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Customer Review

on 16 August 2012
Cicero's Pro Caelio is his defence speech on behalf of Marcus Caelius Rufus accused of a number of 'crimes' including adultery with Clodia Metelli whom he possibly (or possibly not) tried to poison. In a speech which revolves around ideas of truth, integrity, abuse, slander, lies and deception, Cicero himself gives us the key to exonerating Clodia from these accusations which have left her as one of the most vilified and notorious of Roman women: 'quotus quisque istam effugere potest in tam maledicta civitate? How few there are who can avoid such reports in so slanderous a city?' (38).

This particular speech is especially telling when read in conjunction with Catullus' poems (Catullus) and the depiction of young, urban, hedonistic Rome.

This Loeb translation hasn't been updated since 1958 and may feel a little old-fashioned in places (thou, thy, thine) which is slightly at odds with some of Cicero's use of 'neoteric' terms. That said, it's readable, flowing and pretty accurate, and captures Cicero's outrageous, entertaining mode of speech, complete with all the rhetorical tricks (such as the double use of prosopopoeia). This really is Roman legal speech as street theatre.

ps. I *love* that Amazon have attributed this to "Janet" Cicero!
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