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.