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Life of Cicero

Submitted by rmmcdonald on Wed, 10/02/2019 - 14:29

The legacy of Cicero that I knew about before reading his quick biography was that he was an excellent orator. That still seems true, but he was certainly more than that. It appears his oratory skills are what elevated him to the next level of his political career. I doubt he had any remarkable military experience because "he was spare and lean, and owing to a weakness of the stomach" (Plutarch, III). Therefore he must have relied strongly on his oratory and debating skills in order to prove himself to the people of Rome. I think it was especially interesting that he was a son of a knight, not a nobleman, which was rather unique for a consul. This must reflect how highly Rome though of Cicero because they did not care about his lineage when they chose him to run against Catiline. I also find it interesting that despite his drastic ruling to execute traitors, the Roman people still seemed to support him. In fact they "voted him the greatest honours ever conferred and called him the father of his country" (Plutarch, XXIII). I wonder if the Romans actually approved of the executions or just so vehemently supported Catiline that they bestowed him these honors regardless.