- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1st Edition edition (September 30, 1960)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140440992
- ISBN-13: 978-0140440997
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cicero: Selected Works 1st Edition Edition
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About the Author
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 bc), Roman orator and statesman, was born at Arpinium of a wealthy local family. Having been educated in Rome, by 70 bc he had established himself as a leading barrister and was beginning a successful political career. Cicero received honors usually reserved only for the Roman aristocracy and was one of the greatest Roman orators. Michael Grant has been successively Chancellor's Medallist and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Humanity at Edinburgh University, first Vice-chancellor of Khartoum University, President and Vice-chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast and President of the Classical Association.
Top customer reviews
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"Granted that there is nothing unnatural in a man preferring to earn a living for himself rather than someone else, what nature forbids is that we should increase our own means, property and resources by plundering others."
I would guess that the Founding Fathers agreed with this sentiment completely, for the simple reason that once citizens begin plundering one another, one of the primary social goals (living safely and without fear of your neighbor) is instantly destroyed. I would also guess that they didn't write this into the Constitution because it was so terribly obvious: every well-educated man understood Cicero and his concept of Natural Law. But they lived before the advent of Karl Marx...
I also suspect that Cicero's "religion" was pretty close to the religion of the Founding Fathers. Cicero imagined the mind of the Universe to be God, while the physical body of the universe was made up by all the natural phenomena around us, and he was quite sure that each one of us carried within himself a spark of that divinity. As far as the afterlife, Cicero basically whittled the possibilities down to two. Either we cease to exist, and cease to feel pain, or there is an afterlife, and we will enter it. In either case, there is no reason to fear death.
Another essay included in this book, "On Old Age," is a true Ciceronian classic. If I had my druthers, everyone would receive a free copy on his 60th birthday. It's a simple, short read, and cannot really be summarized in a short review.
Another excellent book by Michael Grant!