The Principate or early Roman Empire is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in 284 AD, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate. The Principate is characterised by the reign of a single emperor and an effort on the part of the early emperors, at least, to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance, in some aspects, of the Roman Republic, it is etymologically derived from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. This reflects the principate emperors' assertion that they were "first among equals" among the citizens of Rome; the title, in full, of princeps senatus / princeps civitatis was first adopted by Octavian Caesar Augustus, the first Roman'emperor' who chose, like the assassinated dictator Julius Caesar, not to reintroduce a legal monarchy.
Augustus's purpose was to establish the political stability needed after the exhausting civil wars by a de facto dictatorial regime within the constitutional framework of the Roman Republic as a more acceptable alternative to, for example, the early Roman Kingdom. The title itself derived from the position of the princeps senatus, traditionally the oldest member of the Senate who had the right to be heard first on any debate. Although dynastic pretenses crept in from the start, formalizing this in a monarchic style remained politically unthinkable. In a more limited and precise chronological sense, the term is applied either to the Empire or the earlier of the two phases of'Imperial' government in the ancient Roman Empire, extending from when Augustus claimed auctoritas for himself as princeps until Rome's military collapse in the West in 476, leaving the Byzantine Empire sole heir, or, depending on the source, up to the rule of Commodus, of Maximinus Thrax or of Diocletian. Afterwards, Imperial rule in the Empire is designated as the dominate, subjectively more like an monarchy while the earlier Principate is still more'Republican'.
Under this'Principate stricto sensu', the political reality of autocratic rule by the Emperor was still scrupulously masked by forms and conventions of oligarchic self-rule inherited from the political period of the'uncrowned' Roman Republic under the motto Senatus Populusque Romanus or SPQR. The theory implied the'first citizen' had to earn his extraordinary position by merit in the style that Augustus himself had gained the position of auctoritas. Imperial propaganda developed a'paternalistic' ideology, presenting the princeps as the incarnation of all virtues attributed to the ideal ruler, such as clemency and justice, in turn placing the onus on the princeps to play this designated role within Roman society, as his political insurance as well as a moral duty. What was expected of the princeps seems to have varied according to the times. Speaking, it was expected of the Emperor to be generous but not frivolous, not just as a good ruler but with his personal fortune providing occasional public games, horse races and artistic shows.
Large distributions of food for the public and charitable institutions were means that served as popularity boosters while the construction of public works provided paid employment for the poor. With the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in 68 CE, the principate was redefined in formal terms under the Emperor Vespasian in 69 CE; the position of princeps became a distinct entity within the broader – formally still republican – Roman constitution. While many of the cultural and political expectations remained, the princeps was no longer a position extended on the basis of merit, or auctoritas, but on a firmer basis, allowing Vespasian and future emperors to designate their own heir without those heirs having to earn the position through years of success and public favor. Under the Antonine dynasty, it was the norm for the Emperor to appoint a successful and politically promising individual as his successor. In modern historical analysis, this is treated by many authors as an "ideal" situation: the individual, most capable was promoted to the position of princeps.
Of the Antonine dynasty, Edward Gibbon famously wrote that this was the happiest and most productive period in human history, credited the system of succession as the key factor. This first phase was to be followed by, or rather evolved into, the so-called dominate. Starting with the Emperor Diocletian, oriental type of styles like dominus became current, though not legal, but there could by definition never be a clear, constitutional turning point, so this appreciation remains subjective; the reality is gradual development. This process is said to be established by the Emperor Septimius Severus. After the Crisis of the Third Century resulted in the Roman Empire's political collap
Pliny the Younger
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo, better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped educate him. Pliny the Younger wrote hundreds of letters, of which 247 are of great historical value; some are addressed to notables such as the historian Tacitus. Pliny served as an imperial magistrate under Trajan, his letters to Trajan provide one of the few surviving records of the relationship between the imperial office and provincial governors. Pliny rose through a series of the cursus honorum, he was a friend of the historian Tacitus and might have employed the biographer Suetonius on his staff. Pliny came into contact with other well-known men of the period, including the philosophers Artemidorus and Euphrates the Stoic, during his time in Syria. Pliny the Younger was born in Novum Comum around 61 the son of Lucius Caecilius Cilo, born there, his wife Plinia Marcella, a sister of Pliny the Elder.
He was the grandson of Senator and landowner Gaius Caecilius, revered his uncle, Pliny the Elder, provided sketches of how his uncle worked on the Naturalis Historia. Cilo died at an early age; as a result, the boy lived with his mother. His guardian and preceptor in charge of his education was Lucius Verginius Rufus, famed for quelling a revolt against Nero in 68 AD. After being first tutored at home, Pliny went to Rome for further education. There he was taught rhetoric by Quintilian, a great teacher and author, Nicetes Sacerdos of Smyrna, it was at this time. When Pliny the Younger was 17 or 18, his uncle Pliny the Elder died attempting to rescue victims of the Vesuvius eruption, the terms of the Elder Pliny's will passed his estate to his nephew. In the same document the younger Pliny was adopted by his uncle; as a result, Pliny the Younger changed his name from Gaius Caecilius Cilo to Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus. There is some evidence. A memorial erected in Como repeats the terms of a will by which the aedile Lucius Caecilius Cilo, son of Lucius, established a fund, the interest of, to buy oil for the baths of the people of Como.
