Marcus Tullius Cicero
Roman orator, philosopher, and politician
Born: 106 B.C.
Cicero was the most famous of all Roman orators. He held a variety of political posts and was known as an opponent of both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. Cicero condemned Caesar’s rise because he predicted it would concentrate power in one ruler’s hands and thereby lessen the influence of the senate—and it did. However, he did not participate in the assassination of Caesar. After Marc Antony took office, Cicero spoke in the senate against Marc Antony and in defense of the Republic; for this he was put to death.
Many of Cicero’s philosophical and rhetorical writings have survived, along with nearly sixty of his speeches, which are some of the most admired works in Latin. Cicero’s letters are also notable for their vivid details of daily life and political intrigue in ancient Rome.
See also Encyclopedia: Cicero.Died: 43 B.C.