Darryl A. Phillips

Quintus Tullius Cicero featured on NPR!

February 8, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

This really is news!  With all of the excitement about the presidential primaries, NPR did a story yesterday about Classics professor Philip Freeman’s new book “How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians.”  Timeless advice provided by Quintus Tullius Cicero to his brother Marcus during his campaign for the consulship for 63 B.C. 

A great interview, and an interesting book. 

I’ve been working with this Latin text recently, both for my own research projects and in my classes (my CLAS  105 students read a translation of it last semester, and we’re reading it this semester in my Roman Political Culture course).  One important point was left out of Prof. Freeman’s interview — recently Michael Alexander has argued in two powerful articles (published in Athenaeum) that this guide to electioneering was actually written as a satire of the campaign system.  Basically, we should read this Latin text as if it had been written by Stephen Colbert.  If you find Alexander’s case convincing, what then should we make of the modern politicians who find much of use in this ancient text??  Worth thinking about!

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