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6. The Philippics

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In this module, Andrew discusses the group of speeches known as the Philippics, in which Cicero attacks Marc Anthony, a man who - since the death of Julius Caesar - seems hell-bent on setting himself up as sole ruler of the Roman Empire. This speech was to be Cicero's last. Not long after they were composed, Cicero was murdered by Anthony's thugs, who decapitated him, and nailed his hands and tongue to the speaker's platform in the Forum. Despite this, Andrew argues, the Philippics were a success: proof that reasoned debate still had its place in a city that was on the brink of total anarchy.


In this course, Dr Andrew Sillett (University of Oxford) provides an introduction to Cicero's life and times through six legal and political speeches, from his first speech (Pro Roscio Amerino), delivered when he was just 26, through the speeches that would shape the last years of the Roman Republic and his own death at the hands of hired thugs.


Andrew joined Brasenose in 2006 to study for his BA in Classics (Course IIA). Thanks to the generosity of the Helmore Fund, he was able to stay on for his MSt in Classical Languages & Literature. As a senior Germaine Scholar, he recently completed his DPhil on the early imperial reception of Cicero under the supervision of Llewelyn Morgan. His research interests include the reception of Cicero in the early imperial period, politics and thought in the late Roman Republic and early Principate.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Sillett, A. (2018, August 15). Cicero - The Philippics [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Sillett, A. "Cicero – The Philippics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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