Marco Tulio Cicero , was an important Roman statesman, lawyer , scholar, and writer who tried in vain to uphold republican principles in the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic. His writings include books of rhetoric , prayers , philosophical and political treatises , and letters . He is remembered in modern times as the most important Roman orator and as the greatest and the best innovator of what is known as Ciceronian rhetoric.

  • When he was born:  01/03/106 BC
  • Where he was born:  Arpino, Italy
  • When he died:  12/07/43 BC
  • Where he died:  Formia, Italy

Who was Cicero?

Cicero was an important thinker, philosopher, politician and also writers of ancient Rome and very famous for his judicial speeches . Known for his oratory that was his weapon to disseminate his ideologies and thoughts in the history of Rome.

  • Cicero biography
  • Cicero’s thought
  • Oratory
  • Speeches
  • Cicero’s contributions
  • The Republic
  • Cicero’s works
  • Phrases

Cicero biography

Cicero was born on January 3, 106 in Arpino , which was a municipality of Rome . Coming from a commoner family, his father was a gentleman whose delicate health prevented him from fulfilling any political aspiration, so he dedicated himself to the field. Her mother Hevia died young and was described as a classic Roman matron .

In Rome , he studied with famous speakers and jurists and, after the civil war, he began his career as a lawyer. He traveled to Greece to enhance his philosophical and political training and was a disciple of the Epicurean Phaedrus and Stoick . He continued with his political career, achieving the highest distinctions. He began his career as a magistrate in Sicily and agreed to defend the Sicilians oppressed by the former magistrate Verres , managing to impose a sentence on him, which made him very popular among the plebs and consolidated his reputation as a lawyer.

He was a devoted supporter of republicanism , and for him, the state should have a strong man at the helm to give it stability. With the dictatorship of Caesar, his career began to decline, and when Caesar was assassinated, Cicero managed to rejoin politics to try to restore the republican regime. In 43 BCE , Cicero was arrested and murdered .

Cicero’s thought

His thinking reflected an anti-dogmatic attitude and of other currents. It was also based on probabilism, exalting the religious part with Neoplatonic tendencies . As a writer, he was a model of classical Latin prose , with a balanced style and long and complex periods, although each of them were perfectly linked.


His work stands out in the way in which the training of the speaker must be, which for him must be comprehensive and start from birth . Morally, he was in charge of defending the human community regardless of ethnic differences or the supremacy of natural law in his masterpiece, in addition to demonstrating at all times against cruelty and torture .

He took up the thought of Eclecticism . In his oratory he talks about the importance of social cohesion and the links that exist between individuals. His ideas about religion, and about the nature of the gods tell us that he supported free will .


  • First Catilinaria : Oratio in Catilinam Prima in Senatu Habita. This speech is short and was a speech by Cicero to Catiinaria . He was told so much in the speech that he had to flee to Manlio where the rebel army was located.
  • Second Catilinaria: Oratio in Catilinam Secunda in Senatu Habita ad Populum. Cicero informed all the inhabitants of Rome that Catilinam had fled the city to join the rebels with the aim of overthrowing the government and the people . He made a description of the followers of Catilina. With this speech a battle developed between the troops of Catilina and those of Antonio.
  • Third Catilinaria : Oratio in Catilinam Tertia ad Populum. In this speech he communicated to the city that they had won the battle.
  • Fourth Catilinaria : Oratio in Catilinam Quartum in Senatu Habita. Cicero established in this speech the bases that would be used by the orators in the trials and the execution of the conspirators.

Cicero’s contributions

His main contributions were:

  • He promoted the foundation of the State and the strengthening of cities.
  • Creation of laws for nations.
  • He established a universal state .
  • He established civic training and the use of reason .
  • He gave special importance to the study of virtue .

The Republic

For Cicero, the republic belonged to the people, but at the same time the people were not simply a group of human beings, but a meeting of people who were related to justice agreements and associations to create the common good of the people.

Cicero’s works

Cicero’s main works were:

  • Rhetoric : they were a series of treatises in which he compiled his knowledge of Greek rhetoric in and of his research on Roman oratory , from which he had taken his personal experience as a lawyer and statesman. In De oratore y Orator he is responsible for listing the innate qualities that a speaker must have. In Brutus , a work that bases its name on the person to whom it is dedicated, Cicero reconstructs the history of Greek and Roman eloquence. In his work “ De optimal genere oratorum ” he talks about eloquence.
  • Letters : it is in them where your spirit really manifests itself. There are more than 900 letters discovered in the fifteenth century with topics ranging from the events intimate and political, family, officers.
  • Speeches : he gave speeches and his secretaries wrote them down, then reviewed and made changes to them. There are more than 50 writings and their topics include judicial speeches, defense speeches in favor of friends or clients, accusations such as the speeches of ” In Verrem ” who had been accused of corruption. He also had political speeches among which stand out ” the Catilinaires ” with which he managed to eliminate the conspiracy of Catilina, and the ” Filípicas” , which were 17 speeches with which he tried to stop the rise to power of Marco Antonio .


Some of Cicero’s main phrases are as follows:

  • This is the first precept of friendship : Ask your friends only what is honest , and only what is honest to do for them.
  • The good citizen is one who cannot tolerate in his country a power that pretends to be superior to the laws.
  • As for adversity , you would hardly bear it if you did not have a friend who suffered for you more than yourself.
  • The life of the dead endures in the memory of the living.
  • The force is the law of beasts.
  • The friendship begins where or when ends interest.
  • home without books is like a body without a soul.

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