Life of Cicero.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, partly on account of his natural abilities and partly on account of the times in which he lived, has left a name associated with some of the most important events in the history of the world, as well as with some of the most potent forces in our civilization. Few men have made so distinct an impression on modern literature and thought. He touched many things which he did not adorn, but there is hardly any kind of intellectual activity that is not conspicuously indebted to his precepts or his example.

Cicero's life from his birth to the opening of his political career (B.C. 106-76).

Cicero was born at Arpinum, a city with the Roman franchise (which was also the birthplace of Marius), Jan. 3, B.C. 106, of an equestrian family. His grandfather, who had a small estate in that region, was of Volscian stock, and thus belonged to the old virile country people of the republic. His grandmother was a Gratidia, closely connected by adoption with the great Marius and with prominent Roman politicians. His father, who was the eldest son, had increased the family estate by agriculture and by the profits of a fulling-mill, so that he was among the richest of his townsmen, and possessed the census of a Roman knight. By his marriage with Helvia, a woman of the nobility, he became connected with many senatorial families. She was a woman of great economic and domestic virtues, and a strong support to her husband, who was of a somewhat weak constitution. The father was a man of cultivated mind and devoted himself to the education of his two sons, Marcus, afterwards the orator, and the younger brother Quintus. For this purpose he removed to the city. His ambition, like that of every Roman of fortune, was to have his sons enter politics and so to establish a senatorial family. He lived to see both of them succeed in this career, and the elder become one of the most distinguished men in Rome.

Cicero himself was early stimulated by the success of Marius and the general atmosphere of Roman ambition to desire a prominent place in the state. 1 His father's connections with men and women of rank brought the boy into contact with the great orators M. Antonius and L. Crassus,2 who interested themselves in his education.3 Among his companions were the sons of Aculeo, Lucius Cicero, his cousin, his intimate friend Atticus, L. Torquatus, C. Marius the younger, and L. Aelius Tubero. His instructors were Greeks; but, as he had already formed the purpose of attaining office through the power of oratory, he did not confine himself to theoretical or technical learning. He frequented the Forum to hear the great orators of his day, especially Antonius and Crassus, who discoursed with him on literary subjects, so that they became in a manner his teachers. He received instruction from Archias4; he sought the society of L. Accius, the poet, and he studied the art of delivery in the theatre, becoming intimately acquainted with the great actors Roscius and Aesopus. He practiced many kinds of composition, but his most important means of education, as he tells us, was translation from the Greek.

At the age of sixteen (B.C. 90), Cicero received the toga virilis (the "coming out" of a Roman boy), and from that time he devoted himself to law and statesmanship as well as oratory. For this purpose he was put under the charge of Mucius Scaevola, the augur, and later he attached himself to the no less celebrated Pontifex of the same name. In B.C. 89 he served one campaign in the army under Cn. Pompeius Strabo. After this short military experience, he returned with still greater vigor to his literary and political studies. He studied philosophy under Phaedrus and Philo, oratory under Molo of Rhodes, and all the branches of a liberal education under Diodotus the Stoic.

When about twenty-five years of age, Cicero began his active career. It was customary to win one's spurs by attacking some political opponent; but this was contrary to Cicero's pacific nature, and throughout his life he prided himself on always taking the side of the defence. His first oratorical efforts have not been preserved to us. The earliest of his orations which we possess is his defence of P. Quinctius in a civil action (B.C. 81). This suit involved no political question; but no case at that time could be entirely free from politics in one form or another, and nothing is more significant of Cicero's character than the skill with which he constantly used political bias for his client's advantage without seeming to take sides. To defend Quinctius was a bold undertaking for a young advocate; for the opposing counsel was the great orator Hortensius, backed by powerful influence on behalf of the plaintiff. The case, too, was a somewhat dry one; but Cicero's skill as an advocate is shown by the fact that he raises it above the ordinary business and technical level into a question of universal justice and the rights of common humanity.

Next year occurred the trial of Sextus Roscius of Ameria for parricide (B.C. 80), a case growing out of the abuses of Sulla's dictatorship. 5 Cicero showed his courage by undertaking the defence, and his forensic skill by converting his plea into a powerful attack on the accusers in the regular manner of Roman invective. In B.C. 79 he came into still more daring antagonism with Sulla in the case of a woman of Arretium. The oration has not come down to us, but from its boldness it must have added greatly to the orator's fame. The same year—either on account of his health or, less probably, from fear of Sulla—he went to Greece and the East to continue his studies; for at that time such a journey was like "going to Europe" among us. He visited the greatest orators, rhetoricians, and philosophers of the East, especially at Rhodes, then a seat of the highest culture. After an absence of two years, he returned to Rome, with an improved style of oratory, and again engaged in law cases, in which he had as opponents his two great rivals Hortensius and Cotta.

