Category Archives: Cicero

An emotional encounter between Cicero and Brutus at Velia – Philippics 1.8-9

After the assassination of Caesar, there was a breakdown of law and order and Cicero had left Rome. However he then received news that encouraged him to return. Upon his return he delivered the series of speeches reviling Mark Anthony, (confusingly called the Philippics, in reference to  a similar series of speeches at Athens by […]

Endlessness – Homer, Ibycus, Cicero, Leopardi (Contributed by Cristina Lofaro)

These passages explain the feelings of the four poets dealing with what is endless, impossible to reach, and for man to understand in depth. In the Greek and Latin extracts, the authors make the reader reflect on the fleetingness of time and life. The brightness of stars contrasting the darkness of the sky aims at […]

Cicero, de natura deorum 2.4-5 (contributed by Emanuele Pezzani)

Although many may despise Cicero’s high style, I find it really rewarding most of the time. His ample and refined prose but also his tendency to (a balanced!) magnificence reach their peak when they describe the “chief systems”, like life in an associated community or, as here, the beauty and greatness of the universe and […]

Cicero de Oratore 2.240, 276 (contributed by Mary Beard)

I have been thinking for a few years about what made Romans laugh (well elite male Romans). The truth is that the most extensive, interesting and funny discussions of ancient laughter don’t come from surviving Greek philosophy, they come from Cicero and Quintilian. People often say that in his treatise on “The Orator” Cicero talked […]

in Catilinam 1.1.1-2

The opening lines from Cicero’s oration against Catiline. Stephen Jenkin     quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos1 eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, […]