A staunch defender of republican politics, Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) followed Plato’s example. He significantly disrupted pre-imperial Rome with his oratory. Having studied at the Hellenistic schools, he had a more accurate view of the humanities. Nonetheless, he also had conflicts with some Roman political leaders. Is Roman history something you’re interested in? It is a must-read to read Cicero’s biography!

Summary of Cicero’s biography

The index

  • Wisdom’s path

  • Rome is calling

  • Cicero’s republic and political conflicts

  • Power has condemned a man

Wisdom’s path

On January 3, 106 BC, Marco Tulio Cicero was born. He was born in the Italian city of Arpino. Although Cicero’s life was modest, as his parents were commoners, he received important stimuli that would define his intellectual future. One of them is due to his father, who was a speaker. As a result of his early contact with oratory, Cicero became a man of exquisite eloquence and powerful verbal skills.

Having lost his mother so young, Cicero took responsibility from a very early age to ensure his future. His talent as a speaker and exploration of jurisprudence led him to become one of Rome’s best lawyers at the time before he reached the age of majority in Rome.

Even though Cicero’s intellectual status consolidated over time in Rome, he possessed a tireless thirst for knowledge. Cicero moved to Greece in order to expand his philosophical and political knowledge. This Italian embraced Epicureanism and Stoicism while in Hellenic territory. Aside from that, he became acquainted with Plato’s original concept of the republic after following the philosophical patterns of Plato’s Academy.

I’m back in Rome

In 77 B.C. Cicero returned to Rome and began his political career in an accurate manner. Prior to his trip to Greece, the Italian had dabbled a bit in national politics, but never proposed that it be a permanent career. His first job was as a magistrate in Lilibea, in Sicily. After years of high-profile political office, Cicero would begin a major political fight against the well-known Catiline conspiracy.


In the Roman Republic, Senator Lucio Sergio Catilina promulgated the Catilina conspiracy to establish a dictatorship. Catilina was preparing to take control of the city and become its leader by force. Cicero’s speeches before the Senate, in which he accused Catilina of being a dictator and a conspirator, frustrated his plan.

It was after this event that Cicero largely consolidated his political profile. According to those close to him, the Italian possessed an incomparable oral skill; his power of persuasion and discursive accuracy were unmatched. As Cicero himself predicted, his political fervor lasted much shorter than he expected.

As a result of Julius Caesar’s law that condemned citizens who killed another without consulting the people, Cicero’s reputation suffered. As a result of Cicero’s dispute with Catiline, several men were executed. Due to this, Cicero was forced to flee Rome before dying too soon.

Politics and the republic in Cicero’s time

Cicero’s departure from Rome was fatal to his political career. The philosopher ran into a huge wall when he returned to the Italian capital in 56 B.C. : Julius Caesar’s dictatorship. Due to his inability to influence his country’s political future directly, Cicero dedicated himself to literature. The Italian presented works such as On the nature of the gods, On the highest good and the highest evil, and Laelius on friendship in the following years.

Cicero’s temperance in relation to the republican concept and its permanence in his country was one of the enigmatic points of his political struggle. Cicero was anti-dogmatic, but he was obsessed with maintaining the natural order of things. Some historians perceive him as a stubborn politician and, at times, arrogant because he was well aware of his intellect’s power, rather than as a classic man.

It is the power that condemns a man

It took Cicero years to regain his political life after Julius Caesar was assassinated. Marco Antonio was one of the Republicans he sought out as an ally. During this time, Cicero, with the consent of his political instability, emphasized his fight for republican permanence. However, Cicero’s efforts were biased by Marco Antonio, who, with Augustus’ support, ended Cicero’s political stay and in 43 AD excommunicated him.

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