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Cicero the Advocate$
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Jonathan Powell and Jeremy Paterson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198152804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198152804.001.0001

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De Domo Sua: Legal Problem and Structure

De Domo Sua: Legal Problem and Structure

(p.313) 13 De Domo Sua: Legal Problem and Structure
Cicero the Advocate

Wilfried Stroh

Oxford University Press

On September 29, 57 BC, Cicero won his reinstatement into his house and grounds which had in part been dedicated to the gods by P. Clodius Pulcher. Cicero himself regarded the forensic speech delivered on that day, De domo sua, as an outstanding example of his own passionately inspired ‘power of eloquence’. This chapter argues that Cicero was right to place a high value on his speech, because he was conscious of the embarrassing difficulty with which he had had to struggle with regards to the legal dispute he faced involving his house. Though his deadly enemy P. Clodius Pulcher had performed the dedication in question with definitely spiteful intent, still it was performed in a legally correct, binding, and, according to Roman conceptions, irreversible manner. Thus, Cicero certainly had good reason to divert attention from the salient point through irrelevant polemics, and to mobilise the full power of his emotions on his own behalf to turn the trial in his favor.

Keywords:   De domo sua, forensic speech, P. Clodius Pulcher, legal dispute, trial, dedication

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