Cicero, Master of the Negative Campaign
Christopher R. Steffe
Prof. Alex Tetlak, Faculty Mentor
Chris Steffe Mentor: Professor Alex Tetlak In the modern political age, negative campaigning has largely been viewed by voters as ineffectual and disenchanting; however, it has been at least partially redeemed through the Political Science scholars who believe that not only can negative campaigning work in the correct circumstances, but it can be effective as well. Yet the question remains whether this may apply to the ancient world too. In the ancient world, Cicero is traditionally considered one of the best ancient rhetors and most avid users of invectives. Thus, taking the ideas of the Political Science literature regarding negative campaigning and applying them into the context of the ancient world, Cicero, and his political career, this paper analyzes Cicero’s use of invectives in his speeches the Verrine Orations, Against Catiline, and The Philippics, in order to reconcile modern day ideas with ancient world actions.
Keywords: Cicero, rhetoric, negative campaigning, political science
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1320