Cicero had a perfect mastery of all weapons wielded by a pleader in Rome.
When emperors became converts, the church, so lately a victim and a pleader for liberty, readily learned to persecute.
On returning to Rome he was nominated to the honorary office of sevir equitum romanorum, and was actively engaged as a pleader before the centumviri, the chancery court of Rome (vi.
POLYAENUS, a Macedonian, who lived at Rome as a rhetorician and pleader in the 2nd century A.D.
The opposition, which was led by one Eusebius, a "scholasticus" or pleader who afterwards became bishop of Dorylaeum, chose to construe this utterance as a denial of the divinity of Christ, and so violent did the dispute upon it become that Nestorius judged it necessary to silence the remonstrants by force.
This was at once his strength and his weakness: his strength, for as a professional pleader he had learned how to deal with an adversary according to the rules of the art - to pull to pieces his theses, to reduce him ad absurdum, and to show the defects and contradictions of his statements, - and was specially qualified to expose the irregularities in the proceedings taken by the state against the Christians; but it was also his weakness, for it was responsible for his litigiousness, his often doubtful shifts and artifices, his sophisms and argumentationes ad hominem, his fallacies and surprises.
As a pleader he attained neither high distinction nor very extensive practice, but he rapidly established a well-deserved reputation for sound knowledge, unwearied application and strict probity; and in 1766 he was elevated to the bench, when he assumed the title of Lord Hailes.
In his early days he was famous as a pleader, and his knowledge of Roman law is reflected in parts of his writings.
It is due to them that the Romans of the day are living figures to us, and that Cicero, in spite of, or rather in virtue of his frailties, is intensely human and sympathetic. The letters to Atticus abound in the frankest selfrevelation, though even in the presence of his confessor his instinct as a pleader makes him try to justify himself.
That brutal assault cost Sumner three years of heroic struggle to restore his shattered health - years during which Massachusetts loyally re-elected him, in the belief that in the Senate chamber his vacant chair was the most eloquent pleader for free speech and resistance to slavery.
Though neither a fluent speaker nor bold pleader, in a very few years he was at the head of his profession.