Joseph DeGregorio-Cicero: Selected Works

Author of Book: Marcus Tullius Cicero
Date Read: April 10, 2023

Book Report

Cicero: Selected Works” is a compelling collection of writings by Marcus Tullius Cicero, one of ancient Rome’s greatest orators, philosophers, and statesmen. This book showcases a selection of Cicero’s most influential and enduring works, providing readers with insights into his philosophical ideas, rhetorical skills, and contributions to Roman politics and governance.

Rhetorical Mastery:

Cicero’s works demonstrate his exceptional skill in rhetoric and oratory. His speeches, such as “In Verrem” and “Pro Milone,” exemplify his ability to persuade and captivate audiences. Through his artful use of language and persuasive techniques, Cicero earned a reputation as one of Rome’s most eloquent and persuasive speakers.

Political Philosophy:

The book includes Cicero’s philosophical treatises on politics and governance, such as “On the Commonwealth” and “On the Laws.” In these works, Cicero discusses the ideal state, the role of a virtuous ruler, and the importance of upholding the rule of law for the stability and prosperity of a society.

Moral Philosophy:

Cicero’s moral philosophy is also prominently featured in the collection. “On Duties” is a notable work that explores ethical principles, the pursuit of virtue, and the obligations of an individual toward society and fellow citizens. Cicero emphasizes the importance of living a just and honorable life.

Humanism and Stoicism:

Throughout his writings, Cicero synthesizes Greek philosophy with Roman values. He draws from the Stoic school of thought and incorporates elements of humanism, advocating for the development of individual character and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

Defense of Roman Values:

In his speeches and writings, Cicero vehemently defends traditional Roman values, institutions, and the Roman Republic itself. He remains a staunch advocate for the preservation of the Republic’s ideals, which he saw as threatened by political corruption and the ambitions of powerful individuals.

Influence on Political Thought:

Cicero: Selected Works” highlights Cicero’s profound impact on the development of Western political thought and the study of rhetoric and philosophy. His ideas on governance, justice, and the rule of law have had a lasting influence on political thinkers throughout the centuries.

Tragic End:

The collection touches upon the tragic end of Cicero’s life, including his opposition to Julius Caesar and the subsequent events leading to his execution in 43 BCE. Cicero’s unwavering commitment to his principles, even in the face of danger, is a testament to his dedication to Roman ideals.

Legacy and Reception:

The book concludes by examining Cicero’s enduring legacy and the lasting impact of his writings on Western literature, philosophy, and political theory. Cicero’s works have been studied, translated, and admired by scholars and thinkers for millennia, making him an influential figure in the history of Western thought.

In conclusion, “Cicero: Selected Works” by Marcus Tullius Cicero presents readers with a captivating and insightful collection of writings by one of ancient Rome’s most accomplished orators, philosophers, and statesmen. Cicero’s rhetorical mastery, political and moral philosophy, and defense of Roman values showcase his profound influence on Western political thought and the enduring legacy of his ideas. This book serves as an essential window into the intellectual and political landscape of ancient Rome and continues to be celebrated for its timeless wisdom and eloquence.