It is said of Helvia, the mother of Cicero, that she was well born and lived an honourable life; but of his father nothing can be learned that does not go to an extreme. For some say that he was born and reared in a fuller's shop, while others trace the origin of his family to Tullus Attius,1 an illustrious king of the Volscians, who waged war upon the Romans with great ability.

1 Called Tullus Aufidius in the Coriolanus, xxii. 1.

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