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Cicero as EvidenceA Historian's Companion$
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Andrew Lintott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216444.001.0001

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Cicero and the Citadel of the Allies

Cicero and the Citadel of the Allies

Chapter:
(p.81) VII Cicero and the Citadel of the Allies
Source:
Cicero as Evidence
Author(s):

Andrew Lintott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216444.003.0007

The quaestio de repetundis was the first permanent criminal tribunal (quaestio perpetua) to be established (149 BC), and in many ways the model for later tribunals of this kind established during the Republic. Originally designed to allow the pursuit and recovery of what had been illegally taken by Romans in authority, the court developed into a general tribunal for the prosecution of corrupt behaviour by magistrates in office and their subordinates, and for the receipt of bribes by senatorial jurymen. However, the nature of the court changed considerably during Cicero's lifetime. His speeches in the court and the comments by Asconius cast light on these changes and, in conjunction with the statute, are important evidence for the legal historian. These speeches also constitute almost a separate branch of Cicero's forensic activity with its own special problems to overcome and frequently with an accompanying political agenda. This chapter examines Cicero's one prosecution, that of Verres, as a forensic process. The bulk of the texts, the second action, do not represent speeches actually delivered in court. However, apart from providing a mine field of historical information, they lead to conclusions about Cicero's forensic strategy and performance throughout the trial, many of which are of general application to prosecutions in this court.

Keywords:   quaestio de repetundis, Verres, forensic process, prosecution

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