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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,'
"The creature you have to deal with, Romans, is not just a villainous crook"
Cicero (106-43BC) was a key figure in the Roman Republic and a witness to its dramatic collapse into a dictatorship. The seven works collected here expound his passionate belief in national harmony, fully demonstrating his formidable powers as an orator and writer. Delivered after the assassination of Julius Caesar when Mark Antony looked set to take over Rome, the Philippics are a brilliant attack on one-man rule that ultimately cost cicero his life. In Against Verres, he argues for the impeachment of a corrupt provincial governor, yet Cicero's principles were tested in For Murena and Far Balbus when he was forced to defend guilty men in order to maintain political stability. On the State and On Laws are treatises on the art of government, while the Brutus is masterly survey oratory, a Roman Statesman's most important skill.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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.