In Toga Candida


In Toga Candida is a speech given by Cicero during his election campaign in 64 BC for the consulship of 63 BC. The speech was directed at his competitors, Catilina and Antonius, who were also running for consulship for the same year. The speech no longer survives, though a commentary on it written by Asconius does survive.[1]

The speech is called Oratio in Toga Candida since candidates wore specially whitened (Latin candida) togas, origin of the word candidate.[2] Cicero used his election campaign speech to denounce his rivals and hint at secret powers behind Catiline. The tactics were successful and he secured the consulship.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Petersson, Torstein (1920). Cicero: A Biography. Out of Copyright reprint Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1417951864.
  2. ^ "Candidate". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  3. ^ H.H. Scullard From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome 133 BC to AD 68 2010 p92 "In a speech to the Senate (Oratio in Toga Candida: candidates wore specially whitened togas) Cicero denounced his rivals and hinted that there were secret powers behind Catilinia. Thus Cicero, the novus homo, secured the consulship for 63"
  4. ^ Erich S. Gruen The Last Generation of the Roman Republic 1974 270 "Catilinia's early career gained impetus from nimble maneuvering and resourceful and unscrupulous tactics. Tradition registers a catalogue of perversities, several drawn from Cicero's venomous In Toga Candida and the Commentanolum ."
  5. ^ David Colin Arthur Shotter The Fall Of The Roman Republic 2005 p55 "In two places — in his own election speech (Oratio in Toga Candida) in 64 and in his Orations against Catiline in the following year — Cicero alleged that on 1 January 65, Catiline was in the Forum with a dagger ready to assassinate the ..."

External links

  • The 'First' Catilinarian Conspiracy: A further re-examination of the evidence
  • Fragments of the speech and more information