7. Study Questions Copy

We suggest that you try to answer the study questions before viewing the answers (answers can be seen by clicking on the questions below). 


vicinitatis, virtute, existimatione. They are given as a tricolon crescens, emphasising his superior social rank amongst his qualities.

Sassia, the mother of Cludentius. The delay creates suspense as to her identity, but also, it is almost as if Cicero does not wish to dignify this monstrous creature with a name.

Melinus is described as the son in law of Sassia (‘generi sui’), Cluentia as filia and Sassia as mater. They imply a quasi-incestuous nature to their relationships. They are too close to each other (they are family).

It is essentially the start of an extended passage smearing the reputation of Sassia, which will, in turn, help to establish the awful characters of Sassia and Oppianicus Senior, and casting the defendant (Cluentius) is a positive light. This sort of character assassination was common in the Roman justice system, and Cicero has used it himself before, but we would not find this type of ad hominem attacks in modern trials.


Play Video