How to Win an Election

How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians

Quintus Tullius Cicero
Translated and with an introduction by Philip Freeman
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7s9n9
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  • Book Info
    How to Win an Election
    Book Description:

    How to Win an Electionis an ancient Roman guide for campaigning that is as up-to-date as tomorrow's headlines. In 64 BC when idealist Marcus Cicero, Rome's greatest orator, ran for consul (the highest office in the Republic), his practical brother Quintus decided he needed some no-nonsense advice on running a successful campaign. What follows in his short letter are timeless bits of political wisdom, from the importance of promising everything to everybody and reminding voters about the sexual scandals of your opponents to being a chameleon, putting on a good show for the masses, and constantly surrounding yourself with rabid supporters. Presented here in a lively and colorful new translation, with the Latin text on facing pages, this unashamedly pragmatic primer on the humble art of personal politicking is dead-on (Cicero won)--and as relevant today as when it was written.

    A little-known classic in the spirit of Machiavelli'sPrince, How to Win an Electionis required reading for politicians and everyone who enjoys watching them try to manipulate their way into office.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4164-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Philosophy, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. vii-xxii)

    In the summer of 64 BC, Marcus Tullius Cicero, the greatest orator ancient Rome ever produced, was running for consul, the highest office in the Roman Republic. He was forty-two years old, the son of a wealthy businessman from the small town of Arpinum south of Rome. His father had seen that Marcus and his younger brother Quintus received the finest education and had even sent the boys to Greece to study with the most noted philosophers and orators of the day.

    Marcus was a gifted speaker and possessed a brilliant mind equal to his golden tongue. What he lacked...

  4. A NOTE ON THE TRANSLATION
    (pp. xxiii-xxvi)
  5. HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION
    (pp. 1-86)

    1. Although you already have all the skills a man can possess through natural ability, experience, and hard work, because of the affection we have for one another I would like to share with you what I have been thinking about night and day concerning your upcoming campaign. It’s not that you need my advice, but such affairs can seem so chaotic that it’s sometimes best to lay things out in one place in a logical order.

    2. Always remember what city this is, what office it is you seek, and who you are. Every day as you go down to the...

  6. THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION
    (pp. 87-88)

    Marcus Cicero won the race for consul, gaining more votes than any other candidate. Antonius narrowly beat catiline for the other consular seat. Catiline ran again the next year, but was once again defeated, prompting him to conspire to raise an army to violently overthrow the republic. In his role as consul, Cicero uncovered the conspiracy and persuaded the Senate to declare war on catiline, who was subsequently killed in battle. For his actions, Cicero was namedPater Patriae(“Father of His country”), a title he proudly bore the rest of his life as he struggled to preserve the power...

  7. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 89-96)
  8. FURTHER READING
    (pp. 97-99)