University of Illinois Press
  • Perturbatio, frugalitas, and bene beateque uiuendum:Ciceronian Philosophy as Ciceronian Defense in Pro Rege Deiotaro

Just as Cicero’s dialogues and treatises incorporate the rhetorical strategies of his oratory, his defense of Deiotarus bears marks from the philosophical writings that constituted most of Cicero’s output in the mid 40s BCE. Cicero shapes his defense around Deiotarus’ character, emphasizing not his royal valor and worth, but his philosophical virtue. Such virtue consoles him and furnishes him with an avenue towards good living despite the decreased potency of his old age. This pattern of defense closely resembles Cicero’s self-description in his philosophical works, wherein philosophy becomes a source of consolation for his own political impotence occasioned by the ascendancy of Caesar.

The trial of the Galatian king Deiotarus in November of 45 BCE took place in the home of Julius Caesar.1 In this one fact are contained a host of idiosyncrasies surrounding the case.2 As Cicero explains in the exordium to his defense, these include the facts that a king is on trial, that Caesar, a proto-king in his own right by the end of 45, is the sole judge, and that the trial takes place in a private home. Also of note is the prosecutor, Castor, who was the grandson of the defendant.3 In developing his rhetorical strategy for his defense, Cicero takes two approaches to these idiosyncrasies. On the one hand he downplays any ideas that the trial’s odd circumstances might render the proceedings somehow less [End Page 63] fair; on the other hand, he uses the series of unique relationships at stake in the case to frame his arguments.

The nexus of relationships and conflicts of interest circulating around Cicero’s defense contributes to what Claude Loutsch identifies as a “theme du désarroi” in the speech’s exordium. As a result much of Cicero’s strategy aims at analyzing and comparing the respective character of the leading personae in an effort to impose order on the disarray caused by their complicated relationships. His most basic goal is, naturally, to win the case. To do so he must achieve reconciliation between Caesar and Deiotarus. For a host of reasons, including their respective monarchical roles, the trial’s uniquely private setting, and the history of their relationship, this reconciliation must occur both on a public level and a personal level.4 But, as in the other Caesarian speeches, reconciliation between Caesar and the defendant is not Cicero’s only goal. In what follows, I would like to consider how Cicero uses the relationship between Caesar and Deiotarus, on the one hand, and the one between Deiotarus and himself, on the other, to comment to Caesar on the complex relationship between the two of them (Cicero and Caesar).

In order to understand Cicero’s discussion of these relationships in his speech, it is first important to consider the relevant historical background to these relationships and the charge under consideration.5 In Deiotarus’ trial, Caesar occupied the position of host, judge, jury, representative of the state, and, allegedly, the intended victim of the accused. Deiotarus, in an ironic twist, was not present in Caesar’s house for the trial, but was himself accused of having plotted Caesar’s death while Caesar was a guest at Deiotarus’ own house in Galatia. Shortly following Caesar’s defeat of Pharnaces in 47 at the battle of Zela he had passed through Galatia and stayed at the home of Deiotarus. His stay was more than a convenience. It was a gesture of clementia toward his host, a former Pompeian. The relationship between Caesar and Deiotarus was particularly precarious beginning in the years after Pharsalus. Deiotarus had been an ally of [End Page 64] and friend to the Romans for several decades, building relationships of amicitia stretching from Sulla in the 90s to Brutus in the 40s. But in the Roman civil wars he had lent his support to Pompey, whom he had come to know during the Mithridatic Wars. His support of Rome, expressed in the foregoing years as support of Pompey, thus became a personal liability after Caesar’s victory in the civil war. It may or may not have played a role in Caesar’s decision in 47 to limit Deiotarus’ authority.

As tetrarch in Galatia Deiotarus was ruler over the Tolistobogii, but at some point in the late 50s and early 40s, following the death of the tetrarch Brogitarus, he had also come to possess the tetrarchy of the Trocmi. Pompey and the senate had then decided to affirm this acquisition. But Caesar had reversed Pompey’s decision, awarding the tetrarchy of the Trocmi to Mithridates, and leaving with Deiotarus only the tetrarchy of the Tolistobogii. Deiotarus’ trial in November of 45 thus came on the heels of a pair of conflicts. Each of these conflicts could be explained through legitimate political disagreement, but each also had a personal element to it. Deiotarus had been a supporter of Rome, but then he found himself an enemy of Rome by being an enemy of Caesar; Caesar may have taken the tetrarchy of the Trocmi away from Deiotarus due to his opinions about fair administration in the East, or he may have been interested in censuring or restricting the influence of a supporter of Pompey while asserting his own primacy, even over a king.

In all likelihood, Deiotarus’ accuser was relying entirely on this troubled history in bringing his case. This accuser was, as noted, Deiotarus’ grandson Castor. It is a near certainty that Castor, as Cicero suggests, had ulterior motives in bringing the charge (Deiot. 17-18). Through the discrediting of Deiotarus, and by extension his son, the younger Deiotarus (Castor’s maternal uncle), Castor may have hoped to secure his grandfather’s position for himself. At the very least he wanted to discredit his grandfather.6 Castor’s charge is at least in [End Page 65] part a power play in Galatian politics whose chance for success seems to have rested more on the underlying hostility between Caesar and Deiotarus than on any proof he had of a murder plot.

To the complexity of these associations between defendant and judge is added the web of relations connecting Cicero to both men. It goes without saying that Cicero’s relationship with Caesar was a complex and troubled one, but a few specific factors of this relationship connected to Deiotarus and his trial are worth noting.7 First of all, Cicero had a personal relationship with Deiotarus dating back to his time as proconsul in Cilicia in 51.8 Like his client, Cicero found himself politically displaced and uncomfortably beholden to Caesar following Pompey’s [End Page 66] defeat. Secondly, Cicero’s defense of Deiotarus was the third he had made for a Pompeian in short order, and his tone in the previous two speeches had been conciliatory toward Caesar, to say the least. And third, other than his speeches before Caesar, Cicero was largely occupied in the mid-40s in writing several rhetorical, philosophical, and ethical treatises, many of which were motivated by his personal experiences (e.g., the death of the orator Hortensius, the death of his daughter Tullia, his senescence). Whatever else Cicero may have felt regarding Caesar, his activities of 46/45 find him negotiating the proper level of deference to Caesar and identifying appropriate modes of public engagement suited to his new condition and stage of life.

