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The Praetorship, B.C. 66

In the next year (B.C. 67) we find Cicero elected to the praetorship, after at least two interruptions to the comitia, which, though not aimed at himself, gave him a foretaste of the political troubles to come a few years later. He is, however, at present simply annoyed at the inconvenience, not yet apprehensive of any harm to the constitution. The double postponement, indeed, had the effect of gratifying his vanity: for his own name was returned three times first of the list of eight. His praetorship (B.C. 66) passed without any startling event. The two somewhat meagre letters which remain belonging to this year tell us hardly anything. Still he began more or less to define his political position by advocating the lex Manilia, for putting the Mithridatic war into the hands of Pompey; and one of his most elaborate forensic speeches —that for Cluentius—was delivered in the course of the year: in which also his brother Quintus was elected to the aedileship.


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