Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

(106 BC - 43 BC)

Born in Arpinum in 106 bc, Cicero was educated in the capital and in Greece, served in the military in 89 bc, and made his first public defense in 81 bc. The greatest Roman orator blended existing styles of rhetoric: “A leading speaker will vary and modulate his voice,” he wrote, “raising and lowering it and deploying the full scale of tones.” Neither his skill nor his political views made him popular with the Second Triumvirate, and he was murdered in 43 bc, his severed head displayed in the forum.

All Writing

Friendship was given by nature to be an assistant to virtue, not a companion to vice.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, c. 45 BC

It is one thing to slander, another to accuse.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 56 BC


“When Simonides or someone offered to teach him the art of memory,” Cicero noted in his De Finibus, the Athenian politician Themistocles “replied that he would prefer the art of forgetting. ‘For I remember,’ said he, ‘even things I do not wish to remember, but I cannot forget things I wish to forget.’ ”

What is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 46 BC

We seek with our human hands to create a second nature in the natural world.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 45 BC

Voices In Time

66 BC | Rome

Pay Dirt

Cicero protects the coffers.More

Voices In Time

44 BC | Rome

Love Lost

“Our republic we have lost forever.”More

Fear is a poor guarantor of a long life.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 44

Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable desire to seek the truth.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 45 BC

I quit life as from an inn, not as from a home.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 44 BC

And what will history say of me a thousand years hence?

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 59 BC

Issues Contributed