October 16, 2012

Getty Villa Offers Ancient Advice for Winning an Election

How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians

At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa
Saturday, October 27, 2012, 2:00 p.m.


MEDIA CONTACT:                 
Desiree Zenowich
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7304

Portrait of Marcus Tullius Cicero, originally published in Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums (K. A. Baumeister, 1885)


LOS ANGELES—The presidential contenders might want a little timely advice from the ancients, available at the Getty Villa this month in a free lecture titled How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians.

In 64 B.C., Marcus Tullius Cicero, the greatest orator in ancient Rome, was running for consul, the highest office in the land. Cicero was a brilliant man and a gifted speaker, but he lacked the campaign skills needed in the cutthroat world of Roman politics. So his worldlier brother Quintus wrote for him a down-and-dirty guide to winning an election.

On October 27, classicist Philip Freeman will discuss Quintus’ “little-known pamphlet" and the advice it contains, which include some gems that will be all too familiar to modern voters: promise everything to everybody, exploit the weaknesses of your opponents, and give voters hope.

About Philip Freeman

Philip Freeman earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and has taught at Boston University in Massachusetts and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Currently he holds the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He has been a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Freeman is the author of a dozen books, including biographies of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. In 2012 Freeman published his translation of Quintus Cicero’s letter to Marcus Cicero entitled How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Princeton University Press). 

How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians will take place on Saturday, October 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Getty Villa Auditorium.  Tickets are free but a reservation is required.  Parking is $15. To reserve tickets call (310) 440-7300 or visit:

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

Visiting the Getty Villa
The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.

Additional information is available at
Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit for a complete calendar of public programs.

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