Provincials, patrons, and the rhetoric of <i>repetundae</i>

Jonathan R. W. Prag

in Community and Communication

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199641895
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746130 | DOI:
Provincials, patrons, and the rhetoric of repetundae

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The chapter explores Cicero’s rhetoric in the Verrines, alongside the several repetundae defence speeches. It challenges Cicero’s premise in the Verrines that repetundae trials were undertaken in defence of the allies. Both Verres and Cicero took advantage of the ever more prominent institution of provincial clientela, and Cicero’s own response, no less than Verres, was surely responsible for the increasing irrelevancy of the repetundae court and the fact that it was, in reality, never a citadel for the allies, but a forum for Roman politics, in which the provincials could only ever hope to reap the very limited rewards of patronage and clientela. The Verrines mark the most extreme exploration of the possible linkage between repetundae and patronage—but that such a connection was not the primary function of either.

Keywords: oratory; Cicero; Verrines; Verres; repetundae trials; patronage; provincials

Chapter.  9431 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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