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1. Cicero's Brutus or History of
2. The Letters of Cicero, Volume
3. Cicero: Ancient Classics for English
4. The Orations of Marcus Tullius
5. Cicero: The Life and Times of
6. Selected Works (Penguin Classics)
7. The Republic and The Laws (Oxford
8. Cicero: Selected Political Speeches
9. American Cicero: The Life of Charles
10. Cicero. On old age
11. Cicero: On Duties (Cambridge Texts
12. On the Good Life (Penguin Classics)
13. Treatises on Friendship and Old
14. Cicero: On Moral Ends (Cambridge
15. Cicero: On the Commonwealth and
16. Cicero: On the Ideal Orator
17. The Nature of the Gods (Oxford
18. Cicero Pro Archia: Pro Archia
19. Defence Speeches (Oxford World's
20. On Academic Scepticism

1. Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker.
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 142 Pages (2010-01-29)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$12.55
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Asin: 1407654381
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When I had left Ciliciaand arrived at Rhodesword was brought me of the death of Hortensius. I was more affected with it thanI believewas generally expected. Forby the loss of my friendI saw myself for ever deprived of the pleasure of his acquaintanceand of our mutual intercourse of good offices. ... Read more

2. The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 406 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YHBB2C
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The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Marcus Tullius Cicero is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

3. Cicero: Ancient Classics for English Readers
by Rev. W. Lucas Collins
Paperback: 108 Pages (2007-12-12)
list price: US$9.90 -- used & new: US$7.02
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Asin: 1406847100
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Author of Etoniana and The Public School. ... Read more

4. The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 374 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003VS0GWU
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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Marcus Tullius Cicero is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

5. Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician
by Anthony Everitt
Paperback: 400 Pages (2003-05-06)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$3.44
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Asin: 037575895X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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“All ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher combined.”
—John Adams

He squared off against Caesar and was friends with young Brutus. He advised the legendary Pompey on his somewhat botched transition from military hero to politician. He lambasted Mark Antony and was master of the smear campaign, as feared for his wit as he was for exposing his opponents’ sexual peccadilloes. Brilliant, voluble, cranky, a genius of political manipulation but also a true patriot and idealist, Cicero was Rome’s most feared politician, one of the greatest lawyers and statesmen of all times. Machiavelli, Queen Elizabeth, John Adams and Winston Churchill all studied his example. No man has loomed larger in the political history of mankind.

In this dynamic and engaging biography, Anthony Everitt plunges us into the fascinating, scandal-ridden world of ancient Rome in its most glorious heyday. Accessible to us through his legendary speeches but also through an unrivaled collection of unguarded letters to his close friend Atticus, Cicero comes to life in these pages as a witty and cunning political operator.

Cicero leapt onto the public stage at twenty-six, came of age during Spartacus’ famous revolt of the gladiators and presided over Roman law and politics for almost half a century. He foiled the legendary Catiline conspiracy, advised Pompey, the victorious general who brought the Middle East under Roman rule, and fought to mobilize the Senate against Caesar. He witnessed the conquest of Gaul, the civil war that followed and Caesar’s dictatorship and assassination. Cicero was a legendary defender of freedom and a model, later, to French and American revolutionaries who saw themselves as following in his footsteps in their resistance to tyranny.

Anthony Everitt’s biography paints a caustic picture of Roman politics—where Senators were endlessly filibustering legislation, walking out, rigging the calendar and exposing one another’s sexual escapades, real or imagined, to discredit their opponents. This was a time before slander and libel laws, and the stories—about dubious pardons, campaign finance scandals, widespread corruption, buying and rigging votes, wife-swapping, and so on—make the Lewinsky affair and the U.S. Congress seem chaste.

Cicero was a wily political operator. As a lawyer, he knew no equal. Boastful, often incapable of making up his mind, emotional enough to wander through the woods weeping when his beloved daughter died in childbirth, he emerges in these pages as intensely human, yet he was also the most eloquent and astute witness to the last days of Republican Rome.

On Cicero:

“He taught us how to think."

“I tasted the beauties of language, I breathed the spirit of freedom, and I imbibed from his precepts and examples the public and private sense of a man.”
—Edward Gibbon

“Who was Cicero: a great speaker or a demagogue?”
—Fidel Castro

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (92)

3-0 out of 5 stars tough subject
Gretings all,Everitt's work on Auhgustus is first rate, exceptional material, highly recommended. Having read that one, I worked back to Cicero.Cicero is a tough subject as the man was historically hollow.We know Cicero from his writings which were self indulgent, often contradictory, and idealistic in an age of stark, real events. Cicero's writings are often pedantic; they are musings. He was no Plato. The men around Cicero were uniquely dynamic, pedal-to-the-floor people, from the inspiration of Marius down to Cato and Caesar. Therefore, writing a book about a vascillating coward is a tough experiment. The book is well written, but uses the English overindulgence in pronouns so that syntax can be confusing. That said, a lot of the book is about the characters sourrounding Cicero as recounted from the usual sources. Everitt was restrained in using his own hunches in this work - in Augustus he let's you know a hunch is coming and then delivers versus the usual sources.This book is tame by comparison.Cicero's Latin always reminded me of that Americn blowhard, the late William Buckley. All noise. The subject matter - Cicero - is the problem with the book. Everitt says, right at the beginning, that he admires Cicero, thus Everitt assumes the burden.The scholarship is excellent.The sources are widespread, fluently presented in blunt terms, without burden of too many quotes. That is why the book was praised.It is readable.Young readers: no. Start a young reader with Augustus.By then Everitt was on his game and wrote a fast page turner. Cicero exemplifies the reason the Roman republic fell; the book's title is Everitt's position, not history's.

3-0 out of 5 stars I can't believe they ran Rome that way
Considering the apparent gaps in the historical record, this short book gives an interesting and descriptive account of Cicero's life and of Roman government in the years before the Caesars took control as emperors.For all his great reputation as an orator and politician, Cicero was vain, insecure, and conceited.If the U.S. Republic was run with the same manner of government used to run the Roman Republic, we would be in far worse shape than we currently are. Sheesh!!!!A good read at a good price.Worthy of inclusion in my library.

5-0 out of 5 stars the first time I understood Roman politics
I have read a number of books on Roman political history, including some primary works, but this biography brought it alive.For the first time, I could understand how the client system, which in other books is a vague abstraction like "organized labor," really worked in practice, and such things as what it meant to be a "New Man" who did not have proper aristocratic credentials.

My field is philosophy, not history, and I certainly agree that this is not the book for more than a cursory look at Cicero's thought. It is not meant to be.But, for the political history, this is the best book I have ever read.

2-0 out of 5 stars A bit of a slog
This book covers all the material, I guess, and it's well written, but I didn't get a feel for what Roman society was like. Nor was there enough background, to my way of thinking, on the mechanics of the government--how this proto-democratic (?) Senate could be pushed around so easily, for example. Caesar's assassination was pretty well dramatized, but a lot of wars were glossed over.

Here's an analogy: I engage in political back-and-forth by email all the time with four of my freshman rowing teammates. In fact I bought this book based on a recommendation by one of them. (We're all going to be 61 this year, 2010. Eight or ten of us get together once a year for a reunion.)This discussion group is just the kind of thing that isn't supposed to work, but it's a lot of fun and has ceated quite a bond. I think it's because we have one rule: never admit defeat or declare victory!

Anyway, to put too fine a point on my problem with Everitt's book: it's as if a man from Mars read all of our political emails with no idea of what any of us did for a living, or what it was like to mow a lawn, or the fact that people in America watch a lot of TV and eat too much bad food. And he doesn't learn much about the actual structure of the American government from us either, of course.

Obviously Cicero was a political guy, but to cover all of that without a bit more foundation left me feeling unmoored repeatedly.

5-0 out of 5 stars I bought it; I read it; I loved it
It wasn't until I began reading about Cicero's inquiry into Archimedes' long forgotten grave in Syracuse that this book captured my attention. This is about seventy pages into the book. The rest of the over two hundred pages went by like a Ferrari. I came back to read again the first seventy pages with great pleasure.

Oratorical skills of Cicero are legendary. The very skill set he honed to master is most applicable in today's world. Leaders are measured by what they have to say, and how they say it.

