When emperors became converts, the church, so lately a victim and a pleader for liberty, readily learned to persecute.
Cicero had a perfect mastery of all weapons wielded by a pleader in Rome.
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.
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.