Strategies of persuasion in Philippics 10 and 11

Author: Dawes, Tia
Title: Strategies of persuasion in Philippics 10 and 11
Review/Collection: Classical Quarterly, n.º 64, 1
Year edition: 2005
Pages: 241-253
Keywords: Éloquence - Eloquenza - Eloquence, Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Description: Cicero's level of success within the senate fluctuated throughout the period of his Philippic orations. These fluctuations reflect the very divisive nature of the conflict with Marcus Antonius, and the ever-changing circumstances that Cicero confronted. The orations themselves record Cicero's improvisational responses to these developments and allow us to study Cicero's range of persuasive techniques over a period of eight months, from September 44, when Cicero delivered his first Philippic, through to April 43, when he delivered his last. There has been a growing body of scholarship dealing with the Philippics, but there remains work to be done on the ad hoc nature of senatorial debate. Manuwald's recent study of praise and blame within the Philippics has provided a starting point, since she identifies strategic elements within the collection as a whole and how these elements functioned in terms of persuasion. She notes the short term use of praise and blame for the purpose of urging the senate to a particular course of action, but her avowed aims were not to isolate strategies within the speeches. And while Frisch provides full coverage of the historical context, he is less concerned with persuasive strategies within and between the speeches themselves. In this regard Philippics 10 and 11 provide an insight into the malleable and ad hoc nature of Roman oratory in the context of senatorial debate. We are able to follow Cicero's shifts in rhetorical strategies as he attempts to meet the exigencies of each situation. Philippics 10 and 11 have ostensibly similar rhetorical aims: to persuade the senate to appoint Marcus Brutus and Caius Cassius to powerful military commands in the eastern provinces, and yet the rhetorical strategies that Cicero employs differ in various ways. My aim is to examine what factors influenced his choice of strategy in the delivery of the two speeches [Author]
Author initials: Dawes 2005