Marcus Tullius Cicero (106- 43BC) was a ‘novus homo’ who rose to prominence through his legal and oratorical skills, becoming Consul in 63 BC, during which year he successfully blocked the conspiracy to overthrow the Republic by Catiline. His courageous and skillful speeches on this occasion and in other  political trials sealed his reputation as one of the most outstanding orators of all time but also earned him enemies. His patriotic and idealistic Republican values led him to speak out against Caesar and although Caesar pardoned him this saw the end of his political career. However, Cicero then turned his energies to writing, producing many outstanding works, particularly on oratory and philosophy. Hundreds of his private letters also survive, giving an invaluable picture of these times and of his life and character. He was assassinated in 43BC on the orders of Mark Anthony.

 Jane Mason
Head of Classics, St James Senior Girls School, London



Orations | Letters



in Catilinam 1.1.1-2 | Catilina the Conspirator
Contributed by Stephen Jenkin

Philippics 1.8-9 | An emotional encounter between Cicero and Brutus at Velia
Contributed by TimeTravel-Rome



de Oratore 2.240, 276 | The Orator’s use of Jokes
Contributed by Mary Beard

de natura deorum 2.4-5 | The beauty and greatness of the universe
Contributed by Emanuele Pezzani

bycus Somnium Scipionis 16: 7-13 | Endlessness 
Contributed by Cristina Maria Lofaro