever determined for popular favor, Caesar spent a literal fortune on spectacular games. Marcus Licinius Crassus, an aristocrat of enormous wealth helped to finance the propaganda machine of the triumvirate and Pompey, always it seems, on the outskirts of the alliance, utilized his wide influence and clientela he had so assiduously worked to obtain throughout his long military career. Caesar, however, was the main component of the political trio and through the aid of his partners he secured for himself the consulate in 59.77 At the end of his year in office he secured for himself the proconsulship of Gaul. where from 58 to 51 he engaged his armies in a number of battles with alarming success. Before Caesar had entered the area it was divided among a large number of tribes in a constant state of war with one another. Caesar succeeded in "romanizing" the area. While in Gaul, Crassus was killed in battle against the Parthian Empire (54). The death of a triumvir exasperated tensions which had always existed between Caesar and Pompey. Eventually Pompey, realizing that the differences between the two were irreconcilable and fearing the extraordinary popularity of Caesar, broke with him and re-joined the aristocrats. It was at this time that Julia died which severed the only remaining link between the two men. The resulting contest between the two was ended at Pharsalus in 48. After witnessing the destruction of his forces Pompey fled to Egypt where shortly thereafter he was assassinated. 78 Plutarch describes the scene as Caesar entered Egypt soon after the death of his former colleague.
Not long after, Caesar arrived in the country that was polluted with this foul act, and when one of the Egyptians was sent to present him with Pompey's head, he turned away from him with abhorrence as from a murderer; and on receiving his seal, on which was engraved a lion holding a sword in his paw, he burst into tears. Achillas and Pothinus he put to death; and King Ptolemy himself, being overthrown in battle upon the banks of the Nile, fled away and was never heard of afterwards. Theodotus, the rhetorician, flying out of Egypt, escaped the hands of Caesar's justice, but lived a vagabond in banishment, wandering up and down, despised and hated of all men, till at last Marcus Brutus, after he had killed Caesar, finding him in his province of Asia, put him to death with every kind of ignominy. The ashes of Pompey were carried to his wife Cornelia, who deposited them at his country-house near Alba. 79 Caesar was alone at the top. Having secured Italy, Thessaly, Egypt, Asia Minor, North Africa and Spain from 48 to 44 he returned to Rome where he donned the purple of royalty. He had accomplished, with few exceptions, the defeat and complete capitulation of the Roman world. Even with these achievements, Caesar was not one to sit on his hand. On the contrary, as Plutarch asserts, these accomplishments "were incentives and encouragements to go on, and raised in him ideas of still greater actions, and a desire of new glory, as if the present were all spent".80 His grand plans going forward, yet never fully realized, included a fresh attach against the Parthians with the eventual goal of subduing all the lands that bordering and including Germany. His non-military designs were equally as grand including a plan to divert the Tiber in order to establish a safe passageway directly into Rome for all traders. He did, however, succeed in altering the calendar to correct for the inequality of the solar cycles. 81 According to most ancient sources, it was not what Caesar was doing, but the way in which he appeared to be doing it. A rising negative sentiment to his "edicts" soon developed among the closed political establishment in Rome sparking concerns of oppressive dictatorial power. Plutarch remarks that Cicero, on one occasion, "when someone in his company chanced to say the next morning Lyra would rise, replied, 'Yes, in accordance with the edict'".82 In both Plutarch and Suetonius we read that the primary cause of anxiety among the people of Rome in general, and those of the senate and political establishment in particular, was his perceived arrogance. It appears that while Caesar feigned republican virtues it was evident to many that he was slowly shedding any pretense towards maintaining what was left of republican government in Rome and throughout the empire. His apparent and mounting contempt for the senate was unconcealed. There were a good number of key men who desired to crown Caesar, not the least of which was Antony himself who on several occasions made the attempt at public gatherings. Caesar, of course denied the accusations as they spread but on several occasions seemed bothered at those senators who made charge of kingly aspirations.83 Suetonius writes; Therefore the plots which had previously been formed separately, often by groups of two or three, were united in a general conspiracy, since even the populace no longer were pleased with present conditions, but both secretly and openly rebelled as his tyranny and cried out for defenders of their liberty. On the admission of foreigners to the Senate, a placard was posted: "God bless the commonwealth! let no one consent to point out the House to a newly made senator." The following verses too were sung everywhere; "Caesar led the Gauls in triumph, led them to the senate house; The Gauls put off their breeches, and put on the laticlave.84
