Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) introduced Romans to the major schools of Greek philosophy, forging a Latin conceptual vocabulary that was entirely new. But for all the sophistication of his thinking, it is perhaps for his political and oratorical career that Cicero is best remembered. He was the nemesis of Catiline, whose plot to overthrow the Republic he famously denounced to the Senate. He was the selfless Consul who turned down the opportunity to join Julius Caesar and Pompey in their ruling triumvirate with Crassus. He was briefly Rome's leading man after Caesar's assassination in 44 BCE. And he was the indecisive schemer whose personal ambitions and bitter rivalry with Mark Antony led to his own violent death in 43 BCE as an enemy of the state. In her authoritative survey, Gesine Manuwald evokes the many faces of Cicero, as well as his complexities and seeming contradictions. She focuses on his major writings, allowing the great rhetorician to speak for himself. Cicero's rich legacy is seen to endure in the works of Plutarch and Quintilian as well as in the speeches of Winston Churchill and Barack Obama.
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