The trustees are named in the inscription: "L. Caecilius Valens and P. Caecilius Secundus, sons of Lucius, the contubernalis Lutulla." The word contubernalis describing Lutulla is the military term meaning "tent-mate", which can only mean that she was living with Lucius, not as his wife. The first man mentioned, L. Caecilius Valens, is the older son. Pliny the Younger confirms that he was a trustee for the largess "of my ancestors", it seems unknown to Pliny the Elder, so Valens' mother was not his sister Plinia. Pliny the Younger married three times, when he was young, to a stepdaughter of Veccius Proculus', who died at age 37. Letters survive in which Pliny recorded this last marriage taking place, his attachment to Calpurnia, his sadness when she miscarried their child. Pliny is thought to have died during his convention in Bithynia-Pontus, around 113 AD, since no events referred to in his letters date than that. Pliny was by birth of equestrian rank, that is, a member of the aristocratic order of equites, the lower of the two Roman aristocratic orders that monopolised senior civil and military offices during the early Empire.
His career began at the age of 18 and followed a normal equestrian route. But, unlike most equestrians, he achieved entry into the upper order by being elected Quaestor in his late twenties. Pliny was active in the Roman legal system in the sphere of the Roman centumviral court, which dealt with inheritance cases, he was a well-known prosecutor and defender at the trials of a series of provincial governors, including Baebius Massa, governor of Baetica. Pliny's career is considered as a summary of the main Roman public charges and is the best-documented example from this period, offering proof for many aspects of imperial culture. Pliny crossed all the principal fields of the organization of the early Roman Empire, it is an achievement for a man to have not only survived the reigns of several disparate emperors the much-detested Domitian, but to have risen in rank throughout. Pliny penned his first work at age 14: a tragedy in Greek. Additionally, in the course of his life, he wrote numerous poems.
He was known as a notable orator. Pliny's only oration that now survives is the Panegyricus Traiani; this was delivered in the Senate in 100 and is a description of Trajan's figure and actions in an adulatory and emphatic form contrasting him with the Emperor Domitian. It is, however, a relevant document that reveals many details about the Emperor's actions in severa
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He wrote Latin prose. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years, their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to past Gaul; these achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.
With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars; as a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, his victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence. After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar, he gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land support for veterans, he centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was proclaimed "dictator for life", giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death.
A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust; the biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, his cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor". He has appeared in literary and artistic works, his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era. Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas the son of the goddess Venus.
The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, after the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families; the Julii existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor, born by Caesarean section; the Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.
His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died so Caesar was the head of the family at 16, his coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis, he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one, he was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against hi
A curule seat is a design of chair noted for its uses in Ancient Rome and Europe through to the 20th century. Its status in early Rome as a symbol of political or military power carried over to other civilizations, as it was utilized in this regard by kings in Europe and others. In the Roman Republic, Empire, the curule chair was the seat upon which magistrates holding imperium were entitled to sit; this includes dictators, magistri equitum, praetors, curule aediles, the promagistrates, temporary or de facto holders of such offices. Additionally, the censors and the Flamen of Jupiter were allowed to sit on a curule seat, though these positions did not hold imperium. Livy writes that the three flamines maiores or high priests of the Archaic Triad of major gods were each granted the honor of the curule chair. According to Livy the curule seat, like the Roman toga, originated in Etruria, it has been used on surviving Etruscan monuments to identify magistrates. However, much earlier stools supported on a cross-frame are known from the New Kingdom of Egypt.
One of the earliest recorded examples of the curule chair proper was in 494 BC when the honour of a curule chair in the circus maximus was awarded to the Roman dictator Manius Valerius Maximus as a result of his victory over the Sabines. According to Cassius Dio, early in 44 BC a senate decree granted Julius Caesar the curule seat everywhere except in the theatre, where his gilded chair and jeweled crown were carried in, putting him on a par with the gods; as a form of throne, the sella might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as allies by the Roman people or senate. The curule chair is used on Roman medals as well as funerary monuments to express a curule magistracy. In Rome, the curule chair was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory, with curved legs forming a wide X. Although of luxurious construction, this chair was meant to be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time, the double symbolism being that the official was expected to carry out his public function in an efficient and timely manner, that his office, being an office of the republic, was temporary, not perennial.