With this background in place we can now consider more effectively Cicero’s depiction of these relationships within his speech. As I will suggest, Cicero’s arguments closely parallel the narratives of some of his contemporary theoretical works. In particular, in Pro Rege Deiotaro Cicero argues in part that Deiotarus is characterized by his philosophical virtue. Several scholars have offered explanations for this unconventional part of the defense.9 Helga Botermann has proposed that Deiotarus’ personal virtue is intended to highlight Caesar’s lack of it. Altay Coşkun suggests the virtue argument is rather a further reason for Caesar to be confident in how Deiotarus will act toward him in the future. Denis Saddington proposes that Cicero is portraying the king as a Roman in order to convince Caesar he will be an appealing ally in the east.10 Taking the latter two arguments a step farther, I will argue that Cicero is using the virtue language to draw parallels between Deiotarus’ condition and his own as represented in his treatises of the mid-40s, wherein virtue serves as a refuge or defense against disturbances generally, and, on occasion, the disturbances caused by Caesar specifically. By connecting certain images of Ciceronian otium from his dialogues to Deiotarus, viz. the conditions of the state that restrict his personal ambitions and the emphasis on the importance of living well, Cicero transfers his philosophical argument to a legal setting. This argument attempts to explain to Caesar how an ambitious figure such as Deiotarus can cope with new levels of subordination and thus mitigate the threat that the king, or even a parallel figure like Cicero himself, could represent.11 [End Page 67]

Cicero uses logical and emotional arguments in his speech for Deiotarus (despite his praeteritio regarding arguments of pathos early on),12 but, because of his interest in the people and relationships involved in the trial, much of his case pivots on ethical arguments related to Deiotarus, Castor, Caesar, and Cicero himself.13 In fact Cicero introduces the latter three as foils to the defendant from his first words.14 Of the three foils, the first to be introduced is Castor, simultaneously Deiotarus’ accuser and grandson. It is the latter relationship that Cicero foregrounds, highlighting Castor’s general impiety and disloyalty. Because of Castor’s role in the prosecution, Deiotarus makes an early, characterdefining appearance in the opening words of the speech specifically in his role as grandfather. He is characterized in this role by his old age and his need for the protection and attention of his descendants.

Shortly after the introduction of Castor, Cicero names Julius Caesar as Deiotarus’ second foil. As observed already, Caesar’s position in this trial is unique, insofar as he is serving as judge and jury in the privacy of his home.15 He is furthermore the intended victim of the crime charged to Deiotarus, sitting in judgment on someone who may have tried to kill him. The conflict of interests is so bizarre and the circumstances so at odds with the tradition of Roman jurisprudence, both in the unwonted trying of a king and the unique juridical preeminence of Caesar, that Cicero admits to a degree of discomfort with the arrangement. But Cicero remains confident of a fair hearing because, as he asserts, Caesar is as concerned with how he himself is judged as he is with judging the [End Page 68] defendant (Deiot. 4). In Cicero’s framework, Caesar is himself on trial just as Deiotarus is. And the foil is reinforced implicitly by the two factors of the case that render it most extraordinary: both that a king is on trial and that another sort of monarch is sitting as private judge. The relationship between Deiotarus as a humbled king and Caesar as an individual who is not a king but maintains authority over a king is pregnant with implications and opportunities for comparisons emphasizing Deiotarus’ subordination and Caesar’s sovereignty.16

Certain other foils lurk in the background of the speech, among them Cicero’s previous clients, Marcellus and Ligarius, and Pompey. But it is Cicero himself who offers one of the most dramatic comparisons. Like Deiotarus in the wake of Pharsalus and his eventual loss of the tetrarchy of the Trocmi at Caesar’s hands, Cicero faced a string of difficulties in the mid-40s that restricted him from being the figure he might have hoped to be. He sought consolation in part from his written works. The years 46-44 were of course Cicero’s most prolific as a writer of philosophy. Those works of that period which preceded Caesar’s assassination, beginning with Brutus and ending with De Senectute, are repeatedly characterized by their efforts at consolation. Brutus presents itself as a sort of consolation or laudatio funebris at the death of Hortensius. But as several scholars have argued, the dialogue also functions as a sort of eulogy for public oratory and the republic to which it had been so relevant, providing a pessimistic backdrop for Cicero’s set of works on rhetorical theory written over the course of 46.17 Cicero’s need for consolation became more pronounced in 45, with the death of his daughter Tullia, and it was in the wake of this misfortune that he wrote the Consolatio. Still under the influence of that experience, he turned to a program of more traditionally philosophical works including Hortensius, Academica, De Finibus, De Natura Deorum, and the Tusculan Disputations. By the beginning of 44 he had turned to the popular philosophy of De Senectute, but even in doing so he continued to use the writing of dialogues as a salve for his frustration with his situation.18 While certain peculiarities of his situation are more relevant in the context of certain writings than others, the consistent thread running through Cicero’s consolatory theoretical writings is the need to endure and be productive in the face of the social and political upheaval that characterized Caesar’s Rome, [End Page 69] to embody on a personal level the otium cum dignitate that had been a theme of his writings a decade earlier.19 As he explains in the preface to De Diuinatione 2, his first writing done following Caesar’s death, his program of works between 46 and 44 had been his effort to remain of value to the republic when because of “the grave condition of the state” (casus grauis ciuitatis, Diu. 2.6) he could do nothing else. Cicero makes repeated reference to these conditions and motivations surrounding his philosophical output within the dialogues themselves, particularly in the prefaces, offering testimony to the transcendent value of philosophy in the face of misfortune. Since he, like Deiotarus, finds himself and his career restricted by Caesar, it should perhaps be no surprise if, when he makes his defense of the tetrarch in the midst of producing his philosophical program, the conditions of the king closely resemble his own.

Cicero begins to identify his cliens with himself in the exordium through the parallel gravity of their respective situations, their shared adversity.20 He then uses the refutatio to assimilate their responses in the faces of difficulty, before finally clinching his argument in his peroratio wherein he reasserts the parallel and implies why he has fashioned it.

