ELECTIONEERING ADVICE IN THE AGE OF CICERO. In her interview, Mary Beard gleefully quotes a book that dates to the time of Cicero. It purports to be advice from Cicero’s brother on how to get elected to office. Mary Beard notes that it may not have been written by Cicero’s brother or written to Cicero. This wikipedia entry gives a number of arguments about authorship.
I think that whoever wrote it, it seems clear that the book reflects what people at the time thought about political promises.
Two bits of advice that Mary Beard quotes:
“Promise anything because you won’t actually have to deliver it.”
“It doesn’t really matter if you’re promising entirely inconsistent things.”