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Classics & Ancient History   >   Cicero: Pro Caelio

The Roman Trial

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Cicero: Pro Caelio

In this course Dr Andrew Sillett (University of Oxford) explores Cicero’s Pro Caelio, his speech delivered in April 56 BC in defence of Marcus Caelius Rufus. In the first lecture, we think about how Roman criminal trials work. In the second lecture, we think about the significance of the date of the Pro Caelio (April 56 BC), before turning in the third lecture to think about the figure of Caelius himself. In the fourth lecture, we think about Cicero’s defensive strategy in this speech, including his famous attack on Clodia Metelli, before turning in the fifth lecture to introduce the most serious accusation against Caelius, which is afforded only the briefest mention in Cicero’s speech.

The Roman Trial

In this lecture, we think about the nature of the Roman legal system, focusing in particular on: (i) the jury in a Roman trial: their number, their background; (ii) the lack of a judge in a Roman trial; (iii) the means by which a verdict is arrived at in a Roman trial; and (iv) the conditions for acquittal in a Roman trial.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Sillett, A. (2022, October 24). Cicero: Pro Caelio - The Roman Trial [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Sillett, A. "Cicero: Pro Caelio – The Roman Trial." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Oct 2022,


Dr Andrew Sillett

Dr Andrew Sillett

University of Oxford