1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cicero
CICERO, the name of two families of ancient Rome. It may perhaps be derived from cicer (pulse), in which case it would be analogous to such names as Lentulus, Tubero, Piso. Of one family, of the plebeian Claudian gens, only a single member, Gaius Claudius Cicero, tribune in 454 B.C., is known. The other family was a branch of the Tullii, settled from an ancient period at Arpinum. This family, four of whose members are noticed specially below, did not achieve more than municipal eminence until the time of M. Tullius Cicero, the great orator.
1. Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.), Roman orator and politician, was born at Arpinum on the 3rd of January 106 B.C. His mother, Helvia, is said to have been of good family. His father was by some said to have been descended from Attius Tullius, the Volscian host of Coriolanus, while spiteful persons declared him to have been a fuller; in any case he was a Roman knight with property at Arpinum and a house in Rome. His health was weak, and he generally lived at Arpinum, where he devoted himself to literary pursuits. Cicero spent his boyhood partly in his native town and partly at Rome. The poet Archias, he says, first inspired him with the love of literature. He was much impressed by the teaching of Phaedrus, the Epicurean, at a period before he assumed the toga virilis; he studied dialectic under Diodotus the Stoic, and in 88 B.C. attended the lectures of Philo, the head of the Academic school, whose devoted pupil he became. He studied rhetoric under Molo (Molon) of Rhodes, and law under the guidance of Q. Mucius Scaevola, the augur and jurisconsult. After the death of the augur, he transferred himself to the care of Q. Mucius Scaevola, the pontifex maximus, a still more famous jurisconsult, nephew of the augur. His literary education at this period consisted largely of verse-writing and making translations from Greek authors. We hear of an early poem named Pontius Glaucus the subject of which is uncertain, and of translations of Xenophon’s Oeconomica and the Phenomena of Aratus. Considerable fragments of the latter work are still extant. To this period also belongs his de Inventione rhetorica, of which he afterwards spoke lightly (de Orat. i. 5), but which enjoyed a great vogue in the middle ages. Cicero also, according to Roman practice, received military training. At the age of seventeen he served in the social war successively under Pompeius Strabo and Sulla (89 B.C.). In the war between Marius and Sulla sympathies were with Sulla, but he did not take up arms (Sext. Rosc. 136, 142).
His forensic life begins in 81 B.C., at the age of twenty-five. A speech delivered in this year, pro Quinctio, is still extant; it is concerned with a technical point of law and has little literary merit. In the following year he made his celebrated defence of Sextus Roscius on a charge of parricide. He subsequently defended a woman of Arretium, whose freedom was impugned on the ground that Sulla had confiscated the territory of that town. Cicero then left Rome on account of his health, and travelled for two years in the East. He studied philosophy at Athens under various teachers, notably Antiochus of Ascalon, founder of the Old Academy, a combination of Stoicism, Platonism and Peripateticism. In Asia he attended the courses of Xenocles, Dionysius and Menippus, and in Rhodes those of Posidonius, the famous Stoic. In Rhodes also he studied rhetoric once more under Molo, to whom he ascribes a decisive influence upon the development of his literary style. He had previously affected the florid, or Asiatic, style of oratory then current in Rome. The chief faults of this were excess of ornament, antithesis, alliteration and assonance, monotony of rhythm, and the insertion of words purely for rhythmical effect. Molo, he says, rebuked his youthful extravagance and he came back “a changed man.”
He returned to Rome in 77 B.C., and appears to have married at this time Terentia, a rich woman with a domineering temper, to whom many of his subsequent embarrassments were due. He engaged at once in forensic and political life. He was quaestor in 75, and was sent to Lilybaeum to supervise the corn supply. His connexion with Sicily led him to come forward in 70 B.C., when curule-aedile elect, to prosecute Gaius Verres, who had oppressed the island for three years. Cicero seldom prosecuted, but it was the custom at Rome for a rising politician to win his spurs by attacking a notable offender (pro Caelio, 73). In the following year he defended Marcus (or Manius) Fonteius on a charge of extortion in Gaul, using various arguments which might equally well have been advanced on behalf of Verres himself.
In 68 B.C. his letters begin, from which (and especially those to T. Pomponius Atticus, his “second self”) we obtain wholly unique knowledge of Roman life and history. In 66 B.C. he was praetor, and was called upon to hear cases of extortion. In the same year he spoke on behalf of the proposal of Gaius Manilius to transfer the command against Mithradates from Lucullus to Pompey (de Lege Manilia), and delivered his clever but disingenuous defence of Aulus Cluentius (pro Cluentio). At this time he was a prospective candidate for the consulship, and was obliged by the hostility of the nobles towards “new men” to look for help wherever it was to be found. In 65 B.C. he even thought of defending Catiline on a charge of extortion, and delivered two brilliant speeches on behalf of Gaius Cornelius, tribune in 67 B.C., a leader of the democratic party. In 64 B.C. he lost his father and his son Marcus was born. The optimates finally decided to support him for the consulship in order to keep out Catiline, and he eagerly embraced the “good cause,” his affection for which from this time onward never varied, though his actions were not always consistent.
The public career of Cicero henceforth is largely covered by the general article on Rome: History, II. “The Republic,” ad fin. The year of his consulship (63) was one of amazing activity, both administrative and oratorical. Besides the three speeches against Publius Rullus and the four against Catiline, he delivered a number of others, among which that on behalf of Gaius Rabirius is especially notable. The charge was that Rabirius (q.v.) had killed Saturninus in 100 B.C., and by bringing it the democrats challenged the right of the senate to declare a man a public enemy. Cicero, therefore, was fully aware of the danger which would threaten himself from his execution of the Catilinarian conspirators. He trusted, however, to receive the support of the nobles. In this he was disappointed. They never forgot that he was a “new man,” and were jealous of the great house upon the Palatine which he acquired at this time. Caesar had made every possible effort to conciliate Cicero, but, when all overtures failed, allowed Publius Clodius to attack him. Cicero found himself deserted, and on the advice of Cato went into exile to avoid bloodshed. He left Rome at the end of March 58, and arrived on the 23rd of May at Thessalonica, where he remained in the deepest dejection until the end of November, when he went to Dyrrhachium (Durazzo) awaiting his recall. He left for Italy on the 4th of August 57, and on arriving at Brundisium (Brindisi) found that he had been recalled by a law passed by the comitia on the very day of his departure. On his arrival at Rome he was received with enthusiasm by all classes, but did not find the nobles at all eager to give him compensation for the loss of his house and villas, which had been destroyed by Clodius. He was soon encouraged by the growing coolness between Pompey and Caesar to attack the acts of Caesar during his consulship, and after his successful defence of Publius Sestius on the 10th of March he proposed on the 5th of April that the senate should on the 15th of May discuss Caesar’s distribution of the Campanian land. This brought about the conference of Luca (Lucca). Cicero was again deserted by his supporters and threatened with fresh exile. He was forced to publish a “recantation,” probably the speech de Provinciis Consularibus, and in a private letter says frankly, “I know that I have been a regular ass.” His conduct for the next three years teems with inconsistencies which we may deplore but cannot pass over. He was obliged to defend in 54 Publius Vatinius, whom he had fiercely attacked during the trial of Sestius; also Aulus Gabinius, one of the consuls to whom his exile was due; and Rabirius Postumus, an agent of Gabinius. On the other hand, he made a violent speech in the senate in 55 against Lucius Piso, the colleague of Gabinius in 58. We know from his letters that he accepted financial aid from Caesar, but that he repaid the loan before the outbreak of the civil war. There is no doubt that he was easily deceived. He was always an optimist, and thought that he was bringing good influence to bear upon Caesar as afterwards upon Octavian. His actions, however, when Caesar’s projects became manifest, sufficiently vindicated his honesty. During these unhappy years he took refuge in literature. The de Oratore was written in 55 B.C., the de Republica in 54, and the de Legibus at any rate begun in 52. The latter year is famous for the murder of Clodius by T. Annius Milo on the Appian Way (on the 18th of January), which brought about the appointment of Pompey as sole consul and the passing of the special laws dealing with rioting and bribery. Cicero took an active part in the trials which followed, both as a defender of Milo and his adherents and as a prosecutor of the opposite faction. At the close of the year, greatly to his annoyance, he was sent to govern Cilicia under the provisions of Pompey’s law (see Pompey and Rome: History). His reluctance to leave Rome, already shown by his refusal to take a province, after his praetorship and consulship, was increased by the inclination of his daughter Tullia, then a widow, to marry again. During his absence she married the profligate spendthrift, P. Cornelius Dolabella.
