To what extent do you think Cicero deserved to be exiled in 58 BC?
In the build up to Cicero’s exile, he undoubtedly had many chances to escape the fate he eventually found himself in, this, it has to be said, was ultimately down to Cloudius whom Cicero found an enemy in when he gave evidence against him in the ‘bona dea’ scandal. However Cicero was not all to blame as he found himself abandoned by close friends such as Pompey, and the subject in which he was exiled over (putting the Cataline conspirators to death without trial) was greatly supported at the time he proposed it, so how was he supposed to know that the support would be non-existent in the future? Overall however, I feel Cicero had plenty of chances to save himself from exile and I will mirror this in my argument. The main point to be made about Cicero during his consulship is obviously about his actions with the Cataline conspirators, although he received great support at the time he probably realised with the benefit of hindsight, that he should never have done it as it is what gives Cloudius the excuse to exile him. Cicero should have realised when putting the proposal forward that to put someone to death without trial is completely against what the republic is based around, which is fairness for the people. He also knew that power under the SCU was unclear and should have thought very seriously before he utilized its power as this is one of the reasons the Senate could later abandon him. During his consulship Cicero did want peace between classes ‘concordia ordinum’, and after the execution of the catalane conspirators he thought he had achieved this life-long ambition which he harboured because of the fact that he was a ‘novus homo’ and came from the equestrian class originally, therefore he was looking after his routes. But unfortunately Cicero hadn’t achieved ‘concordia ordinum’ after the executions, probably due to the fact that after he made an example through discriminating someone’s...
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