From the quaestorship in Sicily to the consulship (B.C. 75-64)

In B.C. 76 Cicero began his political career, becoming candidate for the quaestorship (the lowest grade of the cursus honorum), 6 while Cotta was candidate for the consulship and Hortensius for the praetorship. All three were elected, and Cicero's lot 7 assigned him to the province of Sicily under Sextus Peducaeus. It was in this administration that his ability and honesty gained the favor of the Sicilians, which gave him the great opportunity of his life in the impeachment of Verres, in B.C. 70. 8 This prosecution he undertook in the interests of his own ambition, in spite of the fact that the Senate was as a class on the side of the accused, who was also supported by many of the most influential men of the state. But it was, on the other hand, a popular cause, and many of the most decent of the nobility favored it. The orator's success, by force of talent and honest industry, against the tricks of Verres and his counsel Hortensius broke the domination of this rival in the courts, 9 and made Cicero the first advocate of his time.

In B.C. 69 Cicero became curule aedile, and in B.C. 67 he was elected praetor with great unanimity. In the latter year began the agitation for the Manilian Law, 10 by his advocacy of which Cicero endeared himself to the people and gained the favor of Pompey, whose powerful support was a kind of bulwark against the envious and exclusive nobility. In his praetorship (B.C. 66) he was allotted to the presidency of the Court for Extortion, 11 and in this, as in all his public offices, he was honest and unselfish. During all these years he had continued his career as an advocate, engaging in such cases as seemed likely to extend his political influence and advance him most rapidly in the regular succession of curule offices. After his praetorship he refused a province 12 in order to remain at home and canvass for his consulship.

Consulship (B.C. 63).

For the consulship of B.C. 63 there were six candidates, but of these only Cicero, Catiline, and C. Antonius were prominent. The contest was not merely one of personal ambition. The first and second conspiracies of Catiline, as well as his notorious character, could have left no doubt that his aims were treasonable. Antonius had combined with him for mutual support in securing election by illegal means, and was himself a weak and unprincipled man. On the other hand, Cicero was a novus homo, 13 a champion of the equites (though without being an enemy of the senatorial order), and had had an unusually clean record in his office as well as in the Forum. Thus the cause of Cicero's ambition was, at the same time, the cause of good government against both the worthless and debauched members of the senatorial order on the one hand, and the dregs of the people on the other. It was also the cause of the great middle class against the patricians and the official nobility, who were so entrenched in power that for many years no novus homo had been elected consul. The success of Cicero unquestionably prolonged the existence of the already doomed republic. Antonius, the less dangerous of his two rivals, was elected as his colleague.

Cicero had now reached the goal for which he had striven from his earliest youth. His administration is famous for the overthrow of the Catilinarian conspiracy, which has cast into obscurity all his other consular acts. These, however, were of such a character, in relation to the needs of the times, as to be unimportant. By birth an eques, but by virtue of his offices a member of the senatorial order, Cicero had always been eager to reconcile and unite these, the two upper classes in Roman society and politics. 14 He failed to see that the real needs of the commonwealth, as well as its real strength, centred in the interests of the common people. His association with Pompey, and his own rise in official rank, made him incline more and more to the side of the Senate, and he seems to have thought it his mission to restore that body, now thoroughly effete, to its former purity and political importance. The minor acts of his administration 15 were dictated by such sentiments as these, and are significant only as illustrating his character and opinions.

The history of Catiline's conspiracy is given in the Introduction to the four Orations against Catiline, 16 and need not be repeated here. The conspirators were completely thwarted, and five of them were, in accordance with a resolution of the Senate, put to death by the consul without a trial. This victory was the climax of Cicero's career, and he always regarded it as one of the greatest of human achievements. In fact, however, it marked the beginning of his downfall.

Consulship to Banishment (B.C. 63-58).

