Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family and is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.
His influence on the Latin language was immense. His Latin is thought to be the model of Classical Latin. He introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. Julius Caesar praised Cicero’s achievement by saying “it is more important to have greatly extended the frontiers of the Roman spirit (ingenium) than the frontiers of the Roman empire”.
Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement.
Following Julius Caesar’s death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscripted as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC.
Cicero’s letters to and from various public and private figures are considered some of the most reliable sources of information for the people and events surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic. While 37 books of his letters have survived into modern times, 35 more books were known to antiquity that have since been lost. These included letters to Caesar, to Pompey, to Octavian, and to his son Marcus.
(Adapted from Cicero Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia. )