The province of Cilicia was a large one. It included, in addition to Cilicia proper, Isauria, Lycaonia, Pisidia, Pamphylia and Cyprus, as well as a protectorate over the client kingdoms of Cappadocia and Galatia. There was also danger of a Parthian inroad. Cicero’s legate was his brother Quintius Cicero (below), an experienced soldier who had gained great distinction under Caesar in Gaul. The fears of Parthian invasion were not realized, but Cicero, after suppressing a revolt in Cappadocia, undertook military operations against the hill-tribes of the Amanus and captured the town of Pindenissus after a siege of forty-six days. A supplicatio in his honour was voted by the senate. The early months of 50 were occupied by the administration of justice, chiefly at Laodicea, and by various attempts to alleviate the distress in the province caused by the exactions of his predecessor, Appius Claudius. He had to withstand pressure from influential persons (e.g. M. Brutus, who had business interests in his province), and refused to provide his friends with wild beasts for their games in Rome. Leaving his province on the earliest opportunity, he reached Brundisium on the 24th of November, and found civil war inevitable. He went to Rome on the 4th of January, but did not enter the city, since he aspired to a triumph for his successes. After the outbreak of war he was placed by Pompey in charge of the Campanian coast. After much irresolution he refused Caesar’s invitations and resolved to join Pompey’s forces in Greece. He was shocked by the ferocious language of his party, and himself gave offence by his bitter jests (Plut. Cic. 38). Through illness he was not present at the battle of Pharsalus, but afterwards was offered the command by Cato the Younger at Corcyra, and was threatened with death by the young Cn. Pompeius when he refused to accept it. Thinking it useless to continue the struggle, he sailed to Brundisium, where he remained until the 12th of August 47, when, after receiving a kind letter from Caesar, he went to Rome. Under Caesar’s dictatorship Cicero abstained from politics. His voice was raised on three occasions only: once in the senate in 46 to praise Caesar’s clemency to M. Claudius Marcellus (pro Marcello), to plead in the same year before Caesar for Quintus Ligarius, and in 45 on behalf of Deiotarus, tetrarch of Galatia, also before Caesar. He suffered greatly from family troubles at this period. In 46, his patience giving way, he divorced Terentia, and married his young and wealthy ward Publilia. Then came the greatest grief of his life, the death of Tullia, his beloved daughter. He shortly afterwards divorced Publilia, who had been jealous of Tullia’s influence and proved unsympathetic. To solace his troubles he devoted himself wholly to literature. To this period belong several famous rhetorical and philosophical works, the Brutus, Orator, Partitiones Oratoriae, Paradoxa, Academica, de Finibus, Tusculan Disputations, together with other works now lost, such as his Laus Catonis, Consolatio and Hortensius.
His repose was broken by Caesar’s murder on the 15th of March 44, to which he was not a party. On the 17th of March he delivered a speech in the senate urging a general amnesty like that declared in Athens after the expulsion of the Thirty Tyrants. When it became apparent that the conspirators had only removed the despot and left the despotism, he again devoted himself to philosophy, and in an incredibly short space of time produced the de Nature Deorum, de Divinatione, de Fato, Cato maior (or de Senectute), Laelius (or de Amicitia), and began his treatise de Officiis. To this period also belongs his lost work de Gloria. He then projected a journey to Greece in order to see his son Marcus, then studying at Athens, of whose behaviour he heard unfavourable reports. He reached Syracuse on the 1st of August, having during the voyage written from memory a translation of Aristotle’s Topica. He was driven back by unfavourable winds to Leucopetra, and then, hearing better news, returned to Rome on the 21st of August. He was bitterly attacked by Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) in the senate on the 1st of September for not being present there, and on the next day replied in his First Philippic. He then left Rome and devoted himself to the completion of the de Officiis, and to the composition of his famous Second Philippic, which was never delivered, but was circulated, at first privately, after Antony’s departure from Rome to Cisalpine Gaul on the 28th of November.
Cicero returned to Rome on the 9th of December, and from that time forward led the republican party in the senate. His policy, stated briefly, was to make use of Octavian, whose name was all-powerful with the veterans, until new legions had been raised which would follow the republican commanders (Phil. xi. 39). Cicero pledged his credit for the loyalty of Octavian, who styled him “father” and affected to take his advice on all occasions (Epp. ad Brut. i. 17. 5). Cicero, an incurable optimist in politics, may have convinced himself of Octavian’s sincerity. The breach, however, was bound to come, and the saying, maliciously attributed to Cicero, that Octavian was an “excellent youth who must be praised and—sent to another place,” neatly expresses the popular view of the situation. Cicero was sharply criticized by M. Junius Brutus for truckling to Octavian while showing irreconcilable enmity to Antony and Lepidus (ad Brut. i. 16. 4, i. 15. 9); but Brutus was safe in his province, and it is difficult to see what other course was open to a politician in Rome. Whether Cicero was right or wrong, none can question his amazing energy. He delivered his long series of Philippics at Rome, and kept up a correspondence with the various provincial governors and commanders, all short-sighted and selfish, and several of them half-hearted, endeavouring to keep each man in his place and to elaborate a common plan of operations. He was naturally included in the list of the proscribed, though it is said that Octavian fought long on his behalf, and was slain near Formiae on the 7th of December 43. He had a ship near in which he had previously attempted to fly, but being cast back by unfavourable winds he returned to his villa, saying, “Let me die in the country which I have often saved.” His head and hands were sent to Rome and nailed to the rostra, after Fulvia, wife of Antony and widow of Clodius, had thrust a hairpin through the tongue.
Works.—The literary works of Cicero may be classed as (1) rhetorical; (2) oratorical; (3) philosophical and political; (4) epistolary.
