Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106–43 BCE), Roman advocate, orator, politician, poet, and philosopher, about whom we know more than we do of any other Roman, lived through the stirring era that saw the rise, dictatorship, and death of Julius Caesar in a tottering republic. In Cicero's political speeches 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, 58 survive (a few incompletely), 29 of which are addressed to the Roman people or Senate, the rest to jurors. 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. This correspondence affords a revelation of the man, all the more striking because most of the letters were not intended for publication. Six works on rhetorical subjects survive intact and another in fragments. Seven major philosophical works are extant in part or in whole, and there are a number of shorter compositions either preserved or known by title or fragments. Of his poetry, some is original, some translated from the Greek.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Cicero is in twenty-nine volumes.
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D. R. Shackleton Bailey was Pope Professor of Latin Language and Literature, Harvard University.
John T. Ramsey is Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Gesine Manuwald is Senior Lecturer in Latin Language and Literature, University College London.
If I could make one Christmas wish, it would be that every MP receives these two volumes in their stocking next week, and is obliged to recite a passage of Cicero--in D. R. Shackleton Bailey's crystalline translation--on Boxing Day morning, to understand how great speeches are made...The great advantage of the Loeb editions is that readers who are interested in the language of Rome but whose Latin is weak (a category in which I am emphatically included) can compare the original side by side with the translation. Thus one can get a sense of how Cicero's words sounded, before glancing across and seeing them in English...This translation is throughout a joy to read. (Robert Harris Sunday Times 2009-12-20)
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