A Political Thriller


During Thursday’s class, we discussed portraiture and how leaders specifically look at each aspect in a picture to use symbolically. For example, Alex the Great’s portraiture had his hair, posture, and face a specific way to show that he was a young warrior leader. Alex the Great also shaped his portraiture to make him look somewhat like Zeus or Hercules, symbolically claiming that he was the God of the Earth. After examining Alex the Great’s portraiture and Julius Caesar’s portraiture, we started to examine Trump’s and Obama’s portraiture. Both leaders have very different portraiture’s, which shows that they both take other things seriously in their lives. At the end of class, we discussed what we would be in our portraiture. For me personally I would have a picture of me throwing javelin with my family and friends cheering behind me on a sunny day. All of these aspects of the picture symbolically stand for very important things in my life. For on thing, javelin is one of my greatest achievements in life but it also shows that I am somewhat a warrior who will do anything for whats right I feel. With my family and friends cheering for me in the background, I think that would show that having them behind me in my decisions is very important to me and I listen to what others have to think. Finally, the sun in photo would symbolically show my brightness and ambition to take on any challenge.


Catiline, or Catalina, supported the dictator Sulla and was known to live a scandalous lifestyle. Catiline became a Praetor at 68 B.C. and later became a controversial governor of Africa two years later, during 66 B.C. He was tried for preventive maladministration after being a governor in Africa for a short amount of time. Cicero made his name in the law court after speaking renowned speeches. Cicero was known for supporting Pompey the Great, who was an influential Roman Cicero became Praetor during 66 B.C.

During 63 B.C. both Cicero and Catiline ran for the counsel but only Cicero won with another man named Antonius. Many political issues were seen throughout this election, with bribing in the electoral college at a great high. Catiline ran again in the consular elections in 62 B.C. Catiline took this election by taking extreme positions on many views, opposing Cicero & Cato the Younger, and possibly being supported by Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus. After losing again, Catiline plotted to overthrow the government with a bunch of others who wanted to overthrow Cicero as well. Slave revolts broke out in certain cities and Catiline ended up being arrested for plotting to kill senators. On November 6th, the group planned an assassination on Cicero and a plot to burn Rome but Cicero ended up surviving the attempt hearing of the plans earlier. After the assassination attempt, Cicero delivered a speech mainly to frighten Catiline and to hopefully get Catiline executed.

There were significant differences between both Catiline and Cicero. For example, Catiline was known as a near bankrupt aristocrat who came from a known patrician family, meaning a family of rich and power in Ancient Rome. Cicero, on the other hand, was most known for being a renowned orator, philosopher, and poet who also held a position as statesman. Cicero came from a wealthy family in a city named Arpinium outside of Rome. Cicero came from a great law career, using his skills as an orator to be known for his adversary in Rome. After hearing of Catiline called for several elected officials to be assassinated and the burning of Rome. Though Catiline proclaims the assault would have eliminated debt for all, most believe the plot was simply for Catiline to assume leadership after being beaten for counsel. Catiline and Cicero’s relationship started when they both ran for counsel in 64 B.C.E. and Catiline came in third, losing to Cicero who in his mind was an “outsider” and Gaius Antonius Hybrida Cicero used his great speaking skills to worry the Roman citizens about Catiline’s character, leading Catiline to lose the election. Their opposing political views also were a point in their battle. Cicero was one who believed in law and maintenance, meanwhile Catiline thought of himself as the one fighting for the poor who needed change.


Cicero was a very renowned speaker during his time. Some of the reasons as to why he was able to persuade so many people with his word is because of the ideas he brought to the table. For example, Cicero introducing the idea of organizing ideas to create a better structure was foreign to many people in Rome the writers during his time used rhetoric heavily and did not even think of trying to please their audience. Cicero did the opposite, knowing his audience and what they would want to hear which allowed him to get as far as he did Cicero innovated how writers worked from him and down, using the idea to organize speeches and having a common method to create their work, which was using an outline. Cicero felt that using style and practice delivery resulted in a pathway that led away from rhetoric. Cicero wanted to steer away from rhetoric because he believed it was too unorganized and simply all over the place.

