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Review of Cursus Honorum

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This video is a nice review of the cursus honorum: " the sequential order of public offices held by aspiring politicians in the Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire. It was designed for men of senatorial rank. The cursus honorum comprised a mixture of military and political administration posts. Each office had a minimum age for election. There were minimum intervals between holding successive offices and laws forbade repeating an office"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursus_honorum#:~:text=The cursus honorum (pronounced [ˈkʊrsʊs,for men of senatorial rank.

Not too surprisingly, ancient Roman political machinations are similar to those of modern politics:

 

 

Quote

 

In 64 B.C Marcus Tullius Cicero was running for the post of Roman consul.

Cicero, a political outsider, was a brilliant man and gifted speaker with a burning desire to gain the highest office in the ancient republic.

As the campaign approached, his brother Quintus wrote to him offering some advice on how to win the election that would make Machiavelli proud.[Commentariolum Petitionis ("little handbook on electioneering"), also known as De petitione consulatus ("on running for the Consulship")]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commentariolum_Petitionis

1. Promise everything to everyone. Quintus says that the best way to win voters is to tell them what they want to hear: “Remember Cotta, that master of campaigning, who said he would promise anything, unless some clear obligation prevented him, but only lived up to those promises that benefited him.” As Quintus says, people will be much angrier with a candidate who refuses to make promises than with one who, once elected, breaks them.

2. Call in all favors. If you have helped friends or associates in the past, let them know that it’s payback time: “Make it clear to each one under obligation to you exactly what you expect from him. Remind them all that you have never asked anything of them before, but now is the time to make good on what they owe you.” If someone isn’t in your debt, remind him that if elected, you can reward him later, but only if he backs you now.

3. Know your opponent’s weaknesses—and exploit them. Quintus practically invented opposition research: “Consider Antonius, who once had his property confiscated for debt…then after he was elected as praetor, he disgraced himself by going down to the market and buying a girl to be his sex slave.” A winning candidate calmly assesses his opponent and then focuses relentlessly on his weaknesses, all the while trying to distract voters from his strengths.

4. Flatter voters shamelessly. Quintus warns his brother: “You can be rather stiff at times. You desperately need to learn the art of flattery—a disgraceful thing in normal life but essential when you are running for office.” A candidate must make voters believe that he thinks they’re important. Shake their hands, look them in the eye, listen to their problems.

5. Give people hope. Even the most cynical voter wants to believe in someone: “The most important part of your campaign is to bring hope to people and a feeling of goodwill toward you.” Voters who are persuaded that you can make their world better will be your most devoted followers—at least until after the election, when you will inevitably let them down.

 

https://fs.blog/2012/03/5-things-cicero-can-teach-you-about-winning-an-election/

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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