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Death of Cicero

By December 7, 2013

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Cicero Photo © Clipart.com
On This Day in History - December 7: On this day in 43 B.C., Cicero, aged 63, proscribed by the second triumvirate (Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lentulus), was beheaded. Cicero had written against Mark Antony in speeches described as Philippics. Because of these, Mark Antony had sought Cicero's execution and following the beheading, Cicero's hands were cut off because they had written the Philippics.
And Cicero, perceiving Herennius running in the walks, commanded his servants to set down the litter; and stroking his chin, as he used to do, with his left hand, he looked steadfastly upon his murderers, his person covered with dust, his beard and hair untrimmed, and his face worn with his troubles. So that the greatest part of those that stood by covered their faces whilst Herennius slew him. And thus was he murdered, stretching forth his neck out of the litter, being now in his sixty-fourth year. Herennius cut off his head, and, by Antony's command, his hands also, by which his Philippics were written; for so Cicero styled those orations he wrote against Antony, and so they are called to this day.

When these members of Cicero were brought to Rome, Antony was holding an assembly for the choice of public officers; and when he heard it, and saw them, he cried out, "Now let there be an end of our proscriptions." He commanded his head and hands to be fastened up over the Rostra, where the orators spoke; a sight which the Roman people shuddered to behold, and they believed they saw there not the face of Cicero, but the image of Antony's own soul.
Plutarch's Life of Cicero

Also noting this execution, is a blog about executions through history: Executed Today


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