Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician Paperback – May 6 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Using Cicero's letters to his good friend Atticus, among other sources, Everitt recreates the fascinating world of political intrigue, sexual decadence and civil unrest of Republican Rome. Against this backdrop, he offers a lively chronicle of Cicero's life. Best known as Rome's finest orator and rhetorician, Cicero (103 -43 B.C.) situated himself at the center of Roman politics. By the time he was 30, Cicero became a Roman senator, and 10 years later he was consul. Opposing Julius Caesar and his attempt to form a new Roman government, Cicero remained a thorn in Caesar's side until the emperor's assassination. Cicero supported Pompey's attempts during Caesar's reign to bring Rome back to republicanism. Along the way, Cicero put down conspiracies, won acquittal for a man convicted of parricide, challenged the dictator Sulla with powerful rhetoric about the decadence of Sulla's regime and wrote philosophical treatises. Everitt deftly shows how Cicero used his oratorical skills to argue circles around his opponents. More important, Everitt portrays Cicero as a man born at the wrong time. While Cicero vainly tried to find better men to run government and better laws to keep them in order, Republican Rome was falling down around him, never to return to the glory of Cicero's youth. A first-rate complement to Elizabeth Rawson's Cicero or T.N. Mitchell's monumental two-volume biography, Everitt's first book is a brilliant study that captures Cicero's internal struggles and insecurities as well as his external political successes. Maps. (On sale June 11)
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Everitt's first book is a good read that anyone interested in ancient Rome will enjoy. It is also the first one-volume life of the Roman leader in 25 years. To create a work that flowed and was therefore more colorful for the lay reader, Everitt, the former secretary-general of the Arts Council for Great Britain, has taken liberties when describing a person or a place that may annoy scholars. Yet reading this book is an excellent way to understand the players of the period and the culture that produced them. Bloody, articulate, erudite, sexist, slave-owning-Cicero and his circle were all that, but Everitt is careful to recognize that the orator was a product of his age. This is not strictly a political history; Everitt scrutinizes Roman society in discussing events of the orator's life and, when describing Cicero's marriage, acquaints the reader with various aspects of that institution and the home of the era. Throughout, he is willing to admit when the evidence for a theory is weak and when he is extrapolating from the assumptions of scholars. Recommended for public and undergraduate collections.
Clay Williams, Hunter Coll. Lib., New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
To understand Cicero's life, which spanned the first two thirds of the first century BC, it is necessary to picture the world in which he lived, and especially the nature of Roman politics. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Top Customer Reviews
This book nonetheless does it's basic job, and the portrayals of Cato, Pompey, Caesar, and Octavian are strong. Cato comes off as the noble idealist--as Cicero would have seen him--and the emperors and would-be emperors come off as the practical power mongerers that they probably were. Crassus and Cataline are like cartoonish villains, yet, by their idiotic deeds and schemes they might have been. This would be a good book simply to flesh out one's knowledge of a time slowly being forgotten in the Postmodern West.
That's the negative. The positive is that Everitt's account is well-presented and the events surrounding Cicero's life are inherently interesting. Everitt particularly shines in depicting Cicero's activities after Caesar's assassination, arguing that for the few short months left to his life Cicero was the preeminent man of the hour - mainly because he was the last one of the elder generation left standing.
The bottom line is that Everitt's Cicero is a book that nobody should regret reading. It's a fine review of the end of the Roman Republic, and a good refresher course for those who maybe haven't visited Ancient Rome in a while. Those looking for some substance, however, and those who are serious Roman scholars, will be disappointed.
This is the most accessible accounting I have read of the steadily intensifying battle between aristocracy and plebeians and of how that battle led to the rise of dictatorship. Cicero's role in trying to bridge this growing gap while protecting the integrity of the Senate forms the heart of the political side of his life as presented here. This is not to say that Everitt presents Cicero as man solely devoted to principle. On the contrary, the book highlights Cicero's early devotion to advancing his own interests and career. This led Cicero to some monumental injustices, for which he later paid a significant price.
Cicero's personal life takes on a dimension here not usually reflected in more general treatments of Roman history. His account of Cicero's devotion to his daughter, of his (Cicero's) reaction to her early death, and of how that affected Cicero's career are especially convincing.
Everitt has made copious use of the ancient sources. Much of Cicero's writings and correspondence has survived, and Everitt cites them frequently. In fact, his citations and notes on sources are a main reason why the book is so satisfying.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An excellent overview of Roman Politics and an in depth view of Cicero's life, his career as a lawyer and his political career. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ann Evans
I loved them all. Anthony can really bring you back in time. His books a very easy to read and flow. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Igor
This is simply one of the best books I have ever read about the late republic. It also brought a figure who I was very unaware of into the light for me. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2010 by Guy Moreau
Everritt does a good job at re-creating Cicero`s life. He does not cover much of Cicero`s written material. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2008 by Patrick Sullivan
Anthony Everitt takes an interesting, more introspective look at Cicero. He takes into account classical historians like Livy or Plutarch but sanitizes their records with thorough... Read morePublished on April 28 2004
This is a very rare book: an excellent retelling of the Roman Republic's demise within the context of one of it's last great orators and politician, Marcus Cicero. Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2004
I was looking for a good book on Cicero, (my first on the subject.) However, I found the book to have a bit too much detail and it belabored every little event in his life too much... Read morePublished on Dec 12 2003
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