Selected Political Speeches of Cicero Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What position did Cicero have when he gave the speeches against Verres, and what situation caused him to write them?

Cicero was the Prosecutor in a 70 B.C. trial against Verres, the corrupt governor of Sicily. Although there were a total of seven speeches written, Cicero only gave two because Verres had fled into exile.

2. How did Verres intend to escape the charges being brought against him?

Verres' defense strategy was to delay the trial as long as possible. During the following year, Verres' allies were scheduled to be elected to the consul and would dismiss the charges.

3. In the beginning of In Verrem I, what was the first reason that Cicero gave to the jurors to convict Verres?

Cicero began In Verrem I by explaining to the jurors that the public had lost confidence in them. The jurors were also senators, and their reputation was tarnished because they were perceived to be corrupt. As Cicero pointed out, failing to convict Verres would only confirm those suspicions.

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