Fragmentary Speeches: The Oratory and Political Career of Piso Caesoninus

Henriette van der Blom

in Community and Communication

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199641895
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746130 | DOI:
Fragmentary Speeches: The Oratory and Political Career of Piso Caesoninus

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This chapter explores the potential of oratorical fragments through a reconsideration of the oratory and career of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. It argues that Piso was a respected and authoritative senator who time and again advocated peaceful solutions to political problems and avoided violent reactions. When directly attacked by Cicero, he, however, did not shrink back from giving a public reply. His career appears not directly or mainly influenced by his own speeches, but he did assert his auctoritas and dignitas through speeches delivered at crucial points in his career. The lack of evidence of much forensic or contional activity could suggest a politician building his career less on speeches in these fora and more on nurturing his senatorial credentials through senatorial speeches and the networking of fellow senators, who would appreciate his ancestry as a Piso.

Keywords: oratory; Cicero; Piso Caesoninus; senatorial oratory; political careers; public profile

Chapter.  8524 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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