Thirty-five letters of Cicero


Book Details

Author  Cicero
Publisher  Oxford University Press
Publication Date   November 15, 1969
ISBN  0199120056
Pages  241

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These letters have been selected to show Cicero in his mature years from 65 to 44 B.C. They have not been chosen to illustrate details of social life and manners (though such details inevitably occur in them): the main emphasis is political, and the linking commentary that precedes each letter is designed to set it against the political background. The commentary is intended to supply, not merely assist with the translation of the Latin and understanding of the syntax, but more particularly the indispensable background of social and historical information without which the study of Cicero’s letters would be largely wasted labor. The introduction too, while sketching the career of Cicero, also clarifies the political background of the period. In general, this edition will serve not merely as an introduction to Cicero’s letters, but as giving some substance and immediacy to the study of the history of the late Republic. The text is that of the Oxford edition, but care has been taken to produce a ‘clean’ text and occasionally different readings have been admitted from those printed in the Oxford text (though these are generally noted and justified in the commentary). There are two appendices (on the Roman calendar and on Roman money), an index of proper names and of subject-matter, and a select vocabulary. David Stockton (1925-2012) attended the Emanuel School and in 1943 was conscripted into the Royal Navy and worked on Japanese codes at Bletchley Park. A colleague at Brasenose observed that this experience may have honed his formidable skills at solving crosswords, a devotion to which was shared by Inspector Morse author Colin Dexter. After the war Stockton won an open scholarship to read Classics at Magdalen College and went onto become a Fellow and Tutor at Brasenose College. His wide-ranging body of work includes what is widely regarded as the leading study on Cicero published in the 20th century.

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