Cicero hints at his own relevance as a foil in the speech when he begins his defense of Deiotarus by discussing himself. The Cicero that is described in the exordium is one in conflict. The speech opens with a pair of contrasts, one between Cicero’s other speeches and this speech, and one between how Cicero might be expected to feel about speaking in this particular case and how he actually feels:21

Cum in omnibus causis grauioribus, C. Caesar, initio dicendi commoueri soleam uehementius quam uidetur uel usus uel aetas mea postulare, tum in [End Page 70] hac causa ita multa me perturbant ut, quantum mea fides studi mihi adferat ad salutem regis Deiotari defendendam, tantum facultatis timor detrahat.

(Cic. Deiot. 1)

Though in all important cases I am more agitated when beginning to speak than my experience and age suggest I should be, in this case I am so greatly bothered that my fear takes away as much of my ability to defend King Deiotarus as my confidence in my efforts supplies.

In the first contrast he highlights the grauitas of the case at hand, in the second he focuses on his own reservations about speaking. The two conditions are interrelated. Other cases, he explains, are portentous; this one is particularly so. When such cases arise one might expect Cicero’s age and experience to give him confidence, but in fact that is not the case; it is implicitly even less the case in this speech, wherein the grauitas is greater. The orator’s fear when beginning a speech is a rhetorical trope to which Cicero has occasional recourse, but the focal points of the trope give this instance a unique character.22 The situation is grave; Cicero is old and old age does not do the expected good. And implicit throughout Cicero’s words is the irony highlighted by Loutsch, namely that by behaving as if this case is like any other case, Cicero is somehow compensating for this case’s procedural idiosyncrasies.23 Loutsch explains this compensation as Cicero’s effort to bring order to disarray. But it also raises the idea that Cicero only knows one way to deal with legal cases and will apply it even when the case’s procedural system is altogether different from the one with which he is familiar. Lurking behind Cicero’s standard introduction regarding his fear and his experience is the fact that ultimately his experience cannot have prepared him for this case because he has lived to the age where the system has shifted beneath his feet.

The idea of old age is picked up again shortly in reference to Deiotarus (Deiot. 2), who, while still very active in his political and military efforts, is cast in the role of Castor’s grandfather. As Cicero suggests, his old age ought to have secured him the loyalty and protection of his grandson. Instead the fruits of that old age, already impeded by Caesar’s actions limiting his domain, have been further jeopardized by Castor’s impiety. In point of fact Deiotarus should not only not be standing trial at this point of life, he should be enjoying “the deserts of his efforts on behalf of the Roman republic” (pro perpetuis eius in nostram rem publicam meritis, Deiot. 2). In finding restriction where he might have hoped to find reward, he resembles Cicero, who no longer delivers speeches in the forum, but in the home of Caesar. [End Page 71]

Cicero outlines a similar perspective in his address to Atticus in the proem of De Senectute. Written at almost the same time as the speech for Deiotarus, De Senectute confronted the double issues of the general burden of Caesar under which Cicero had been laboring and the burden of old age with which both he and Atticus were faced.24 After opening the dialogue with a quotation from Ennius, Cicero begins his narrative as he did his defense of Deiotarus, with a contrast. First he affirms Atticus’ moderation and wisdom before moving on to a lament over their current condition. He and Atticus both are deeply affected (grauius commoueri) by their “circumstances” (rebus, Sen. 1). He explains that Atticus’ self-control just mentioned is the best means for coping with such difficulties, but, he continues, consolation is hard to come by at the present time. This introduction, like so many in Cicero’s dialogues of this era, is ominous, and sets a somber backdrop for what is to follow. But having begun thus, Cicero quickly turns to an apparently different topic, old age. However, it, too, Cicero describes as a burden shared by Atticus and himself, and he expresses his intention to use the dialogue at hand to alleviate this care. The quick transition from one burden to the next in this proem creates a frame in this dialogue through which to observe certain similarities between old age and the “circumstances” affecting Atticus and Cicero. This frame is confirmed shortly when Cato argues in his own introduction to old age that the fundamental defense against the burden of old age is the very one ascribed to Atticus in the dialogue’s opening words, the virtues, and particularly that of moderation (Sen. 7-9).24 With its introduction of two complementary burdensome situations and two parallel responses, the opening of De Senectute creates an identity between the weighty burden of old age (cf. Sen. 4) and that of Caesar’s Rome. But the need for consolation in old age in De Senectute does not simply resemble the burden created by Caesar, it derives from it. The irony of Cicero’s opening frame to the dialogue is that the text’s overarching purpose is to argue against the idea of age as a burden. The reality is, however, that Caesar has rendered it a burden nonetheless. Old age is not a burden because it is what it is, but because it is not what it ought to be. Cicero needs to console himself (and Atticus) because Caesar’s ascension has frustrated his expectations for his senectus.

It is this sort of scenario that Cicero describes in Pro Rege Deiotaro. Cicero admits that he does not have the advantage that age should secure, and Caesar is again the cause of the gravity of the situation. Deiotarus is affected, too. Caesar has upset the significance of age. As he proceeds with his exordium Cicero continues to emphasize the disturbing character of the conditions surrounding the [End Page 72] speech. He uses a vocabulary of gravity and emotion: commoueri, perturbant, timor, conturber, extimescebam, perturbat, graue est, moueor, perturbationem.25 These are words designed to express the peril of Deiotarus’ particular case, the novelty of the subordination of all other factors to the personal behavior and decisions of Caesar. These new conditions render Deiotarus’ previous service to Rome null and void, and they have displaced Cicero from the forum to Caesar’s home (4-7). Cicero is not necessarily criticizing Caesar, since doing so might cripple his case, so much as he is frankly acknowledging that both he and his client have felt the very real effects of Caesar’s consolidation of power.26

Cicero’s vocabulary of gravity and unrest not only frames the conditions of the trial, it also recalls his description of the political upheaval of the republic in Diu. 2.6, Sen. 2, and elsewhere. This case is a specific instance of the general gravity accompanying the rise of Caesar, which Cicero repeatedly laments in his philosophical works. Cicero explicitly transfers this vocabulary of trouble from the case at hand to the civil war more generally in his description of Deiotarus’ response to that conflict described a few paragraphs later (10-11). According to Cicero Deiotarus “was upset by the very same things upsetting the people of Rome like me” (isdem rebus est perturbatus, quibus nos in media re publica nati semperque uersati). Cicero is intentionally vague and non-partisan in this description; he could gain little from being explicitly hostile to Caesar. But Cicero does admit to being upset by the conditions leading to the civil war, and he identifies Deiotarus’ trouble with his own. The language of disturbance (perturbatus) recalls both Cicero’s general appraisal of Caesar’s preeminence in his dialogues and his specific appraisal of the unwonted character of the case at hand in its implications both for himself and Deiotarus. In all of these situations, the source of the problem is Caesar. He was a problem for Cicero and Deiotarus when he started a civil war, and he remains a problem for them in the strange and disturbing conditions of Deiotarus’ trial. Defendant and client alike have had the trajectories of their careers altered in their old age, both because they chose the losing side in the civil war and because the victor has changed the landscape of political relevance fundamentally, displacing them from the positions of authority they had held. And now Caesar’s primacy is reinforced by the nature of the trial at hand. Cicero ultimately puts a point on the kind of disturbance he and his client are undergoing later in the speech when he invokes another era of peril by exclaiming: o tempora, o mores (31)! [End Page 73]

Cicero had previously broached the civil war and his former hostility toward Caesar in his defense of Ligarius. There he admitted that both he and his client were on Pompey’s side and that they were therefore in need of and grateful for Caesar’s clementia. But Cicero’s speech for Deiotarus is distinct from his earlier speech in that, aside from the brief discussion of Deiotarus’ support of Pompey in 10-13, he is moving the focus away from the civil war and onto the conditions affecting both his client and himself in a post-Pharsalian Rome. Both Deiotarus and Cicero are the beneficiaries of Caesar’s clementia. But what comes next? Their new troubles and sources of angst lie in the restrictions that Caesarian rule—a rule no longer interested in establishing itself vis-à-vis Pompey, but in maintaining itself following Pompey’s defeat—has imposed upon them. Caesar was by no means unaware of the chagrin his rule caused for Cicero and Deiotarus. For Cicero to admit it is not necessarily a demonstration of hostility to Caesar. On the contrary, when Cicero admits to the disturbances Caesar has caused both for him and the tetrarch, he also gives himself an opportunity to speak on how he and Deiotarus can respond in ways that do not threaten Caesar.27

And in fact, once he has represented Deiotarus’ restricted circumstances in parallel to his own, Cicero proceeds, in his refutation, to suggest that similar responses lie open to them. In the context of the speech Cicero claims that he finds reassurance in the face of his disturbance through his assessment of Caesar’s character (4-8). This character befits a monarch operating from a position of authority over others: he is identified by his fairness (aequitas), his clementia, and his “unique and preeminent nature” (praestans singularisque natura). But in the philosophical works of this period similar reassurance had come not through Caesar’s character, but through Cicero’s contemplation of his own. In Tusculan Disputations 3 and 4, he had addressed the Stoic doctrine of the passions, which he identified as perturbationes. In those works Cicero identifies the remedy for perturbatio as sophrosune, frugalitas, moderatio (see, e.g., Tusc. 3.16). It is the same virtue at work towards consolation in Atticus in De Senectute, and this philosophical virtue, rather than the monarchical virtues of Caesar, proves to be an important element for Deiotarus’ defense.

According to Cicero’s argument, Deiotarus, like Cicero himself in the dialogues, responds to trouble with his virtuous character. Cicero foregrounds his client’s virtue in the ethical arguments in the middle of his speech.28 Having [End Page 74] summarized the events leading up to the alleged assassination attempt in the foregoing paragraphs, Cicero first refutes the general charge of Castor by contrasting Deiotarus’ character with the character of someone who would try to kill Caesar (16-17). Someone who would plot to kill Caesar would have to be a fool, Cicero insists, while Deiotarus is anything but. He is instead characterized by prudentia, ingenium, religio, probitas, mores, constantia, integritas, grauitas, uirtus, and fides. Cicero claims that the many Romans with whom he had formed relationships over the five previous decades could attest to Deiotarus’ possession of these virtues. When Cicero proceeds to offer an absurd summary of Castor’s description of the assassination plot, he hopes that the refined character of Deiotarus he has just described will not square well with the alleged events. It is not unusual for Cicero to use this kind of ethical argument or to apply such a list of attributes to someone he is defending, but neither is this list of terms as a whole conventional in describing a king.29 They are not the terms Cicero uses elsewhere in positive descriptions of Deiotarus.30 Fides and constantia are themselves virtues that Cicero also uses to describe Caesar (8), suggesting a degree of similarity between the monarchs. But Caesar’s virtues are intended to portray him as a fair judge operating from a position of authority; Deiotarus’ virtues make him a non-threatening defendant.

In part Cicero’s goal with his list is to highlight Deiotarus’ loyalty and constancy toward Rome in particular. He wants to assure Caesar that the change in Rome’s leadership will not affect that faithfulness. And Deiotarus’ sovereignty in Galatia, Cicero’s description suggests, does not lead him to believe himself superior to other nations.31 He can demonstrate the virtues more characteristic of a subject than of a king because he is aware that he can be made subject to [End Page 75] Rome.32 But Cicero is not only interested in representing these qualities of constancy and loyalty as Deiotarus’ public virtues. He also wants to ascribe them to Deiotarus on a personal level, to suggest that Deiotarus is a virtuous person in the most basic, philosophical sense of the word. Cicero makes this distinction clear in his further characterization of Deiotarus in response to a second charge of Castor (26).

Among the most egregious of Castor’s charges is his claim that, before Caesar came to Deiotarus, the king had made a habit of rejoicing in reports of difficulties plaguing Caesar’s campaigns in Africa. According to Castor, Deiotarus, having received news at a certain time of Caesar being surrounded and trapped in a castellum, celebrated by drinking to the point of intoxication and dancing naked (26).33 In response to this charge Cicero repeats the same kind of refutation he had used shortly before, contrasting the character of someone who would dance drunk and nude to that of Deiotarus. Such digressiones ethicae, like the list of virtues in §16, are commonplace in Cicero and elsewhere.34 What is surprising is the way in which Cicero represents Deiotarus’ character. Again the king is virtuous (omnes in illo sunt rege uirtutes), but Cicero notes particularly that Deiotarus possesses the virtue of frugalitas. Cicero freely admits that other terms more typically describe kings, while frugalitas, which typically refers to household management, tends to mark the private citizen.35 And of course he has described Caesar (4) with the kingly virtues of one who makes decisions regarding others’ lives, rather than about his own. But as he is using it here Cicero’s frugalitas extends beyond the semantics of economics or household management; this frugalitas is identifiable with the virtue of self-control (modestiam et temperantiam). Here again Cicero’s philosophical writings clarify his defense.

