Biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero


Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Born in Arpinum in 106 B.C. Roman orator and statesman, studied rhetoric under Milo and others. Cicero commenced pleading at the age of 26 and, offending Sulla by his successful defense of Roscius Amerinus, retired to Athens, where he studied under Antiochus. Went as quaestor to Sicily in 75 and, on his return, impeached Verres, a former governor. Was aedile in 69, praetor in 66, and in 64, was elected consul in opposition to Catiline. His vigor in putting down the conspiracy of the latter gained for him the title of "Father of His Country." The measures passed by his enemy, the tribune Clodius, obliged him to withdraw to Greece. After about 16 months Cicero was recalled by the senate and, in 52, went as governor to Cilicia. He sided with the senate and afterwards with Pompey against Caesar, but submitted to the latter after Pharsalia and, retiring to his Tusculan villa, wrote his "De Natura Decorum" and other philosophical works. His defense of Caesar's murders and the "philippic" orations directed against Mark Antony led to his proscription on the formation of the second triumvirate. Cicero was murdered by Antony's emissaries in 43 B.C.