Cicero (106-43 BC) was the greatest orator of the ancient world. He dominated the Roman courts, usually appearing for the defense. His speeches are masterpieces of persuasion. They are compellingly written, emotionally powerful, and sometimes hilariously funny. This book presents five of his most famous defenses: of Roscius, falsely accused of murdering his father; of the consul-elect Murena, accused of electoral bribery; of the poet Archias, on a citizenship charge; of Caelius, ex-lover of Clodia Metelli, on charges of violence; and of Milo, for murdering Cicero's hated enemy Clodius. Cicero's clients were rarely innocent; but so seductive is his oratory that the reader cannot help taking his side. In these speeches we are plunged into some of the most exciting courtroom dramas of all time. These new translations preserve Cicero's literary artistry and emotional force, while achieving new standards of accuracy. Each speech has its own introduction, and a general introduction discusses Cicero's public career and the criminal courts. The substantial explanatory notes smoothly guide the reader through the speeches, allowing a clearer understanding of the text.
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