(i.) Rhetorical.—His chief works of this kind are: (a) de Oratore, a treatise in three books dedicated to his brother Quintus. The discussion is conducted in the form of a dialogue which is supposed to have occurred in 91 B.C. chiefly between the two orators L. Crassus and M. Antonius. The first book deals with the studies necessary for an orator; the second with the treatment of the subject matter; the third with the form and delivery of a speech. Cicero says of this work in a letter (Fam. i. 9. 23) that it “does not deal in hackneyed rules and embraces the whole theory of oratory as laid down by Isocrates and Aristotle.” (b) Brutus, or de claris oratoribus, a history of Roman eloquence containing much valuable information about his predecessors, drawn largely from the Chronicle (liber annalis) of Atticus (§§ 14, 15). (c) Orator, dedicated to M. Brutus, sketching a portrait of the perfect and ideal orator, Cicero’s last word on oratory. The sum of his conclusion is that the perfect orator must also be a perfect man. Cicero says of this work that he has “concentrated in it all his taste” (Fam. vi. 18. 4). The three treatises are intended to form a continuous series containing a complete system of rhetorical training.
It will be convenient to mention here a feature of Ciceronian prose on which singular light has been thrown by recent inquiry. In the de Oratore, iii. 173 sqq., he considers the element of rhythm or metre in prose, and in the Orator (174-226) he returns to the subject and discusses it at length. His main point is that prose should be metrical in character, though it should not be entirely metrical, since this would be poetry (Orator, 220). Greek writers relied for metrical effect in prose on those feet which were not much used in poetry. Aristotle recommended the paean ◡ ◡ ◡ –. Cicero preferred the cretic – ◡ – which he says is the metrical equivalent of the paean. Demosthenes was especially fond of the cretic. Rhythm pervades the whole sentence but is most important at the end or clausula, where the swell of the period sinks to rest. The ears of the Romans were incredibly sensitive to such points. We are told that an assembly was stirred to wild applause by a double trochee – ◡ – ◡. If the order were changed, Cicero says, the effect would be lost. The same rhythm should be found in the membra which compose the sentence. He quotes a passage from one of his own speeches in which any change in the order would destroy the rhythm. Cicero gives various clausulae which his ears told him to be good or bad, but his remarks are desultory, as also are those of Quintilian, whose examples were largely drawn from Cicero’s writings. It was left for modern research to discover rules of harmony which the Romans obeyed unconsciously. Other investigators had shown that Cicero’s clausulae are generally variations of some three or four forms in which the rhythm is trochaic. Dr Thaddaeus Zielinski of St Petersburg, after examining all the clausulae in Cicero’s speeches, finds that they are governed by a law. In every clausula there is a basis followed by a cadence. The basis consists of a cretic or its metrical equivalent. This is followed by a cadence trochaic in character, but varying in length. The three favourite forms are (i.) – ◡ – – ◡– , (ii.) – ◡ – – ◡ ◡, (iii.) – ◡ – – ◡ – ◡– . These he styles verae (V). Other frequent clausulae, which he terms licitae (L), are those in which a long syllable is resolved, as in verse, into two shorts, e.g. ēssĕ vĭdĕātŭr. These two classes, V and L, include 86% of the clausulae in the orations. Some rarer clausulae which he terms M ( = malae) introduce no new principle. There remain two interesting forms, viz. S ( = selectae), in which a spondee is substituted for a trochee in the cadence, e.g. – ◡ – – – –, this being done for special emphasis, and P ( = pessimae), where a dactyl is so used, e.g. – ◡ – – ◡ ◡ – ◡– , this being the heroica clausula condemned by Quintilian. Similar rules apply to the membra of the sentence, though in these the S and P forms are more frequent, harmony being restored in the clausula.
These results apply not only to the speeches but also to the philosophical writings and the more elaborate letters, and with modifications to other rhythmical prose, e.g. that of Pliny and Seneca. Rhythm was avoided by Caesar who was an Atticist, and by Sallust who was an archaist. Livy’s practice is exactly opposite to that of Cicero, since he has a marked preference for the S forms, thereby exemplifying Cicero’s saying that long syllables are more appropriate to history than to oratory.
(ii.) Speeches.—These were generally delivered before the senate or people, if political in character, and before jurors sitting in a quaestio, if judicial. The speech against Vatinius was an attack upon a witness under examination; that de Domo was made before the Pontifices; that pro C. Rabirio perduellionis reo in the course of a provocatio to the people; and those pro Ligario and pro rege Deiotaro before Caesar. The five orations composing the Actio Secunda in Verrem were never spoken, but written after Verres had gone into exile. The Second Philippic also was not delivered but issued as a pamphlet. Cicero’s speech for Milo at his trial was not a success, though, as Quintilian (ix. 2. 54) quotes from it, as taken down by shorthand reporters, an example of a rhetorical figure well used, it cannot have been such a failure as is alleged by later writers. The extant speech was written by Cicero at his leisure. None of the other speeches are in the exact form in which they were delivered. Cicero’s method was to construct a commentarius or skeleton of his speech, which he used when speaking. If he was pleased with a speech he then wrote it out for publication. Sometimes he omitted in the written speech a subject on which he had spoken. A record of this is sometimes preserved: e.g. “de Postumi criminibus” (Mur. 51), “de teste Fufio” (Cael. 19). These commentarii were published by his freedman Tiro and are quoted by Asconius (ad Orat. in Toga Candida, p. 87).
Cicero in his speeches must be given all the privileges of an advocate. Sometimes he had a bad client; he naïvely confesses the straits to which he was put when defending Scamander (Clu. 51; cf. Phil. xiii. 26). He thought of defending Catiline, though he says that his guilt is clear as noon-day (Att. i. 1-2 and 2. 1). Sometimes the brief which he held at the moment compelled him to take a view of facts contrary to that which he had previously advocated. Thus in the pro Caecina he alleges judicial corruption against a witness, Falcula, while in the pro Cluentio he contends that the offence was not proved (Caec. 28, Clu. 103). He says quite openly that “it is a great mistake to suppose that statements in his speeches express his real opinions” (Clu. 139). It is therefore idle to reproach him with inconsistencies, though these are sometimes very singular. Thus in the pro Cornelio he speaks with praise of Aulus Gabinius, who, when a colleague vetoed his proposal, proceeded to depose him after the precedent set by Tiberius Gracchus (Asconius in Cornel. p. 71). In the pro Cluentio, 111, he contends that nothing is easier than for a new man to rise at Rome. In the pro Caelio he says that Catiline had in him undeveloped germs of the greatest virtues, and that it was the good in him that made him so dangerous (Cael. 12-14). He sometimes deliberately puts the case upon a wrong issue. In the pro Milone he says that either Milo must have lain in wait for Clodius or Clodius for Milo, leaving out of sight the truth, that the encounter was due to chance. He used to boast that he had cast dust into the eyes of the jury in the case of Cluentius (Quintil. ii. 17-21).
