Cicero, Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Cicero (106-43 BC)
Cicero, like Marius, was born near Arpinum. He and his brother were sent to Rome to finish their education, which was interrupted by military service in 89 BC.
Cicero's first important speech in teh courts was in defence of a man called Roscius, charged with murdering his father for which under Roman law the penalty was to be tied up in a sack with a dog, a cock, a viper and a monkey before being flung into the nearest river. Roscius was aquitted and Cicero prudently cose to go abroad 'for reasons of health and study', the charges having been brought by one of Sulla's favourites.
On his return to Rome, after Sulla's death, he ascended the political ladder, helped by his oratory skill, which led the Sicilians to retain him as prosecutr in Rome for their former governor Verres (d. 43 BC), a notorious embezzler adn extortionist. Cicero won the case, getting the defence counsel to concede in whilst the evidence was still being called.
Cicero was elceted consul for 63 BC when he distinguished himself dealing firmly with a conspiracy against the state by Lucius Sergius Cataline. Having during a speech in the senate shamed Caaline inot leaving Rome, he had the fellow conspiritors arrested and executed on recommendation of the senate. The turning point in Cicero's highflying career came in 61 BC when he apperaed in court as a witness and destroyed the alibi of Publius Clodius, accused of having attended a religious ceremony in women's clothing at which only females were allowed.
Clodius though was not only powerful in his own right, but also one of Caesar's hangers-on.
Ceasar distrusted a man of tremendous politcal and oratory talent who had refused to join him in the triumvirat with Pompey and Crassus and used the affair wiwth Clodius to drive Cicero into exile. Only reluctantly did Caesar eventually allow Cicero back in 57 BC.
Cicero wished teh rule dof all honest men and to preserve by their alliances the traditional republican fabric.