What I got out of this book is just how close Cicero was to Caesar. They had grown up together, and they studied together!

This book is highly readable. Anthony Averitt, the author, has written this book in Colchester; England's first capital built by the Romans.

... Read more

6. Selected Works (Penguin Classics)
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 272 Pages (1960-09-30)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.44
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Asin: 0140440992
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Lawyer, philosopher, statesman and defender of Rome's Republic, Cicero was a master of eloquence, and his pure literary and oratorical style and strict sense of morality have been a powerful influence on European literature and thought for over two thousand years in matters of politics, philosophy, and faith. This selection demonstrates the diversity of his writings, and includes letters to friends and statesmen on Roman life and politics; the vitriolic Second Philippic Against Antony; and, his two most famous philosophical treatises, "On Duties" and "On Old Age" - a celebration of his own declining years. Written at a time of brutal political and social change, Cicero's lucid ethical writings formed the foundation of the Western liberal tradition in political and moral thought that continues to this day. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Partial Selection
Cicero perhaps doesn't need introducing. He was a powerful politician of the last decades of the Roman Republic, the 70s to the 40s BC. Originally a lawyer and an orator, he made his name prosecuting corrupt figures of the senatorial establishment, before joining the conservative camp against the populist tribunes and against Caesar. Cicero was consul in 63BC. His writings are massive and are one of the period's key historical sources, even if obviously not unbiased. He also wrote a set of philosophical treatises.

This edition contains only a tiny portion of the 800 or so letters, countless speeches, works on the constitution, on laws, and on moral questions that Cicero produced. The selection, furthermore, is problematic. The editors have labelled the larger section, comprising political texts, `Against Tyranny' (which they also call, anachronistically, `totalitarianism'). This section includes the Verrine indictment and speeches in defiance of Marc Antony, glossing over Cicero's switching to the side of Verres' friends in the intervening decades. Moreover, the editors avoid mention of Cicero's contentious role, as consul, in using extra-judicial means to repress the Catilinarian conspiracy. The Catilinarian speeches, perhaps his best known, are essential to an honest portrait of Cicero's politics; they are missing from this edition. The philosophical, second section likewise aims to portray Cicero as a grand old moral figure, comprising only On Duties and On Old Age. It misses fancier but interesting essays such as On Divination (Cicero was also an augur, an official soothsayer) and On the Nature of the Gods. The selection of letters, finally, is interesting, though only for the reader with good basic knowledge of their background (the editors' notes don't quite suffice).

Cicero's style is easy to read. Without necessarily wanting to reach for the multiple tomes of the complete Loeb edition, you may consider browsing for a meatier sample of Cicero's political writings, perhaps the Oxford Classics, and a separate selection of the treatises and letters.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is all relevant now!
The craziness of politics of Rome is here today in the United States.This book shows that the more things change the more they can stay the same.The corruption of politics of the Roman empire is mirrored in our own government and Cicero talks about the key issues and how to solve them.A great read and it really makes you think about what could happen if we do not change things in the United States.Everyone should read this if they are concerned with the way things are going in today's world.Only by studying the past can we change the future.Enjoy!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any purpose
Unless you can translate a book yourself, there is never knowing whether or not the translation is any good or not. What counts really is that this is an excellent book whichever way you look at it. From the wisdom fo Cicero, to the thrilling details of Roman's daily life, and finally, from a purely entertainment standpoint, this book is worthy of your time. I am not sure how can anyone rate this book anthing less than five stars, where there is no other translation available for most of it, and where the writer, Cicero, is one of the greatest minds in history. Let's face it, if you wrote something 2,000 years ago and its still in print, it's damn good!

5-0 out of 5 stars The importance and relevance of Cicero
As Michael Grant explains in his introduction, Cicero's reputation has waxed and waned over the past two thousand years.That reputation was at its zenith at the time of the founding of the United States, and Cicero was like an old friend to Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers.He was admired for many reasons, but perhaps the most outstanding was his concept of Natural Law, which had an enormous influence on the people who wrote the Constitution.And for that reason alone, it's worth getting to know Cicero.Relevant?You can hardly get more than a few pages into "On Duties (III)" before you come across this:

"Granted that there is nothing unnatural in a man preferring to earn a living for himself rather than someone else, what nature forbids is that we should increase our own means, property and resources by plundering others."

I would guess that the Founding Fathers agreed with this sentiment completely, for the simple reason that once citizens begin plundering one another, one of the primary social goals (living safely and without fear of your neighbor) is instantly destroyed.I would also guess that they didn't write this into the Constitution because it was so terribly obvious: every well-educated man understood Cicero and his concept of Natural Law.But they lived before the advent of Karl Marx...

I also suspect that Cicero's "religion" was pretty close to the religion of the Founding Fathers.Cicero imagined the mind of the Universe to be God, while the physical body of the universe was made up by all the natural phenomena around us, and he was quite sure that each one of us carried within himself a spark of that divinity.As far as the afterlife, Cicero basically whittled the possibilities down to two.Either we cease to exist, and cease to feel pain, or there is an afterlife, and we will enter it.In either case, there is no reason to fear death.

Another essay included in this book, "On Old Age," is a true Ciceronian classic.If I had my druthers, everyone would receive a free copy on his 60th birthday.It's a simple, short read, and cannot really be summarized in a short review.

Another excellent book by Michael Grant!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Start
Cicero: Selected Works
This book is a good start for those interested in a basic overview of Cicero's style and more famous quotes. For serious readers of Cicero and political theory chose a different book. ... Read more

7. The Republic and The Laws (Oxford World's Classics)
by Cicero
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-07-15)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.06
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Asin: 019954011X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Cicero's The Republic is an impassioned plea for responsible government written just before the civil war that ended the Roman Republic in a dialogue following Plato. This is the first complete English translation of both works for over sixty years and features a lucid introduction, a table of dates, notes on the Roman constitution, and an index of names. ... Read more

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4-0 out of 5 stars Good translation.
This took me weeks to get through, but I can not really fault the translation since this is direct from Cicero himself. I found it very interesting however albeit not exactly exciting but why would it be? I do feel that I have a much broader foundation when it comes to thinking about politics however. It's a gold mine of eye opening thinking immersed in almost parable like story as if a stage play demonstrating the ideas is playing out in your mind. Definitely worth the read. ... Read more

8. Cicero: Selected Political Speeches (Penguin Classics)
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 336 Pages (1977-12-08)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.25
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Asin: 0140442146
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amid the corruption and power struggles of the collapse of the Roman Republic, Cicero (106-43BC) produced some of the most stirring and eloquent speeches in history. A statesman and lawyer, he was one of the only outsiders to penetrate the aristocratic circles that controlled the Roman state, and became renowned for his speaking to the Assembly, Senate and courtrooms. Whether fighting corruption, quashing the Catiline conspiracy, defending the poet Archias or railing against Mark Antony in the Philippics - the magnificent arguments in defence of liberty which led to his banishment and death - Cicero's speeches are oratory masterpieces, vividly evocative of the cut and thrust of Roman political life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cicero, the Master Orator and Republican Sage of Ancient Rome
~Cicero: Selected Political Speeches~ is a great anthology of select speeches of the famed Roman statesman. Marcus Tullus Cicero, the great Roman orator and statesmen, expressed principles that became the bedrock of liberty. He was adamant that the law is legitimate only when it is consistent with transcendent standards of liberty and justice. He emphatically held the moral obligation of government to protect liberty and private property. Historian Murray Rothbard, heaped praise on Cicero, as "the great transmitter of Stoic ideas from Greece to Rome... Stoic natural law doctrines heavily influenced the Roman jurists of the second and third centuries A.D., and thus helped shape the great structures of Roman law which became pervasive in Western civilization." Cicero rejected political violence as the tool of tyrants and demagogues. He spoke out against political violence, and even sounded mildly like Polybius in decrying Roman imperialism: "It is a hard thing to say but we Romans are loathed abroad because of the damage our generals and officials have done. There is now a shortage of prosperous cities for us to declare war on that we can loot them afterwards... Do you know of any single state that we have subdued that is still rich?" Cicero's renown also emanated from his powerful oratory. He took a sterile Latin language, invigorated it with Hellenic finesse, and made a few neologisms along the way, and made it into a poetic language.

