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Word Count: 761
Marcus Tullius Cicero is remembered in modern times as the greatest Roman orator and innovator of what became known as Ciceronian rhetoric He was the son of a wealthy family of Arpinium He made his first appearance in the courts in 81 His brilliant defense in 80 or early 79 of Sextus Roscius against a fabricated charge of parricide established his reputation at the bar After his election as consul for 63 his chief concern was to discover and make public the seditious intentions of his rival Catiline who defeated in 64 appeared again at the consular elections in 63 over which Cicero presided wearing armour beneath his toga Catiline lost and planned to carry out armed uprisings in Italy and arson in Rome Evidence incriminating the conspirators was secured and they were executed on Ciceros responsibility Cicero announcing their death to the crowd with the single word vixerunt they are dead received a tremendous ovation from all classes He was hailed by Catulus as pater patriae father of his country This was the climax of his career At the end of 60 Cicero declined Caesars invitation to join the political alliance of Caesar Crassus and Pompey and also Caesars offer in 59 of a place on his staff in Gaul When Publius Clodius whom Cicero had antagonized became tribune in 58 Cicero was in danger and in March fled Rome In 57 thanks to the activity of Pompey and particularly the tribune Milo he was recalled on August 4 Cicero landed at Brundisium on that day and was acclaimed all along his route to Rome where he arrived a month later Pompey renewed his compact with Caesar and Crassus at Luca in April 56 Cicero then agreed under pressure from Pompey to align himself with the three in politics He was obliged to accept a number of distasteful defenses and he abandoned public life In 51 he was
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