Cicero had a perfect mastery of all weapons wielded by a pleader in Rome. He was specially famous for his pathos, and for this reason, when several counsel were employed, always spoke last (Orat. 130). A splendid specimen of pathos is to be found in his account of the condemnation and execution of the Sicilian captains (Verr. (Act. ii.) v. 106-122). Much exaggeration was permitted to a Roman orator. Thus Cicero frequently speaks as if his client were to be put to death, though a criminal could always evade capital consequences by going into exile. His enemies scoffed at his “tear-drops.” He indulged in the more violent invective, which, though shocking to a modern reader, e.g. in his speeches against Vatinius and Piso, was not offensive to Roman taste (de Orat. ii. 216-290). He was much criticized for his jokes, and even Quintilian (ii. 17-21) regrets that he made so many in his speeches. He could never resist the temptation to make a pun. It must be remembered, however, that he was the great wit of the period. Caesar used to have a collection of Cicero’s bon-mots brought to him. Cicero complains that all the jokes of the day were attributed to himself, including those made by very sorry jesters (Fam. vii. 32. 1). A fine specimen of sustained humour is to be found in his speech pro Murena, where he rallies the jurisconsults and the Stoics. He was also criticized for his vanity and perpetual references to his own achievements. His vanity, however, as has been admirably remarked, is essentially that of “the peacock, not of the gander,” and is redeemed by his willingness to raise a laugh at his own expense (Strachan-Davidson, p. 192). Some critics have impugned his legal knowledge, but probably without justice. It is true that he does not claim to be a great expert, though a pupil of the Scaevolas, and when in doubt would consult a jurisconsult; also, that he frequently passes lightly over important points of law, but this was probably because he was conscious of a flaw in his case.
(iii.) Political and Philosophical Treatises.—These are generally written in the form of dialogues, in which the speakers sometimes belong to bygone times and sometimes to the present. The first method was known as that of Heraclides, the second as that of Aristotle (Att. xiii. 19. 4). There is no reason to suppose that the speakers held the views with which Cicero credits them, or had such literary powers as would make them able to express such views (ib. xiii. 12. 3). The political works are de Republica and de Legibus. The first was a dialogue in six books concerning the best form of constitution, in which the speakers are Scipio Africanus Minor and members of his circle. He tells us that he drew largely from Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus and writings of the Peripatetics. The famous “Dream of Scipio” recalls the “Vision of Er” in Plato’s Republic (Book x. ad fin.). The de Legibus, a sequel to this work in imitation of Plato’s Laws, is drawn largely from Chrysippus.
Cicero as a philosopher belonged to the New Academy. The followers of this school were free to hear all arguments for and against, and to accept the conclusion which for the moment appeared most probable (Acad. ii. 131). Thus in the Tusculan Disputations v. he expresses views which conflict with de Finibus iv., and defends himself on the ground that as an Academic he is free to change his mind. He was much fascinated by the Stoic morality, and it has been noticed that the Tusculan Disputations and de Officiis are largely Stoic in tone. He has nothing but contempt for the Epicureans, and cannot forgive their neglect of literary style. As Cicero’s philosophical writings have been severely attacked for want of originality, it is only fair to recollect that he resorted to philosophy as an anodyne when suffering from mental anguish, and that he wrote incredibly fast. He issued two editions of his Academics. The first consisted of two books, in which Catulus and Lucullus were the chief speakers. He then rewrote his treatise in four books, making himself, Varro and Atticus the speakers. The Romans at this time had no manuals of philosophy or any philosophical writings in Latin apart from the poem of Lucretius and some unskilful productions by obscure Epicureans. Cicero set himself to supply this want. His works are confessedly in the main translations and compilations (Att. xii. 52. 3); all that he does is to turn the discussion into the form of a dialogue, to adapt it to Roman readers by illustrations from Roman history, and to invent equivalents for Greek technical terms. This is equally true of the political treatises. Thus, when Atticus criticized a strange statement in de Republ. ii. 8, that all the cities of the Peloponnese had access to the sea, he excuses himself by saying that he found it in Dicaearchus and copied it word for word (Att. vi. 2. 3). In the same passage he used an incorrect adjective, Phliuntii for Phliasii; he says that he had already corrected his own copy, but the mistake survives in the single palimpsest in which this work has been preserved. The only merits, therefore, which can be claimed for Cicero are that he invented a philosophical terminology for the Romans, and that he produced a series of manuals which from their beauty of style have had enduring influence upon mankind.
The most famous of these treatises are the following:—
De Finibus, on the Supreme Good. In Book i. L. Manlius Torquatus explains the Epicurean doctrine, which is refuted in ii. by Cicero. In iii. and iv. M. Porcius Cato sets forth the doctrine of the Stoics which is shown by Cicero to agree with that of Antiochus of Ascalon; in v. M. Pupius Piso explains the views of the Academics and Peripatetics.
Tusculanae Disputationes, so called from Cicero’s villa at Tusculum in which the discussion is supposed to have taken place. The subjects treated are:—in Book i., the nature of death and the reasons for despising it; Book ii., the endurance of pain: Pain is not an evil; Book iii., wisdom makes a man insensible to sorrow; Book iv., wisdom banishes all mental disquietude; Book v., virtue is sufficient to secure happiness. The materials are drawn largely from works of Dicaearchus.
De Deorum Natura.—The dialogue is placed in 77 B.C. In Book i. Velleius attacks other philosophies and explains the system of Epicurus. He is then refuted by Cotta. In Book ii. Balbus, speaking as a Stoic, discusses the existence of the gods, nature, the government of the world and providence. In Book iii. Cotta criticizes the views of Balbus. The statement of the Epicurean doctrine is drawn from the work of Phaedrus Περὶ θεῶν, the criticism of this from Posidonius. The Stoic teaching is derived from Cleanthes, Chrysippus and Zeno, and is criticized from the writings of Carneades and Clitomachus.
De Officiis, addressed to his son Marcus. In this the form of dialogue was not employed. The material is chiefly drawn from Stoic sources, e.g. works of Panaetius in Books i. and ii., of Posidonius and Hecato in Book iii.
The Academica, as they have come down to us, are a conflation from the two editions of this work. They consist of the second book from the first edition, and a portion of the first book from the second edition.
Cato maior, or de Senectute, a dialogue placed in 150 B.C. in which Cato, addressing Scipio and Laelius, set forth the praises of old age. The idea is drawn from Aristo of Chios, and the materials largely derived from Xenophon and Plato.
Laelius, or de Amicitia, a dialogue between Laelius and his sons-in-law, in which he sets forth the theory of friendship, speaking with special reference to the recent death of Scipio. Cicero here draws from a work of Theophrastus on the same subject and from Aristotle.
(iv.) Letters.—Those preserved are (1) ad Familiares, i.-xvi.; (2) ad Atticum, i.-xvi.; (3) ad Quintum, i.-iii., ad Brutum, i.-ii. Some thirty-five other books of letters were known to antiquity, e.g. to Caesar, to Pompey, to Octavian and to his son Marcus.
The collection includes nearly one hundred letters written by other persons. Thus, the eighth Book ad Fam. consists entirely of letters from Caelius to Cicero when in Cilicia. When writing to Atticus Cicero frequently sent copies of letters which he had received. There is a great variety in the style not only of Cicero’s correspondents, but also of Cicero himself. Caelius writes in a breezy, school-boy style; the Latinity of Plancus is Ciceronian in character; the letter of Sulpicius to Cicero on the death of Tullia is a masterpiece of style; Matius writes a most dignified letter justifying his affectionate regard for Caesar’s memory. There is an amazingly indiscreet letter of Quintus to his brother’s freedman, Tiro, in which he says of the consuls-elect, Hirtius and Pansa, that he would hesitate to put one of them in charge of a village on the frontier, and the other in that of the basement of a tavern (Fam. xvi. 27. 2). Several of his correspondents are indifferent stylists. Cato labours to express himself in an awkward and laconic epistle, apologizing for its length. Metellus Celer is very rude, but gives himself away in every word. Antony writes bad Latin, while Cicero himself writes in various styles. We have such a cri de cœur as his few words to one of the conspirators after Caesar’s murder, “I congratulate you. I rejoice for myself. I love you. I watch your interests; I wish for your love and to be informed what you are doing and what is being done” (Fam. vi. 15). When writing to Atticus he eschews all ornamentation, uses short sentences, colloquial idioms, rare diminutives and continually quotes Greek. This use of Greek tags and quotations is also found in letters to other intimate friends, e.g. Paetus and Caelius; also in letters written by other persons, e.g. Cassius to Cicero; Quintus to Tiro, and subsequently in those of Augustus to Tiberius. It is a feature of the colloquial style and often corresponds to the modern use of “slang.” Other letters of Cicero, especially those written to persons with whom he was not quite at his ease or those meant for circulation, are composed in his elaborate style with long periods, parentheses and other devices for obscuring thought. These are throughout rhythmical in character, like his speeches and philosophical works.
