Who Was Cicero Ancient Rome

Cicero was an extremely influential figure in Ancient Rome, as he was both a political leader and a philosopher. Born in 106 BC to a plebeian family, Cicero was educated in rhetoric and philosophy and became a lawyer in 83 BC. Works such as “On the Republic” set the foundations for western political thought, while his defence of the Roman Republic against tyranny is a cornerstone of his legacy.

Cicero’s political career began with an appointment to one of Rome’s main political bodies, the Senate, in 79 BC. Over the years, he became known as an eloquent orator and a prolific legal scholar. He eventually rose to become consul of Rome in 63 BC, a position which saw him become the de facto ruler of the entire Roman Empire. During this time, Cicero was responsible for numerous policies and reforms including the Roman Republic’s attempt to limit the power of military commander Pompey.

Cicero was also an innovator in the legal field and did not shy away from using bold strategies to achieve his political goals. For example, he employed the ‘verdict by censure’ method – by which a magistrate or public official was held accountable for their actions – as a way to ward off corruption and strengthen the rule of law. This is seen as a precursor to modern judicial systems.

Although Cicero was ultimately unsuccessful in his efforts to save the Republic from its eventual downfall, his contribution to politics and philosophy made him one of the most influential figures in Ancient Rome. He is credited with the invention of the Latin language and his philosophy on freedom, liberty and justice are still relevant today. His works on rhetoric, the art of persuasive speaking, are still widely studied and are seen as integral to the development of western oratory.

Throughout his life, Cicero was strongly opposed to dictatorships and the exercise of unchecked power. He argued for an equitable and tolerant society and wrote with great passion about the idea of a liberated, independent Republic. These views have been preserved in works such as “On the Republic”, “On the Laws” and “On Obligations”, which laid the foundations for future civilisations.

The Legacy of Cicero

Cicero left behind an impressive legacy, despite his failed attempts to rally the Roman Senate and protect the Republic from tyranny. His works, views and opinions have continuously been cited by the greatest minds throughout history, including the likes of Augustine, Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau and Kant. Many of his thoughts were ahead of his time, such as his ideas on international relations and the principles of democracy. In modern-day Italy, Cicero’s influence can be seen in his hometown of Arpino, which still bears his name.

To this day, he is considered the “Father of Western Political Thought”, and the ideas he championed for the Republic are still held in high regard. He set the basis for the separation of government powers and although his ideals ultimately proved to be insufficient in stopping the fall of the Republic, he left a lasting impression on the political landscape of Ancient Rome and beyond.

The Symbolism Behind Cicero

It’s true that Cicero left an indelible mark on Roman politics, however, he was, first and foremost, a symbol of freedom. He strove to protect citizens from the abuse of power, and argued against those who wished to tyrannize the Roman people. In the eyes of many, he is a symbol of justice, liberty and the ideal of the good person in a just state. He set the example of a leader willing to fight for his beliefs and his strong moral code influenced the course of Roman history.

Cicero is also remembered for his loyalty to the Republic, which he defended often and always. His passionate and persuasive rhetoric captured the spirit of the Roman Republic and inspired many present-day philosophers, politicians and citizens. He is remembered for his courage and willingness to stand up for the beliefs and values of his country, even when it meant risking his own life.

Cicero’s Writings

Cicero’s works remains of great importance to this day and many of them have been translated into different languages and made accessible to the masses. His more famous works, like “On the Laws” and “On the Republic”, hold timeless lessons and logic that can be applied to modern problems. These writings are filled with moral and ethical arguments, making them incredibly valuable to philosophers and academics but also to the general public.

His works are also far-reaching and relevant to many different fields. They can be seen as a bridge between the ancient world and modern society and the insights they offer are essential to understanding the history of our own culture. The writings of Cicero are truly remarkable, and his impact on Western culture should never be understated.

The Relevance of Cicero Today

The idea of a Republic is as relevant today as it was in Cicero’s time, and many of the values he championed are still echoed in our own society. His influence can be seen in modern political thought, legal systems, rhetoric and philosophy. The legacy of Cicero was one of freedom, justice and the protection of citizens from tyranny, and these core values stand in sharp contrast to our own times of increasing political polarization.

Despite his failure to fully protect the Republic, Cicero’s works and impact on Western culture still remain to this day, as a reminder of what could have been. He stands as a shining example of a man willing to stand up for his beliefs and fight for a more just world.

Cicero and Roman Politics

Cicero has become synonymous with Roman politics and his passionate defence of the Republic extends to many aspects of the culture and politics of Ancient Rome. His works on the Republic and the debate around it shaped the ideas and power structures of the state and his influence was felt both within Rome and outside its borders. Cicero was quick to point out the flaws in the Roman republic, yet also had the courage to speak out and fight for the things he believed in.

Cicero’s political philosophy was based on the idea that the Republic served the best interests of the people and that any attempt to abolish it would be detrimental to the state. He was one of the most vocal opponents of Rome turning into an absolute monarchy, and his warnings still resonate with modern audiences. Similarly, he also stood out as a vocal advocate of civil rights and a proponent of the rule of law.

Cicero was a strong critic of those who sought to gain and exert power without the consent of their fellow citizens. He saw the Republic as a place where citizens were equal and where the rule of law should be respected. This was a radical idea for the time, and his works and ideas continue to influence modern politics.


Cicero was one of the most influential figures in Ancient Rome and his works and ideas still remain relevant to this day. His defence of the Republic and his strong convictions in the face of adversity have made him a symbol of freedom, justice and the pursuit of a just state. His ideas on law, politics and philosophy have resonated throughout history and his legacy will continue to inspire and guide generations to come.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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