In the third Tusculan Disputation, written very close in time to his defense of Deiotarus, Cicero also makes the connection between frugalitas, modestia, [End Page 76] moderatio, temperantia, and Greek sophrosune (3.16). As he often does in Disputations, Cicero explores the legitimacy of a particular word (here, frugalitas) as an effective Latin rendering of a Greek concept. The concept of self-control in Disputations has something of a Stoic flavor, particularly insofar as it is described as regulating unwanted emotions and desires, but sophrosune’s importance is fundamental to right behavior in all of the philosophical schools. As Cicero’s interlocutor explains, its value lies in remaining unaffected by disturbance (perturbatio) and thereby preserving constantia. Its relationship to virtue more generally is so fundamental that Cicero ultimately contrasts it with nequitia, a generic term for vice itself. It possesses the other virtues within itself, leading Cicero to consider whether it should be identified as an independent virtue or as a sort of supervirtue.

It is this type of frugalitas that Cicero associates with Deiotarus, high praise indeed for a king whose historical legacy, whether viewed positively or negatively, is fraught with public and private strife.36 Even should one accept a generally positive view of Deiotarus, he is not typically identified by his virtue. Cicero’s description, however, coheres with his references to Deiotarus’ constantia at Deiot. 16 and 37, the other two passages of the speech emphasizing Deiotarus’ character.37 And by using his description of Deiotarus’ frugalitas as the climax of his broader claim at the beginning of 26 that all the virtues were present within the king, Cicero alludes to the type of thought process exhibited in Tusculan Disputation 3, whereby self-control’s status as a sort of supervirtue is considered. By all accounts the claim is extreme. The Cicero who had been in the practice of writing more philosophy than oratory now borrows from that genre to paint a picture of a sage-like defendant. Indeed the description is more at home with Cicero’s aspirations for himself in a work like De Senectute than with Deiotarus, who might instead be expected to aim to embody virtues like those exhibited by Caesar (aequitas, clementia). Even if Cicero was no sage, he had at least spent the past two years of his life committed to philosophical study and psychological consolation. His references to constantia resonate with his self-representation and goals in his philosophical works of the period. The description gives a new context to the parallels Cicero evokes between his own situation and that of Deiotarus in the exordium. The issue with the philosophical description of Deiotarus is not so much that Cicero is finding points of contact between himself and Deiotarus as that he is in fact describing himself, an [End Page 77] individual who finds the proper response to disturbance in the philosopher’s self-control. He is explaining to Caesar the means that he himself has decided is best for coming to grips with Caesar’s growing authority. His defense strategy aims to succeed in part by showing Caesar a route that an individual can take to live contentedly while submitting to Caesar’s preeminence.

The Ciceronian parallels and representations of Deiotarus’ philosophical character in 26 trade on Cicero’s philosophical endeavors to soothe Caesar’s anxieties that Deiotarus might consider himself Caesar’s rival or enemy (cf. 35-36). Cicero reinforces this picture by the contrasts he draws between Caesar and Deiotarus. Not only is Deiotarus committed to philosophical virtue through Cicero’s description of frugalitas, he is so committed at the expense of more typically royal virtues. These virtues he, the king who is not entirely kingly, implicitly surrenders as the province of Caesar, the kingly judge who is no king.

In his peroratio, Cicero ties together the threads of the shared adversity and shared response of himself and Deiotarus. For the second part of the peroration Cicero returns his focus to the subject of much of the exordium, the judge and jury Julius Caesar, making an appeal to his clementia that recalls Cicero’s efforts on behalf of Marcellus and Ligarius. But before arriving at that moment Cicero provides a final summary of Deiotarus’ condition and character in 36-37. At the core of this summary lies another contrast. Cicero assures Caesar that he is confident in the fact that Caesar does not hold a grudge against Deiotarus, but he also finds it necessary to make it clear that Deiotarus does not hold a grudge against Caesar. If Deiotarus did hold such a grudge, Caesar might feel the need to convict and sentence the king lest Deiotarus should prove a problem in the future (35). The hypothetical source of Deiotarus’ grudge in Cicero’s scenario is the restriction of Deiotarus’ rule, which Caesar had imposed. The comparison again sets up Caesar as a foil for Deiotarus, drawing parallels between their possible attitudes towards one another. But, in an effort to soothe Caesar’s potential anxiety over just such a rivalry, Cicero resorts to a largely philosophical characterization of his defendant. No matter what is done to Deiotarus, Cicero claims, the king will never believe himself to be unhappy because he will always be able to hold fast to the commendations he has received from the republic as testaments to his worth. And such things point to his uirtus, an attribute that external forces, be they enemies or fortune herself (37), cannot destroy. This virtue manifests itself in Deiotarus as magnitudo animi, grauitas, and constantia, a list which both recalls the descriptions of 16 and 26, and ensures for Caesar that Deiotarus “will live a tranquil (and unthreatening) old-age.”38 And, as Cicero [End Page 78] concludes, all wise men and philosophers have deemed such virtues sufficient for living a good and happy life (37).

Cicero’s argument culminates in the phrase non solum ad bene sed etiam ad beate uiuendum. This phrase is a sort of cliché of Cicero’s writings during this period, and its context is primarily philosophical. He uses a similar turn of phrase several times in De Finibus, each time in reference to the doctrines of philosophers: Plato (1.5) and Epicurus (1.14, 2.20) each in their own ways produced works of philosophy intended to aid students and readers to live life well. The phrase assumes a more specific character in Cato’s first words in De Senectute. Not only is living well a result of the right kind of study and disposition and the goal of philosophical pursuits, but it can also serve as a line of defense against life’s vicissitudes. When and only when an individual locates his happiness and good life in virtue can he avoid finding life troublesome. In the context of this dialogue he proceeds to describe old age as a particular era of life in which such a defense is particularly necessary and usually most welldeveloped.