We know from Cicero’s own statement (Att. xvi. 5. 5) that he thought of publishing some of his letters during his lifetime. On another occasion he jestingly charges Tiro with wishing to have his own letters included in the “volumes” (Fam. xvi. 17. 1). It is obvious that Cicero could not have meant to publish his private letters to Atticus in which he makes confessions about himself, or those to Quintus in which he sometimes outsteps the limits of brotherly criticism, but was thinking of polished productions such as the letters to Lentulus Spinther or that to Lucceius which he describes as “very pretty” (Att. iv. 6. 4).
It is universally agreed that the letters ad Familiares were published by Tiro, whose hand is revealed by the fact that he suppresses all letters written by himself, and modestly puts at the end those written to him. That Cicero kept copies of his letters, or of many of them, we know from a passage in which, when addressing a friend who had inadvertently torn up a letter from him, he says that there is nothing to grieve about; he has himself a copy at home and can replace the loss (Fam. vii. 25. 1). Tiro may have obtained from Terentia copies of letters written to her. It has been suggested that he may also have edited the letters to Quintus, as he could obtain them from members of the family. The letters ad Familiares were generally quoted in antiquity by books, the title being taken from the first letter, e.g. Cicero ad Varronem epistula Paeti.
While the letters ad Familiares were circulated at once, those to Atticus appear to have been suppressed for a considerable time. Cornelius Nepos (Att. 16) knew of their existence but distinguishes them from the published letters. Asconius (p. 87), writing under Claudius, never quotes them, though, when discussing Cicero’s projected defence of Catiline, he could hardly have failed to do so, if he had known them. The first author who quotes them is Seneca. It is, therefore, probable that they were not published by Atticus himself, who died 32 B.C., though his hand may be seen in the suppression of all letters written by himself, but that they remained in the possession of his family and were not published until about A.D. 60. At that date they could be published without expurgation of any kind, whereas in the letters ad Familiares the editor’s hand is on one occasion (iii. 10. 11) manifest. Cicero is telling Appius, his predecessor in Cilicia, of the measures which he is taking on his behalf. There then follows a lacuna. It is obvious that Tiro thought the passage compromising and struck it out. In the letters to Atticus, on the other hand, we have Cicero’s private journal, his confessions to the director of his conscience, the record of his moods from day to day, without alterations of any kind.
Cicero’s letters are the chief and most reliable source of information for the period. It is due to them that the Romans of the day are living figures to us, and that Cicero, in spite of, or rather in virtue of his frailties, is intensely human and sympathetic. The letters to Atticus abound in the frankest self-revelation, though even in the presence of his confessor his instinct as a pleader makes him try to justify himself. The historical value of the letters, therefore, completely transcends that of Cicero’s other works. It is true that these are full of information. Thus we learn much from the de Legibus regarding the constitutional history of Rome, and much from the Brutus concerning the earlier orators. The speeches abound in details which may be accepted as authentic, either because there is no reason for misrepresentation or on account of their circumstantiality. Thus the Verrines are our chief source of information for the government of the provinces, the system of taxation, the powers of the governor. We hear from them of such interesting details as that the senate annul a judicial decision improperly arrived at by the governor, or that the college of tribunes could consider the status at Rome of a man affected by this decision (Verr. II. ii. 95-100). We have unfolded to us the monstrous system by which the governor could fix upon a remote place for the delivery of corn, and so compel the farmer to compound by a payment in money which the orator does not blame, on the ground that it is only proper to allow magistrates to receive corn wherever they wish (ib. iii. 190). From the speech pro Cluentio (145-154) we gain unique information concerning the condition of society in a country town, the extraordinary exemption of equites from prosecution for judicial corruption, the administration of domestic justice in the case of slaves examined by their owner (ib. 176-187). But we have always to be on our guard against misrepresentation, exaggeration and falsehood. The value of the letters lies in the fact that in them we get behind Cicero and are face to face with the other dramatis personae; also that we are admitted behind the scenes and read the secret history of the times. One of the most interesting documents in the correspondence is a despatch of Caesar to his agent Oppius, written in great haste and in disjointed sentences. It runs as follows: “On the 9th I came to Brundisium. Pompey is at Brundisium. He sent Magius to me to treat of peace. I gave him a suitable answer” (Att. ix. 13, Ai.). In the de Bello civili, on the other hand, Caesar, who wishes to show that he did his best to make peace, after stating that he sent his captive Magius to negotiate, expresses mild surprise at the fact that Pompey did not send him back (Bell. Civ. i. 26). We hear of the extraordinary agreement made by two candidates for the consulship in Caesar’s interest with the sitting consuls of 54 B.C., which Cicero says he hardly ventures to put on paper. Under the terms of this the consuls, who were optimates, bound themselves to betray their party by securing, apparently fraudulently, the election of the candidates while they in turn bound themselves to procure two ex-consuls who would swear that they were present in the senate when supplies were voted for the consular provinces, though no meeting of the senate had been held, and three augurs who would swear that a lex curiata had been passed, though the comitia curiata had not been convened (Att. iv. 18. 2). But perhaps the most singular scene is the council of three great ladies presided over by Servilia at Antium, which decides the movements of Brutus and Cassius in June 44 B.C., when Cassius “looking very fierce—you would say that he was breathing fire and sword”—blustered concerning what he considered an insult, viz. a commission to supply corn which had been laid upon him. Servilia calmly remarks she will have the commission removed from the decree of the senate (Att. xv. 11. 2).
(v.) Miscellaneous.—It is not necessary to dwell upon the other forms of literary composition attempted by Cicero. He was a fluent versifier, and would write 500 verses in one night. Considerable fragments from a juvenile translation of Aratus have been preserved. His later poems upon his own consulship and his exile were soon forgotten except for certain lines which provoked criticism, such as the unfortunate verse:
“O fortunatam natam me consule Romam.”
He wrote a memoir of his consulship in Greek and at one time thought of writing a history of Rome. Nepos thought that he would have been an ideal historian, but as Cicero ranks history with declamation and on one occasion with great naïveté asks Lucius Lucceius (q.v.), who was embarking on this task, to embroider the facts to his own credit, we cannot accept this criticism (Fam. vi. 2. 3).
