Catiline vs Cicero

Time- 12:49 am–4:30 am Location: Providence Hospital (It’s a slow night)

This module is about the Catilinarian Conspiracy and the plot to overthrow the Roman Republic. Among the ones involved are Marcus Tullius Cicero, Gaius Antonius Hydrida, and Lucius Sergius Catiline. Catiline ran for the position of Roman consul, which is the highest position, several times and did not succeed. Catiline tried to take power illegitimately. In 63 BCE Cicero exposed the plot and forced Catiline to flee from Rome. What the conspiracy did, however; was exposed the strengths and weaknesses in leadership of both Cicero and Catiline through persuasion.

President Barack Obama is compared to Cicero in rhetorical skill. How? Action speaks louder than words. However; President Obama and Cicero compare so much because they were made up of the “whole package.” Not just action(s), but also the talk. Roman leaders has to make their case using oral language. Cicero walked the walk and talk the talked just as President Obama walked the walk and talked the talk. President Obama reminded many people of the possibilities that opens up when communication is taken seriously. President Obama portrayed that the actions defines who you are. Not the color of the skin, not gender, or sexuality, but merely the action(s) of a person. President Obama’s careful choice of words, his insistent, his habit of drawing attention to the “grey areas” and irreconcilable, his flashes of irony all hinted at critical self-directness. President Obama did not leave the people of the United States in the dark. It felt great to have a sense of what is going on in the word. With the person that is in office now……… WHEW! No on really knows what is going on. Although that is a topic for another time, it is important to think about others than just yourself. Speeches like President Obama and Cicero modeled self-restraint. Both Cicero and President Barack Obama inspired and still do inspire. President Obama’s public speaking skills modeled respect for both parties. We will all miss President Obama as president. (lol).

The module was broken down into four steps. Step one is the introduction to Roman republic and conspiracy of Catiline. Step two ask the questions, why do we remember Cicero as a persuasive leader? How does Cicero use rhetoric to demonstrate his leadership? Step three is the analysis of Cicero’s first Catilinarian Oration and ask the question how does Cicero show leadership in this oration? Step four is about modern connections and ask the question is rhetoric still a path to leadership?

Why was Cicero so important? Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BCE) is widely considered Rome’s greatest orator and verse writer, but he was also an influential statesman, successful lawyer, and philosopher.

Catiline vs Cicero: At the center or turmoil there were two men name Catiline and Cicero. The contrast between the two are like night and day. To provide some background on Catiline would be him being near bankrupt aristocrat and he is from a distinguished patrician family. Catiline great-grandfather fought against Hannibal in the Second Punic War. Cicero on the other hand was a renowned orator, statesman, philosopher, and poet. Cicero came from a wealthy landed family outside of Rome, Arpuinum, a small city southeast of the capital. He was so good with things that he even had a law career.
Catiline and Cicero clashed after Cicero uncovered a plot. The plot was conceived by Catiline and it called for assassination of several elected officials and burning of the city itself. The purpose of the plot was to eliminate debt for all. Debt for the poor as well as wealthy (which included Catiline). The second part of the purpose of the plot was that it would have allowed Catiline to assume the leadership role that he so passionately desired. The theme was the difference between ideology and ambition.

Catiline’s Dark Past: Catiline used both his own money and the money of others for the election. He lost by coming in third place to Cicero and Gaius Antonius Hybrida. Cicero seen Catiline as a threat to the troubled city. Cicero believed in “rule of law and maintenance of constitution.” Catiline saw himself as the champion of the poor, the bankrupt veteran and dispossessed. Catiline severed in the army during Social Wars (89–91 BCE) with Pompey’s father and been bother praetor and governor. He has the support of Julius Caesar. The support of Caesar was huge, but Caesar later revoked it. There is a story about Catiline being acquitted of extortion charges while a governor in Africa. There are rumors that Catiline wife and son died mysteriously. Catiline later won money and support from Marcus Licinus Crassus to run for consulship in 64 BCE only to lose to Cicero and Antonius Hybrida. Cicero took office on January 1st, 63 BCE due to problems with Hybrida.

The Conspiracy: was a plan to assassinate several of government’s prominent officials and Cicero was included. The plan also consisted of burning the city. Information from a woman named Fulvia, who was the mistress of Quitus Curius, started spreading. Curius leaked the plot to Fulvia because of financial problems. Fulvia went to Terentia, Cicero’s wife, and Terentia told Cicero. That is how the conspiracy got exposed. However; to others Cicero was just “creating an atmosphere of fear.” Cicero believed it however and got a body guard to protect him. On November 7, 63 BCE, there was an attempt on Cicero’s life. Luckily for Cicero, Fulvia warned him of the possible attack.

Letter of Proof: These letters were unsigned letter addressed to various Roman senators and were delivered to Crassus. The letter warned him to leave Rome. Crassus and two senators went to Cicero. They all believed that the letters were from Caelius who is a friend of bother Cicero and Catiline. Cicero convened the Senate on October 20th and delivered letters to several senators. The letters had information concerning the plot and instructions to leave the city. Catiline appeared before the Senate on November 8th denying everything and verbally attacking Cicero. Catiline appease accusers by offering to go under house arrest even if it was Cicero’s house. Catiline claimed that he was being forced into exile without a trial. He escaped in the night with 300 men and traveled to Faesulae in Etruria and joining a fellow conspirator who name was Caius Manlius. The senate declared that both men were public enemies after learning about that.

The Conspirators Arrested- Caesar suggested conspirators be imprisoned until trial. Senate men were to be executed without trial. Cicero used emergency powers to support the decision and forgo a trial. They were taken and strangled by noose by an executioner. Some saw Cicero as father of the fatherland while other didn’t understand how Cicero could make such decision that clearly violated a person’s right to a fair trial.

