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Book Review Cicero by Anthony Everitt

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The Bottom Line

In "Cicero," Anthony Everitt deftly weaves Roman hoodlums, generals, and moralists of the first century B.C. into his story of the life and tragedy of Marcus Tullius Cicero.
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Pros

  • Written for non-scholars
  • Gives Cicero his due
  • Clearly written - pleasant style

Cons

  • Cicero portrait often buried under other people
  • Requires grounding in Republican Roman history
  • Generalizes
  • If you know the period, it may bore you

Description

  • Anthony Everitt puts together all the colorful figures of Ancient Rome in the mid-first century B.C.
  • A timeline at the front of the book provides a handy reference for the sequence of events.
  • In Cicero, Everitt examines the events leading to the assassination of Caesar.
  • Cicero is shown as a complex character with great weaknesses, but equally great strengths.
  • In Cicero, Everitt scrutinizes Cicero's family relations and friendships.
  • Cicero is shown as fearless as a good gladiator in the face of his own death.
  • A section on the very ample sources for the period provides further suggestions for reading.

Guide Review - Book Review Cicero by Anthony Everitt

Remembered by Latin students as a model of Latin prose, for after-the-fact criminal defenses, and other formal letters, Cicero qua historical figure is usually overshadowed by other political figures like Pompey and Caesar. But Cicero as consul (the highest regular office to which ancient Romans aspired) was granted an exceptional honor. Cicero was called "pater patriae," father of his country, and so Cicero must be reckoned among the important Roman political figures of the first century B.C.

Anthony Everitt chronicles the life of Cicero, from his rise to power and consulship in 63 to his fall from grace, his return from exile, his lackluster post-consular political career, and his execution.

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