The execution of the conspirators without the forms of law was a blunder, and grievously did Cicero answer for it. He had distinctly violated the constitution, and thus he had laid himself open to the attacks of his enemies. At the end of his consulate, one of the tribunes, Q. Metellus Nepos, prevented him from making the customary speech to the people "because he had put to death Roman citizens without a trial." The next year, when he was defending P. Sulla, the accuser (L. Torquatus) upbraided him as a tyrant, "the third foreign king of Rome." A year later P. Clodius 17 began to speak of him in the same terms. Clodius, indeed, continued to pursue him till he accomplished his banishment and the confiscation of his property. Almost the whole time from his consulship till the year of his banishment was spent in seeking support against his enemies. He attached himself more closely to Pompey, and pleaded causes of all kinds to win friends, but his efforts were useless.

In B.C. 60 Roman politics took a turn extremely unfavorable to Cicero. Pompey, who on his return from the East had been unfairly treated by the extreme senatorial party, allied himself with the democratic leaders, Caesar and Crassus, in a coalition often called the First Triumvirate. As a result, the Senate became for a time almost powerless, and everything was in the hands of the popular party. The next year, Caesar, as consul, procured the passage of an iniquitous law for dividing the fertile and populous territory of Campania among needy citizens of Rome. Cicero refused to serve on the board appointed to execute this law. Thus he not only exasperated the mob, but brought down upon himself the resentment of the triumvirs,who, though two of them, Caesar and Pompey, still professed to be his personal friends, refused to protect him against the attacks of his enemies. Accordingly, in B.C. 58, Clodius, then tribune, 18 brought forward a law that whoever had put to death a Roman citizen, without trial, "should be denied the use of fire and water" (the Roman formula for banishment). This bill was obviously aimed at Cicero's action in the case of the Catilinarians. Cicero at once took alarm, and after appealing in vain to the consuls of the year, L. Calpurnius Piso and A. Gabinius, as well as to Pompey, left Rome about March 20, just as the affair was coming to blows. Immediately after his departure, Clodius procured the passage of a special bill against him, forbidding him, by name, the use of fire or water anywhere within four hundred miles of Rome. At the same time his house on the Palatine 19 and his Tusculan 20 villa were pillaged and destroyed by a mob. Upon receiving news of these proceedings, Cicero prepared to leave Italy altogether. He embarked from Brundisium, April 29, and arrived at Thessaonica on the 23d of May. 21 Here he remained as the guest of his friend Plancius, then quaestor of Macedonia, until November, when he removed to Dyrrachium. His friends at Rome were constantly agitating for his recall, but without success.

The next year, however, B.C. 57, it suited the designs of Pompey, then once more inclining to the senatorial party, to allow his return. His influence with the nobility as well as with the equestrian order, was a point to be secured in the great game of politics. On the 1st of January, the consul L. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther brought forward a bill for his recall. This was vetoed by a tribune. Other attempts were made by his friends, which resulted only in riot and disorder. Finally, partly through the efforts of T. Annius Milo, who met the violence of Clodius with opposing violence, partly through the partisanship of Pompey and the Senate, which brought to the city the citizens of the Municipia and the Italian colonies ("the country members"), 22 a law was passed, Aug. 4, B.C. 57, revoking the decree of exile. Cicero arrived in Rome September 4. His journey through Italy was like a continuous triumphal procession, and to his exalted imagination, freedom, which had departed with him, was now returned to Rome. But in fact his restoration had been merely a piece of selfish policy on the part of the great leaders. He remained the most consummate rhetorician of all time, but his prominence in the state was gone forever. He had never been a statesman, and now he had not the chance to be even a politician.

From Cicero's recall to the breaking out of the Civil War (B.C. 56-49).

Upon his return he delivered two famous speeches 23 (one in the Senate and one before the people), in which he thanked the state for restoring him, and lauded Pompey to the skies. The "triumvirs" were still all-powerful at Rome, and Cicero, like the rest, was forced to conform to their wishes and designs. In this same year he proposed a measure which gave Pompey extraordinary powers over the provincial grain market, for the purpose of securing the city against scarcity of provisions. Next year (B.C. 56) he spoke strongly in favor of continuing Caesar's proconsular authority in Gaul. 24 With Crassus, the third "triumvir," Cicero had never been on good terms, but, at the request of the other two triumvirs, he became reconciled with him in B.C. 55, shortly before the latter set out on his fatal expedition against the Parthians.

