On Government

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 1993 - Literary Collections - 421 pages
2 Reviews
Cicero, writes Michael Grant in his Introduction to this superb selection, is 'by far Rome's most enlightening polictical thinker, and perhaps its greatest.'

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) was a key figure in the turbulent closing years of the Roman Republic. The principles he expounded, occasionally compromised, and eventually died for, draw on wide practical experience as well as deep knowledge and reflection.

Against Verres sealed the fate of a corrupt provincial governor and made Cicero's reputation; the Philippics, a brilliant series of attack on one-man rule, and on Mark Antony in particular, cost him his life. For Murena and For Balbus, by contrast, are examples of expediency in action. All appear here complete or in extract, along with treatises On Laws and On the State, and the Brutus, a masterly survey of Roman oratory in an era when statesmen were above all public speakers. Such works, suggests Michael Grant, reveal Cicero's pioneering interest in 'the mechanics, tactics and strategies of government'. They also illuminate the perennial issues of politics to this day.

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Review: On Government

User Review  - Briana - Goodreads

Well to be honest I only read 'Against Verres' but I loved it! Fantastic oration! Read full review

Review: On Government

User Review  - Kyle - Goodreads

After reading Imperium, and being inspired by the Robert Harris novel, I wanted to find out as much as I could about the original source of his inspiration. Cicero's On Government is a good place to ... Read full review

About the author (1993)

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), Roman orator and statesman, was born at Arpinum of a wealthy local family. He was taken to Rome for his education with the idea of a public career and by the year 70 he had established himself as the leading barrister in Rome. In the meantime his political career was well under way and he was elected praetor for the year 66. One of the most permanent features of his political life was his attachment to Pompeii. As a politician, his greatest failing was his consistent refusal to compromise; as a statesman his ideals were more honorable and unselfish than those of his contemporaries. Cicero was the greatest of the roman orators, posessing a wide range of technique and an excpetional command of the Latin tongue. He followed the common practice of publishing his speeches, but he also produced a large number of works on the theory and practice of rhetoric, on religion, and on moral and political philosophy. He played a leading part in the development of the Latin hexameter. Perhaps the most interesting of all his works is the collection fo 900 remarkably informative letters, published posthumously. These not only contain a first-hand account of social and political life in the upper classes at Rome, but also reflect the changing personal feelings of an emotional and sensitive man.

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