(vi.) Authenticity.—The genuineness of certain works of Cicero has been attacked. It was for a long time usual to doubt the authenticity of the speeches post reditum and pro Marcello. Recent scholars consider them genuine. As their rhythmical structure corresponds more or less exactly with the canon of authenticity formed by Zielinski from the other speeches, the question may now be considered closed. Absurd suspicion has been cast upon the later speeches in Catilinam and that pro Archia. An oration pridie quam in exsilium iret is certainly a forgery, as also a letter to Octavian. There is a “controversy” between Cicero and Sallust which is palpably a forgery, though a quotation from it occurs in Quintilian. Suspicion has been attached to the letters to Brutus, which in the case of two letters (i. 16 and 17) is not unreasonable since they somewhat resemble the style of suasoriae, or rhetorical exercises, but the latest editors, Tyrrell and Purser, regard these also as genuine.
Criticism. (i.) Ancient.—After Cicero’s death his character was attacked by various detractors, such as the author of the spurious Controversia put into the mouth of Sallust, and the calumniator from whom Dio Cassius (xlvi. 1-28) draws the libellous statements which he inserts into the speech of Q. Fufius Calenus in the senate. Of such critics, Asconius (in Tog. Cand. p. 95) well says that it is best to ignore them. His prose style was attacked by Pollio as Asiatic, also by his son, Asinius Gallus, who was answered by the emperor Claudius (Suet. 41). The writers of the silver age found fault with his prolixity, want of sparkle and epigram, and monotony of his clausulae. A certain Largius Licinius gained notoriety by attacking his Latinity in a work styled Ciceromastix. His most devoted admirers were the younger Pliny, who reproduced his oratorical style with considerable success, and Quintilian (x. 1. 112), who regarded him as the perfect orator, and draws most of his illustrations from his works. At a later period his style fascinated Christian writers, notably Lactantius, the “Christian Cicero,” Jerome and S. Augustine, who drew freely from his rhetorical writings.
The first commentator upon Cicero was Asconius, a Roman senator living in the reign of Claudius, who wrote a commentary upon the speeches, in which he explains obscure historical points for the instruction of his sons (see Asconius). Passing over a number of grammatical and rhetorical writers who drew illustrations from Cicero, we may mention the Commentary of Victorinus, written in the 4th century, upon the treatise de Inventione, and that of Boethius (A.D. 480–524) upon the Topica. Among scholiasts may be mentioned the Scholiasta Bobiensis who is assigned to the 5th century, and a pseudo-Asconius, who wrote notes upon the Verrines dealing with points of grammar and rhetoric.
(ii.) Medieval Scholars.—In the middle ages Cicero was chiefly known as a writer on rhetoric and morals. The works which were most read were the de Inventione and Topica—though neither of these was quite so popular as the treatise ad Herennium, then supposed to be by Cicero—and among the moral works, the de Officiis, and the Cato Maior. John of Salisbury (1110–1180) continually quotes from rhetorical and philosophical writings, but only once from the speeches. The value set upon the work de Inventione is shown by a passage in which Notker (d. 1022) writing to his bishop says that he has lent a MS. containing the Philippics and a commentary upon the Topics, but has received as a pledge something far more valuable, viz. the de Inventione, and the “famous commentary of Victorinus.” We have an interesting series of excerpts made by a priest named Hadoard, in the 9th century, taken from all the philosophical writings now preserved, also from the de Oratore.
The other works of Cicero are seldom mentioned. The most popular speeches were those against Catiline, the Verrines, Caesarianae and Philippics, to which may be added the spurious Controversia. A larger knowledge of the speeches is shown by Wibald, abbot of Corvey, who in 1146 procured from Hildesheim a MS. containing with the Philippics the speeches against Rullus, wishing to form a corpus of Ciceronian works. Gerbert (afterwards Pope Silvester II., 940–1003) was especially interested in the speeches, and in a letter to a friend (Epist. 86) advises him to take them with him when journeying. The letters are rarely mentioned. The abbey of Lorsch possessed in the 9th century five MSS. containing “Letters of Cicero,” but those to Atticus are only mentioned once, in the catalogue of Cluny written in the 12th century. Letters of Cicero were known to Wibald of Corvey, also to Servatus Lupus, abbot of Ferrières (805–832), who prosecuted in the 9th century a search for MSS. which reminds us of the Italian humanists in the 15th century. A good deal of textual criticism must have been devoted to Cicero’s works during this period. The earliest critic was Tiro, who, as we know from Aulus Gellius (i. 7. 1), corrected MSS. which were greatly valued as containing his recension. We have a very interesting colophon to the speeches against Rullus, in which Statilius Maximus states that he had corrected the text by the help of a MS. giving the recension of Tiro, which he had collated with five other ancient copies.
It is interesting to notice that Servatus Lupus did similar work in the 9th century. Thus, writing to Ansbald of Prüm, he says, “I will collate the letters of Cicero which you sent with the copy which I have so as to elicit the true reading, if possible, by comparing the two.” He asks another correspondent to supply him with a copy of the Verrines or any other works for a similar purpose.
Brunetto Latini (d. ca. 1294), the master of Dante, translated the Caesarianae into Italian. Dante himself appears to be acquainted only with the Laelius, Cato Maior, de Officiis, de Finibus, de Inventione and Paradoxa. Petrarch says that among his countrymen Cicero was a great name, but was studied by few. Petrarch himself sought for MSS. of Cicero with peculiar ardour. He found the speech pro Archia at Liége in 1333, and in 1345 at Verona made his famous discovery of the letters to Atticus, which revealed to the world Cicero as a man in place of the “god of eloquence” whom they had worshipped. Petrarch was under the impression in his old age that he had once possessed Cicero’s lost work de Gloria, but it is probable that he was misled by one of the numerous passages in the extant writings dealing with this subject. The letters ad Familiares were discovered towards the close of the 14th century at Vercelli. The largest addition to the sum of Ciceronian writings was made by Poggio (Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini) in the course of his celebrated mission to the Council of Constance (1414–1417). He brought back no less than ten speeches of Cicero previously unknown to the Italians, viz. pro Sexto Roscio, pro Murena, pro Cacina, de lege agraria i.-iii., pro Rabirio perduellionis reo, pro Rabirio Postumo, pro Roscio Comoedo, and in Pisonem. An important discovery was made at Lodi in 1422 of a MS. which, in addition to complete copies of the de Oratore and Orator, hitherto known from mutilated MSS., contained an entirely new work, the Brutus. The second book of Cicero’s letters to Brutus was first printed by Cratander of Basel in 1528 from a MS. obtained for him by Sichardus from the abbey of Lorsch.
All these MSS. are now lost, except that containing the Epistolae ad Familiares, a MS. written in the 9th century and now at Florence (Laur. xlix. 9). A similar fate overtook three other MSS. containing the letters to Atticus, independent of the Veronensis, viz. a mutilated MS. of Books i.-vii. discovered by Cardinal Capra in 1409, a Lorsch MS. used by Cratander (C), and a French MS. (Z), generally termed Tornaesianus from its owner, Jean de Tournes, a printer of Lyons, probably identical with No. 492 in the old Cluny catalogue, used by Turnebus, Lambinus and Bosius. A strange mystification was practised by the last named, a scholar of singular brilliancy, who claimed to have a mutilated MS. which he called his Decurtatus, bought from a common soldier who had obtained it from a sacked monastery; also to have been furnished by a friend, Pierre de Crouzeil, a doctor of Limoges, with variants taken from an old MS. found at Noyon, and entered in the margin of a copy of the Lyons edition. The rough draft of his notes, however, upon Books x.-xvi., which afterwards came into the hands of Baluze, is preserved in the Paris library (Lat. 8538 A), in which he continually ascribes different readings to these MSS., the alteration corresponding with a change in his own conjecture. It is, therefore, obvious that he invented the readings in order to strengthen his own corrections. The book, which he termed his Crusellinus, may well be his copy of the Lyons edition of 1545 (number 8665 in the sale-catalogue of Baluze), which is described as cum notis et emendationibus MSS. manu ejusdem Bosii.