Cicero’s contextualized use of the phrase here echoes his use of similar words in Brutus. In his opening lament for Hortensius in that dialogue Cicero suggests that Hortensius had died at an opportune time. He had lived as a long as he could live while still living bene et beate (4). In this context the worries and vicissitudes that would have afflicted Hortensius had he lived longer are to be identified with the final consolidation of Caesar’s power (the Battle of Thapsus occurred either just before or just after the writing of Brutus)39 and the concomitant decline of oratory.40 Unlike old age in De Senectute, these troubles are irresistible and leave no opportunity for practicing the philosophic virtue that leads to the good life. Though Cicero uses the phrase more pessimistically here in the Brutus, the reuse of the phrase confirms the basic identification of Hortensius’ and Cato’s situations. Life can be troublesome; in particular, old age can make it so; the rise of Caesar has created a sort of scenario in which Romans have entered into a condition analogous to a burdensome old age by removing them from active participation in the relevant society and politics of the republic.41 In Brutus these conditions left no opportunity for living well, but by the time of De Senectute Cato claims that inner virtue can be an effective antidote to such burdens. [End Page 79]

In the year between the writing of these two dialogues Cicero had used the phrase ad bene beateque uiuendum elsewhere in a letter to Aulus Torquatus (Fam. 6.1). Like Marcellus and Ligarius, Torquatus was a friend of Cicero and a former Pompeian living in exile after Pharsalus.42 This letter (like the others Cicero sent to Torquatus) seeks to console the exile in his absence. Cicero urges his friend to avoid thoughts of despair or fear (6.1.2), even though he himself has been subject to such thoughts for similar reasons. In these bleak times, Cicero sincerely recommends philosophy as the only viable source of consolation. Cicero explains that it was not for victory itself that he and others had fought, but for principles of duty. It is in making this argument that Cicero insists on the sufficiency of philosophy, virtue, and right thinking for living life well (6.1.3). As it does in other contexts the phrase serves to signify the value of philosophy particularly in the face of an obstacle, and, as it typically is, that obstacle is the condition of the republic.

When Cicero uses the phrase ad bene beateque uiuendum at the beginning of his peroration on behalf of Deiotarus he invokes a very specific context. Like Cicero himself, like Hortensius, like Torquatus, and by analogy Cato, Deiotarus is faced with adverse conditions specifically tied to Caesar’s dominion, and he too does his best to find consolation in living a good life through philosophical virtue. This entire characterization of Deiotarus sits somewhat uneasily with his efforts to expand his rule and descriptions given by Strabo of actions taken after the trial (12.5.3).43 But whether such characterization is accurate or not, Cicero forges an identity between himself and Deiotarus in two ways through it: they have similar adversity and they cope in similar ways. This identification between the two casts a new light on Cicero’s defense of Deiotarus. Caesar may have been susceptible to Cicero’s flattery of his character that so many have criticized in Cicero, but Caesar’s own character could only assure a partial solution to the grave conditions of the trial. Cicero makes explicit in his peroration that Deiotarus’ response to the trial was another matter entirely, and he [End Page 80] answers that concern, too, with an ethical defense. In his philosophical works Cicero had been in the process of arguing for consolation in adversity through self-control and virtue for years. In Pro Rege Deiotaro he applies this idea of the consolation of virtue, which he had been seeking for himself, to his client. This defense allows Caesar to acknowledge the grave condition of both Cicero and Deiotarus occasioned by his own preeminence, but also to accept that there exists for them a response leading to a good life that does not require them to be hostile toward him. While Caesar can hardly expect Cicero or Deiotarus to be happy with their relative political subordination, Cicero’s mode of argument and his assimilation of his own situation with that of his client suggest that discontentment and hostility to Caesar are not the only alternatives.

Unlike the two Caesarian speeches before it, Pro Rege Deiotaro addresses a specific accusation not directly related to the civil war, and more than in the two speeches before it, Cicero crafts a defense independent of his pleas for Caesarian clementia. To make his defense of Deiotarus Cicero relies particularly on ethical arguments, ascribing to the king a set of characteristics both apparently at odds with his reputation and nontraditional in the description of a king. At the heart of these descriptors is frugalitas, the virtue of virtues. In the opening words of his peroration Cicero explains that such virtue equips his client to live well and happily, no matter the external conditions. This line of argumentation closely resembles arguments found in several of Cicero’s philosophical works from the same period in the middle of the 40s. In these Cicero had likewise pointed to the consolation of virtue, and, just as in Deiotarus’ case, the cause of his misfortunes had been Caesar’s consolidation of power. Cicero hints at the similarities between Deiotarus’ condition and his own in the exordium to his defense, calling attention to the inefficacy of their old age and their uncertainty over how to respond to Caesar. This leads eventually to the claim that Deiotarus was disturbed by the very same conditions disturbing Cicero and other Romans. From the beginning of his speech to the end, in the exordium, refutatio, and peroratio, Cicero is assimilating Deiotarus to his own condition as described in his philosophical works. He does so not because Deiotarus is obviously virtuous, but because he hopes to represent for Caesar a method of response that is non-threatening. In the title rex Deiotarus poses a threat. But Cicero repeatedly portrays the defendant against the foil of kingship, as an unkingly king. Deiotarus instead becomes another version of Cicero himself, perhaps not content with Caesar, but appropriately refocused into channels of behavior that are of no worry to the dictator. [End Page 81]

Daniel Hanchey
Baylor University

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1. I use the Latin text from Clark’s (1918) OCT edition of the speech; any translations are my own. I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for invaluable comments that have greatly improved this paper. I am also grateful to Antony Augoustakis for his help and patience in bringing this paper to its final form.

2. On the legal irregularities of the case, see Loutsch (1994) 412-13 and Bringmann (1986). It is one of the speech’s hallmarks that it is irregular in almost every facet, and yet Cicero delivers a speech that in many ways follows standard rhetorical practice.

3. On these factors and their role both in Cicero’s exordium and the remainder of the speech, see Loutsch (1994) 416-22.

4. Coşkun (2005) 140–41 and 144-47 examines Deiotarus’ ambiguous role as friend to Rome and friend to Pompey, the effect such ambiguity had on Caesar, and Cicero’s efforts to emphasize Deiotarus’ role as an amicus populi Romani as a positive defense of his client. Cicero’s goal is to convince Caesar that Deiotarus has never been disposed against him per se, but has rather been disposed towards Rome, at all times. Saddington (1993) 89-90 suggests that Caesar’s primary concern was not Deiotarus, but the conditions in the east. By “Romanizing” Deiotarus throughout his defense, Saddington says, Cicero sought to make the tetrarch appealing as an ally who would maintain stability in his region and positive ties with Rome.

