Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 1.djvu/726

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708. CICERO

a
 
 
 
 
 
b
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tullia.
 
7. M. Tullius Cicero.
 
8. Q. Tullius Cicero.
Married, 1. C. Piso Frugi.
2. Furius Crassipes.
3. P. Cornelius Dolabella.
 
 
 
 
 
Lentulus.


1. M. Tullius Cicero, grandfather of the orator, appears to have taken a lead in his own community, and vigorously opposed the projects of his fellow-townsman and brother-in-law, M. Gratidius, who had raised a great commotion at Arpinum by agitating in favour of a law for voting by ballot. The matter was referred to the consul M. Aemilius Scaurus (b. c. 115), who complimented Cicero on his conduct, declaring that he would gladly see a person of such spirit and integrity exerting his powers on the great field of the metro­polis, instead of remaining in the seclusion of a country town. The old man was still alive at the birth of his eldest grandson (b. c. 106), whom he little resembled in his tastes, for he was no friend to foreign literature, and was wont to say, that his contemporaries were like Syrian slaves, the more Greek they knew, the greater scoundrels they were. (Cic. de Leg. ii. 1, iii. 16, de Orat. ii. 66.)


2. M. Tullius Cicero, son of the foregoing, and father of the orator. He was a member of the equestrian order, and lived upon his hereditary estate, in the neighbourhood of Arpinum, near the junction of the Fibrenus with the Liris, devoted to literary pursuits, till far advanced in life, when he removed to Rome for the purpose of educating his two boys, Marcus and Quintus, and became the pro­prietor of a house in the Carinae. His reputation as a man of learning procured for him the society and friendship of the most distinguished charac­ters of the day, especially the orators M. Antonius and L. Crassus, and the jurists Q. Scaevola and C. Aculeo, the latter of whom was his brother-in-law, being married to the sister of his wife Helvia. Although naturally of a delicate constitution, by care and moderation he attained to a good old age, and died in the year b. c. 64, while his son, whose rapid rise he had had the happiness of witnessing, was canvassing for the consulship with every pros­pect of success. (De Leg. ii. 1, de Orat. ii. 1, de Off. iii. 19, ad Att. i. 6.)


3. L. Tullius Cicero, brother of the foregoing. He accompained M. Antonius the orator to Cilicia in b. c. 103 as a private friend, and remained with him in the province until his return the following year. He must have lived for a considerable time after this period, since he was in the habit of giving his nephew many particulars with regard to the pursuits of Antonius. (De Orat. ii. 1.)


4. L. Tullius Cicero, son of the foregoing. He was the constant companion and schoolfellow of the orator, travelled with him to Athens in b. c. 79, and subsequently acted as his assistant in collecting evidence against Verres. On this occasion the Syracusans paid him the compliment of voting him a public guest (hospes) of their city, and trans­mitted to him a copy of the decree to this effect engraved on a tablet of brass. Lucius died in b. c. 68, much regretted by his cousin, who was deeply attached to him. (De Fin. v. 1, c. Verr. iv. 11, 61, 64, 65, ad Att. i. 5.)


5. M. Tullius Cicero, the orator, eldest son of No. 2. In what follows we do not intend to enter deeply into the complicated political transactions of the era during which this great man flourished, except in so far as he was directly and personally interested and concerned in the events. The complete history of the momentous crisis must be obtained by comparing this article with the biographies of Antonius, Augustus, Brutus, Caesar, Catilina, Cato, Clodius Pulcher [Claudius], Crassus, Lepidus, Pompeius, and the other characters of the day.

I. Biography of Cicero.

M. Tullius Cicero was born on the 3rd of January, b. c. 106, according to the Roman calendar, at that epoch nearly three months in advance of the true time, at the family residence in the vicinity of Arpinum. No trustworthy anecdotes have been preserved with regards to his childhood, for little faith can be reposed in the gossiping stories collected by Plutarch of the crowds who were wont to flock to the school where he received the first rudiments of knowledge, for the purpose of seeing and hearing the young prodigy ; but we cannot doubt that the aptitude for learning displayed by himself and his brother Quintus induced their father to remove to Rome, where he conducted their elementary education according to the advice of L. Crassus, who pointed out both the subjects to which their attention ought chiefly to be devoted, and also the teachers by whom the information sought might be best imparted. These instructors were, with the exception perhaps of Q. Aelius, the grammarian (Brut. 56), all Greeks, and among the number was the renowned Archias of Antioch, who had been living in Rome under the protection of Lucullus ever since b. c. 102, and seems to have communicated a temporary enthusiasm for his own pursuits to his pupil, most of whose poetical attempts belong to his early youth. In his sixteenth year (b. c. 91) Cicero received the manly gown, and entered the forum, where he listened with the greatest avidity to the speakers at the bar and from the rostra, dedicating however a large portion of his time to reading, writing, and oratorical exercises. At this period he was committed by his father to the care of the venerable Q. Mucius Scaevola, the augur, whose side he scarcely ever quitted, acquiring from his lips that acquaintance with the constitution his country and the principles of jurisprudence, and those lessons of practical wisdom which proved of inestimable value in his future career. During b. c. 89, in accordance with the ancient practice not yet entirely obsolete which required every citizen to be soldier, he served his first and only campaign under Cn. Pompeius Strabo (father of Pompeius Magnus), then engaged in prosecuting with vigour the Social war, and was present at the conference between his commander and P. Vettius Scato, general of the Marsi, by