Article

Cicero

Catherine Steel

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0012
Cicero

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Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 bce) was a prominent lawyer and politician, active at Rome during the final decades of oligarchic rule and in the period of Caesar’s dictatorship. He was assassinated in November of 43 bce by followers of Mark Antony because of his opposition to Antony after Caesar’s death. His position as a politician makes him an important figure in the history of the late Republic. He reached the consulship in 63 bce, during which year he uncovered and suppressed an attempted coup led by Catiline. His role in executing five of the conspirators without trial led some years later to his exile, and after his return from exile he struggled to reestablish his political authority in a Rome increasingly dominated by the struggle between Pompey and Caesar. He spent the period of Caesar’s dictatorship largely in retirement, but emerged as a major figure in the chaos after Caesar’s assassination. Just as important, or perhaps even more so, he was a prolific writer in an enormous variety of genres. He disseminated versions of many of his forensic and political speeches, as well as works of political theory and philosophy that were enormously influential in later periods; and collections of his letters to his close friend Atticus, his brother Quintus, and a wide range of other figures survive, as well as some poetry.

Article.  7689 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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