5. On the life and activities of Deiotarus, see Syme (1995) 127-36. For a consideration of the event within Caesar’s career, see Jehne (1987) 434-39. Coşkun (2005) 128-30, Palladino (1968) xx-xxv, and Saddington (1993) 88-90 provide summaries of the historical background to the speech.

6. There is some debate over the character of Deiotarus as an individual and as a ruler. The most damning report on his character comes from the geographer Strabo. He tells the story of how Deiotarus had his own daughter and son-in-law (i.e., the accuser Castor’s parents) put to death in the late 40s, some years after his trial before Caesar (12.5.3). For many scholars this event colors his other known actions, and his military aggression in particular. As Syme (1995) makes clear, the circumstances regarding Deiotarus’ assumption of the tetrarchy of the Trocmi are not very well understood. He may have simply been opportunistic in occupying a vacuum left by the death of the previous tetrarch, Brigotarus, or he may have played some role in Brigotarus’ downfall and death (127-36). Combining the most negative view of this event with the story reported by Strabo, many scholars have arrived at very pessimistic appraisals of Deiotarus’ character, rejecting Cicero’s descriptions of the tetrarch in doing so. Lob (1952) provides a typical example of this position, accepting Deiotarus’ martial virtues, but also accepting a picture of him as generally aggressive (and hence not well-described by the personal, philosophical virtues enumerated by Cicero). Dimundo (1997) goes so far as to say: “Le caratteristiche di Deiotaro, quali emergono dalle fonti storiche ufficiali, fanno di lui un uomo privo si scrupoli, dotato di una provvidenziale capacità di mutare radicalmente schieramento politico per conservare titolo e territori, a tal punto indifferente ai legami familiari da eliminare spietatemente i parenti stretti pur di estendere i suoi possedimenti” (12; see also 43n8 for her list of “fonti storiche ufficiali”). Coşkun (2013) 86 excerpts or summarizes Jones (1971), Willrich (1944), and Hoben (1969) as further proponents of this critical view. MacKendrick (1995), following the lead of Fausset (1893), takes the further step of calling Cicero’s descriptions of Deiotarus’ character in his defense “almost comic” (441). By this school of thought, Cicero must be understood to be speaking not out of conscience or a sense of justice, but because of obligations owing to his pre-existing relationship with the Galatian.

But Coşkun (2005) points out that negative appraisals of Deiotarus’ character are due almost exclusively to Strabo’s account, which both postdates the event by many years and is removed from the political exigencies of the historical context (139n39). He also collects very convincing evidence to suggest that Cicero’s portrait of Deiotarus might not be as out of line as others have suggested. Highlighting references to his persistent loyalty to Rome and its representatives, Coşkun (2013) accepts the possibility that Deiotarus was, in some quarters at least, genuinely regarded as “a wise and honourable man” with an earnest interest in his amicitia with the Roman people (87). Coşkun elsewhere points out that, because of their pre-existing relationships, Deiotarus’ character was not unknown to either Cicero or Caesar, and in neither case had it impeded their associations with him ([2005] 139). Cicero is, in fact, universally positive in his descriptions of Deiotarus, even outside the context of his defense (see Saddington [1993] 93-94). From this point of view, Cicero could be genuinely motivated to respond to trumped-up charges aimed at assassinating Deiotarus’ character (Coşkun [2013] 85). But even Coşkun (2005) admits that Cicero’s description of Deiotarus’ virtue in the speech may be exaggerated (“gegebenenfalls auch übertrieben,” 139).

7. On the relevance of the relationship between Cicero and Caesar to the case, see Coşkun (2005) 137.

8. Cicero’s connection to Deiotarus was without doubt a large factor in his taking of the case. This connection was forged by Cicero’s time in Cilicia (he summarizes his relationship with the tetrarch in Deiot. 39), and perhaps also by Deiotarus’ friendship toward Pompey and even Brutus (see Loutsch [1994] 410). Cicero admits to being motivated by this pre-existing relationship outside of the speech in Fam. 9.12.2. Saddington (1993) 93-94 reviews all of Cicero’s extant references to Deiotarus to show that Cicero consistently speaks in favor of the tetrarch, no matter the circumstances.

9. See n6 above on conventional assessments of Deiotarus’ character.

11. For a short summary of the role of otium in Cicero’s dialogues, see Dugan (2005) 149-51, in his discussion of De Oratore. See also Leach (1999), Stroup (2010), esp. 57-63, Hanchey (2013), and Connolly (2007) 100-102 for discussions of how Cicero frames, develops, and exploits the otium of the dialogues.

12. Deiot. 5-7. Though he claims to be restricted in playing on his audience’s emotions in this unusual case, in his opening words Cicero likewise claims that he himself feels certain emotions of trepidation, particularly about the uniqueness of the trial. Loutsch (1994) points out that such a claim is itself a rhetorical trope. It can therefore function as a signal that, despite this case’s irregularities, Cicero is in fact approaching it as he did the other cases of his career as an advocate, thus regularizing the non-standard conditions by treating them as standard (414-15). Loutsch proceeds to demonstrate the ways in which the exordium of the Deiot. conforms to standard rhetorical practice (422-23).

13. Cicero uses several lines of defense. In addition to the one addressed in this article, namely that Cicero seeks to represent Deiotarus and himself as virtue seekers whose virtue keeps them happy and prevents them from being threats to Caesar, Cicero also: a) assimilates Deiotarus to Roman ideals, b) attacks the character of the accusers, c) foregrounds Deiotarus’ role as an amicus populi Romani, and d) appeals to Caesar’s senses of clementia and amicitia. On the first strategy, see Saddington (1993) 87-96. For the others, see Coşkun (2005) 143-50.

14. On the specific goals and arguments of the exordium, see Dimundo (1997) 15-16 and Loutsch (1994) 414-24.

15. The arrangement is even more egregious here than in the other Caesarian speeches. Bringmann (1986) explains that the case presages judicial procedure under the empire. Jehne (1987) 434-39 discusses how Caesar used the cases of the Pompeians Ligarius and Deiotarus to consolidate legal authority in his own person.

16. For an interpretation of the foil between the two “tyrants,” see Botermann (1992), who discusses the contrast in terms of the positive light it casts on Deiotarus in comparison to the lessfavorably characterized Caesar.

