Cicero's Orations

Cicero's Case Against Verres 11th Grade

Many of Cicero’s points are cleverly structured so as to provide the most convincing attack on Verres, for example when he discusses Verres’ behaviour in Aspendos he begins by describing how “nullum te Aspendi signum…reliquisse” (You have left no statue in Aspendos) which gives his audience a vague impression of Verres and his thieving habits that is not easy to take seriously on its own, since it is such a great claim. However he then develops this by referring to specific examples of what Verres has stolen – the statue of the cithara player and the gold in Diana’s shrine in Perge – which, since they are more detailed and therefore more plausible than Cicero’s claim that Verres seized every statue in Aspendos, add weight to his original accusation, since they confirm his reputation as a thief and blacken his character, especially since stealing from Diana’s shrine required what Cicero describes as “tanta audacia” (outrageous boldness), implying that since Verres was daring enough to steal from a goddess, he was daring enough to have emptied Aspendos of statues. Therefore, Cicero structures his speech well to turn what could have been a weak point that came across as a hyperbolic claim into a convincing, well-supported attack...

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