Cicero and His Friends; A Study of Roman Society in the Time of Caesar

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9781230341736: Cicero and His Friends; A Study of Roman Society in the Time of Caesar
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1897 edition. Excerpt: ... CICERO IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE CICERO'S PUBLIC LIFE Cicero's public life is usually severely judged by the historians of our time. He pays the penalty of his moderation. As this period is only studied now with political intentions, a man like him who tried to avoid extremes fully satisfies nobody. All parties agree in attacking him; on all sides he is laughed at or insulted. The fanatical partisans of Brutus accuse him of timidity, the warmest friends of Caesar call him a fool. It is in England and amongst us1 that he has been least abused, and that classical traditions have been more respected than elsewhere; the learned still persist in their old habits and their old admirations, and in the midst of so many convulsions criticism at least has remained conservative. Perhaps also the indulgence shown to Cicero in both countries comes from the experience they have of political life. When a man has lived in the practice of affairs and in the midst of the working of parties, he can better understand the sacrifices that the necessities of the moment, the interest of his friends and the safety of his cause may demand of a statesman, but he who only judges his conduct by inflexible 1 Forsyth, Life of Cicero. London, Murray, 1864. Merivalc, History of the Romans under the Empire, vols, i., it. 22 theories thought out in solitude and not submitted to the test of experience becomes more severe towards him. This, no doubt, is the reason why the German scholars use him so roughly. With the exception of M. Abeken,1 who treats him humanely, they are without pity. Drumann 2 especially overlooks nothing. He has scrutinized his works and his life with the minuteness and sagacity of a lawyer seeking the grounds of a law-suit. He has laid bare all his...

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