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Classics & Ancient History   >   Cicero: Pro Cluentio


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Cicero: Pro Cluentio

In this course, Dr Andrew Sillett (University of Oxford) explores Cicero’s Pro Cluentio. In the first module, we provide some of the key context for Cicero’s speech. When did the trial take place, and why is this important? What were the key features of the Roman court? How was a verdict reached? In the second module, we look at three of the four charges levelled against Cluentius, before turning in the third module to the fourth charge – a crime that relates to a trial that took place almost a decade previously. In the fourth module, we think about Cicero’s defensive strategy in this case, before moving on in the fifth module to explore the political context of that previous trial – a context that is fundamental to Cicero’s defence of his client – and why Cicero mentions it only in passing.


In this module, we provide the key context for Cicero’s speech Pro Cluentio, focusing in particular on: (i) when the trial took place, and why this is important; (ii) the figure whom Cicero is defending, Aulus Cluentius Habitus; and (iii) the nature of the Roman court and its differences from the modern (English) law court; (iv) the make-up of the Roman jury, and the way in which a verdict is reached; and (v) the punishment awaiting Cluentius should Cicero fail in his defence.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Sillett, A. (2020, September 01). Cicero: Pro Cluentio - Context [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Sillett, A. "Cicero: Pro Cluentio – Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 01 Sep 2020,


Dr Andrew Sillett

Dr Andrew Sillett

University of Oxford