On the back of his natural talent for oratory, Cicero set out on the path to a glorious reputation - his earliest speeches brought the name of Cicero out of the shadows and hurled him into the spotlight.
Cicero was the first 'new man' in thirty years to reach the consulship; the fact that he managed to do so without bribery or violence makes his success even more remarkable. His year of office witnessed events of such a scale that he was granted the extraordinary honour of the title 'pater patriae' - he was the father of his fatherland.
Following the Civil War, and with renewed hopes for the restoration of the Roman Republic, Cicero launched a fierce attack on Mark Antony by delivering a series of speeches that cannot be matched for their vigour. It was these speeches that would be the cause of Cicero's death, and his death was to be as dramatic as his life. Kathryn Tempest's life of Cicero and his times is as engaging as it is informative.
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