The Second Philippic Against Antony

My Thoughts

Oh boy... from what I understand, Antony never heard Cicero's second Philippic against him, but I imagine if he did, Cicero would have suffered an even more horrific fate that what he had actually gone through. Cicero and Antony never seemed to like each other. Antony's step-father, Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, was one of the five conspirators executed without due process during the second Catilinarian conspiracy. Cicero was consul at this time and was largely to blame. Little did Cicero know, almost 20 years from that date one of the conspirator's step-sons would become one of the most powerful men in Rome.

I honestly do not think Cicero cared much about his fate during his last year alive. He did most of his writing during this time as I imagine he somewhat realized what little time he had. This particular piece was extremely harsh, and I loved every line of it.

Cicero demolishes Antony's character without remorse. A staunch supporter of the Republic and a man that lives by the virtues of a Stoic, Cicero attacks with eloquence and enough rhetoric to persuade you to hate Antony by the end. Here are a few examples:

At one point you tried to be witty. Heaven knows this did not suit you.

Ouch! What about this one?

You see - my intentions to you are friendly. I am praising you for the good intention you once had! For not having reported the plot, I thank you; for not having carried it out, I excuse you. That task needed a man.

I could fill page upon page with "Cicero's Greatest Hits" just from this text alone. I don't want to fill the article with quotes so here is one last example:

Very well, you bungled the matter through inexperience. We can not expect good judgment from someone who is never sober.

My Rating

There is a reason why Cicero was considered the golden standard throughout history. I rate this highly entertaining invective a 4.5 / 5. Hilarious, shocking, and undeniably heroric.

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