Among the pagans, I found Cato the Younger to be a better exemplar, but Cicero is really worth reading about. Cicero turned to a pragmatic realpolitik as he realized his endeared Republic was in shambles culturally, morally and politically. Maybe, it was practical. That's debatable. Maybe, I'm hopelessly idealistic like Cato. I don't know.

"Long before our time the customs of our ancestors molded admirable men, in turn these men upheld the ways and institutions of their forebears. Our age, however, inherited the Republic as if it were some beautiful painting of bygone ages, its colors already fading through great antiquity; and not only has our time neglected to freshen the colors of the picture, but we have failed to preserve its forms and outlines."
--Marcus Tullus Cicero

3-0 out of 5 stars it's ok
read it if you're into the subject of this era already. not great, but good.

5-0 out of 5 stars A comment on the book.
If you know about Cicero's method of arousing and suppressing the emotions, than this book can teach you alot about how he used them.However, I believe it would be useless to read Cicero's 'TOPICA' and then to attempt to dissect the logic based 'common topics' in every speech, like people may vainly try to do with Aristotle's logical 'common places' in his'On Rhetoric' book.You may see some of these 'common topics' pop up, but in the end it will make you go nuts, since it is practically impossible to accurately figure out how Cicero used them in every instance.My recommendation is not to look for any of these logical categories and not even to look for the emotions Cicero tries to express when he expresses them, but to read these speeches as prose plain and simple. I've read and skimmed over fifty percent of this book, and most of it is clean, a lot cleaner than many of the other Cicerion speeches that Michael Grant has translated over the years.My advice to everyone is to read this book with an air of caution, and not to use such rhetorical techniques for evil and irresponsible purposes.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Necessary Darkness"
In its last days, the Roman Republic was a wild and wooly place. Popular thugs like Lucius Sergius Catilina (Catiline) and Publius Clodius Pulcher saw in the shifting vacuums of power an opportunity to flout the law and win power and riches at the expense of their fellow countrymen. Standing squarely in their path was a Roman Senator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, who knew how to win men's minds with his powerful speeches and who had a fanatical dedication to maintaining the rule of law in the face of anarchy.

The art that Cicero practiced is not held in great repute today: We tend to distrust a man who can marshal cogent arguments and dazzling rhetoric in support of a cause. Consider, however, how remarkable it is that so many of Cicero's orations, letters, and other writings have survived today. Not only were his speeches eagerly read by his contemporaries, but early Christian monks saw in the great orator a basically moral, even if Pagan, writer whose work was worth saving in the scriptorium.

Among his own speeches, Cicero most highly rated his four blistering attacks on Catilina. My own personal favorite is "In Defence of Titus Annius Milo." In it, the wily orator shows he had a strong streak of Johnny Cochrane. The Tribune Publius Clodius Pulcher had been one of Cicero's most determined enemies and at one time had him banished for his advocacy of executing the leaders of Catiline's conspiracy. When Clodius is killed attempting to bushwhack a rival, Cicero jumped to defend the accused murderer.

In a letter, Cicero had bragged, "Let me tell you that it was I who produced the necessary darkness in the court to prevent your guilt from being visible to everyone." Where Cicero claims that Titus Annius Milo was attended at the time of the ambush with an "unwarlike retinue of maids and pages," he was actually accompanied by a large party of gladiators who were more than able to thwart the attack. While claiming that Milo had never threatened Clodius, Cicero wrote a letter to his lifelong correspondent Atticus stating the opposite, that Milo had openly threatened to kill Clodius.

Even when pulling the wool over his listeners' eyes, Cicero's political speeches in this volume provide a fascinating picture of a time and place which would otherwise be largely unknown to us. ... Read more

9. American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll (Lives of the Founders)
by Bradley J. Birzer
Hardcover: 230 Pages (2010-02-15)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$16.50
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Asin: 193385989X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Before his death in 1832, Charles Carroll of Carrollton was widely regarded as among the most important of the American founders. Today, however, Carroll’s signal contributions to the American founding are largely overlooked.
In the fascinating new biography American Cicero, historian Bradley J. Birzer rescues Carroll from this unjust neglect. Drawing on his considerable archival research and study of Carroll’s extensive correspondence, Birzer shows how this man of supreme intellect, imagination, and integrity recognized the necessity of independence from Great Britain well before most other founders, advocated a proper understanding of the American Revolution as deeply rooted in the Western tradition, inspired the creation of the U.S. Senate, and helped legitimize his religion, Roman Catholicism, in the American republic.
Born a bastard, Carroll nevertheless became the best educated and wealthiest founder. His analysis of the situation in the colonies in the run-up to the Revolution, though ignored by almost all historians, was original and brilliant, Birzer shows. Carroll eventually served as one of the main informants for Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic work Democracy in America.
American Ciceroreveals why founders such as John Adams assumed that Charles Carroll would one day be considered among the greats—and also why history has largely forgotten him. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A found gem from the mine of American history
Given Charles Carroll's important contributions to the development of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the success of American Revolution, the shaping of the early American government and the founding of the United States of America, it defies explanation that our historians have virtually forgotten him.While he remained an enigma in his own time in the colonies, and particularly in Maryland as wealthy Catholic landowner, Carroll's roll in shaping the fledgling nation is undeniable.

Bradley Birzer has once again succeeded in restoring the place of a forgotten spirit in American history.As with his earlier Sanctifying the World, the beautiful biographic of Christopher Dawson, American Cicero reveals both the politics and the person of it's central figure, this time in the man of Charles Carroll of Maryland.Birzer weaves Charles Carroll's rise as leader of the fledgling republic with his filial ascendancy to a Maryland landowning dynasty.Through Carroll's letters and editorial acumen the reader discovers a youthful and passionate statesman who gave a large part of his life and livelihood to help establish a republic which could withstand the dynamic forces of the multiplex culture.

Though Carroll's role in shaping the young nation is made clear, Birzer's portrayal of Carroll does not whitewash the leader's often contentious relationship with those who at this turning point of history were unable to see it continuity with political tradition.Carroll's support of independence from the British Empire was balanced with a concern for the abandonment of the virtuous republic advocated by those pursuing a radical democracy.Carroll recognized the necessity of foundations laid by past generations and the necessary stability which such foundations offer.In doing so his voice offered a critical balance in the establishment of both constitution and the government of the United States of America.

In this sense, Amercian Cicero elides with Birzer's other works, the central theme of which is the power and importance of cultural inheritance.Charles Carroll hoped to help shape a nation built anew on "Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, and Anglo-Saxon traditions."This elegant contribution to the history of our nation's founding and is a window for learning about our nation's past and also for understanding a way to its future.

5-0 out of 5 stars American Bridge to Christendom
Brad Birzer's excellent biography of Charles Carroll is a much need contribution to our understanding the origins of the American Republic.Charles Carroll is one of our forgotten founders.John Dickenson is another. Ironically, those whom we have forgotten offer some of the greatest resources to meet the intellectual challenges of the early 21st Century.Birzer has done us a favor be reacquainting us with Carroll.

