Cicero: A Biography

Cicero: A Biography

Cicero: A Biography

Cicero: A Biography

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to give as comprehensive an account of Cicero as a single volume will permit. It endeavors to keep a proper proportion between his political activities and his accomplishments as an orator and a writer of essays and letters. It aims to present the Roman background, which alone can make the narrative intelligible to any but the special student; to determine and to make clear the Roman attitude toward a man's work in the world, the political atmosphere of Rome, the spirit in which the orators spoke, and the Roman view of rhetoric, philosophy, and authorship. Above all, it seeks to give a narrative of Cicero's life as it unfolded from one period to another, and to convey a little of the spirit that animated him.

The manuscript of this book has been read, completely or in part, and assistance of various kinds has been given me by several of my colleagues. Professor J. T. Allen and Professor A. W. Ryder have offered many helpful suggestions; Professor M. E. Deutsch has placed a number of lecture notes at my disposal; Professor O. M. Washburn, who as Manager of the University Press has skillfully supervised the printing of the book, has suggested numerous improvements; and Professor R. F. Scholz, now at the University of Washington, has given me the benefit of his knowledge of Roman history and politics. Professor I. M. Linforth has practically acted as editor, and has read the entire manuscript with great care; there is scarcely a page in the book which has not profited by his keen and sympathetic criticism. To Professor G. R. Noyes, finally, I owe perhaps most. His thorough scholarship, his eminent literary gifts, and, more than all else, his generous appreciation and encouragement, have been of priceless value to me in more ways than can readily be described. It gives me great pleasure to express here my heartfelt gratitude to these gentlemen.

TORSTEN PETERSSON.

February, 1919.

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