At the time, high political offices in Rome, though technically achieved by winning elections, were almost exclusively controlled by a group of wealthy aristocratic families that had held them for many generations. He also incurred the wrath of the Roman dictator Sulla. Cicero's On Government is a good place to start, as it's first chapter he takes on the rotten Sicilian governor Verres. At the time, high political offices in Rome, though technically achieved by winning elections, were almost exclusively controlled by a group of wealthy aristocratic families that had held them for many generations. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer who vainly tried to uphold republican principles in the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic. was a key figure in the turbulent closing years of the Roman Republic. This exile, during which Cicero could not take part in politics, provided the time for his first period of sustained philosophical study as an adult. In doing so it tries to provide philosophical underpinnings for existing Roman institutions and to demonstrate that Roman history has been essentially the increasing perfection of the Republic, which is superior to any other government because it is a mixed government. And in the fifth and final book Cicero argues that virtue, found through philosophy, is sufficient for a happy life. He also summarized in Latin many of the beliefs of the primary Greek philosophical schools of the time (and he is the source of much of our knowledge about these schools). Born to a wealthy family, Cicero received a quality education. A dialogue which sets out the case, pro and con, of the several philosophic schools on the question of the end or purpose (what Aristotle called the telos) of human life. There are also available a large number of general histories of the Roman Republic and empire which the reader is encouraged to explore. Cicero's political career was a remarkable one. The honorable action is the expedient and vice-versa. He was born in Arpinum in 106 BC. This dialogue is also badly mutilated, and may never have been finished. Everything in the universe, they argued, was made up of atoms, including the heavenly bodies; the gods did not exist. It is said that Brutus knew Octavian was a bigger threat to the republic than Antony, but when one looks at the history, it readily appears that no amount of eloquence, on any side, could've prevented the fall of the republic - but like the question, "What if Trotsky..." the question, "What if Cicero had attacked Octavian," will always arouse an academic sigh and a few moments of wasted thought. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. For the Epicurean philosophy Cicero had only disdain throughout most of his life, though his best friend Atticus was an Epicurean. had a decision to make. But he professed allegiance throughout his life to the Academy. This loss of virtue was, he believed, the cause of the Republic’s difficulties. Cicero On Government. Instead, Cicero chose a career in the law. Very impressive speeches follow that, and plenty of accusations flying about while Cicero says he will not accuse the villains of whatever he has spent the last half hour explaining. This did not mean living life as one long Bacchanalia. All the more fortunate for us to imagine what it would have been like, back then, when such powerful words - especially when he calls upon the gods who have been offended - and we can't even imagine someone working up the nerve to contradict him. As a politician, he would need a similar grasp of the issues and a similar degree of flexibility in order to speak and to act effectively. At the end of the dialogue the characters have not reached agreement. This being the case, we have duties to each of these communities, and the Stoics recognized an obligation to take part in politics (so far as is possible) in order to discharge those duties.
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