Charles Carroll was a Roman Catholic, a Marylander, scion of one of early America's largest fortunes.Educated in Europe by he Jesuits, Carroll returned to his native country a disenfranchised alien. Birzer's biography paints a delightful picture of a cautious reformer whose "revolutionary" actions were aimed at preventing a revolution against the inherited rights of Anglo-Americans.Carroll, friend and disciple of Burke, stood for old ways and rooted rights.Not an abstract speculator, Carroll took his stand with the great Western tradition.Identified by Birzer as the "last of the Romans," Carroll's mind was able to transcend the limitations of the Whig tradition by seeing its continuity, not only with the Roman Republic, but uniting the classical patrimony with the insights of the Church Fathers, the medieval scholastics, and the modern (i.e. the 17th and 18th century republican tradition).Thus, by understanding the mind of Carroll we are able to better understand America's continuity with, and reform of, the tradition of Western Christendom. Carroll, like his biographer, was a man of the West and friends of the great tradition will be edified by this fine book. ... Read more

10. Cicero. On old age
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 78 Pages (2010-07-29)
list price: US$17.75 -- used & new: US$12.96
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Asin: 1176383361
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:ATO: OR, AN ESSAY ON OLD AGE.To Titus Pomponius Atticus.Ah ! could my numbers charm thy anxious breast And lull the sorrows of thy soul to rest; Wouldst thou not deem the poet's lenient lay More worth than sums of countless gold could pay? For well may I address you my friend, in.those lines of the honest bard,Far less for wealth than probity renown'd,with which he opens his poem inscribed to Flami- ninus. I am sensible at the same time that when the poet adds,Each rising sun beholds thy ceaseless grief, And night returning brings Uiee no relief, he holds a language by no means applicable to you. I perfectly well know the moderation and equanimity you possess; and that you have derived from Athens, not only an honourable addition to your name, but that calm and philosophic spirit which so peculiarly distinguishes your character. Nevertheless, I have reason to believe that the present unpleasing posture of public affairs sometimes interrupts your tranquillity of mind, as it frequently, I confess, discomposes my own. But it is not my present purpose to offer you any consolation on that subject: the case requires a very powerful application: and I will reserve what I have to say on it to some future opportunity. My design at this time is only to communicate to you a few reflections concerning old age; the info.mities whereof we are now beginning to feel, or at least are advancing fast towatds them: and I am desirous of rendering the burthen as easy as possible both to you and to myself. I am well convinced indeed that as you have hitherto borne its weight, so you will continue to support its increasing pressure, with the same good sense and composure of mind which you have so happily discovered on every other important occasion. However, having resolved to... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars thorough
This book is very simple to understand. I used it for a class and found it helpful. The index is very thorough and useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars no title
Essentially a very short treatise, hard to believe it was written over 2,000 years ago.Nothing he says is outdated, except the names.Old age should be a time of learning and gardening, according to Cicero.And conversation with friends.Old age will be what we bring to it by our past lives, both in soundness of body and character and temperament.We do not change as we age.How true this is!My own parents were no different than they had always been.His belief in the division of body and soul, and in the immortality of the soul, is just what the Catholic Church teaches today.Old age is blessedly free of the passions and sensations of youth.We should begin to separate from the body.I think much of Catholicism drew from Roman philosophy.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Analysis of Ancient Advocacy
This is a review of "De Oratore" books I-II and "De Oratore" book III in the Loeb Classical Library.

Marcus Tullius Cicero may not have been the greatest trial lawyer of ancient Rome, but he is the best remembered. He wrote much on many subjects, and some of his private correspondence also survives. He did his best writing in the field of rhetoric. Although he was not an original thinker on the subject of rhetoric, "De Oratore" shows him to have had an encyclopedic practical knowledge of oratory in general and criminal trial advocacy in particular.

Cicero wrote "De Oratore" as a dialog among some of the preeminent orators of the era immediately preceding Cicero's time. The occasion is a holiday at a country villa, and the characters discuss all facets of oratory, ceremonial, judicial, and deliberative. They devote most of the discussion to judicial oratory, and their discussion reveals the trial of a Roman lawsuit to be somewhat analogous to the trial of a modern lawsuit. You have to piece it together from stray references to procedure scattered throughout the work, but it appears that a Roman trial consisted of opening statements, the taking of evidence, and final arguments. Modern trial advocacy manuals devote most of their attention to the taking of evidence, but Cicero dismisses the mechanics of presenting evidence as relatively unimportant compared to the mechanics of presenting argument.

"De Oratore" is divided into three books. The first speaks of the qualities of the orator; the second of judicial oratory, and the third of ceremonial and deliberative oratory. The modern trial lawyer would find the second book most interesting and most enlightening. A lot about trial advocacy has changed since Cicero's day (e.g. no more testimony taken under torture), but a lot hasn't.. Much of what Cicero says holds true even in the modern courtroom.

Trial lawyers cannot congregate without swapping "war stories," and Cicero's characters are no exception. They pepper their discussion with references to courtroom incidents which have such verisimilitude that they could have happened last week instead of 2,000 years ago. I have no doubt that Cicero, had he lived today, would have made a formidable trial lawyer.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of "De Oratore" consists of two volumes. Volume one contains Books I and II of "De Oratore," and volume two contains Book III along with two shorter philosphical works and "De Partitione Oratoria." "De Partitione" purports to be a discussion between Cicero and his son on oratory. "De Partitione" differs so much from "De Oratore," that many (myself included) doubt Cicero wrote it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Trial Techniques for the Ancient Attorney
When I was in law school at the University of Florida back in the 70's, our student bar association raised money by selling "looms" on the law courses.Looms were the typed up notes of the students who made the highest grades in each of the classes.Looms were clear, concise statements of the essentials of a course without all the extraneous verbiage that creeps into didactic presentation.

"Rhetorica ad Herennium" reads like a loom.It states its points in clear, concise language without elaboration.The points are well made and highly relevant to the subject of persuasive oratory.

You might well describe "Rhetorica" as an ancient handbook on the subject of arguing a criminal case to a jury.At some trial advocacy school I attended sometime during my career as a lawyer, I learned a basic outline for delivering a final argument.You can imagine my amusement when I learned that this basic outline came from a 2,000 year old book.That isn't the only part of the book applicable to the modern courtroom.

The ancient rhetorician was to be skilled in five areas:1. Invention:Deciding what to say.2. Arrangment:Deciding what order to say it in.3.Style:Saying it well.4. Memory: Remembering what to say.5.Delivery:The nonverbals that accompany speech.

"Rhetorica" consists of four books arranged as follows:

Books I & II cover Invention, especially as it relates to Judicial or Forensic Rhetoric, giving an analysis as timely as an article from last week's law journal.Although the technology of rhetoric has changed markedly since the days of Cicero, the general principles of rhetoric haven't changed much at all.

Book III takes up Ceremonial and Deliberative Rhetoric and also deals with Arrangement, Delivery, and Memory.

Book IV, which proves the most tedious, deals with Style.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rhetoric for Dummies
I think this is one of the best books on public speaking I have ever read.It is clear and concise.The author lays out what you are to know and do very well.I would recommend Ad Herennium to anyone.I am really glad my10th grade Rhetoric teacher made me read this!!! ... Read more

11. Cicero: On Duties (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
by Cicero Marcus Tullius
Paperback: 241 Pages (1991-02-22)
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Asin: 0521348358
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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De Officiis (On Duties) is Cicero's last theoretical work and contains his analysis, in a Greek theoretical framework, of the political and ethical values of the Roman governing class in the late Republic.It has often been treated merely as a key to the Greek philosophical works that Cicero used, but this volume aims to render De Officiis, which had a profound impact upon subsequent political thinkers, more intelligible by explaining its relation to its own time and place.All the standard series features are present, including a wholly new translation, a concise introduction by a leading scholar, select bibliography, chronology, notes on vocabulary and brief biographies of the most prominent individuals mentioned in the text. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Transaction
Book arrived in condition advertised and in a timely manner. I would do business with this vendor again.

5-0 out of 5 stars "honos fama virtusque gloria atque ingenium"
"Office, fame, virtue, glory and natural talent" This epitaph for a young Roman from one of the patrician families summarizes in brief the ideal life of the patricians. It also serves in some ways as a crib on Cicero's book under review.
The plan of my review is fairly straight forward. I will talk briefly about the qualities of this edition of On Duties, the historical situation of its creation, give a summary of its contents and influence and then make one or two remarks as to it utility for these times. For this is a book that is meant to serve as a guide to practical ethics. It should be read on those grounds- what does it teach us about how to live?
But first a note about my inadequacies. I have no Latin and have only begun recently anything like a study of Roman history and philosophy. I may very well not know what I am talking about. But then that is true of all of us. If I make any obvious errors, please let me know in the comments.

First, I love this edition of the work. The scholarly appartus is superbly done and very helpful. These include a good introduction, principal dates of Cicero's life, a plan of the various contemporary schools of philosophy and a summary of their doctrines, a bibliography, a synopsis of the work, biographical notes on the individuals named by Cicero and two indexes. The synopsis and the biographical notes I found to be very useful. I found the structure of Cicero's argument to be somewhat odd and the synopsis several times served to orient my understanding.

