Cicero the Patriot

Cicero the Patriot

Cicero the Patriot

Cicero the Patriot

Synopsis

Light-hearted in tone but faithful to the facts, this readable volume interweaves the story of Cicero's private life and feelings with the development of his public life and his literary output. Williams shows the human side of the renowned orator. Students will enjoy while they learn about Cicero and his times. Supplementary materials make this an invaluable resource for both students and teachers. Features: Complete description of the events and historical circumstances of Cicero's life A timeline of historical events and the publication of Cicero's works Glossary of terms One-page summary of Cicero's life Teacher's Manual Features: suggestions for study enrichment sample report topics further information for the teacher thought questions for the students quick questions to test the student's comprehension.

Excerpt

Illum ipsum consulatum suum non sine causa,
sed sine fine laudabat
.

He praised his own achievements not without cause
but without end.

Seneca Minor, Dialogorum, X,5.1 (De Brevitate Vitae)

Marcus Tullius Cicero had his share of human frailties. He combined great natural ability and hard work with a very high opinion of his own worth. He truly loved his country and took great risks for it, but he always thought his efforts could have been appreciated much more than he felt they ever were. Republican Rome was one of those annoying societies profusely provided with off shoots of great family trees, some in a bad state of decay but still affording their off spring a boundless sense of superiority, even in the face of their personal total worthlessness. A man such as Cicero, keenly aware of his personal gifts and the contributions he had made to his society by those gifts, did not appreciate being sneered at by some chinless wonder of the aristocracy. It is not surprising that he trumpeted his own successes; he felt that somebody needed to, and shyness was never one of his faults.

When young, Cicero honed his remarkable speaking skills under the tutelage of two great actors—Roscius the comedian and Aesopus the tragedian. There was something uncannily prognostic in this, as he became in a small sense a comic, and in a large sense a tragic, figure. With Roscius he polished his acerbic wit and his appreciation of the ironic, and his insistence upon blaring forth his own good qualities gave him a humorous aspect that the suave, assured Caesar and the bluff warrior Pompey both escaped. His life, however, was essentially a tragedy. His very deepest love was given to two . . .

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