17. On the funereal quality of Brutus, see Narducci (1997) 97-98, Gowing (2000) 58-59, and Dugan (2005) 172-77.

18. Baraz (2012) 179-80 discusses the double consolation of the dialogue both for the state of the republic and for the advancing burden of old age. This consolation is both personal (for Cicero himself) and communal, insofar as it is extended to Atticus.

19. The phrase appears three times across three genres around 56/55: De Orat. 1.1, Sest. 98, Fam. 1.9. On the significance of the idea, and particularly the interrelationship between the concept’s public and private components, see Wirszubski (1954), who argues inter alia that the opportunity to achieve private dignity is predicated on peace within the state.

20. It is of course a common practice for an advocate to demonstrate an affinity between himself and his client. The assimilation makes particular sense in cases such as the one at hand where there are instances of prior amicitia between the two men (the relationship between Deiotarus and Cicero has been detailed above; cf. Deiot. 39). In certain instances, such as Cicero’s defense of Caelius, Cicero appeals to a personal history with his client in such a way that he may use his own character to vouch for the character of the defendant. In Pro Ligario Cicero uses his own actions as proof that Ligarius was less opposed to Caesar than he was himself, and therefore Ligarius was even more worthy of the clementia that Caesar had shown to Cicero. But I will proceed to argue that uniquely in his defense of Deiotarus Cicero assimilates his client to himself by offering up descriptions of his client that square more with his own nature or aspirations, all in order to present a defense on his own behalf, not for past actions, but for his current condition.

21. See Gotoff (1993) 198 for an explanation of the contrast created by cum … tum.

22. Clu. 51 and Diu. Caec. 41; cf. De Orat. 1.120.

24. Powell (1988) 118 likewise connects the moderati of 7 with Atticus’ moderatio in 1. Compare Baraz (2012) 178-80.

25. Gotoff (2002) 256 explains these words as Cicero’s efforts to represent Caesar as his patronus who alone can lighten his own care.

26. For the possibility that Cicero’s speech contains significant irony and is aimed at criticizing Caesar, see Botermann (1992). Though as Coşkun (2005) 131 points out, such criticism would likely have had an adverse effect on Cicero’s defense.

27. That is, it resembles rhetorical licentia. Compare Coşkun (2005) 137.

28. On disagreements regarding Deiotarus’ character, see n6 above. Critics of his character (e.g., MacKendrick [1995] 441) dismiss the descriptions of his virtue as “comical.” Saddington (1993) 93-94 sees Cicero’s description, with its Romanized morality, as implausible for a Galatian. Even Coşkun (2005) 139, who espouses the most faith in Deiotarus’ character, admits that the virtue descriptions seem exaggerated. Cicero himself admits (Deiot. 26) that his description of Deiotarus in these terms is unconventional.

29. As noted above, there are several different explanations for this rhetorical strategy: 1) to present Deiotarus as a desirable ally for Caesar (Coşkun [2005]), 2) to criticize Caesar by contrasting his character with Deiotarus’ character (Botermann [1992]), 3) to “Romanize” Deiotarus, i.e., to make him more acceptable for inclusion in Roman aristocratic social circles (Saddington [1993] 93-94). As Saddington notes, such Romanization of a foreign-born dignitary became common practice under the Empire. Not precluding the first and third explanations, I suggest that he is doing something even more specific than praising Deiotarus or assimilating him to the Romans: he is assimilating him to a specific Roman, Cicero himself.

30. In particular, see Diu. 1.27, Phil. 11.33-4, Fam. 15.2.2, which describe his commitment to Rome and his military authority.

31. After all, his fault in the civil war, as described by Cicero, is that he “yielded to Pompey’s authority” (eius uiri auctoritati rex Deiotarus cessit, Deiot. 12).

32. Botermann (1992) suggests that Cicero’s description of Deiotarus’ virtue can offer a subtle, polemical contrast to the behavior and character of Caesar.

33. Elsewhere (Pis. 22) Cicero himself uses naked dancing as a means to critique his political enemy Gabinius as a debauched, inattentive, and unworthy consul. See Corbeill (1996) 135-39 for a discussion of dancing in Roman invective.

34. See May (1988) 28-30, who points to Cicero’s own explanations of the practice in his rhetorical theory (De Orat. 2.80, Inu. 1.97).

35. Dimundo (1997) 121 observes that the more typically royal virtues at play in this passage can be identified with the virtues of amicitia, and that they are intended to describe both Caesar and Deiotarus. In the case of two tyrants, these typically public virtues become characteristics of a private relationship. At the same time, as Dimundo notes, the private virtue of Deiotarus assumes a sort of public character insofar as it is, according to Cicero, celebrated and well-known. On the royal virtues and the possibility that Deiotarus’ virtue is contrasted with the more typically tyrannical behavior of Caesar, see Botermann (1992).

36. Again, see Syme (1995) for a relatively neutral summary of Deiotarus’ personal and political history. On his character, see n6 and n29 above.

37. For Cicero’s descriptions of Deiotarus outside of this speech, all of which refer positively to some aspect of the king, see Har. 29; Phil. 2.93, 11.33-34; Fam. 15.2.2, 15.4.5; Att. 5.17.3, 5.18.4, 5.20.9; Diu. 1.27, 2.78-79.

39. For the dating of the text particularly relative to the Battle of Thapsus, see Douglas (1966) ix and, more recently, Gowing (2000) 62-64. Compare also Stroup (2010) 238.

40. On the Brutus as a lament for the death of oratory, see Narducci (1997) 97-98, Gowing (2000) 58-9, and Dugan (2005) 172-77.

41. On the analogy of old age and Cicero’s own condition at the writing of Sen., see Powell (1988) 1-4.

42. Cicero’s close relationship with Torquatus is attested throughout his corpus, in speeches, treatises, and letters alike. He employs Torquatus elsewhere as an exemplum of virtuous living in Fin. (e.g., 2.72). On the Torquati family, see Mitchell (1966) 23-31.

43. While conquest (on Deiotarus’ efforts at expansion, see Syme [1995] 128-35) and revenge might not necessarily make an unethical king, they are not actions that necessarily call to mind the personal virtue Cicero attributes to Deiotarus. As observed above in n29 and n36, Cicero himself consistently praises Deiotarus even outside of this speech, though he tends to celebrate his military prowess and support of Rome rather than his philosophical virtue (cf. Diu. 1.27, Phil. 11.33-34, Fam. 15.2.2).