Who is Marcus Tullius Cicero?

Who is Marcus Tullius Cicero?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), (Latin) Roman statesman, scholar, orator and writer.

The importance of Cicero, who received his philosophy education from the Epicurean Phaedros, the Stoic Diodotos and the Philo of the Academy, consists of transmitting Greek thought to the next generations.

In terms of epistemology, Cicero, who preferred to follow the path of possibilities instead of being tied to certainty, however, in the field of morality, exhibiting a dogmatic attitude and turning to the Stoics and meanwhile to Socrates, Cicero contributed to the development of Latin as a language of philosophy, and meanwhile, he always remained agnostic in terms of his religious views.

Cicero, who played a very important role as “consul” in the political history of Rome, is also an important writer in the field of philosophy. The works of Cicero are a kind of adaptive translation of Greek works. Despite this, Cicero made a great contribution to philosophy by collecting the Latin philosophical terms. So much so that many generations learned philosophy from the works of Cicero. Cicero made an important contribution to the Western world with these translations from Greek, when the original Greek texts were not available or the texts found could not be understood.

Cicero’s Life

January 3 BC He was born in 106 in Arpinum. He has been a great student from his childhood and is famous for his passion and love for education. He studied law extensively and later became more interested in literature and philosophy. He didn’t like war at all, yet he joined the army. He presided over the courts and became a famous and successful lawyer. Later he became consul, no one from his family had ever been consul before, so he was a novus homo. B.C. In 60, Caesar initiated the first Triumvirate. B.C. In 58, he left Italy for a year due to the law passed by Publius Clodius Pulcher and the constant opposition between them. B.C. In the 50s, Cicero supported the populist Milo against Clodius. Then in the mid-50s he was killed by Clodius Milo’s gladiators on Via Appia. Cicero defended Milo, not very successful because of the obvious evidence. Indeed, Milo went into exile and lived for a long time in Marseille.

B.C. Tension between Caesar and Pompey had increased in 50 years, Cicero took the side of Pompey in these years, but he did not want to be Caesar’s enemy, but he followed a softer policy accordingly. B.C. When Caesar invaded Italy in 49, Cicero was forced to flee. Later, when Caesar tried to persuade him to return, Cicero left Italy for Thessaloniki. B.C. He was with the supporters of Pompey in 48 BC, at this time at odds with them, returning to Rome after Caesar’s victory at Pharsalus. He remained silent under Caesar’s rule, concentrating on his writings.

B.C. In February 45, his daughter Tullia died. He could not get rid of this shock all his life.

B.C. Caesar was killed in 44 BC. His popularity grew during this period, becoming the most powerful and influential man in the Senate. He disliked Mark Antony, who was getting stronger after Caesar. Still, Mark Antony and Cicero stood out as the two most powerful men of the time. When Caesar’s heir apparent, Octavian, arrived in Italy, Cicero began to defend him against Antony. He was constantly criticizing Antony and praising Octavian. He also incited the Senate against Antony. These were the heights of Cicero’s fame. Over time, Cicero’s grudge against Antony grew, and his plan was to get both Octavian and Antony out of the way. But when these two founded the second Triumvirate with Lepidus, they declared Cicero an enemy of the state. Cicero escaped, but was captured. B.C. He was executed by beheading on December 7, 43. His head and hands are displayed on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum.

Subject Headings
Cicero and Humanitas

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook