How important was the rhetorical context of Cicero's orations: his listeners' fear of Catiline's conspiracy and army?
Cicero's rhetoric was his major advantage in his case against Catiline. Cicero, who was equipped with very little real proof, had to rely on his skill with words and rhetoric in order to ensure the success of his case against Catiline. Cicero was a master of rhetoric. With it he was able to stir the emotions of his listeners to fear Catiline and his army; without it he would not have got very far in trying to put a stop to Catiline's conspiracy. The rhetorical context of Cicero's orations was possibly the most important and effective factor in his arguments against Catiline.