Fragmentary Speeches

Fragmentary Speeches

Incomplete but invaluable excerpts from otherwise lost orations.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106-43 BC), Roman advocate, orator, politician, poet, and philosopher, about whom we know more than we do of any other Roman, lived through the stirring era that saw the rise, dictatorship, and death of Julius Caesar in a tottering republic. In Cicero's political speeches and in his correspondence, we see the excitement, tension, and intrigue of politics and the important part he played in the turmoil of the time.

Although Cicero's oratory is well attested--of 106 known speeches, fifty-eight survive intact or in large part--the sixteen speeches that survive only in quotations nevertheless fill gaps in our knowledge. These speeches attracted the interest of later authors, particularly Asconius and Quintilian, for their exemplary content, oratorical strategies, or use of language, failing to survive entire not because they were inferior in quality or interest but due to factors contingent on the way Cicero's speeches were read, circulated, and evaluated in (especially late) antiquity.

The fragmentary speeches fall, like Cicero's career in general, into three periods: the preconsular, the consular, and the postconsular, and here are presented chronologically, numbered continuously, and their fragments arranged, insofar as possible, in the order in which they would have occurred, followed by unplaced quotations. Each speech receives an introduction and ample notation.

This edition, which completes the Loeb Classical Library edition of Cicero, includes all speeches with attested fragments, together with testimonia. Based upon Crawford's edition of 1994, the sources have been examined afresh, and newer source-editions substituted where appropriate.

Publication Date: 
June 11, 2024