This book was written during a period of crisis for Cicero. In the same year that Cicero wrote this book Caesar was named dictator and assassinated and the wars that would lead to Octavian becoming emperor had begun. Cicero had been somewhat retired for the previous few years and was finishing up an extraordinary burst of writing. On Duties would be the last of his writings. He was also involved in delivering The Philippic against Anthony. He would be killed the following year.
The previous reviewer makes much of the fact that On Duty is written to his son. The younger Cicero is spoken to several times in the work. The elder Cicero is offering him a Practical Ethic that will come from a different direction and tradition than that of Crattipus with whom Marcus is studying.
But the book is more than that. In many ways it is an early example of the "mirror for princes" genre. Yes, it is directed toward the younger Cicero but it is also directed toward any and all of the patricians who would listen.
It is also an apologia por vita sui; in this book Cicero holds his own career up as a paragon and uses every opportunity to attack Caesar and Anthony. This is one of the ways that Cicero is closer to the heroes of Homer than to the modern reader. No becoming modesty for Cicero. What we have here is a practical ethic for an elite, a military and political elite that competed with each other for office, fame, the reputation of virtue and glory.

There is no metaphysical grounding of ethics here. Cicero's work is based on several assumptions. The most important is the identity of the honorable and the beneficial. (By the way, I will avoid all debate on the translation of terms. Suffice to say that the Latin words so translated are polysemous and that any choice of English equivalent has consequences. It is ironic that Cicero had the same problem when he translated Greek philosophical terms into Latin.)
Cicero (hereafter C because I am lazy) believes that our ends will determine what are out duties. Our ends are the result of our virtues. Cicero discusses four. The first is the characteristic virtue of the rational animal that we are. We search for truth. The other three virtues are called by C the necessities of sociality, i.e., without them there would not be the social life which serves so many human purposes. These are sociality (subdivided into justice and liberality), greatness of spirit (the desire to excel, to do great and useful things, to live gloriously) and seemliness (moderation, a sense of limits, order).
Much of the book focuses on justice. This is one of those areas which might give the modern reader pause. Time and again, C refers to schemes to redistribute wealth (mostly through land reform) that had been suggested in Rome's history or was being discussed during C's lifetime. It one point, C suggests that it is better to die than to relieve someone of their property because to do so would be to destroy that most human thing, "the common fellowship of the human race" (Book III,28). This very discussion leads to one of the most obvious contradictions in the whole book. C denies that we are even justified in taking the property of foreigners for that too destroys our most natural sociality. Yet earlier in his discussion (II,74), C implies that it is better to conquer other countries than to impose a property tax! (The Great State of Oregon, where I abide, is one of the very few states that does not have a sales tax. Perhaps we should attack Seattle in order to avoid imposing a sales tax should it come to that?).
C has much to say on both greatness of spirit and on seemliness (or moderation). This is one of the areas where his book spoke to me the most forcefully. I find it endlessly fascinating the idea that one of the ends of humanity is to excel but that it has to be done in an orderly and moderate way. I suppose you could make the argument that The Iliad is about what happens to a society when that pursuit of glory loses all moderation as in Achilles.
C ends his book with what you could call a series of case studies. The climax isthe story of Marcus Atilius Regulus. C then examines the actions of Regulus using the criteria he has outlined. According to C, the story is almost unparalleled. I will not repeat it here (just copy the name and do a internet search) but the way that Regulus met his end was remarkable by anyone's standards.

So much for C in this brief review. On Duty and the other writings of C's that he wrote during this time had a lasting impact on Western history and culture. St. Augustine was inspired to study philosophy by one of C's books that is lost to us. On Duty itself inspired a book by St. Jerome. Machiavelli's The Prince should be read, in part, as a answer to On Duty. C's writings on duty had an effect on Locke and on the Founding Fathers.

So there are lots of historical reasons for reading this book. But any really great book should be approached as perhaps giving us insight into how to live our lives. One of things that I most admire about C is that he regarded all schools of philosophy as resources. He was most influenced by the Stoics but he also was influenced by scepticism, the Peripetetics and by the Academy. Didn't have much good to say about the Epicureans though. (This is one criticism I have of him- C is ashamed of the animal side of the human being. He regards the naked body and the pleasures of the body as dishonorable. I am rather fond of many of those pleasures.) I suggest that you approach C the same way. This was a man living under tremendous pressures and who was able to think, read and write carefully and in a way that has been found insightful for millenia. We can all learn something from this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cicero
If you can make it through the tough readings you will profit much, it is one of the best books i have ever read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fatherlove
I'm not sure why we ignore our ancient wisdom.We seem to be well-fed on eastern paradox and mysticism, but we have lost the tradition of reason and cross-examination that brought stability and technology to the world.We heard the cry, "If we can send a man to the moon, why can't we . . ." Part of the reason is that the nature of a moon-shot may be different than the nature of curing breast cancer, wining the war on terrorism within the time-frame of WWII, or solving social problems.

The other part of the reason is that we have abandoned the fundamental principles of Western Civilization that brought us Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.When we left theses core truths, we undid several thousand years of progress, and have returned to a faux primitive and savagery.Emotion has supplanted, reason, mercy has robbed justice, and catchphrases have replaced fundamental platitudes.In short, we have abandoned the mind, and are left with the stomach.

In "On Duties," Cicero drives a dagger in the heart of today's ills. This book's theme is justice as it related to social duties.It is essentially pedagogical, and like Aristotle's Ethics, is written as advice to his growing son.We speak of Motherlove, but this book embodies Fatherlove, or all the good and ideal aspects of paternalism.

As with all good philosophers, he is easy to understand, once you get the feel for philosophical banter.C. S. Lewis observed "The simplest student will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire."

As you read "On Duties," you get the feel that Cicero is operating under a very different set of values.As I mentioned, the ancient world was founded upon justice and reason, and our post-modern world is founded upon mercy and emotion, with disastrous consequences.We need to be sensitive to these differences, since our assumptions are blind spots.As Lewis added, "It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones."

This book is good for understanding the ancient mind, and great for personal development.Clearly and logically, Cicero explains the interplay between duty, advantage and righteousness. You many not agree with him, but Cicero did do his homework, has a point, and when he is wrong, he is wrong for the right reasons. ... Read more

12. On the Good Life (Penguin Classics)
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 384 Pages (1971-09-30)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.47
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Asin: 0140442448
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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For the great Roman orator and statesman Cicero,the good life' was at once a life of contentment and one of moral virtueand the two were inescapably intertwined. This volume brings together a wide range of his reflections upon the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness. In essays that are articulate, meditative and inspirational, Cicero presents his views upon the significance of friendship and duty to state and family, and outlines a clear system of practical ethics that is at once simple and universal. These works offer a timeless reflection upon the human condition, and a fascinating insight into the mind of one of the greatest thinkers of Ancient Rome. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome Cicero
This is an exceptional work by an outstanding Roman civic leader of talent and dedication. I was first acquainted with Cicero through his Cataline Orations which I read in Latin in High School.
Yes, we have been debased since the 60's. Our society is no longer acquainted with this original thinker and orator. Cicero was not a media darling; he was not a mere rhetorician. He faced serious issues in the arena of give and take and his logic and reasoning is superb. He did not rely on "talking heads" and polls. He had strength of will and a sense of public virtue and he was dedicated to the good of his country and was willing to sacrifice himself in defending that good.
But, beyond that, he adhered to the Stoic philosophy, originating in Classical Greece. This book, very readible, from "ancient" Rome, provides Cicero's personal philosophical belief to the way of personal virtue for a citizen. This book has significant value for one seeking answers to personal approaches to our modern American world of adulation of media, Hollywood,"Super Models", political, and seclarist royalty to the neglect of country.
The time to revisit Cicero' philosphical works, and the works of other stoics, is at hand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Take a break and refresh your mind...
What strikes me as kind of funny is that I would like to frame this review as "take a step back from the current political chaos, and listen to a voice of wisdom from long ago."I still think this is a great idea, but have to admit that Cicero managed to produce the bulk of his writing just at the time when he was in the midst of enormous political chaos --- and family tragedy.

Somehow, he managed to turn out a whole bunch of fascinating writing, particularly dealing with the question, "Is moral goodness enough to give us a happy life?"This, I think, is a deceptively simple question, and it brings to mind all sorts of scenarios: going into the slave trade to make your millions, and then retiring to have nightmares for the rest of your life, or perhaps: what should you do when you find your parents have died and all of your siblings have turned into Greed Machines and are ready to fight on for years in the courts over every last stamp in Dad's stamp collection?I know at least one couple who simply withdrew from the Greedfest, and I suspect that they were much happier than their relatives.