During these years, becoming less and less important in politics, Cicero began to devote himself more to literature, and wrote the De Oratore, the Republic, and the treatise De Legibus. He also continued his activity at the bar on his own behalf and that of his friends, as well as at the request of the powerful leaders. He secured the restoration of his property, 25 and defended Sestius, 26 who had been active in his recall. Toward the end of this period he also defended Milo for the murder of Clodius. 27 His defence of Gabinius and Vatinius (B.C. 54), creatures of Pompey and Caesar respectively, was less honorable to him; but he was hardly a free agent in these matters. "I am distressed," he writes to his brother Quintus, "I am distressed that there is no longer any government nor any courts, and that this time of my life, which ought to be brilliant with the prestige of a Senator, is either worn out in the labors of the Forum, or made endurable by literature at home. Of my enemies, some I do not oppose, and others I even defend. I am not only not free to think as I will, but not even to hate as I will." 28

The disturbances following the death of Clodius led to the appointment of Pompey as consul without colleague 29 (practically dictator), in B.C. 52. One of his acts was to pass a law postponing the provincial administration of consuls and praetors until five years after their year of office. The interval was to be filled by such former magistrates as had never held a province. Among these was Cicero, who therefore had to submit to the lot. He drew Cilicia, in which an inroad of the Parthians was expected.

About May I, B.C. 51, he set out for this province. His administration was in accord with the principles expressed in his writings,—clean and honest,—a thing worthy of notice in an age of corruption and greed. He had the good fortune to escape the test of a formidable war, but he was successful in overcoming some tribes of plundering mountaineers. For this he was hailed as imperator, according to custom, and he even hoped for the honor of a triumph, the highest conventional distinction which a Roman could obtain. He returned to Rome late in B.C. 50, and was still endeavoring to secure permission to celebrate his triumph 30 when the great Civil War between Caesar and Pompey broke out (B.C. 49).

From the beginning of the Civil War to the Murder of Caesar (B.C. 49-44).

Cicero was now in a very difficult position. It became necessary for every man of importance to take sides; yet he could not see his way clear to join either party. For some time he vacillated, while both Caesar and Pompey made earnest efforts to secure his support. His great hope was to mediate between them; and, after Pompey had left Italy, he remained behind with this end in view. Finally, however, he decided for Pompey as the champion of the senatorial party, and set out, though with great reluctance, to join him at Dyrrachium (June 11, B.C. 49). In the camp he found things even worse than he had expected, and he gave up the cause of the Republic for lost. 31 On account of illness he was not present at the Battle of Pharsalia (Aug. 9, B.C. 48). After the fate of the contest was decided, he refused to continue the struggle or to follow the adherents of the lost cause to Africa, but returned to Italy (September, B.C. 48), to make terms with the conqueror. He remained at Brundisium until Caesar's return from Egypt in September, B.C. 47, when he at once sought an interview. Caesar received him with great kindness and respect, and allowed him once more to return to Rome.

From this time until the assassination of Caesar in B.C. 44, Cicero remained for the most part in retirement at his Tusculan villa, absorbed in literary pursuits, though in B.C. 46 he delivered his Oration for Marcellus 32 (remarkable for its praise of Caesar), and his Defence of Ligarius, 33 and, in the following year, his Defence of King Deiotarus of Galatia, charged with attempting the murder of Caesar. The chief literary fruits of this period of leisure were three works on oratory (De Claris Oratoribus, Orator, and De Partitione Oratoria), and several philosophic works (De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, Academica, Tuscalanae Quaestiones, De Natura Deorum, De Senectute): Meantime his domestic relations were far from happy. In B.C. 46 he had divorced his wife Terentia and married his rich young ward Publilia, from whom, however, he separated in the following year. In B.C. 45 his daughter Tullia died suddenly. Cicero was tenderly attached to her, and it was in part as a distraction from his grief that he wrote some of the works just mentioned. He now seemed to be thoroughly given over to a life of dignified literary retirement, when the murder of Caesar (March 15, B.C. 44) once more plunged the state into a condition of anarchy.

From the Murder of Caesar to the Death of Cicero (B.C. 44-43)

Though Cicero had no share in the conspiracy against Caesar, his sympathy was counted on by Brutus and Cassius, and he hailed the death of the Dictator as the restoration of the republic. But the conspirators had made no adequate provision for carrying on the government, and Cicero soon felt that his hopes were doomed to disappointment. Bitterly chagrined by the disorderly scenes that followed, he retired once more to the country. 34 and in July, B.C. 44, set out for a journey to Greece, but, changing his plans in consequence of better news from Rome, he returned to the city in the following month. The chief power was now in the hands of the surviving consul, Mark Antony, whose principal rival was Octavianus (afterwards the Emperor Augustus), Caesar's adopted son. 35 Cicero appeared again in the Senate and began his celebrated series of orations against Antony with the First Philippic (Sept. 2). Once more he took an active part in politics, apparently assuming his old position as leader, and speaking with all the charm and effectiveness of his earlier days. But he had fallen upon evil times; arms could no longer yield to the gown, and it soon became clear that there could be no peace except by the complete victory of a single aspirant for the supremacy.

