Cicero Was A Cool Dude...

I recently read an titled "Cicero Superstar" written by Mary Ann Glendon in "First Things Magazine. It is a well written and researched article about the life of Cicero.

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a philosopher/ politician in Rome during the first century BC. It was a tumultuous time in the history of the Roman republic. Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Cassius, formed a triumvirate to consolidate their power. Cicero opposed all three of them because they wanted to subvert the power of the senate, the consuls, and tribunes. In short they wanted to end Rome's status as a republic. Cicero eventually payed a heavy political price when all of his property was seized and he had to flee to Greece. He summarizes his views about politics in his work,"De Republica",

"Of what value, pray is your human glory, which can barely last for a tiny part of a single year? If you wish to look will not put yourself at the mercy of the masses' gossip nor measure your long term destiny by the rewards you get from men. Goodness herself must draw you on by her enticements to true glory...In no case does a reputation last forever; it fades with the death of the speakers, and vanishes as posterity forgets."

Cicero eventually returned back to Rome when Julius Caesar was assassinated. Cicero, during this period did enjoy a period of popularity and prestige when Marc Anthony became the leader of Rome. Marc Anthony even appointed him as spokesperson of the senate. But all of this good will came to an end when Octavian, Ceasar's adopted son challenged Marc Anthony. Cicero decided to side with Octavian since he believed that Octavian offered the best opportunity for the reinstatement of the Roman republic. This support would prove catastrophic when Marc Anthony and Octavian came to an compromise on how to divide their power. One of Marc Anthony's first acts was to put Cicero to death. In December 43 BC Cicero was hunted down and killed. His head and hands were savagely cut off and put on display in the Forum.

History has an uncanny ability of repeating itself. While reading the article I could not help but to notice the eerie similarities of Rome and the current state of our country today. Each day it seems our constitutional rights are being challenged and even taken away. The state of our republic is being consistently undermined by its greedy and self serving politicians. To be involved in politics is a noble aim, but one that must be carried out with great humility and care. Each generation must struggle anew for the preservation of our Constitution, our God given liberties. Ultimately the power of our country does not come from the politicians but from ourselves, our direct involvement in our country's civil affairs. If we do not engage in this battle then our children and our grandchildren will suffer greatly for our inaction and our country will become just like Rome, a powerful lesson of what not to do. We need new Cicero's out there, the history of our country, the world depends on it.


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