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Marcus Tullius Cicero is credited with being one of the greatest of the Roman orators He was born at Arpinum the native place of Marius 106 BCE the same year which gave birth to Pompey the Great His family was ancient and of equestrian rank but had never taken part in public affairs at Rome though both his father and grandfather were persons of consideration in the part of Italy in which they resided Cicero Marcus Tullius Letters to friends edited and translated by DR Shackleton Bailey Cambridge Mass Harvard University Press 2001His father determined to educate his two sons Marcus and Quintus on an enlarged and liberal plan and to fit them for the prospect of public employment which his own weak state of health incapacitated him from seeking One of his earliest masters was the poet Archias whom he defended afterwards Soon after he assumed the toga virilis he was placed tinder the care of Scaevola the celebrated lawyer whom he introduces in several of his philosophical dialogues Nardo Don 1947- Rulers of Ancient Rome by Don Nardo San Diego CA Lucent Books c1999 Discusses the contributions of various rulers of ancient Rome including Fabius Marius Caesar Cicero Augustus Nero Constantine and JustinianCicero took the opportunity of serving a campaign under the consul Pompeitis Strabo father of Pompey the Great He returned to the study of philosophy tinder Philo the Academic But his chief attention was reserved for oratory to which he applied himself with the assistance of Molo the ablest rhetorician of the day Diodotus the Stoic also exercised him in the argumentative subtleties for which the disciples of Zeno were known Cicero was the first Roman who found his way to the highest dignities of the State with no other recommendation than his powers of eloquence and his merits as a civil magistrate The first case of importance which he undertook was the defense of Roscius Amerintis
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