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Chapter 6 - The Popular Orator

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 August 2020

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Summary

Cicero claims strength in numbers and the moral high ground for his political views by citing demonstrations of his popularity. Cicero claims popular support for his actions, especially when facing “popular” or populist opponents, but is careful to explain that he is not acting with the levitas of a stereotypical demagogue or popularis in doing so. In Post Reditum ad Populum, De Domo Sua, and Pro Sestio he points to real demonstrations of mass support for his recall and political career as a source of validation. He argues that his supporters on these occasions are the “true” Roman people, as opposed to Clodius’ masses of supporters, whom he dismisses as mercenaries or slaves. He repeats this strategy in Philippics 1, 6, and 7. In Pro Plancio he speaks as the populus itself in a prosopopoeia, emphasizing the people’s power over the republic.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • The Popular Orator
  • Joanna Kenty
  • Book: Cicero's Political Personae
  • Online publication: 31 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108878098.008
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  • The Popular Orator
  • Joanna Kenty
  • Book: Cicero's Political Personae
  • Online publication: 31 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108878098.008
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Popular Orator
  • Joanna Kenty
  • Book: Cicero's Political Personae
  • Online publication: 31 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108878098.008
Available formats
×