So, Who Was Cicero?

CiceroBust
Bust of Cicero, aged about 60.

When I first wrote my introduction to The Culture Project I quoted the Roman statesman Cicero: ‘to know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child.’

So, who was Cicero?

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born in 106BCE and died in 43BCE. He is considered to be one of the greatest orators, philosophers, and statesmen in the history of Rome, and quite possibly Europe. The rediscovery and translation of his letters by Petrarch (1304-1374) is credited with sparking the borderline obsession with all things Roman that marked the start of the Renaissance, and he was also hugely influential on Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke and David Hume.

Cicero was elected Consul, the highest elected rank in the Roman republic, for the year 60BCE, just a few years before the rise of Julius Caesar. In the turbulent years that followed, Cicero spoke out repeatedly against Caesar and in favour of a return to the Republican system, and his ongoing opposition to Caesar and subsequently Marc Antony ultimately led to him being named on a list of ‘enemies of the State’, which in turn led to his execution.

Why am I telling you this now? Because after two years I’m taking a step back from regular blogging. When I started The Culture Project, my idea was to trace my first steps into the world of European Culture. First steps are not, of course, the whole journey, and there will always be more for me to explore, but I feel as though I’ve covered enough ground to call it a day. I’ll still be blogging occasionally, but not on a regular schedule. I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and maybe drawn some inspiration from it.

If you’ve been enjoying this blog, or learned anything from it, now would be a great time to let me know.

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