1 Lily Ross Taylor Party Politics in the Age of Caesar. University of California Press, Berkeley. 1949. "Our sources of information, extensive though they may be are singularly one-sided. Almost everything we have comes from men of the senatorial class, and most of what they say concerns their own group. In the literature of the republic there are no counterparts to the writers of the empire, Petronius, Martial, and Juvenal, who tell us what the common man was thinking." p. 2f 2 W. K. Lacey and B. W. J. G. Wilson. Res Publica: Roman Politics and Society According to Cicero. Bristol Classical Press. Oxford. 1970 p.2. 4 Mathais Gelzer Caesar: Politician and Statesman. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA. 1968. p.13 5 Lily Ross Taylor Party Politics in the Age of Caesar. University of California Press. Berkeley. 1949 p.13 6 Ibid., p.13 8 L. R. Taylor. p.3ff 9 Livy. History of Rome. xxxix, vi 3-9. "At the end of the year 187, after the new magistrates had been elected, Gnaeus Manlius Vulso celebrated his triumph over the Galatians on the fifth of March. The reason why he deferred his triumph to so late a date was his anxiety to avoid prosecution under the Petillian Law while Quintus Terentius Culleo was praetor, and the possibility of being burned by the flames of the verdict by which Lucius Scipio was condemned. He thought the judges would be even more hostile to him than they had been to Scipio, owing to reports of his having completely destroyed military discipline, which his predecessor Scipio had maintained, by allowing his soldiers every kind of license…" The Petillian Law related to the handling of booty obtained from the various campaigns in Asia Minor. On the status of bakers. cf. Pliny, Natural History xviii, xi. 107. "There were no bakers at Rome until the war with King Perseus, more than 580 years after the founding the city. The ancient Romans used to make their own bread, it being an especial occupation of the women, as even now among many peoples." 10 G. Gracchus elevated the power and status of the equites when, as part of his sweeping reforms, he gave them the right of jury duty in the criminal courts, stripping this power from the ranks of the aristocracy. 11 L. R. Taylor. p.4 12 Sallust. The Jugurthine War 41.5. Translated with an introduction by S. A. Handford. Penguin Books, London 1963. p. 76. "The division of the Roman state into warring factions, with all its attendant vices, had originated some years before, as a result of peace and of that material prosperity which men regard as the greatest blessing. Sown to the destruction of Carthage, the people and Senate shared the government peaceably and with due restraint, and the citizens did not compete for glory or power: fear of its enemies preserved the good morals of the state." 13 Michael Grant. Cicero: Selected Political Speeches. Penguin Books, London 1969. p.8 14 Cicero. Rep. 3.23. In L. R. Taylor. p.9. For additional use of the term refer to Sallust. Jugurtha. 31.14-15 who defines the term in a speech written for a tribune as "unanimity of purpose is amicitia among good men and faction among bad men". 15 L. R. Taylor. 1 n.25 16 Originally described as a "grouping of friends", the word gradually came to be defined in the negative context of a "clique" of powerful men in important positions within the government utilizing their privileged positions to gain further advantages from the state. Sallust points to these factions in relation to his description of the nobles in the senate from the time of the Gracchi. 17 Eric Grun The Last Generation of the Roman Republic. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles. 1974. p.50f. 18 The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Literally translated by C. D. Yonge. George Bell & Sons, York Street, Covent Garden. 1891. 96-98 . "Who then are they? Every good man. If you ask what are their numbers, they are innumerable. For if they were not, we could not stand. They are the chief men of the public council; they are those who follow their school they are the men of the highest orders of the state to whom the senate house is open; they are the citizens of the municipal towns and Roman citizens who dwell in the country; they are men engaged in business; there are even some freedmen of the best party. The number, as I have said, of this party is widely scattered in various directions; but the entire body (to prevent all mistakes) can be described and defined in a few words. All men belong to the best party, who are not guilty of any crime, nor wicked by nature, nor madmen, nor men embarrassed by domestic difficulties. Let it be laid down, then, that these men (this race, as you call them) are all those who are honest and in their senses, and who are well off in their domestic circumstances. Those who are guided by their wishes, who consult their interests and opinions in the management of the republic, are the partisans of the best men, and are themselves accounted best men, most wise and most illustrious citizens, and chief men in the state." 