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The Life of Cicero (Hardback)

Lessons for Today from the Greatest Orator of the Roman Republic

Ancient History P&S History > By Century > 1st Century

By Philip Bujak
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781399097413
Published: 4th October 2023


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Cicero was Rome's greatest orator and one of the key statesmen of the late Roman Republic. He championed traditional Republican values against populist demagogues like Julius Caesar during a tumultuous period of civil war and unrest. During his term as consul (63 BCE), his decisive actions thwarted a plot to overthrow the Senate, controversially having the ringleaders executed. He outlived Caesar but then mounted a virulent opposition to Mark Antony, which led to Cicero's proscription and execution as an enemy of the state.

The legacy of his speeches, letters and treatises on politics, law, oratory and other subjects endured, however, and was massively influential on Latin literature and, when rediscovered in the Middle Ages, formed one of the cornerstones of the Renaissance.

The period in which Cicero flourished and died was one in which democracy was under attack from radical demagoguery and Philip Kay-Bujak believes his career holds important parallels and lessons for our own times. Written in a clear and accessible style, this fresh look at Cicero's life demonstrates his relevance to a modern audience.

Fascinating read. Cicero obviously is not only a very important historical figure but one who is immensely complex. Therefore, in order to successfully capture this reality one has to do a tremendous amount of research and this author obviously did that. I found it to be very engaging as well. Oftentimes books of this ilk that are historical biographies have a difficult time inputting the requisite narrative flow that keeps the audience engaged. This book did not have that trouble. Greatly enjoyed this.

NetGalley, Cassidy Chloupek

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I am an ardent fan of Cicero and this book is a worthy addition to my mainly fictional accounts of this amazing, clever man. Bujak writes with obvious affection for his subject and I found it a very easy read. Ciceros verbal battles with his enemies are legendary and his style of oration second to none. Anyone who is curious about the politics and intrigues of the Roman Empire will enjoy this book. Bujak injects life into ancient Rome and its primary and secondary characters. I cannot recommend highly enough. Thank you to Pen & Sword for an excellent publication and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this excellent book.

NetGalley, Carol Elizabeth Keogh

About Philip Bujak

Philip Kay-Bujak is a former GSA Headmaster and Associate of The Royal Historical Society. He taught English & European History for over twenty years and was a public school headmaster. He was and is a Koestler Literary Award winner. Other publications include numerous articles on education and British history and books on local history, Scottish art and the Great War.

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