De officiis

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Harvard University Press, 1975 - Fiction - 423 pages
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Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106–43 BCE), Roman lawyer, orator, politician and philosopher, of whom we know more than of any other Roman, lived through the stirring era which saw the rise, dictatorship, and death of Julius Caesar in a tottering republic. In his political speeches especially and in his correspondence we see the excitement, tension and intrigue of politics and the part he played in the turmoil of the time. Of about 106 speeches, delivered before the Roman people or the Senate if they were political, before jurors if judicial, 58 survive (a few of them incompletely). In the fourteenth century Petrarch and other Italian humanists discovered manuscripts containing more than 900 letters of which more than 800 were written by Cicero and nearly 100 by others to him. These afford a revelation of the man all the more striking because most were not written for publication. Six rhetorical works survive and another in fragments. Philosophical works include seven extant major compositions and a number of others; and some lost. There is also poetry, some original, some as translations from the Greek.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Cicero is in twenty-nine volumes.

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About the author (1975)

Born in Arpinum on January 3, 106 B.C., Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman orator, writer, and politician. In Rome, Cicero studied law, oratory, philosophy, and literature, before embarking on a political career. Banished from Rome in 59 B.C. for the execution of some members of the Catiline group, Cicero devoted himself to literature. Cicero was pardoned by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C., and returned to Rome to deliver his famous speeches, known as the "Philippics," urging the senate to declare war on Marc Antony. Cicero's chief works, written between 46 and 44 B.C., can be classified in the categories of philosophical works, letters, and speeches. The letters, edited by his secretary Tiro, showcase a unique writing style and charm. The most popular work of the period was De Officiis, a manual of ethics, in which Cicero espoused fundamental Christian values half a century before Christ. Cicero was murdered in Formiae, Italy, on December 4, 43 B.C., by Antony's soldiers after the triumvirate of Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius was formed.

Walter M. Miller, Jr. grew up in the American South and enlisted in the Army Air Corps a month after Pearl Harbor. He spent most of World War II as a radio operator and tail gunner, participating in more than fifty-five combat sorties, among them the controversial destruction of the Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino, the oldest monastery in the Western world. Fifteen years later he wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz. The sequel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, followed after nearly forty years.