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Trials of CharacterThe Eloquence of Ciceronian Ethos$
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James M. May

Print publication date: 1988

Print ISBN-13: 9780807817599

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469616322.001.0001

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The Consular Speeches

The Consular Speeches

The Ethos of Auctoritas and the Persona of a Consul

(p.49) III The Consular Speeches
Trials of Character

James M. May

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the high points in Cicero's life and public career. His reaching the consulship was a source of pride that showed he had overcome his struggles for authority, influence, and reputation. Consular prestige was highly regarded in Roman society, the courtroom, and in politics, which Cicero readily took advantage of. The prominence of his own ethos became the most outstanding feature of his orations. If he was successful in using these weapons to defend others, they later turned out to be the cause of his own downfall.

Keywords:   Cicero, consulship, consular prestige, oratorical weapon, ethos

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