The Orations of Cicero


Category: Philosophy and Politics

By Cicero

Published from 1852-56

Reference #0058-0061

“Roman orator, statesman, and man of letters. After carefully preparing himself for a career in law, Cicero made his oratorical debut under the dictatorship of Sulla, his first public success occurring in 80 B.C. In 64 BC he succeeded in being elected consul of Rome.

It was this year of his consulate (63) that marked his greatest success: the almost single-handed foiling of the conspiracy of Catiline. His four brilliant orations against Catiline show that Cicero was not only a master of the Roman art of pleading but also a master of the equally Roman art of politics; he emerges as a beleaguered patriot protecting himself from paid assassins, a shrewd chief of state gathering the means to overcome a civil criminal, and a clever propagandist presenting himself to the people as one greater than Romulus, for Romulus merely founded Rome, while Cicero was its savior.

Cicero was not only Rome’s greatest orator; he was perhaps its most articulate philosopher. Through his philosophical treatises, he helped to make Latin a strong, yet surprisingly flexible, vehicle for logical speculation.”