History: In Verrem Series of Speeches by Cicero

Cicero’s series of speeches called In Verrem allow us to understand the orator’s thoughts regarding how the Romans should have ruled their empire, and these texts have evidence that they cared about the welfare of their peoples. First, Cicero perceived himself as the patron of Sicilian citizens, so as soon as they came to him and asked for help fighting against extortion and plundering, he agreed. This shows that he was one of many noble people in Rome who truly cared about the well-being of persons in their provinces.

In his speeches, Cicero talks not only about Verres’ crimes important for the case but also about those negative actions and crimes that he conducted many years ago and that was not related to the process. However, the Roman law court needed to know about the consistency of character of the accused Verres to decide whether he was guilty or not. This argument also proves the judge’s and jury’s interest in making the right decision and caring about citizens’ virtues. Cicero argued that courts had to be almost a threat to all criminals, and this factor made people more aware of their actions.

The orator had his own perceptions of the way the empire needed to work. Cicero believed that there should have been no need and opportunity for bribes and corruption, and the elimination of bureaucracy was likely to make ordinary people happier and richer. Finally, he also talked about the necessity for military commanders to have less leeway when disposing of military customs. Instead of giving it to the empire or using it for the benefit of ordinary people, they hid everything in their homes to boast, which Cicero perceived as disgraceful and inappropriate behavior. Finally, he believed that people should have wanted justice and truth in all situations. Following all these rules would have made the empire even more successful.

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