Octavianus at first joined with the Senate against Antony, but he soon broke with the constitutional authorities, and, in B.C. 43, formed with Antony and Lepidus the coalition known as the Second Triumvirate. A merciless proscription at once began. Octavianus had every reason to be grateful to Cicero, but he was of a cold and ungenerous nature, and when Antony demanded his death he made no objection. Cicero's name was accordingly placed on the list of proscribed citizens. Cicero was at this time at his Tusculan villa. He made a half-hearted attempt to escape from Italy, but was overtaken near his villa at Formiae by the soldiers of the triumvirs, and met his death with firmness (Dec. 7, B.C. 43). Antony satisfied his hatred by indignities to the mangled remains.

The career of Cicero is a remarkable example of a sudden rise, followed by an utter collapse and fall. His rise was the natural result of his own ability, industry, and ambition; his fall was as naturally caused by his defects, coupled with his good qualities,—a mixture that produced a certain weakness of character. Had he been less timid or less scrupulous, or, on the other hand, had he been more far-sighted, he might have remained on the pedestal to which he was proud to have raised himself and on which he was ambitious to stand. But the times needed a different kind of man, and others, far less worthy, but able and willing to cope with the contending forces in the state, supplanted him. One quality was particularly instrumental both in his rise and his fall. He excelled in forcible and witty abuse. He dearly loved a bitter jest, and he lived among a people that were constitutionally inclined to abusive language. No doubt it was this talent for invective that made him popular when it happened to be directed in accordance with the people's taste. But it also alienated his friends, and embittered his enemies. He was called a Scurra and a Cynic, and it was perhaps a pun that cost him the favor of Octavianus; certainly it was his abuse of Antony and Fulvia that cost him his life. But he was the first orator of all time, a literary worker of the rarest gifts, and according to his lights a lover and servant of the state.

The titles and subjects of all of Cicero's orations (except fragments) which have survived.

