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Classifying Cicero’s Catilinarians

From an interview with Ted Tarkow, Professor of Classical Studies & Associate Dean of Arts & Science

Tiffany Lee, Department of Classical Studies

Barbara Wallach, Mentor

This project is examining the traditional classification of Cicero’s orations against Catiline. Usually these four orations are classified as invective speeches, or speeches of blame. I have been comparing the content, motives, and context of the first and fourth Catilinarian orations to the precepts given in rhetorical texts written by Cicero and other texts on oratory used in the same time period. I have found through my comparisons of the texts that these orations against Catiline fit the ideal model for judicial speeches much more closely than they fit the pattern for epideictic speeches.