Finally, I think a good acquaintance with Cicero is a magnificent thing for an American citizen.I must say, I find it absolutely impossible to even imagine Pelosi and Reid reading this book; they are quoted as being completely busy "wining and dining" their big donors in Pacific Heights.But perhaps this is one place where Joe Citizen can steal a march on them! :-)

Good stuff here!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great anthology
I found this book to be a great introduction to Cicero's works.This work does not contain any of his famous speeches but rather a few of the essays he composed while in exile in Tusculum.Thus though it is a good introduction to his works, it is certainly not representative of them.

Cicero is often called Rome's greatest orator and sometimes even the greatest thinker in the Roman Republic.Certainly, whatever the merits of these appellations, Cicero certainly was one of the greatest thinkers anywhere in the Classical world.The clarity and thoughtfulness of his writings and speeches are superceded only by their timelessness.

This anthology explores Cicero's ideas relating to how one should live one's life in order to be happy.The general conclusion is that one should live a moral and balanced life, and that in so doing, one will find happiness.These ideas are then fleshed out regarding friendships, duties to others, and the like.The material is usually thought-provoking and well put together, and the translation is solid.

In the end, I was struck by the degree to which Cicero managed to synthesize realism and idealism into a whole which was not only practical and empirically sound but also based on the noblest of ideals.His works are thus both challenging and rewarding for people of any viewpoint on life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cicero--Statesman and Philosopher
One thing to note about this book is that it is a collection of selected chapters from Cicero's works.The only work that is complete is "On Friendship".More than likely, this was designed for literature classes that needed a sampling of Cicero without getting too deep into his writings.If you're a first time reader who would like a sample of Cicero to see if you would like to read more of his works, then this would be a good collection to get you started.However, if you would like complete works, you should avoid this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars To Italy!To Cicero!
It's always a joy to return to the works of one Marcus Tullius Cicero.He was Rome's greatest orator, and anyone who has ever read his works can certainly see why. In the present work he discusses the concepts of friendship, moral virtue, one's duty to the state, one's duty to one's friends (and what to do when these come into conflict), oratory and the famous "Dream of Scipio."I have little doubt that Dante used the latter as inspiration for the 3rd canticle of his DIVINE COMEDY (Paradise).

In reading of Cicero's thoughts on morality, it's easy to discern the influence that Cicero had on Immanual Kant.Kant extrapolated and expounded on a lot of Cicero's basic ideas. The dialogue on friendship is a good complement to the writings of what Plato & Aristotle had to say on the subject.

The works are translated and edited by the venerable Michael Grant of Cambridge university.I consider myself pretty well read when it comes to the personages of antiquity.Still, Cicero loves to name-drop and frequently his allusions are beyond my grasp. That's where our good buddy Michael Grant comes in.Grant's footnotes do a terrific job of clarifying who Cicero is referring to, and makes Cicero's writings far more cohesive & easier to understand. I would gather that Grant's elucidations would even be apt to assist people with doctorates in history who wish to engage the Roman writer.

There is one mannerism of Cicero's that is bound to rub a lot of readers the wrong way, and that is his being convinced that the world revolves around Rome.In this way, he reminds me of how modern day New Yorkers believe that the world revolves around NYC.It is helpful, however, to remember that in his day the world basically DID revolve around Rome. The Romans truly saw themselves as a beacon of light in what was largely an uncivilized planet. Whether one likes or dislikes the Romans, of course, is a different matter entirely.

If you've never read Cicero before, this would be an ideal place to start.It is a far easier read than his ON THE ORATOR and other works.It will also be a nice introduction into the milieu in which the orator lived. Anyone who has any passing interest in the world of antiquity would be highly urged to read this book. ... Read more

13. Treatises on Friendship and Old Age
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 50 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YL4544
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Treatises on Friendship and Old Age is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Marcus Tullius Cicero is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars awful in every way
I am very fond of "De Amicitia" and picked up this translation to give it to a friend, but what I got was an unreadable mess. It is in an awful binding, very low-quality paper and printing, and the translation is complete garbage. It reads like it was translated by software, not to mention the 2-3 typos per page. There are no footnotes or index, and it's clear the translator has no knowledge of Roman culture.

It as bad as a translation can be. And as awful of a product as you'll find on Amazon. They really should stop selling it. Horrible, horrible, horrible. ... Read more

14. Cicero: On Moral Ends (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 200 Pages (2001-08-20)
list price: US$25.99 -- used & new: US$17.00
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Asin: 0521669014
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This new translation makes one of the most important texts in ancient philosophy freshly available to modern readers. Cicero was an intelligent and well-educated amateur philosopher, and in this work he presents the major ethical theories of his time in a way designed to get the reader philosophically engaged in the important debates. Raphael Woolf's translation does justice to Cicero's argumentative vigor as well as to the philosophical ideas involved, while Julia Annas' introduction and notes provide a clear and accessible explanation of the philosophical context of the work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Practical Ethics Cicero Style
Read the translation before the introduction.Woolf's translation is smooth and smart; the "general reader" is unlikely to appreciate the introduction, at least on first reading.It's written almost exclusively for those with a real penchant for ancient philosophy. It's organized in an infuriating way, and is slightly flat-footed in its use of language. ... Read more

15. Cicero: On the Commonwealth and On the Laws (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 258 Pages (1999-12-28)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$13.91
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Asin: 0521459591
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Cicero's On the Commonwealth and On the Laws are his most important works of political philosophy. The present volume offers a scholarly reconstruction of the fragments of On the Commonwealth and a masterly translation of both dialogues. The texts are supported by a helpful, concise introduction, notes and other aids. Students in politics, philosophy, ancient history, law and classics will gain a new understanding of this seminal thinker thanks to Professor Zetzel's volume. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Transaction
Book arrived in condition advertised and in a timely manner. I would do business with this vendor again.

5-0 out of 5 stars The classics
When (and since) I was in college (a LONG time ago) reading the "classics" has been de-emphasized.This is a mistake.Now, in my 60s, I am finally reading works like this one, and learning just how much I have missed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good apparatus, hit-or-miss translation
Zetzel's edition of the Cicero's Republic and Laws contains all of the nice extras that go along with the Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought.It has helpful footnotes, biographical glossary, and an introduction into some of the difficulties that Zetzel faced as a translator.Zetzel has also supplemented the manuscript text of the Republic with fragments preserved in other writers to give some sense of what is missing.

The translation is one of the better ones I've seen, and I'm not sure that there is a better one.Zetzel found it impossible to translate res publica consistently, but does point out wherever it appears in the text in a footnote.This translation is not suited to the demands of in-depth interpretation, however.Zetzel translates both prudens and sapientia as wise or wisdom, for example, but not consistently.Both scientia and philosophia are translated as philosophy.These problems may cause some difficulty if the text is read too closely, but the general sense of Cicero's works won't be lost. ... Read more

16. Cicero: On the Ideal Orator
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Paperback: 384 Pages (2001-03-08)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$28.00
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Asin: 0195091981
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In On the Ideal Orator, (De oratore), Cicero, the greatest Roman orator and prosewriter of his day, gives his mature views on rhetoric, oratory, and philosophy. Cast in the lively, literary form of a dialogue, this classic work presents a daring view of the orator as the master of all language communication while still emphasizing his role at the heart of Roman society and politics. Cicero's conception of the ideal orator represents his own original synthesis of the positions of the philosophers and the rhetoricians in the age-old quarrel between these disciplines.
The first translation of De oratore in over fifty years, this volume is ideal for courses on Cicero and on the history of rhetoric/oratory. James May and Jakob Wisse provide an accurate and accessible translation which is based on--and contributes to--recent advances in our understanding of De oratore and of the many aspects of ancient rhetoric, philosophy, and history relevant to it. Their translation reflects the many variations of Cicero's style, which are essential ingredients of the work. The volume includes extensive annotation, based on current scholarship and offering significant original contributions as well. It is also enhanced by a full introduction covering all important aspects of both the work and its historical background; appendices on Cicero's works, figures of thought and speech, and alternate manuscript readings; a glossary of terms from rhetoric and Roman life and politics; and a comprehensive index of names and places. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A modern, clear translation of Cicero's most important work
Just the introduction to this work alone is worth the price of the book. It has not only an excellent biography of Cicero, but sections on the role of orators in Roman and Greek life, the role of De Oratore in Cicero's life, and extensive commentary on the content and dialogic, conversational form of the book. The introduction also contains extensive background material on the long-standing quarrel between rhetoricians and philosophers and Cicero's position in it.

