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Lawyer, philosopher, statesman and defender of Rome's Republic, Cicero was a master of eloquence, and his pure literary and oratorical style and strict sense of morality have been a powerful influence on European literature and thought for over two thousand years in matters of politics, philosophy, and faith. This selection demonstrates the diversity of his writings, and includes letters to friends and statesmen on Roman life and politics; the vitriolic Second Philippic Against Antony; and his two most famous philosophical treatises, On Duties and On Old Age. Written at a time of brutal political and social change, Cicero's writings formed the foundation of the Western liberal tradition in political and moral thought that continues to this day.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 bc), Roman orator and statesman, was born at Arpinium of a wealthy local family. Having been educated in Rome, by 70 bc he had established himself as a leading barrister and was beginning a successful political career. Cicero received honors usually reserved only for the Roman aristocracy and was one of the greatest Roman orators. Michael Grant has been successively Chancellor's Medallist and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Humanity at Edinburgh University, first Vice-chancellor of Khartoum University, President and Vice-chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast and President of the Classical Association.