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Cicero's Consular Speeches

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Chapter Summary

Cicero's consulship in 63 B.C. crowned a doggedly ambitious political career that has become one of the most memorable in Roman history. In his year as Rome's leading magistrate Cicero reconciled factional strife among the social classes, defeated a threat to the Senate's power, and rescued the city from a potential political and military coup known as the Catilinarian Conspiracy. He accomplished these feats through political rather than military means, by presenting his arguments openly before the Senate, various juries, and the Roman people. Cicero was named parens patriae, granted the corona civica, and a special thanksgiving was voted in his honor, the first ever granted a civilian for non-military action. Cicero's fame was not due to the fact that he happened to be consul in interesting times, but that he thrust himself into the middle of fractious domestic political issues and dared to develop and articulate a social policy.

Keywords: Catilinarian Conspiracy; Cicero's consulship; Roman people; Senate; social policy



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