The oldest evidence now existing for any works of Cicero is to be found in palimpsests written in the 4th or 5th century. The most interesting of these, now in the Vatican (Lat. 5757), discovered by Angelo Mai in 1822, contains the treatise de Republica, only known from this source. Fragments of the lost speeches pro Tullio and pro Scauro were discovered in two Milan and Turin palimpsests. The Vatican also possesses an important palimpsest of the Verrines (Reg. 2077). A palimpsest containing fragments of various orations was recently destroyed by the fire at the Turin library. The works de Oratore and Orator are well represented by ancient MSS., the two best known being one at Avranches (Abrincensis 238) and a Harleian MS. (2736), both written in the 9th century. The Brutus is only known from 15th-century transcripts of the lost cod. Lodensis.
The oldest MS. of any speeches, or indeed of any work of Cicero’s, apart from the palimpsests, belongs to the Chapter-house of St Peter’s in Rome (H. 25). It contains the speeches in Pisonem, pro Fonteio, pro Flacco and the Philippics. The earlier part of the MS. was written in the 8th century. The Paris library has two 9th-century MSS., viz. 7774 A. containing in Verrem (Act. ii.), iv. and v., and 7794, containing the post reditum speeches, together with those pro Sestio, in Vatinium, de provinciis consularibus, pro Balbo, pro Caelio. The only other 9th-century MS. of the speeches is now in Lord Leicester’s library at Holkham, No. 387. It originally belonged to Cluny, being No. 498 in the old catalogue. It contains in a mutilated form the speeches in Catilinam, pro Ligario, pro rege Deiotaro and in Verrem (Act. ii.) ii.
The speeches pro Sex. Roscio and pro Murena are only known from an ancient and illegible MS. discovered by Poggio at Cluny, No. 496 in the old catalogue, and now lost. The most faithful transcript was made in France (Paris, Lat. 14,749) before the MS. passed into Poggio’s hand by a writer who carefully reproduced the corruptions, sometimes in facsimile. The speeches pro Roscio Comoedo, pro Rabirio perduellionis reo and pro Rabirio Postumo are only known from Italian copies of the transcript (now lost) made by Poggio from lost MSS. The de Officiis, Tusculan Disputations and Cato Maior are found in a number of 9th-century MSS. A collection, consisting of de Natura deorum, de Divinatione, Timaeus, de Fato, Paradoxa, Lucullus ( = Acad. Prior.) and de Legibus, is found in several MSS. of the same date. Only one MS. of the Laelius is as old as the 10th century.
The Academica Posteriora are said by editors to be found only in 15th-century MSS. A MS. in the Paris library (Lat. 6331) is, however, assigned by Chatelain to the 12th century.
For the letters ad Familiares our chief source of information is Laur. xlix. 9 (9th century), which contains all the sixteen books. There are independent MSS. written in France and Germany in the 11th and 12th centuries, containing i.-viii. and ix.-xvi. respectively. There is no extant MS. of the letters to Atticus older than the 14th century, apart from a few leaves from a 12th-century MS. discovered at or near Würzburg in the last century. Very great importance has been attached to a Florentine MS. (Laur. xlix. 18) M., which until recently was supposed to have been copied by Petrarch himself from the lost Veronensis. It is now known not to be in the hand of Petrarch, but it was still supposed to be the archetype of all Italian MSS., and possibly of all MSS., including the lost C and Z. It has, however, been shown by Lehmann that there is an independent group of Italian MSS., termed by him Σ, containing Books i.-vii. in a mutilated form, and probably connected with the MS. of Capra. These often agree with CZ against M, and the readings of CZΣ are generally superior.
Bibliography.—It is impossible to mention more than a few works as the literature is so vast. (1) Historical.—J. L. Strachan-Davidson, Life of Cicero (Heroes of the Nations); G. Boissier, Cicéron et ses amis; Suringar, Cicero de vita sua (Leiden, 1854); W. Warde Fowler, Social Life at Rome (1908); introductions to Tyrrell and Purser’s edition of the letters. (2) Palaeographical.—Facsimiles of the best-known MSS. are given by E. Chatelain in Paléographie des classiques latins, parts 2, 3 and 7. Information regarding various MSS. will be found in Halm, Zur Handschriftenkunde der ciceronischen Schriften (Munich, 1850); Deschamps, Essai bibliographique sur Cicéron (Paris, 1863) (an unscientific work); Lehmann, De Ciceronis ad Atticum epistulis recensendis (Berlin, 1892); Anecdota Oxoniensia, classical series, parts vii., ix., x. (3) Literary.—M. Schanz, Geschichte der römischen Litteratur, i, 194-274 (München, 1890). (4) Linguistic.—Merguet, Lexicon to Oratorical and Philosophical Works; Le Breton, Études sur la langue et la grammaire de Cicéron (Paris, 1901); Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa (Leipzig, 1898); Th. Zielinski, Das Clauselgesetz in Ciceros Reden (Leipzig, 1904). Much information on points of Ciceronian idiom and language will be found in J. S. Reid’s Academica (London, 1885) and Landgraf’s Pro Sext. Roscio (Erlangen, 1884). (5) Legal.—A. H. J. Greenidge, The Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time (Oxford, 1901). (6) Philosophical.—An excellent account of Cicero as a philosopher is given in the preface to Reid’s edition of the Academica. (7) Editions (critical) of the complete texts.—Baiter-Halm (1845–1861); C. F. W. Müller (1880–1896); Oxford Classical Texts. (A. C. C.)
2. Quintus Tullius Cicero, brother of the orator and brother-in-law of T. Pomponius Atticus, was born about 102 B.C. He was aedile in 67, praetor in 62, and for the three following years propraetor in Asia, where, though he seems to have abstained from personal aggrandizement, his profligacy and ill-temper gained him an evil notoriety. After his return to Rome, he heartily supported the attempt to secure his brother’s recall from exile, and was nearly murdered by gladiators in the pay of P. Clodius Pulcher. He distinguished himself as one of Julius Caesar’s legates in the Gallic campaigns, served in Britain, and afterwards under his brother in Cilicia. On the outbreak of the civil war between Pompey and Caesar, Quintus, like Marcus, supported Pompey, but after Pharsalus he deserted and made peace with Caesar, largely owing to the intercession of Marcus. Both the brothers fell victims to the proscription which followed Caesar’s death, Quintus being put to death in 43, some time before Marcus. His marriage with Pomponia was very unhappy, and he was much under the influence of his slave Statius. Though trained on the same lines as Marcus he never spoke in public, and even said, “One orator in a family is enough, nay even in a city.” Though essentially a soldier, he took considerable interest in literature, wrote epic poems, tragedies and annals, and translated plays of Sophocles. There are extant four letters written by him (one to his brother Marcus, and three to his freedman Tiro) and a short paper, De Petitione Consulatus (on canvassing for the consulship), addressed to his brother in 64. Some consider this the work of a rhetorician of later date. A few hexameters by him on the twelve signs of the Zodiac are quoted by Ausonius.