Tuesday 02/21/2017- 9:40 am-11:00 am (Ideas in Antiquity Class Lecture)

It is Tuesday after a three day weekend and students are being a little sluggish. Professor Sandridge came up with a new way of getting students to realize the importance of being on time to class. How? For every minute in which a student is late to class they have to do a push up. Professor Sandridge predicted that 7 students would be late to class. There were in fact 6 students late to the course. The professor was one student off. He has high expectations for the course and the students because Ideas in Antiquity is a course about leadership.

Moving along to other topic of the lecture we begin with a question. What does the word rhetoric mean? The word rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques. The word “rhetoric” is Hillary Clinton’s favorite from what I’ve seen and she in fact used it to a lot during the presidential debate. However, Clinton used it in a negative prospective especially in terms of Trump. The example of when Hillary Clinton used the word rhetoric was when she said that Donald Trump’s racial rhetoric was ‘not acceptable.’ She went on to say that his presidential launch speech was offensive to Mexicans and “emblematic” of the kind of rhetoric that cannot be tolerated in the wake of the tragic South Carolina shootings.

There are three forms of rhetoric. The first form of rhetoric is forensic. Forensic rhetoric, as coined in Aristotle’s On Rhetoric, encompasses any discussion of past action including legal discourse-the primary setting for the emergence of rhetoric as a discipline and theory. Forensic rhetoric is like CSI, but with words. When engaged in forensic rhetoric, the interest is in uncovering facts or truths from actions that have already happened or ideas that have already been implemented. The classic example of an arena for forensic rhetoric is the courtroom. The second form of rhetoric is deliberative. Deliberative rhetoric is at times called political rhetoric, deliberative discourse, or legislative oratory. Deliberative rhetoric is a rhetorical genre used to convince an audience to complete or not complete an action. It deals with the future. Specifically it deals with what should be done or what ideas to adopt. An example question for deliberative rhetoric could be should the Affordable Care Act become a law? The last form of rhetoric is epideictic. The epideictic oratory, also called ceremonial oratory, or praise-and-blame rhetoric, is one of the three branches, or “species”, of rhetoric as outlined in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, to be used to praise or blame during ceremonies. An example of epideictic rhetoric is giving a eulogy. One may draw on the past or describe what someone or something will do in the future, but the overall goal of celebratory rhetoric is to praise or denounce something in the moment.

Novus homo: Homo novus was the term in ancient Rome for a man who was the first in his family to serve in the Roman Senate or, more specifically, to be elected as consul. When a man entered public life on an unprecedented scale for a high communal office, then the term used was novus civis (plural: novi cives) or “new citizen.” In the Early Republic, tradition held that both Senate membership and the consulship were restricted to patricians. When plebeians gained the right to this office during the Conflict of the Orders, all newly elected plebeians were naturally novi homines. With time, novi homines became progressively rarer as some plebeian families became as entrenched in the Senate as their patrician colleagues. By the time of the First Punic War, it was already a sensation that novi hominess were elected in two consecutive years (Gaius Fundanius Fundulus in 243 BC and Gaius Lutatius Catulus in 242 BC). In 63 BC, Cicero became the first novus homo in more than thirty years. By the Late Republic, the distinction between the orders became less important. The consuls came from a new elite, the nobiles (noblemen), an artificial aristocracy of all who could demonstrate direct descent in the male line from a consul. A list of novus homo can be found via the following website:

The Greek word for courage is “andreia.” Andreia : studies in manliness and courage in classical antiquity. The fours classical cardinal cirtures are temperance (sōphrosynē), prudence (phronēsis), courage (andreia), and justice (dikaiosynē). In Christianity, the three theological virtues are faith, hope and love. The list comes from 1 Corinthians 13:13. The same chapter describes love as the greatest of the three, and further defines love as “patient, kind, not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude.” The Christian virtue of love is sometimes called charity and at other times a Greek word agape is used to contrast the love of God and the love of humankind from other types of love such as friendship or physical affection. It is rather interesting because scholars frequently compare an add the four Greek cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, and courage) to the Christian’s theological virtues to give the seven virtues. The seven virtues make ties with the Catholic Church that are described in the Catechism. The Bible mentions additional virtues, such as in the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit,” found in Galatians 5:22–23: “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit it is benevolent-love: joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is absolutely no law against such a thing.”

What reminds me about the different virtues is Socrates. Plato in his Apology for the life of Socrates prompt readers that all societies need a “gadfly” to sting the “steed” of state into acknowledging its proper duties and obligations. A gadfly is a person who upsets the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or just being an irritant. The term “gadfly” was used by Plato in the Apology to describe Socrates’ relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene. A lot of people in authority are embarrassed of ignorance. Socrates won’t play upon people’s emotions. Socrates lay it all out. Trump on the other hand is heavily in forensic rhetoric. How? Trump blames everything on President Obama. He clearly stated that “Obama left me in mess.” The real question is does Trump even invite people “in.” He shut people down whenever they ask questions. He never answer questions. He mock and bully people who are not him. It is pitiful! Unlike President Obama, Trump does not open up to the people of this country and certainly not those outside of the country. He does not take constructive criticism well. Trump feels as if the answer to everything is to cut anything that or anyone who is not in the same class as he is.

Suicide in my desired field (2 hours: Home reading):

I enjoy listening to medical doctors and their blog. One blog struck me on February 17, 2017. The website talks about the suicide notes of medical doctors and medical students. The website also shares a story about a doctor in particular who barely survived his suicide attempt plus simple ways to prevent the next suicide. Listen in. You may save a life. Check it out

I found it interesting that a few days after that medical blog I got yet another article on suicide for a class reading assignment. In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked to distinguish between the genuine notes and the fake ones. The address for the article is