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date: 09 December 2022

Commentariolum petitionislocked

Commentariolum petitionislocked

  • Jonathan G. F. Powell


An essay in epistolary form, c. 5,000 words, on the technique of electioneering, purporting to be addressed by Q. *Tullius Cicero (1) to his brother Marcus*Tullius Cicero (1) on the occasion of the latter's consular candidature in 64 bce; the text is transmitted in the manuscripts of Cicero's letters to Quintus, but is absent from the Mediceus (one of the best MSS). Its authenticity has been repeatedly impugned; the arguments against it are cumulatively rather than individually significant, but have not been generally accepted as conclusive. The level of contemporary reference implies, at all events, a considerable familiarity with the history of the period. The only plausible later context for the production of such a document would be that of a rhetorical exercise or suasoria. The content is divided into three sections: first, the means necessary to overcome the disadvantage of being a *novus homo; second, methods of building up support, (a) through personal connections and (b) through canvassing the popular vote, the latter regarded as less important; third, a short section on how to prevent or counteract bribery.


  • Latin Literature

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