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Cicero and the Roman
Republic
The Early Life
Cicero was born January 3, 106 B.C.
 According to Plutarch, he was an extremely
adept student
 Cicero also had a love for almost everything
Greek. He found the ancient philosophers such
as Plato very thought provoking.
 Cicero served as quaestor (elected official) in
western Sicily in 75 BC
 Despite his great political success, Cicero
suffered from his lack of reputable ancestry
 In 63 BC, Cicero was elected to the Roman
consul

Life in the Consul
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His only significant accomplishment during his year in
office was the suppression of the Catiline conspiracy, a
plot to overthrow the Roman Republic
Cicero was able to oust Catiline through a series of
speeches to the Senate however he left behind his
'deputies' to start the revolution from within whilst
Catiline assaulted it from without
Cicero managed to have these 'deputies' of Catiline
confess their crime in front of the entire Senate
After much debate about their punishment in the
Senate, Cicero had the conspirators taken to a Roman
prison, where they were hanged.
He was honored for suppressing the conspiracy, but
thereafter lived in fear of trial or exile for having put
Roman citizens to death without trial
Life in Exile
In 58 BC, a new law went into effect exiling any
man who had put Roman citizens to death
without trial
 Cicero claimed his honor had protected him
against legal penalty, but he appeared ragged
in public and began to beg for support from the
people
 Cicero maintained that the Senate was jealous
of him which was why they did not save him
from exile
 While in exile, he began putting his speeches to
paper.
 Cicero returned after over a dozen months from
his exile to a cheering crowd

Last Attempts at Politics
Cicero was taken completely by surprise when
Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March
44 BC
 In a letter to one of the conspirators, Cicero
expressed a wish of having been "...invited to
that superb banquet"
 Cicero became a popular leader during the
instability and was disgusted with Mark Antony
 Cicero and Antony became the leading men in
Rome; Cicero as spokesman for the Senate,
and Antony as consul and as executor of
Caesar's wishes
 During this time, Cicero became an unrivaled
popular leader

Cicero’s Last Stand
Cicero and Antony, quarreled bitterly over their
political power and personalities.
 Cicero's failed plan to drive out Octavian and
Antony resulted in bloodshed
 Cicero was soon numbered among the enemies
of the state and was forced to flee Rome
 Antony hunted for Cicero most viciously
throughout Italy. Many men fell bravely
 Cicero’s confidants tried to protect him as long
as they could. However, his executioners had
arrived at his hideout.

Cicero’s Last Stand
His last words were said to have been
"there is nothing proper about what you
are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me
properly.“
 He was decapitated by his pursuers on
December 7, 43 BC
 Antony's wife Fulvia took Cicero's head,
pulled out his tongue, and jabbed the
tongue repeatedly with her hairpin, taking
a final revenge against Cicero's power of
speech.

Cicero’s Legacy
He was declared a "Righteous Pagan" by the
early Catholic Church, and therefore many of
his works were deemed worthy of preservation
 Saint Augustine and others quoted liberally
from his works "The Republic" and "The Laws,"
and it is due to this that we are able to recreate
much of the work from the surviving fragments
 Of Cicero's books, six on rhetoric have
survived, as well as parts of seven on
philosophy
 Of his speeches, eighty-eight were recorded,
but only fifty-eight survive
 More than 800 letters by Cicero to others exist,
and over 100 letters from others to him