19 This exile was procured by Clodius. He was recalled in the autumn of 57. 20 R. Syme. The Roman Revolution. Oxford University Press. Oxford, NY. 1939. p.11 21 Ibid., p.11 22 Ibid., p.10 23 Ibid., p. 12f 24 Ibid., p.11 25 Matthew Dillon and Lynda Garland, Ancient Rome: From the Early Republic to the Assassination of Julius Caesar (Routledge, 2005), p. 87. Benefits a patron might confer include legal representation in court, loans of money, influencing business deals or marriages, and supporting a client's candidacy for political office or a priesthood. In return, the client was expected to offer his services to his patron as needed. A freedman became the client of his former master. A patronage relationship might also exist between a general and his soldiers, a founder and colonists, and a conqueror and a dependent foreign community. 26 Fergus Millar, Rome, the Greek World, and the East: The Roman Republic and the Augustan Revolution. University of North Carolina Press, 2002. p. 137 cf. Erich S. Gruen. Patrocinium and clientela, in The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome. University of California Press, 1986. vol. 1, pp. 162–163. " In the late Republic, patronage served as a model when conquerors or governors abroad established personal ties as patron to whole communities, ties which then might be perpetuated as a family obligation." 27 L.R. Taylor . p.3 There was a large group of individuals from the cavalry class who had no distinguished ancestry and came from the provinces. These men were known as knights or from the equestrian order. Although some of the sons of these men could be elected to the lower offices in the state, most chose other pursuits such as banking, trading and other business activities and used their wealth to support particular candidates for office. There power lies primarily in the financial backing of ambitious politicians who, although from distinguished families, might not have had the resources to finance their own campaigns for office. By the time of Cicero's prominence in Roman politics the differences between political classes had become less relevant in relation to ambitions for public office. By this time a sort of artificial aristocracy developed based on anyone who could demonstrate direct descent in the male line from a consul. 28 M. Crawford. The Roman Republic 2nd Ed. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA . 1972 p.28ff. 29 Matthias Gelzer, Die Nobilität der römischen Republik (Leipzig, 1912); The Roman Nobility, English translation (Oxford, 1969) 30 E. Grun p.48 31 R. Syme p.37. cf. Cicero. Pro Sesto. 136ff "This, believe me, is the only path to praise, and dignity and honor, to be praised and beloved by men who are wise and good, and endowed with good dispositions by nature; to become acquainted with the constitution of the state, as it has been most wisely established by our ancestors, who, when they could no longer endure the power of a king, created annual magistrates on the principle of making the senate the perpetual supreme council of the republic, and of allowing men to be elected into that body by the whole people, and of opening the road to that supreme order to the industry and virtue of all the citizens. They established the senate as the guardian, and president, and protector of the republic; they chose the magistrates to depend on the authority of this order, and to be as it were the ministers of this most dignified council; and they contrived that the senate itself should be strengthened by the high respectability of those ranks which came nearest to it, and so be able to defend and promote the liberties and interests of the common people. " 32 Cicero. In Catilinam, IV, 14-24 "My support is to be found in men of every rank, every class, and every age; they have packed the forum, the temples round about it, all the approaches to this, the Temple of Concord, and to the Capitol. At last, for the first time in the history of this city, we have found a cause which has united the whole nation, except those men who, knowing they [the Catilinarian conspirators] must die, have chosen to drag that nation wholesale down to death beside them, rather than die alone. But such men I except and willingly discount; for I do not regard them as unruly citizens so much as the most vicious of public enemies. But for the rest - words fail me, gentlemen. Their crowds, their enthusiasm, their courage, all testify to their united concern for the common safety and the grandeur that is Rome. Here we have the knights, in rank and influence yielding pride of place to you, gentlemen of the Senate, but challenging you to match their patriotism. After the long years of struggle, the crisis of today has brought them back to harmony and concord with your order. And if this harmony, which my consulship has established, can but survive for ever in the res publica, I promise you that never again hereafter shall we see in any part of the res publica horrors of civil and domestic strife." 