81Pro P. QUINCTIODefence of Quinctius in a prosecution by Sex. Naevius, to recover the profits of a partnership in some land in Gaul, inherited from his brother C. Quinctius.
80Pro SEX. ROSCIO AMERINODefence of Roscius on a charge of parricide brought by Erucius as professional prosecutor at the instigation of Chrysogonus.
76 (?)Pro Q. ROSCIO COMOEDODefence of the actor Roscius from the claim of C. Fannius Chaerea to half the profits of certain lands taken as the value of a slave held by them in partnership, and killed by C. Flavius.
72 (or 71)Pro M. TULLIOPlea for damages for an assault made by a rival claimant on Tullius' estate.
70In CAECILIUM ("Divinatio")Plea on the technical right of Cicero to conduct the prosecution against Verres.
70In C. VERREMImpeachment of Verres for plunder and oppression in Sicily. Six Orations
(1) Actio Prima: The general charge.
(2) De Praetura Urbana: earlier political crimes of Verres.
(3) De Jurisdictione Siciliana: his administration in Sicily.
(4) De Frumento: peculation and fraud as to the supplies of grain.
(5) De Signis: the plunder of works of art.
(6) De Supliciis: cruelties of his government.
69Pro M. FONTEIODefence of Fonteius' administration of Gaul during Pompey's campaign against Sertorius, about B.C. 73.
69Pro A. CAECINADefence against Aebutius of Caecina's right to an estate received by inheritance from his wife Caesennia, widow of a rich money-lender, M. Fulcinius.
66Pro LEGE MANILIA, vel De IMPERIO CN. POMPEI Defence of the proposal of Manilius to invest Pompey with the command of the war against Mithridates.
Pro A. CLUENTIO HABITODefence of Cluentius against the charge of poisoning his stepfather Oppianicus, brought by the younger Oppianicus, instigated by Sassia, the mother of Cluentius.
63De LEGE AGRARIAAgainst the Agrarian Law of Rullus. Three orations: the first delivered in the Senate and the others before the people.
Pro C. RABIRIODefence of Rabirius on the charge of killing Saturninus, about B.C. 100.
In L. CATILINAOn the Conspiracy of Catiline. Four orations: the first and last delivered in the Senate, the second and third before the people.
Pro L. MURENADefence of Murena on a charge of bribery brought by Sulpicius, the defeated candidate for the consulship. (Following previous orations on the same side by Hortensius and Crassus.)
62Pro P. CORNELIO SULLADefence of Sulla from the charge of sharing in Catiline's conspiracy.
Pro A. LICINIO ARCHIADefence of the claim of the poet Archias to Roman citizenship.
59Pro L. VALERIO FLACCODefence of Flaccus on a charge of maladministration as propraetor in Asia.
57POST REDITUMThanks for Cicero's recall from exile. Two orations: (1) In Senatu; (2) Ad Quirites.
Pro Domo SUAAppeal to the justices against the alienation of Cicero's estate by Clodius.
De HARUSPICUM RESPONSISInvective against the impieties of Clodius.
56Pro P. SESTIODefence of Sestius, a partisan of Cicero, on a charge of assault, the attack having been made on Sestius by the dependents and partisans of Clodius.
In P. VATINIUM (" Interrogatio ")A personal attack on Vatinius, one of the witnesses against Sestius.
Pro M. CAELIODefence of the character of Caelius (a dissolute young friend of Cicero) against a vindictive charge of stealing and poisoning, brought by Atratinus, at the instigation of Clodia.
De PROVINCIIS CONSULARIBUSAdvocating the recall of Piso and Gabinius, and the retaining of Caesar in the proconsulate of Gaul.
Pro CORNELIO BALBODefence of Balbus (a citizen of Gades) in his right of Roman citizenship, granted by Pompey.
55In L. CALPURNIUM PISONEMRetaliation for an attack made by Piso after his return from the proconsulate of Macedonia.
54Pro Cn. PLANCIODefence of Plancius on the charge of corrupt political bargaining, brought by M. Junius Laterensis, the defeated candidate for aedile.
Pro C. RABIRIO POSTUMODefence of Rabirius, in a prosecution to recover money alleged to have been received from Ptolemy, King of Egypt, in corrupt partnership with Gabinius.
52Pro T. ANNIO MILONEDefence of Milo on the charge of the murder of Clodius.
46Pro M. MARCELLOSpeech of thanks to Caesar for the pardon of Marcellus.
Pro Q. LIGARIOPetition of pardon for Ligarius, charged with conducting the war in Africa against Caesar.
45Pro REGE DEIOTARODefence of Deiotarus, King of Galatia, charged with attempting the murder of Caesar.
44-43In M. ANTONIUMOrationes Philippicae XlV
44(1) (Sept. 2) Reply to an invective of Antony: exhortation to the consuls Antony and Dolabella
(1) Reply to a bitterer invective: a review of Antony's public and private life
(3) (Dec. 20) Urging the support of Octavianus (Augustus) and D. Brutus against Antony, now in Hither Gaul
(4) (Dec. 20) Exposition to the people of the acts of the Senate, and praise of D. Brutus
43(5) (Jan. 1) Protest against treating with Antony: he should be declared a public enemy
(6) (Jan. 4) Appeal to the people: the embassy to Antony would be in vain
(7) (end of January) Protest against those who clamored for peace: Antony must not be suffered to escape
(8) (February) The war against Antony is justum bellum: his partisans should be required to submit before the 1st of March
(9) (February) Eulogy of Sulpicius, who had died while on the mission to Antony
(10) (February) Thanks to Pansa, and praise of M. Brutus
(11) (about March) That Asia should be assigned to Cassius, to conduct the war against Trebonius
(12) (about March) Declining to serve, with P. Servilius, on an embassy to Antony
(13) (March 20) There can be no peace with Antony: praise of Sex. Pompey
(14) (April 22) Thanksgiving proposed, and honors to the dead, after the defeat of Antony at Bononia.

The titles of Cicero's other writings (exclusive of some fragments and lost works)

(?)PHAENOMENA. (Translation from Aratus, in verse.)
The Rhetorica ad C. Herennium (in four Books), once ascribed to Cicero, is certainly not from his hand.
55DE ORATORE, 3 Books.
52 (and later)DE LEGIBUS.
46PARADOXA. (A treatment of six Stoic paradoxes in the manner of that school.)
45DE FINIBUS BONORUM ET MALORUM, 5 Books. (On the ultimate foundations of ethics.)
45ACADEMICA, 2 Books. (Defence of the philosophy of the New Academy.)
45-44TUSCULANAE QUAESTIONES, 5 Books. (Incidental questions concerning ethics.)
45 (or 44)TIMAEUS. (Free translation from Plato.)
45-44DE NATURA DEORUM, 3 Books.
45 (or 44)DE SENECTUTE (Cato Major).
44DE AMICITIA (Laelius).
44DE OFFICIIS, 3 Books. (A treatise on practical ethics.)
44 (?)DE OPTIMO GENERE ORATORUM. (On the Attic and the Asiatic style.)
62—43EPISTOLAE AD FAMILIARES (Ad Diversos), 16 Books.

