The last era of the Roman Republic is known for its fierce political rivalries. Within a crumbling system, individuals strove for supremacy on the battlefield—and on the speaker’s platform. In the political culture of the late Roman Republic, a politician was by definition an orator. Before juries, voters, and peers, the elite competed for renown and influence, often at the expense of each other. With words, a Roman politician made many enemies.
In this antagonistic political culture, morality was of central concern. Moral character showed the people who to trust with the governing of the res publica. But immorality also became an argument for verdicts at Roman trials and for political action in the Senate.
Through the speeches of Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BCE), Isak Hammar traces the orator’s use of portraits of immorality and his reliance on the immoral argument as a means to persuade and influence.
Making Enemies is Isak Hammar’s doctoral thesis.