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Marcus Tullius Cicero

Roman Statesman
Marcus Tullius Cicero ; Ancient Greek: Κικέρων Kikerōn; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC; sometimes anglicized as Tully /ˈtʌli/), was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists. His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language". Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia) distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture. According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity." The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial. His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted the government overthrow through an attack on the city from outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently killed in 43 BC.
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Quotes by Marcus Tullius Cicero

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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It is as hard for the good to suspect evil, as it is for the bad to suspect good.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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The sinews of war are infinite money.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Never injure a friend, even in jest.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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For how many things, which for our own sake we should never do, do we perform for the sake of our friends.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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I am not ashamed to confess that I am ignorant of what I do not know.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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A letter does not blush.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Empire and liberty.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Like associates with like.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Laws are silent in time of war.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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No one can give you better advice than yourself.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and readiness to forgive.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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An unjust peace is better than a just war.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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To live is to think.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.

by Marcus Tullius Cicero
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