Chronological Table

106Birth of Cicero (Jan. 3).
Birth of Pompey (Sept. 30).
Marius finishes the Jugurthine War.
102Birth of Quintus Cicero.
The Teutones defeated by Marius at Aquae Sextiae.
101The Cimbri defeated by Marius at Vercellae.
100 (perhaps 102).Birth of Caesar (July 12).
99Death of Saturninus and Glaucia.
91Murder of M. Livius Drusus.
Social (or Marsic) War begins.
90Cicero assumes the toga virilis.
89Cicero serves under Cn. Pompeius Strabo in the Social War.
88First Civil War begins. Flight of Marius.
First Mithridatic War begins (ends 84).
Massacre of Roman citizens by Mithridates.
Sulla leaves Rome for the East.
87Conflict between Cinna and Octavius.
Marius returns to Rome.
Massacre of the senatorial party.
86Marius consul for the seventh time.
Death of Marius.
Rome in the hands of Cinna.
84Sulla ends the First Mithridatic War.
Murder of Cinna.
83Sulla returns to Italy.
Second Mithridatic War (ends 82).
82Sulla overthrows the Marian party.
The Proscription (ends June 1, 81).
Sulla appointed Dictator.
81Reforms of Sulla: the courts reorganized, etc.
Cicero's Defence of P. Quinctius (his first extant oration).
80Sulla's constitution goes into effect. The courts re-opened.
Cicero's Defence of Roscius of Ameria.
Pompey celebrates his first triumph.
79Sulla resigns the dictatorship.
Cicero goes to Greece.
78Cicero in Athens and Asia.
Death of Sulla.
Civil War of Lepidus and Catulus.
77Cicero returns from Greece.
He marries Terentia (perhaps earlier).
76War with Sertorius (ends 72).
75Cicero quaestor in Sicily.
74Third Mithridatic War begins.
Lucullus goes to the East.
Cicero returns from Sicily to Rome.
73War with Spartacus (ends with the death of Spartacus, 71).
Successes of Lucullus against Mithridates.
72End of the Sertorian War in Spain (Pompey defeats Perperna).
70First consulship of Pompey and Crassus.
Cicero's Impeachment of Verres.
Courts restored to the equites.
Tribunician power re-established.
69Cicero curule aedile.
Lucullus defeats Tigranes at Tigranocerta.
68Successes of Mithridates against the lieutenants of Lucullus.
67Glabrio appointed to supersede Lucullus.
Gabinian Law. Pompey takes command against the Pirates.
66Cicero praetor.
His Defence of Cluentius.
The Piratic War successfully ended by Pompey.
Manilian Law (advocated by Cicero).
Pompey takes command against Mithridates.
65Birth of Cicero's only son, Marcus.
First Conspiracy of Catiline.
63Cicero and C. Antonius consuls.
Second conspiracy of Catiline suppressed.
Four Orations against Catiline.
Birth of Augustus (Sept. 23).
62Return of Pompey from the East.
Cicero's Defence of Archias.
61Trial of Clodius for violating the mysteries.
Cicero's strife with him in the Senate.
60The First Triumvirate (coalition of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus).
First consulship of Caesar (with Bibulus).
Clodius is chosen tribune.
58Tribunate of Clodius. His legislation.
Cicero driven into exile.
Beginning of Caesar's conquest of Gaul (finished in 51).
57Cicero recalled from exile (law passed Aug. 4).
56Cicero's Defence of Sestius.
55Second consulship of Pompey and Crassus.
Caesar's command in Gaul renewed.
His first invasion of Britain.
54Caesar's second invasion of Britain.
53Cicero made augur.
Crassus and his army destroyed by the Parthians (Battle of Carrhae).
52Clodius killed (Jan. 20). Burning of the Senate-house.
Pompey elected consul without colleague (Feb. 25).
Cicero's Defence of Milo.
51Cicero proconsul in Cilicia.
His successful campaign against the mountaineers.
50Cicero returns to Italy.
49Caesar crosses the Rubicon. Beginning of the Great Civil War (ends 46).
Cicero's efforts for peace.
Pompey retires to Epirus, where Cicero joins him.
Caesar acquires Spain.
Caesar dictator.
48Battle of Pharsalia. Death of Pompey.
Caesar in Africa (Alexandrine War).
Caesar re-appointed dictator.
47Caesar returns to Rome.
Caesar pardons Cicero.
He sails for Africa against the Pompeians.
46Battle of Thapsus. Cato kills himself at Utica.
Caesar returns to Rome, undisputed master of the Empire.
He is made dictator for ten years.
His reform of the calendar.
Revolt of the sons of Pompey in Spain.
Cicero divorces Terentia and marries Publilia.
Cicero's Oration for Marcellus; for Ligarius.
45Caesar defeats the sons of Pompey (Battle of Munda).
Death of Cicero's daughter, Tullia, Tusculan Questions, etc.
Cicero divorces Publilia.
Caesar appointed dictator for ten years.
44Caesar appointed dictator for life.
Assassination of Caesar (March 15).
Octavianus in Rome. Struggle between Mark Antony and the Senate begins.
Cicero's first four Philippics (against Antony).
43Cicero's Philippics 5-14. The Mutina War.
The Second Triumvirate (Octavianus, Antony, and Lepidus) .
Proscription. Murder of Cicero (Dec. 7).
42Battle of Philippi.

