How Great a Success Do You Think Cicero's Prosecution of Verres Was

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How great a success do you think Cicero’s prosecution of Verres was? Give reasons for your view Cicero’s prosecution of Verres was a success; although, many aspects of the trial limit the brilliance of his achievement in winning the case. Gaius Verres was a Roman senator and magistrate, however according to Cicero he administrated the province with unparalleled corruption. The reasoning behind this accusation is that Verres ransacked public places and private homes for works of art and other wealth. Cicero was asked by Plaintiffs to be the prosecutor of this trial due to his previous fairness while serving as quaestor in Sicily’s western district five years earlier. This began the trial however it’s the events following which make the prosecution of Verres or not. The opposition that Cicero faced includes Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, Verres’ defence lawyer and a leading advocate in Rome. He grew to fame and wealth by defending corrupt senatorial governors. He had powerful oratory skills which were of the Asiatic style meaning that it’s a florid rhetoric, better to hear than to read. He had a tenacious memory and could retain every point in his opponent’s argument. His strong public speaking skills acted as competition for Cicero who recognised his excellence. The opposition of the false prosecutor called Quintus Caecilius Niger attemted to take this case instead of Cicero. However he was on of Verres’ ex- quaestors who attempted to delay the proceedings therefore helping Verres’ defence team by delaying the start of the trial. Cicero did win the case in the end as a result of a powerful speech outlining the reasons why he, and not Caecilius should prosecute the case. Verres had a strong system of supporters that consisted of the Caecilli Metelli, they were a noble family that were very politically active with optimate learnings. Cicero’s methods in collecting

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