33 R. Syme p.16. cf. n.18 above. 34 W. K. Lacey and B. W. J. G. Wilson Res Publica: Roman Politics According to Cicero Bristol Classical Press. London. 1970. 35 L. R. Taylor p.6 cf. M. Gelzer p.2 36 L.R. Taylor. p.7 37 M. Gelzer. p.3 38 Q. Cicero. Handbook of Electioneering. 16-18 in John L. Hendrickson, "On the Authenticity of the Commentariolum Petitionis of Quintus Cicero," The American Journal of Philology 13.2 13.2 (1892): 200-212 39 M. Gelzer. p.3 40 R. Syme. p.19f 41 M. Gelzer. p.10 42 Cicero. Brutus. ixxxox-xci. For the study of civil law I attached myself to Quintus Scaevola, the son of Quintus; he took no pupils, but the legal opinions given to his clients taught those who wished to hear him. The year following, this was the year of the consulship of Sulla and Pompey (89, Cicero was then sixteen years old). Publius Sulpicius was a tribune at that time and addressed the people daily, so that I came to know his style thoroughly. At this time Philo, then head of the Academy, along with a group of loyal Athenians, had fled from Athens because of the Mithridatic War and had come to Rome. Filled with great enthusiasm for the study of philosophy, I gave myself up wholly to his instruction. In so doing I tarried with him the more faithfully, for though the variety and sublimity of his subject delighted and held me, yet it appeared as if the whole institution of courts of justice had vanished forever…At this time too I devoted myself to study at Rome with Molo of Rhodes, famous as a pleader and teacher…" 43 During the Social War in 89, Cicero served under the consul Cn. Pompeius Strabo. 44 D. R. Shakleton Baily. Cicero. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, 1971. p.9 45 D. R. Shakelton Baily. p.11 cf. H.J. Haskell. This Was Cicero: Modern Politics in a Roman Toga. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1942. p.84ff 46 H. J. Haskell. This Was Cicero: Modern Politics in a Roman Toga. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1942 47 A number of sources indicate that the marriage had always been troubled. Descriptions of Terentia indicate that she had a bitter, quarrelsome disposition and did not appreciate her husband's career both in relation to his literary achievements as well as his work as a lawyer. Their two children, Tullia and Marcus were apparently quite fond of their father. The couple divorced after thirty years of marriage. 48 L.R. Taylor. p.100f. In defense of Cicero, Taylor suggests that in addition to the obvious political importance of this case in relation to the career of Cicero, there may have been personal motives involved in his decision to prosecute Verres. Cicero had been quaestor in Sicily and had established himself as a patronus of the business interests there. "He could therefore appear in his accusation not simply as prosecutor but as defender of the rights of his friends and clients, whom Verres had brought to ruin and misery." 49 Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Rhinehold. Roman Civilization: Vol. 1. Selected Readings: The Republic and the Augustan Age. 3rd. Ed. Columbia University Press. New York. 1990. p388f 50 Quintus Hortensius (114-150) who Syme describes as "dominant in the law courts and Senate, flaunted pomp and decoration in his life as in his oratory. Luxurious without taste or measure, the advocate got his name for high living and dishonest earnings, for his cellar, his game-park and his fish ponds." in R. Syme. p.21 51 L.R. Taylor. p.103f Along with his associate Q. Metellus. 52 E. Grun. p.31 53 L.R. Taylor. p.103 54 List and dates of his offices are as follows: Quaestorship, (75) in western Sicily, headquartered at Lilybaeum,, curule aedile, (69) an office which provided him with a certain popularity by lavish expenditures through public games, praetorship, (67), the year which Pompey was given command against Mithridates. Cicero's vote in favor of the command satisfied his constituents among the class of equities who were concerned for their business interests in Asia. Consulship, (63) in which for the last three generations there was only one other "new man" to be elevated to the highest office in the Republic; Gaius Marius. 55 M. Crawford. The Roman Republic. 2nd ed. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA. 1978 p.163 "The underlying threat to the established order was, in my view, real and not overestimated by Cicero". For a fuller description of Cataline cf. H.J. Haskell. p.148 Cf. N. Lewis and M. Rhinehold. p.291-293. Calaline's candidacy for the consul was, it would seem, designed to benefit the more popular elements of the Republic, including a cancellation of debts and a program of redistribution of land, but in fact would have done more to favor the nobility who had, during this time, squandered their fortunes in order to maintain their positions and dignitas within the state. Cf. Plutarch. Moralia. 