1 πολλὸν ἀριστεύειν καὶ ὑπείροχος ἔμμεναι ἄλλων. Ad Quintum Fratrem, iii. 5, 6.

2 See p. xxxvii.

3 This debt he amply repays by his tribute to them in the De Oratore. See Defence of Archias, ch. 1.

4 See p. xxxix.

5 See pp. 1, 2, below (Introduction to the Oration).

6 See p. lix.

7 See p. lix.

8 See pp. 26-28, below.

9 See p. 303, below.

10 See p. 66, below.

11 See p. lxv, N.1

12 See p. lxi.

13 See p. 50, below.

14 On the strife between the Senate and the equites, see p. lxv.

15 Such were his opposition to the agrarian law proposed by the tribune Rullus, his support of the Lex Roscia, which gave the equites fourteen rows of seats in the theatre, and his laws against bribery at elections.

16 See pp. 98, 113, 126, 141, below.

17 For the character of Clodius, see p. 169, below.

18 In order to be eligible for this oflice, Clodius, by birth a patrician, had procured his adoption into a plebeian family. His express purpose in the whole transaction was to accomplish the ruin of Cicero. For the cause of his animosity, see note on Defence of Milo, sect. 13 (p. 176, l. 14).

19 see note on Cat. 1., sect. 1, p. 99, l. 4.

20 Cf. note on Plunder of Syracuse, sect. 12, p. 54, l. 27.

21 For the exact chronology of Cicero's flight, see C. L. Smith, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, VII. 65 ff.

22 See p. liii.

23 Post Reditum: 1. (in Senatu); 2. (ad Quirites).

24 See the oration De Consularibus Provinciis.

25 Pro Domo Sua (B.C. 57).

26 Pro P. Sestio, on a charge of assault (B.C. 56).

27 B.C. 52. For the circumstances, see pp. 169, 170, below.

28 Ad Quintum Fratrem, iii. 5 (6).

29 See p. 170, below.

30 These efforts were unsuccessful.

31 See the passages from Cicero's letters quoted in note to The Pardon of Marcellus, sect. 16 (p. 219, l. 4).

32 See pp.213 ff., below.

33 See pp. 225 ff., below.

34 About this time were written the De Divinatione, De Fato, De Amicitia and De Officiis.

35 For further details see Introduction to the Fourteenth Philippic, pp 239-241, below.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
44 BC (4)
63 BC (3)
57 BC (3)
56 BC (3)
49 BC (3)
52 BC (2)
48 BC (2)
46 BC (2)
43 BC (2)
106 BC (2)
90 BC (1)
89 BC (1)
81 BC (1)
80 BC (1)
79 BC (1)
76 BC (1)
75 BC (1)
73 BC (1)
70 BC (1)
69 BC (1)
67 BC (1)
66 BC (1)
60 BC (1)
58 BC (1)
55 BC (1)
54 BC (1)
51 BC (1)
50 BC (1)
47 BC (1)
45 BC (1)
100 BC (1)
hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Cicero, For Archias, 1
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: