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Cicero -106 έως -43 (63)

Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC - December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman orator, statesman, philosopher and writer, a person who shaped European thinking by transmitting the ancient Greek philosophy in Rome. He was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, southeast of Rome in a wealthy family and was educated in Rome with among others teachers, Diodoto the stoic, Phaedrus the Epicurean, Apollonius from the School of Rhodes. At 18 he fought under General Pompey Strabo in Allied War (90-88 BC). By the end of the war he continued his studies in philosophy, rhetoric and legal while began to orate in the courts. In 81 bC he gained great fame by winning a famous trial against a favored dictator Sulla. In 79, either for avoiding the wrath of Sulla or in order to complete his education, he traveled for two years in Athens, Asia Minor and Rhodes, becoming apprenticeship to the best known orators and philosophers of the time. He returned to Rome after the death of Sulla and became quaestor in 75 BC, aedile in 69 BC and praetor in 66 BC. In 63 he revealed Catiline’s conspiracy, saving Rome from a possible dictatorship. Catiline escaped but 5 of his accomplices were killed; however in this conspiracy many men of power were involved so Cicero acquired many enemies. They managed to convince people of Rome that conspirators were unjustly convicted; he finally had to flee from Rome. He lived in Thessaloniki for 17 months and then he was recalled from exile at the suggestion of Pompey, with whom he had a close friendship.

In 51 BC he was proconsul of Cilicia where he had great military successes. When he returned to Rome, war had broken out between Caesar and Pompey. He stayed for a while neutral but eventually went to Durres and sided with Pompey. Caesar prevailed and for about a year Cicero was prohibited from returning to Rome. When Caesar gave amnesty to his opponents, Cicero returned and for a while he lived away from politics, concentrating on his writing. He returned to politics after the assassination of Caesar, which he welcomed, believing that this would bring the restoration of democracy. He soon found out that the tyrant had died but not tyranny. He became the head of opposition against Antony; he gave fourteen harsh speeches against him that were called “Philipikoi” as they were compared to those of Demosthenes against Philip. When Antony prevailed, Cicero was again in a difficult position. He tried to depart from Rome, but he was found by Antony’s followers into the carriage that transported him. He was killed and his head was sent to Anthony, at the time he was in a council with his officials. Anthony placed thw head on the step beside him and his wife Fouvlia who was present, took a long needle and started tapping it furiously, as revenge for all that he had said against them. Cicero wrote many books, among them 107 rhetorical and forensic speeches, textbooks for rhetorical art, philosophical works on the philosophy of the Greeks and various historical and geographical studies. He is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

Oration against Catillina

CICERO, Moral Goodness