Cicero and the Citadel of the Allies

Andrew Lintott

in Cicero as Evidence

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216444
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712180 | DOI:
Cicero and the Citadel of the Allies

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The quaestio de repetundis was the first permanent criminal tribunal (quaestio perpetua) to be established (149 BC), and in many ways the model for later tribunals of this kind established during the Republic. Originally designed to allow the pursuit and recovery of what had been illegally taken by Romans in authority, the court developed into a general tribunal for the prosecution of corrupt behaviour by magistrates in office and their subordinates, and for the receipt of bribes by senatorial jurymen. However, the nature of the court changed considerably during Cicero's lifetime. His speeches in the court and the comments by Asconius cast light on these changes and, in conjunction with the statute, are important evidence for the legal historian. These speeches also constitute almost a separate branch of Cicero's forensic activity with its own special problems to overcome and frequently with an accompanying political agenda. This chapter examines Cicero's one prosecution, that of Verres, as a forensic process. The bulk of the texts, the second action, do not represent speeches actually delivered in court. However, apart from providing a mine field of historical information, they lead to conclusions about Cicero's forensic strategy and performance throughout the trial, many of which are of general application to prosecutions in this court.

Keywords: quaestio de repetundis; Verres; forensic process; prosecution

Chapter.  10452 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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