The titles Parens Patriae and Pater Patriae seem to have been employed controversially in ideological battles of the late Republic, especially from the consulship of Cicero onwards. It seems clear that, among other ideas, these polyvalent titles were capable of evoking the traditional Greek antithesis between the good king (who behaves as a gentle father to his people) and the tyrant, but whereas it is the tyrant who kills citizens in Greek thought, at Rome there was an understanding that the father could execute grown-up dependants who were threatening the state. This ambiguity both complicated and energised debates about the autocratic behaviour of the leading men of the late Republic. In other words, the father analogy was intended as a positive characterisation of the warlords and other leaders but its prominence in the first century BCE shows how anxious the Romans were about limiting and justifying the killing of citizens only as a last resort for the good of the state. Noticeably, Julius Caesar advertises the title Parens Patriae on his coins, and he was evidently invoked as Parens in the Forum cult which flourished for a time after his death. When Cicero speaks of his behaviour in 63 BCE and the positive interpretations put upon it by his friends, he tends to use the terms parens and pater synonymously. We ought to follow this cue and think that there is a fair degree to which the two can be synonymous. On the other hand, Caesar's supporters might have intended a contrast with his ideological rival Cicero, who had executed the Catilinarian conspirators without a trial. Their aim might have been to emphasise connotations of state benefactor and saviour rather than coercive aspects to do with patria potestas and the ius uitae necisque. The form Parens Patriae appears on the face of it to be less potentially threatening than Pater Patriae and more inclined to stress ideas of lifegiving, nurturing, and the like.