The authors start by saying: "When Cicero's contemporariesread his De Oratore (literally On the Orator), finished at the end of 55 BC, many of them must have been surprised." Stepping outside the camps of both the philosophers and rhetoricians, Cicero concentrates on the personal skills of the speaker rather than on rules; and as a practical orator, he repeatedly criticizes the impractical, narrow, and rigid patterns of the rhetoricians.

Before Socrates, scholars generally found that knowledge and rhetoric were the same. Socrates was probably an opponent of rhetoric, and this may have led to his execution by the Athenians. This made some of his pupils, and especially Plato, very hostile to rhetoric. As a result there emerged different institutions for both disciplines. There was the Academy founded by Plato, the Peripatos founded by Aristotle, the Stoics founded by Zeno, and Epicureans, founded by Epicurus. Still 300 years later, in Cicero's time, the rivalry between them was lively and fierce.

Cicero wrote they were all wrong: "The ancients had taught there was an amazing sort of communion between speaking and understanding." Like linguists and other scientists today have found, there is no distinction between thought and language. Cicero wrotethat Socrates had made a terrible mistake. Separating words from thoughts was like separating the body from the soul--and just as destructive. He wrote: "Words for a distinguished style are impossible without having produced and shaped the thoughts, and no thought can shine clearly without the enlightening power of words."

The unity of speech and knowledge provides the powerful thrust of Cicero's book. At one point, he asks why there are so few really good speakers. He notes that this is "all the more amazing when the study of the other arts as a rule draws upon abstruse and hidden sources, whereas the procedures of oratory lie within everyone's reach, and are concerned with everyday experience and with human nature and speech." Once the peoples of the empire learned of the Greek writings on rhetoric, they "were filled with an incredible zeal for learning all these things....In addition, there were laid before them, just as they are now, the greatest rewards for this pursuit, in terms of influence, power, and prestige."

"Considering all this, who would not rightly be amazed that, in the entire history of generations, of ages, and of communities, such a slight number of orators would be found? The truth of the matter is, however, that this faculty is something greater, and is a combination of more arts and pursuits, than is generally supposed. ...the only conceivable explanation of this scarcity is surely the incredible scope and difficulty of oratory."

Wide, broad knowledge in many subjects are the best preparation for the ideal orator, along with talent, good technique, and years of practice.

Cicero writes: "To begin with, one must acquire knowledge of a very great number of things, for without this a ready flow of words is empty and ridiculous; the language itself must be shaped, not only by the choice of words, but by their arrangement as well; also required is a thorough acquaintance with all the emotions with which nature has endowed the human race, because in soothing or exciting the feelings of the audience the full force of oratory and all its available means must be brought into play. In addition, it is essential to possess a certain esprit and humor, the culture that befits a gentleman, and an ability to be quick and concise in rebuttal as well as attack, combined with refinement, grace, and urbanity."

Cicero writes: "It is my opinion that an orator worthy of this grand title is he who will speak on any subject that occurs and requires verbal exposition in a thoughtful, well-disposed, and distinguished manner, having accurately memorized his speech, while also displaying a certain dignity of delivery."

It is hard to overestimate the importance and significance of this work in the Western canon. A companion bookis "Master Tully: Cicero in Tudor England," which shows the dominance of Cicero in Renaissance England. Cicero had a profound effect on the education of the founders of the U.S. who were brought up onCicero in both English and Latin. Jefferson had 40 of Cicero's works in his library. John Adams, Lincoln, Twain, and Whitman were all direct descendants of Cicero.

This work should also be read together with Cicero's "Brutus or History of Famous Orators: Also His Orator or Accomplished Speaker," which Cicero had intended to be books 4 and 5 of this work.

5-0 out of 5 stars I got to read this before it was even published!
Doc May is currently my professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.He is one of the most brilliant men that I have ever met. We got to read his book before it was published for a literature class.It is a very good translation. I would highly recommend it to anyone. ... Read more

17. The Nature of the Gods (Oxford World's Classics)
by Cicero
Paperback: 288 Pages (2008-08-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.79
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Asin: 0199540063
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Cicero's philosophical works are now exciting renewed interest and more generous appreciation, in part because they provide vital evidence of the views of the (largely lost) Greek philosophers of the Hellenistic age, and partly because of the light they cast on the intellectual life of first-century Rome. The Nature of the Gods is a central document in this area, for it presents a detailed account of the theologies of the Epicureans and of the Stoics, together with the critical objections to these doctrines raised by the Academic school. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Questions that still haven't gone away.
I began reading the Stoics to get background on St. Paul's evangelistic sermon in Athens (Acts 17), in which Stoics and Epicureans are among his partners in dialogue, but am finding these folks fascinating in their own right.Cicero and Seneca were in the thick of messy imperial politics, which takes some of the gloss off their otherwise attractive (at least in Seneca's case) maxims and ideals; as with Aristotle, you want to ask, "If education is the key to virtue, how did this wise man teach such a ruthless thug as Nero / Alexander?"

The Nature of the Gods was, in any case, great for my study.A Stoic, an Epicurean, and a skeptic who moonlights as a priest (!) meet in a private home to debate the reality and nature of God and the gods.No punchline here -- each disputant takes the time to develope his arguments in detail, in often lively prose.Often the debate about "faith" and "reason," myth and history, design and accident, seems surprisingly contemporary.The book also helped me make sense of Paul's line of argument in Acts, and by implication the success of Christianity.Thoughtful Romans were looking for a God they could believe in; I can almost imagine that Paul put his brief together after reading Book II, and parts of Book III, of Cicero's work.

The tone is civil, cosmopolitan, literate, with frequent quotations from the poets and references to mythology.(Which no one present takes seriously -- except metaphorically.)

Some of the skeptical parts of Book III also still bite.Why does God allow the wicked to prosper, and the good to perish?The ancients are still worth reading, not in a condescending way as primitive philosophy and bad science, but appreciated for their insights into fundamental questions, and even for some good guesses about Nature. (Cicero knows earth is much smaller than the sun, and round, for example -- though the Stoics think it round IN PART because sphericity is the ideal shape!Strict diets not being a priority in the ancient world.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
Interesting book! Three public figures and Cicero himself, gather in Cotta's villa around 76 B.C. to discuss the nature of the gods. Gaius Velleius is an Epicurean. Quintus Lucilius Balbus, a Stoic. Gaius Aurelius Cotta, an Academic and pontifex. For a summary of the text see, p. xlvi-xlviii. For a brief review of how this book was received in history, see Introduction, p. ix. The question Cicero raises at the beginning of his work is: "If the gods have neither the power nor the desire to help us, if they have no interest whatever and they pay no attention to our activities, if there is nothing which can percolate from them to affect our human lives, what reason have we for addressing any acts of worship or honors or prayers to the immortal gods?" (p. 4)
Academics promoted questioning of established opinions; Skepticism denied the possibility of attaining ultimate knowledge of things but only high probability and suspension of judgment (åðïêç). Cicero was influenced by Carneades, the founder of the Third Academy (though his principle `voluptas cum honestate' was regarded by Cicero to be too close to Epicureanism) and by Antiochus, founder of the Fifth Academy (very open to Stoicism). Cotta, the Academic philosopher, endorses belief in the gods on the basis of traditional religion and patriotic duty. He criticizes the arguments adduced by Stoics and Epicureans as non-conclusive and faulty in logic. Here are a couple of quotes from him: "I should defend the beliefs about the immortal gods which we have inherited from our ancestors, together with our sacrifices, ceremonies and religious observances. I shall indeed defend them, and I have always done so; no words from any person, whether learned or unlearned, will ever budge me from the views which I inherited from our ancestors concerning the worship of the immortal gods." (p. 109); and: "I have gained better instruction on how to worship the immortal gods, guided by pontifical law and ancestral custom, from those miniature sacrificial bowls, bequeathed to us by Numa and described by Laelius in his little speech which is pure gold, than from the explanations of the Stoics." (p. 122)
On his part, Balbus, as a good Stoic, believed in a world-soul and in providence (ðñüíïéá) governing the world, though not the destiny of individuals. The Stoics' was a very immanentistic world view; they also believed in Fate (çéìáñìÞíç) and in predetermined events. This view of Fate appealed to the Roman passion for future-telling. In Roman society, there were:
1) Augurs = College of 10 and then 15 (from 51 BC) priests: they studied birds' flight patterns
2) Haruspices = Etruscan priests who studied animals' entrails
3) Pontefices = College of 16 priests
4) Diviners = they studied Sybilline books

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Translation
I admire Cicero and and I like THE NATURE OF THE GODS, but I give it 2 stars because of the poor translation, which renders a lucid book intolerably boring. So, please throw away the PENGUIN edition and check out the same title by OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSCIS translated by P.G.Walsh. After you have compared the two editions, you will realize the weakness of J.M.Ross' translation.