818D in relation to Cato's involvement in quelling the growing agitation of the population by the issuance of a dole to the poor in order to avert revolutionary activity. 56 H. J. Haskell. p.148f. Pompey, at this time, was off in the East waging his campaign against Mithridates of Pontus and so out of touch with the Senate who took it upon themselves to prosecute the case. 57 M. Crawford. trans. Cicero; Selected Political Speeches. Introduction to the speech 'Against Lucius Servus Catilina' p.128f For more details in relation to the events leading up to the execution of the conspirators cf. Christian Meier, Caesar: A Biography. Harper Collins. New York. 1982 p.176ff. 58 M. Crawford. trans. Cicero; Selected Political Speeches. Introduction to the speech 'Against Lucius Servus Catilina' p.128f For more details in relation to the events leading up to the execution of the conspirators cf. Christian Meier, Caesar: A Biography. Harper Collins. New York. 1982 p.176ff. 59 Cicero, Against Lucius Sergius Catilina. iv.,ii. 4 60 Cf. M. Gelzer. p.48. "Even if, in public, all expressed horror at Cicero's revelations, there was a group of Senators who held that these should not be believed or that the misguided should be taught the error of their ways by friendliness and kindness. We may assume that Caesar was among these." 61 Decimus Silanus was Con. Designate (62) and first to vote in favor of the death penalty. Cicero. Against Lucius Sergius Catalina. iv. iv. 7-8 62 Cicero. Against Lucius Sergius Catalina. iv. iv. 8-9 63 Publius Clodius Pulcher was curule aedile in 56 64 C. Meier. p.181 The festival was the Bona Dea, a sacred rite in honour of the Good Goddess, protector of women. For a more detailed account of the incident cf. H.J. Haskell. xvii. p.212ff 65 C. Meier. p.181 The money for the bribes offered to the jurists was supplied by Crassus in the hope of securing an important ally against Cicero. Caesar consequently divorced his wife stating that members of his family should be above suspicion. 66 There was a law currently in Rome, created early in the Republic which forbade a patrician from being elected to the Tribunate. Clodius, from the aristocratic Claudii family, had himself adopted by a leading plebeian family and attained access to the tribunate. Shackleton Baily insinuates that both Caesar and Crassus had a hand in "operating the necessary machinery" in order to get Clodius elected. p.51 67 D.R.Shakelton Baily. p.50 68 He took exile in Thassalonica until 57 when he arrived back in Rome amid congratulatory crowds. 69 Finley Hooper. Roman Realities Wayne State University Press, Detroit. 1979. p.248 70 Ibid., 248f "It is not surprising that Cato was attracted to Stoicism and enjoyed the company of its leading practitioners. A philosophy which downgraded emotions and preached a universe governed by unchanging principle suited him exactly. Stoicism did not change his point of view, but simply confirmed it." 71 L. R. Taylor. pp126ff 72 F. Hooper. p.249 73 L. R. Taylor. p.128 74 Ibid., p.129 cf. The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Lives of the Twelve Caesars., Complete. by C. Seutonius Tranquillus. 2006. EBook no. 6400 75 Ibid. p.139 76 Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, The Twelve Caesars tr. Robert Graves. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1957, revised by James B. Rives, 2007. 77 Christian Meier. Caesar: A Biography. Harper Collins. New York. 1982 p.71 His colleague for the year was Bibulus. Relations between the two were hostile. Cf. C. Meier. 'Caesar divi filius and the Formation of the Alternative in Rome'. In K. A. Raaflaub and M. Toher. Ed. Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate. University of California Press. Berkeley. 1990. p.60. "Caesar…broke with the Senate and the constitution in the year 59. He had to do so if he wanted to succeed in passing his laws. However, whether or not he got along well with the Senate does not appear to have made much difference to him; by then he had already distanced himself from the ruling oligarchy in Rome. In his isolation he took the Roman aristocracy's ideal of achievements (or dignitas) very seriously, even absolutely; thus he no longer respected the limits set for personal ambition by the aristocratic society. First in Gaul and hen in high-ranking and often incompetent princepes what one man could achieve. Since there was no cause and no alternative to which he could find himself, his legitimation could only be his own person - which forced him to prove his greatness everywhere." 78 Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Life of Pompey . Loeb Classical Library, 1917 p. 79f 79 The Dryden translation, ed. by Arthur Hugh Clough. Plutarch's Lives: Vol. II. Pompey. The Modern Library. New York, 2001 p.135 80 Ibid., Vol. II. Caesar. p. 236 81 Ibid., p.237 82 Ibid. p. 237 83 Suetonius p. 38f cf. Plutarch Lives. p.267f 84 Suetonius. p. 39f