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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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The Defence of Good Men (1): The Other Side of the Quaestio de Repetundis

The Defence of Good Men (1): The Other Side of the Quaestio de Repetundis

(p.101) VIII The Defence of Good Men (1): The Other Side of the Quaestio de Repetundis
Cicero as Evidence

Andrew Lintott (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Cicero's defense speeches. These include the defence speech for M. Fonteius, whom Cicero may have already promised to defend at the time of the trial of Verres; Cicero's defence of L. Valerius Flaccus — spoken ten years later in Caesar's first consulship some time after the trial of C. Antonius and shortly after the passage of Caesar's own lex de repetundis; and Cicero's defense of Scaurus. What survives of these defence speeches shows on a smaller scale Cicero wrestling with the problem that faced Hortensius when he defended Verres. Each of the defendants had almost certainly committed offences against the lex de repetundis, even if some of them were more in the nature of improprieties than gross violations of its norms. In these speeches Cicero dismisses prosecution witnesses and their evidence, rather than arguing with them. Instead, he appeals to the general achievement of the defendants in promoting the interest of Rome's empire and to their basic decency. This was the ‘defence of good men’ which at the end of the fifth Verrine he programmatically claimed as his new métier.

Keywords:   M. Fonteius, L. Valerius Flaccus, courts, Verres, defence speeches, Ciceronian speeches

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