Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Marcus Tullius Cicero, generally regarded as one of the greatest orators of ancient Rome, was born at Arpinum (modern Arpino) in 106 BCE. He quickly rose to prominence as an advocate and politician. The high point of his political career was in 63 BCE when as Consul he is credited with suppressing the Catilinarian Conspiracy, although some modern sources question whether there actually was any plot. Between periods of political activity, Cicero also wrote a number of works on the Latin language, religion, and philosophy. After a series of speeches in opposition to Marcus Antonius, (the "Philippics") he was proscribed and killed in 43 BCE.

Representative Works


  • Pro Caelio
  • Pro Milone
  • In Pisonem
  • Contra Verres
  • Catilinarian speeches
  • Phillippics


  • Rhetorica
  • De Oratore
  • Orator
  • Topica




  • Epistolae ad Atticum (Letters to Atticus)
  • Epistolae ad Familiares (Letters to his Friends)
  • Epigramma (Epigrams)

Family and Background

Cicero was born in the municipium of Arpinum, within the area of Latium in central Italy.

Plutarch gives Cicero's mother's name as "Helvia" but based on an inscription from Samos, Enos (2005) asserts her name may have been "Cornelia". According to Everitt, in all the extant corpus Cicero never mentions his mother, leading to the speculation that she died while he was young.


Enos, Richard Leo, 2005. Speaking of Cicero . . . and His Mother: A Research Note on an Ancient Greek Inscription and the Study of Classical Rhetoric. Rhetoric Review; 2005, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p457-465, 9p [1]

Everitt, Anthony, 2001. Cicero. The life and times of Rome's greatest politician. Random House ISBN 037575895x

Plutarch's "Life of Cicero"

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