Cicero in several of his Letters (ed. Tyrrell and Purser); pro Sestio, 31; Caesar, Bell. Gal.; Appian, Bell. Civ. iv. 20; Dio Cassius, xl. 7, xlvii. 10; text of the De Petit, Cons. in A. Eussner, Commentariolum Petitionis (1872), see also R. Y. Tyrrell in Hermathena, v. (1877), and A. Beltrami, De Commentariolo Petitionis Q. Ciceroni vindicando (1892); G. Boissier, Cicero and His Friends (Eng. trans., 1897), especially pp. 235-241.
3. Marcus Tullius Cicero, only son of the orator and his wife Terentia, was born in 65 B.C. At the age of seventeen he served with Pompey in Greece, and commanded a squadron of cavalry at the battle of Pharsalus. In 45 he was sent to Athens to study rhetoric and philosophy, but abandoned himself to a life of dissipation. It was during his stay at Athens that his father dedicated the de Officiis to him. After the murder of Caesar (44) he attracted the notice of Brutus, by whom he was offered the post of military tribune, in which capacity he rendered good service to the republican cause. After the battle of Philippi (42), he took refuge with Sextus Pompeius in Sicily, where the remnants of the republican forces were collected. He took advantage of the amnesty granted by the treaty of Misenum (39) to return to Rome, where he took no part in public affairs, but resumed his former dissipated habits. In spite of this, he received signal marks of distinction from Octavian, who not only nominated him augur, but accepted him as his colleague in the consulship (30). He had the satisfaction of carrying out the decree which ordered that all the statues of Antony should be demolished, and thus “the divine justice reserved the completion of Antony’s punishment for the house of Cicero” (Plutarch). He was subsequently appointed proconsul of Asia or Syria, but nothing further is known of his life. In spite of his debauchery, there is no doubt that he was a man of considerable education and no mean soldier, while Brutus, in a letter to his father (Epp. ad Brutum, ii. 3), even goes so far as to say that the son would be capable of attaining the highest honours without borrowing from the father’s reputation.
See Plutarch, Cicero, Brutus; Appian, Bell. Civ. ii. 20. 51, iv. 20; Dio Cassius xlv. 15, xlvi. 18, li. 19; Cicero’s Letters (ed. Tyrrell and Purser); G. Boissier, Cicero and His Friends (Eng. trans., 1897), pp. 104-107.
4. Quintus Tullius Cicero (c. 67– 43 B.C.), son of Quintus Tullius Cicero (brother of the orator). He accompanied his uncle Marcus to Cilicia, and, in the hope of obtaining a reward, repaid his kindness by informing Caesar of his intention of leaving Italy. After the battle of Pharsalus he joined his father in abusing his uncle as responsible for the condition of affairs, hoping thereby to obtain pardon from Caesar. After the death of Caesar he attached himself to Mark Antony, but, owing to some fancied slight, he deserted to Brutus and Cassius. He was included in the proscription lists, and was put to death with his father in 43. In his last moments he refused under torture to disclose his father’s hiding-place. His father, who in his concealment was a witness of what was taking place, thereupon gave himself up, stipulating that he and his son should be executed at the same time.
See Cicero, ad Att. x. 4. 6, 7. 3; xiv. 20. 5; Dio Cassius xlvii. 10.
- Brutus, § 316 “(Molon) dedit operam . . . ut nimis redundantis nos et supra fluentis iuvenili quadam dicendi impunitate et licentia reprimeret et quasi extra ripas diffluentis coërceret.”
- According to Plutarch she urged her husband to take vigorous action against Catiline, who had compromised her half-sister Fabia, a vestal virgin; also to give evidence against Clodius, being jealous of his sister Clodia.
- Caesar, at one time, offered him a place on the coalition, which on his refusal became a triumvirate (Att. ii. 3. 3; Prov. Cons. 41), and afterwards a post on his commission for the division of the Campanian land, or a legatio libera.
- Att. vii. 8. 5 “est enim ἄμορφον ἀντιπολιτευομένου χρεωφειλέτην esse.”
- She was married in 63 B.C. to C. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, whom Cicero found a model son-in-law. He appears to have died before 56, since in that year Tullia was betrothed to Furius Crassipes (quaestor in Bithynia in 51). It is not known if this marriage actually took place.
- That the loss of his triumph rankled in his mind may be seen from Brutus, § 255: “hanc gloriam . . . tuae quidem supplicationi non, sed triumphis multorum antepono.”
- Fam. xi. 20 “laudandum adolescentem, ornandum, tollendum.”
- With these it is usual to include a treatise to Herennius by an anonymous author, a contemporary of Sulla, in modern times generally identified with a person named Cornificius, quoted by Quintilian (iii. 1. 21). This is a manual of rhetoric derived from Greek sources with illustrations of figures drawn from Roman orators. Cicero’s juvenile work de Inventione appears to be drawn partly from this and partly from a treatise by Hermagoras. This is a slight production and does not require detailed notice. Other minor works written in later life, such as the Partitiones Oratoriae, a catechism of rhetoric, in which instruction is given by Cicero to his son Marcus; the Topica, and an introduction to a translation of the speeches delivered by Demosthenes and Aeschines for and against Ctesiphon, styled de optimo genere oratorum, also need only be mentioned.
- Orator, § 214 “patris dictum sapiens temeritas fili cōmprŏbāvĭt—hoc dichoreo tantus clamor contionis excitatus est ut admirabile esset. Quaero, nonne id numerus efficerit? Verborum ordinem immuta, fac sic: ‘Comprobavit fili temeritas’ jam nihil erit.”
- This theory is partly anticipated by Terentianus Maurus (c. A.D. 290), who says of the cretic (v. 1440 sqq.):—
“Plurimum orantes decebit quando paene in ultimo
Obtinet sedem beatam, terminet si clausulam
Dactylus spondeus imam, nec trochaeum respuo;
Plenius tractatur istud arte prosa rhetorum.”
- Orator, § 212 “cursum contentiones magis requirunt, expositiones rerum tarditatem.”
- Markland and F. A. Wolf first rejected them.
- In the speeches generally L+V = 86 %. In the de Domo the proportion is 88 and in the pro Marcello 87 %.
- Quintil. iv. 1. 68. It is possible that the writer may have used a quotation preserved from a real speech by Quintilian.
- Tacitus, Dial. 22 “omnis clausulas uno et eodem modo determinet.”
- Ed. P. Piper, p. 861.
- Philologus (1886), Suppl. Bd. v.
- Jaffé, Bibl. Rer. German., i. 326.
- Delisle, Cabinet des MSS., ii 459.
- “Statilius Maximus rursus emendavi ad Tironem et Laeccanianum et dom. et alios veteres III.” He was a grammarian who lived at the end of the 2nd century.
- Epist. 69 “Tullianas epistulas quas misisti cum nostris conferri faciam ut ex utrisque, si possit fieri, veritas exsculpatur.”
- Nolhac, Pétrarque et l’humanisme, pp. 216-223.
- Lehmann, De Ciceronis ad Atticum epp. recensendis, p. 128.
- Philologus, 1901, p. 216.
- Anecdota Oxoniensia, Classical Series, part ix. (W. Petersen).
- Anecdota Oxoniensia, Classical Series, part x. (A. C. Clark).