The Letters of Cicero [Christmas Summary Classics]
Christmas Summary Classics
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MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO
The Letters of Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero was born on January 3, 106 B.C. Educated under the best teachers in the Greek culture of the day, he won a speedy reputation at the Bar and developed a keen interest in the various schools of Greek philosophy. His able and intrepid exposure of Catiline's conspiracy brought him the highest popularity, but he was attacked, in turn, by the ignoble Clodius, who obtained his banishment in 58 B.C. In the ensuing conflict between Cæsar and Pompey, Cicero was attached to the party of Pompey and the senate, as against Cæsar and the people. He kept clear of the conspiracy against Cæsar's life, but after the assassination he undertook an oratorical campaign against Antony, and was entrusted with the government of the city. But on the return of the triumvirate, Octavianus, Antony, and Lepidus, Cicero's name was included in the list of those who were to be done away, and he was murdered in the year 43 B.C., at 63 years of age. The correspondence of the great Roman advocate, statesman, and man of letters, preserved for us by the care of his freedman Tiro, is the richest and most interesting collection of its kind in the world's archives. The many-sided personality of their writer, his literary charm, the frankness with which he set down his opinions, hopes, and anxieties, the profound historical interest of this period of the fall of the republic, and the intimate glimpses which we get of Roman life and manners, combine to make Cicero's "Letters" perennially attractive. The series begins in B.C. 68, when Cicero was 38 years of age, and runs on to within a short time of his death in B.C. 43. The letters, of which there are 800, are addressed to several correspondents, of whom the most frequent and important is Titus Pomponius, surnamed Atticus, whose sister had married Cicero's brother Quintus. Atticus was a wealthy and cultivated man who had lived many years in Athens. He took no side in the perilous politics of the time, but Cicero relied always on his affectionate counsel, and on his ever-ready service in domestic matters.
- Zhingoora Books, November 2012
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