Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) was a key figure in the turbulent closing years of the Roman Republic. The principles he expounded, occasionally compromised, and eventually died for, draw on wide practical experience as well as a deep knowledge and reflection. Against Verres sealed the fate of a corrupt provincial governor and made Cicero's reputation; the Philippics a brillian series of attacks on one-man rule, and on Mark Antony in particular, cost him his life. For Murena and Balbus by contrast are examples of expediency in action. All appear here complete or in extract, along with treatises On Laws and On the State, and the Brutus, a masterly survey of Roman oratory in an era when statesmen were above all public speakers. Such works, suggests Michael Grant, reveal Cicero's pioneering interest in 'the mechanics, tactics and strategies of government,'
These pioneering writings on the mechanics, tactics, and strategies of government were devised by the Roman Republic's most enlightened thinker.
An accomplished poet, philosopher, rhetorician, and humorist, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC- 43 BC) was also the greatest forensic orator Rome ever produced. To Cicero, service to the res publica (literally, "the public affair") was a Roman citizen's highest duty. At age 26 (in 80 BC), he successfully defended a man prosecuted unjustly by a crony of the bloodthirsty dictator Sulla. In 69 BC, he brought to order the corrupt Sicilian governor Verres. As consul in 63 BC, he put down the Catilinarian conspiracy; later, he was sent into exile for refusing to join the First Triumvirate. Late in life, he led the Senate's gallant but unsuccessful battle against Antony, for which he paid with his life on 7 December 43 BC.
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