4-0 out of 5 stars "A Creative-Classic"
Cicero's "De Natura Deorum" is a work the great orator used to present his own position towards philosophy, the gods, and how they work in the universe and in the lives of individuals. Cicero presents his thesis by opening a dialogue between three distinguished philosophers from the major schools of the first century BC: namely the Stoics, Epicureans, and Academics. Velleius, in book one, expounds upon the general tenets of the Epicureans; in book two, Balbus the Stoic in turn attempts to refute the claims made by Velleius; and finally, in book three, Cotta takes the position of the Academics, which should be understood as Cicero's opinions himself. If judged correctly, Cicero's opinions are quite clear, but they should be left for the reader to discover on his own. As pure philosophy, this book obviously lacks merit; but as for creativity and sheer eloquence Cicero's work will make for an entertaining and insightful read, especially as an introductory to the philosophical maxims during the decay of the Roman Republic. Despite the works lack of philosophical ingenuity, its influence may possibly be greater than what is customarily maintained, since it is likely that "De Naturae Deorum" impacted Boethius in writing his "Consolation of Philosophy." First of all, both works address many of the same issues, and secondly in their literary style they both use prose and verse to convey meaning. Overall, this work will make for a comforting, and at times insightful read; this will be an essential addition to the classical library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Theology without revelation --it will change your world view
If you're like me, you were brought up thinking the ancients understood God(s) interms of their old polytheistic mythology. In fact quaint village myths didn't make it inthe large cities. The idea of a single High God predated Christianity by centuries, andwas in fact central to mainstream ancient philosophies / theologies you've probablyheard of: Platonism, Stoicism, Epicureanism.

For us, religion and revelation are inseparable. Christianity, Islam, Bahai-ism, Mormonism are "revealed" religions, based on the God's direct revelation through his Son or Prophet -- Jesus, Mohamed, Bahaulla, Joseph Smith.The Greeks and Romans didn't have "revealed" religions.They had to work out their ideas of meaning and divinity without a solid, revealed, starting place.In a worldwithout revealed religion, the ancient philosophers tried to figure out, What is God?Amazing.

If you're interested in how the ancients understood God, Cicero's book, The Nature of the Gods, is a great read.It's basically a synopsis of ancient philosophies / theologies.It will change your understanding of the history of western religious thought.

Listen to Cicero [106 - 43 BC], a non-Christian, describing God: "God dwells in the universe as its ruler and governor, and rules the stars in their courses, and the changing seasons, and all the varying sequences of nature, looking down on earth and sea, and protecting the life and goods of men."

And, "The divine power is to be found in a principle of reason which pervades the whole of nature."

I particularly like the easy to read translation in this Penguin Classics edition. ... Read more

18. Cicero Pro Archia: Pro Archia Poeta Oratio (Latin Edition)
by Steven M. Cerutti
Paperback: 129 Pages (2006-08-24)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$20.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865166420
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Also available:

Cicero: The Patriot - ISBN 0865165874
Cicero: De Senectute (On Old Age) - ISBN 0865160015

For over 30 years Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers has produced the highest quality Latin and ancient Greek books. From Dr. Seuss books in Latin to Plato's Apology, Bolchazy-Carducci's titles help readers learn about ancient Rome and Greece; the Latin and ancient Greek languages are alive and well with titles like Cicero's De Amicitia and Kaegi's Greek Grammar. We also feature a line of contemporary eastern European and WWII books.

Some of the areas we publish in include:

Selections From The Aeneid
Latin Grammar & Pronunciation
Greek Grammar & Pronunciation
Texts Supporting Wheelock's Latin
Classical author workbooks: Vergil, Ovid, Horace, Catullus, Cicero
Vocabulary Cards For AP Selections: Vergil, Ovid, Catullus, Horace
Greek Mythology
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Slovak Culture And History ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Supporting the Move to Real Latin
This book provides ample supplementary notes as well as specific vocabulary to help the reader get through the book without getting frustrated.Supplementary notes provide resources for further information if one so desires.This would be a great reader for both advanced high school Latin classes and intermediate college classes.

5-0 out of 5 stars An optimal reader for intermediate-advanced learners
These kinds of readers are very helpful for people on the AP track, as well as any Latin student, I imagine.As an advanced self-learner, these are really the staple of my Latin diet.

A quick suggestion for advanced learners, though: if you are learning on your own, you may go through a transitional phase where you reference the notes as you read in whatever you're reading for the first time.Train yourself not to do this.Go over a sentence or two a few times and try to decipher it yourself, THEN turn to vocabulary, THEN the grammar portion of the notes if you are unsure.

The reason I bring this up is that readers such as this have the notes on the same page, and, while this is quite convenient, you need to stop using these as training wheels and use them like a helpful assistant teacher as a secondary resort.I would actually prefer the format employed in the Stephen Ciraolo edition of the Pro Caelio at my stage, but hey, if you can't exert enough discipline to avoid looking at facing notes while you read, what can you do? ;)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great resource for studying Cicero's Latin
Steven Cerutti has written a highly accessible and practical student edition of Cicero's Pro Archia. The page layout is great - Latin on the right page, grammatical and syntactical notes on the bottom and vocabulary on the left (facing) page. The notes were always very helpful in aiding the navigation of complex Ciceronian periods and included numerous comments on Cicero's use of rhetorical artifices. The typeface is eminently readable and the book provides some good basic information on the life of Cicero and Archias.

This is a great volume for anyone desiring an intermediate text with helpful notes in an attractive and well-laid-out presentation. ... Read more

19. Defence Speeches (Oxford World's Classics)
by Cicero
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-08-31)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.25
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Asin: 0199537909
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Cicero (106-43 BC) was the greatest orator of the ancient world.He dominated the Roman courts, usually appearing for the defense.His speeches are masterpieces of persuasion.They are compellingly written, emotionally powerful, and sometimes hilariously funny.This book presents five of his most famous defenses: of Roscius, falsely accused of murdering his father; of the consul-elect Murena, accused of electoral bribery; of the poet Archias, on a citizenship charge; of Caelius, ex-lover of Clodia Metelli, on charges of violence; and of Milo, for murdering Cicero's hated enemy Clodius. Cicero's clients were rarely innocent; but so seductive is his oratory that the reader cannot help taking his side.In these speeches we are plunged into some of the most exciting courtroom dramas of all time. These new translations preserve Cicero's literary artistry and emotional force, while achieving new standards of accuracy. Each speech has its own introduction, and a general introduction discusses Cicero's public career and the criminal courts.The substantial explanatory notes smoothly guide the reader through the speeches, allowing a clearer understanding of the text. ... Read more

20. On Academic Scepticism
by Marcus Tullius Cicero, Charles Brittain
Paperback: 161 Pages (2006-03-30)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$10.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0872207749
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Charles Brittain's elegant new translation of Cicero's Academica makes available for the first time a readable and accurate translation into modern English of this complex yet crucial source of our knowledge of the epistemological debates between the sceptical Academics and the Stoics.

Brittain's masterly Introduction, generous notes, English–Latin–Greek Glossary, and Index further commend this edition to the attention of students of Hellenistic philosophy at all levels. ... Read more

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