Fragmentary speeches: the oratory and political career of Piso Caesoninus

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This chapter explores the potential of oratorical fragments through a reconsideration of the oratory and career of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. It argues that Piso was a respected and authoritative senator who time and again advocated peaceful solutions to political problems and avoided violent reactions. When directly attacked by Cicero, he, however, did not shrink back from giving a public reply. His career appears not directly or mainly influenced by his own speeches, but he did assert his auctoritas and dignitas through speeches delivered at crucial points in his career. The lack of evidence of much forensic or contional activity could suggest a politician building his career less on speeches in these fora and more on nurturing his senatorial credentials through senatorial speeches and the networking of fellow senators, who would appreciate his ancestry as a Piso.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity and Communication
Subtitle of host publicationOratory and Politics in Republican Rome
EditorsCatherine Steel, Henriette van der Blom
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • oratory, Cicero, Piso Caesoninus, senatorial oratory, political careers, public profile