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How To Win an Election - Quintus Tullius Cicero By Philip Freeman

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English (North American)

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Young Adult (18-35)

Transcript

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In the summer of 64. BC Marcus Tullius Cicero, the greatest orator Ancient Rome ever produced, was running for consul the highest office in the Roman Republic. He was 42 years old. The son of a wealthy businessman from the small town of Arpino south of Rome. His father had seen that Marcus and his younger brother Quintus received the finest education and had even sent the boys to Greece to study with the most noted philosophers and orators of the day. Marcus was a gifted speaker and possessed a brilliant mind equal to his golden tongue. What he lacked was the advantage of noble birth. Ancient roman society was highly class conscious and dismissed men such as Marcus Cicero as unfit to preside over the republic. He was determined to prove them wrong. As a young man, Marcus had completed an undistinguished year in military service under the father of the future roman general Pompeii, the great, who would one day defend the state against Julius caesar. This younger pompeii became a patron of Marcus and helped him in his subsequent political career. At 25, Marcus won his first case in the Roman courts defending a well connected man against murder charges. His reputation grew in the years to follow as he successfully represented many prominent men victories that also helped him rise through the political ranks of the republic. He had already served admirably in the importance but lesser offices of keister and Prater. However, no man outside the Noble families had been elected as a consul for 30 years, making the attainment of this ultimate goal by Marcus unlikely Yet in 60 for the other candidates for the console ship, most notably Antonius known as hybrid to and Catalina were such an unsavory lot that some of the nobility held their noses and threw their support behind Marcus. Cicero still the thought of an outsider from a small town being one of the two consoles to govern the ancient republic, ruler of millions across the mediterranean lands was too much for many of the blue blooded families to stomach Marcus was going to have a long and difficult campaign if he was going to win. At this point, the more practical Quintus decided that his elder brother needed some advice. Quintus was four years younger than Marcus with a fiery and sometimes cruel temperament. Although overshadowed by his elder sibling. He was fiercely loyal to Marcus and recognized that his brother's success would pave his own way to fame and fortune. He even had married the headstrong pom po niya, sister of Marcus's best friend, Atticus and fathered a son with her two years earlier. Though, the marriage was always rocky. As the campaign for console was beginning, Quintus wrote a short pamphlet to Marcus on election earing in the form of a letter. The result is a little known text that has somehow survived the centuries called in Latin, the common to Lariam Petronius. Some specialist in roman literature doubt that Quintus wrote the work, believing it was another contemporary or perhaps a roman from the following century. Others would agree that Quintus was indeed the author. What matters, however, is not the identity of the writer, but what he says the author was clearly someone intimately familiar with roman politics in the first century. Bc, who possessed a keen sense of how elections are won in any age.