The five canons of Rhetoric are invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Cicero believed with these 5 canons, anyone was set up to make a great speech. Invention, being generating ideas on a subject, leads to the audience actually becoming interested in the speech at hand because you fore them to think about the topic you are bringing to the table. Arrangement allows a writer to divide their speech into the optimal fit for their audience and the situation they are in. Style allows writers to make each speech their own with their own specific style. Style also allows a writer to adapt to their topic and audience for optimal results. The canon of memory, allows leaders to confidently speak on the topic that is at hand. Without memory, an audience might feel as if not to trust the information coming form the speaker due to the lack of confidence and knowledge in their topic. The last canon of rhetoric, delivery, is important to a speech simply because the nonverbal behaviors that accompany speaking are just as important to a speech as the words being said are. With weak delivery, an audience will not optimally listen to the speaker.

CLASS HOURS 4:30–6:00

During Tuesday’s class, we examined the Conspiracy of Catiline and all aspects that lead to the death of Catiline. The Conspiracy of Catiline took place around 43 BCE in Rome. One of the largest aspects of this story is Cicero’s great ability to use rhetoric to persuade the audience during his speecehes. The class went over which type of rhetorics there are and what type of rhetories we have seen in the last modules we have looked oveer. Seeing that the types of rhetoric include forensic rhetoric, epideictic rhetoric (which goes hand and hand with invector rhetoric), and deliberative rhetoric. in the story of Socrates, forensic rhetoric and epideictic rhetoric came into play. The aspect of argument over probability in the courtroom, the people against him used this strategy to unfortunately get him killed. One note about Socrates is that he specifically knew he was not going to be a public speaker because he would not play with other people’s emotions. One of Cicero’s canon’s of rhetoric is style, and Socrates knew that with changing his style fr each audience, he would be using people’s emotions around the speaker. Another time rhetoric is seen in our class is Lycurgus. Lycurgus, who was a lawmaker, who enforce epideictic rhetoric in my opinion. Seeing how the laws in Spartans times greatly influenced how the Spartans lived shows how rhetoric is clearly used. Knowing that these laws were made to make people better, the Spartans knew that if they followed these laws they would get praise at the end of their lives. If they simply did not go by the laws, they were criticized and deemed a bad person in a community where dignity and pride was put very high in everyone’s lives. Lycurgus used the promise of praise at the end of the Spartan’s lives to persuade them to abide the laws he made. Rhetoric was used in many of the stories we have seen in this class, showing that rhetoric is a very important aspect in leadership.


After reading Lauren Raubaugh’s Lucius Sergius Catalina: Villain or Victim? The Fame Cicero as a Violent Aggressor, you could see Raubaughs’s argument is that Cicero is seen as the hero in the “battle” between Catiline and him but Raubaugh believes that Cicero overused his power and was not as great as many remember of them. Many see Catiline as the “bad guy” in the battle but are blind to Cicero’s faults. The main reason the writer feels this way is because Cicero used his great amount of power to send Catiline and others to their deaths immediately, without them ever getting a trial. The writer sees that as an act of fear or paranoia forcing someone to their death without letting them refute their actions. Evidence Raubaugh uses is citing Sallust, the ancient historian. Sallust says that unless who are the one who truly has the power, no matter how powerful you are before you end up being a nobody with them all. Though Catiline grew up in a more notable family, after losing the election he lost all power he had if he had any. If you look at Cicero’s speech, it does seem quite aggressive. This goes back to his fifth canon of rhetoric, delivery. Since Cicero was very adamant on delivering his speeches confidently, he ended up coming off as pushy or forceful. Cicero’s strategies are not ethical as a leader in my opinion. One principle to being a leader is listening to everyone before trying to make a real decision. That principle was blinded by fer when Cicero pushed for Catiline's automatic execution which is why I believe he was not an ethical leader in the end.


Cicero and Obama are both known for their great appeal towards their audiences. Similarities between both leader’s speech is that they both outline and organize their ideas in their speech. They are both confident in what they say and uses their knowledge of their audience to allow them to get the optimal results of the speech that they want. From my analysis of both speeches,Cicero’s use of rhetoric teaches us that using speech to enact leadership is used still to this day. Many say that one of the main reasons Obama was able to become President of the United States is because he is great at delivering speeches and reaching out to his audiences. Both Cicero and Obama got to their place of power using Cicero’s canons of speech and rhetoric to get as many people on their side as they could.