Marcus Tullius Cicero

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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.



Quotes by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Justice consists of doing no one injury, decency in giving no one offense. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Knowledge which is divorced from justice, may be called cunning rather than wisdom. Marcus Tullius Cicero

The administration of government, like a guardianship ought to be directed to the good of those who confer, not of those who receive the trust. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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For of all gainful professions, nothing is better, nothing more pleasing, nothing more delightful, nothing better becomes a well-bred man than agriculture. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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I am a Roman citizen. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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As I give thought to the matter, I find four causes for the apparent misery of old age; first, it withdraws us from active accomplishments; second, it renders the body less powerful; third, it deprives us of almost all forms of enjoyment; fourth, it stands not far from death. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Ability without honor is useless. Marcus Tullius Cicero

I add this, that rational ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability. Marcus Tullius Cicero

We should not be so taken up in the search for truth, as to neglect the needful duties of active life; for it is only action that gives a true value and commendation to virtue. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Advice is judged by results, not by intention. Marcus Tullius Cicero

The foolishness of old age does not characterize all who are old, but only the foolish. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Every stage of human life, except the last, is marked out by certain and defined limits; old age alone has no precise and determinate boundary. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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There is no one so old as to not think they may live a day longer. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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No one is so old as to think he cannot live one more year. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Old age, especially an honored old age, has so great authority, that this is of more value than all the pleasures of youth. Marcus Tullius Cicero
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When you are aspiring to the highest place, it is honorable to reach the second or even the third rank. Marcus Tullius Cicero

The noblest spirit is most strongly attracted by the love of glory. Marcus Tullius Cicero


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