Wednesday, April 04, 2007 Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician: Books: Anthony Everitt

Anthony Everitt's biography of Cicero has rapidly become definitive. I read this a couple of years ago. This morning I received my copy of his followup volume on Augustus so I thought it was a good time to recommend the first book.

Cicero was the last defender of the Republic. His origins were not exactly humble (his father was a knight) but he rose far above them to become a Senator at 30 and Consul 10 years later.

His problem was that the Republic was collapsing around him. Unlike Cato, Cicero's approach was pragmatic, attempting to forestall disaster while Cato and the optimates mistook their insistence on maintaining their own privileges for virtue.

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