The chair could be folded, thus was transportable. It developed a hieratic significance, expressed in fictive curule seats on funerary monuments, a symbol of power, never lost in post-Roman European tradition. 6th-century consular ivory diptychs of Orestes and of Constantinus each depict the consul seated on an elaborate curule seat with crossed animal legs. Along the Silk Road the folding seat of the Eastern Roman Empire made its way to China, where in various forms including the hu chuang— the "barbarian bed"— it "transformed the dress and lifestyle of the Chinese" In Han China the folding chair made its first literary mark in the 2nd century AD, used out-of-doors in a military rather than domestic setting, from the way it was addressed in a poem by Yu Jianwu, written about 552 By the name handed down you are from a foreign regioncoming into and being used in the capital With legs leaning your frame adjusts by itself With limbs slanting your body levels by itself... it is clear the cross-framed folding seat was intended.
In Gaul the Merovingian successors to Roman power employed the curule seat as an emblem of their right to dispense justice, their Capetian successors retained the iconic seat: the "Throne of Dagobert", of cast bronze retaining traces of its former gilding, is conserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The "throne of Dagobert" is first mentioned in the 12th century as a treasured relic, by Abbot Suger, who claims in his Administratione, "We restored the noble throne of the glorious King Dagobert, on which, as tradition relates, the Frankish kings sat to receive the homage of their nobles after they had assumed power. We did so in recognition of its exalted function and because of the value of the work itself." Abbot Suger added bronze upper members with a back-piece. The "Throne of Dagobert" was coarsely used for the coronation of Napoleon. In the 15th century, a characteristic folding-chair of both Italy and Spain was made of numerous shaped cross-framed elements, joined to wooden members that rested on the floor and further made rigid with a wooden back.
19th-century dealers and collectors termed these "Dante Chairs" or "Savonarola Chairs", with disregard to the centuries intervening between the two figures. Examples of curule seats were redrawn from a 15th-century manuscript of the Roman de Renaude de Montauban and published in Henry Shaw's Specimens of Ancient Furniture; the 15th or early 16th-century curule seat that survives at York Minster entirely covered with textiles, has rear members extended upwards to form a back, between which a rich textile was stretched. The cross-framed armchair, no longer a folding chair, continued to have regal connotations. James I of England was portrayed with such a chair, its framing covered with a richly patterned silk damask textile, with decorative nailing, in Paul van Somer's portrait. Similar early 17th-century cross-framed seats survive at perquisites from a royal event; the photo of actor Edwin Booth as Hamlet poses him in a regal cross-framed chair, considered suitably medieval in 1870. The form found its way into stylish but non-royal decoration in the archaeological second phase of neoclassicism in the early 19th century.
An unusually early example of this revived form is provided by the large sets of richl
The plebs were, in ancient Rome, the general body of free Roman citizens who were not patricians, as determined by the census. The precise origins of the group and the term are unclear, though it may be that they began as a limited political movement in opposition to the elite which became more applied. In Latin the word plebs is a singular collective noun, its genitive is plebis; the origin of the separation into orders is unclear, it is disputed when the Romans were divided under the early kings into patricians and plebeians, or whether the clientes of the patricians formed a third group. Certain gentes were patrician, as identified by the nomen, but a gens might have both patrician and plebeian branches that shared a nomen but were distinguished by a cognomen, as was the case with the gens Claudia; the 19th-century historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr held that plebeians began to appear at Rome during the reign of Ancus Marcius and were foreigners settling in Rome as naturalized citizens. In any case, at the outset of the Roman Republic, the patricians had a near monopoly on political and social institutions.
Plebeians were excluded from magistracies and religious colleges, they were not permitted to know the laws by which they were governed. Plebeians served in the army, but became military leaders. Dissatisfaction with the status quo mounted to the point that the plebeians engaged in a sort of general strike, a secessio plebis, during which they would withdraw from Rome, leaving the patricians to themselves. From 494 to 287 BC, five such actions during the so-called "Conflict of the Orders" resulted in the establishment of plebeian offices, the publication of the laws, the establishment of the right of plebeian–patrician intermarriage, the opening of the highest offices of government and some state priesthoods to the plebeians and passage of legislation that made resolutions passed by the assembly of plebeians, the concilium plebis, binding on all citizens. During the Second Samnite War, plebeians who had risen to power through these social reforms began to acquire the aura of nobilitas, "nobility", marking the creation of a ruling elite of nobiles that allied the interests of patricians and noble plebeians.
From the mid-4th century to the early 3rd century BC, several plebeian–patrician "tickets" for the consulship repeated joint terms, suggesting a deliberate political strategy of cooperation. Although nobilitas was not a formal social rank during the Republican era, in general, a plebeian who had attained the consulship was regarded as having brought nobility to his family; such a man was a novus homo, a self-made noble, his sons and descendants were nobiles. Marius and Cicero are notable examples of novi homines in the late Republic, when many of Rome's richest and most powerful men—such as Lucullus and Pompeius—were plebeian nobles; some or many noble plebeians, including Cicero and Lucullus, aligned their political interests with the faction of Optimates, conservatives who sought to preserve senatorial prerogatives. By contrast, the Populares, which sought to champion the plebs in the sense of "common people", were sometimes led by patricians such as Julius Caesar and Clodius Pulcher. In the U.
S. military, plebes are freshmen at the U. S. Military Academy, U. S. Naval Academy, Valley Forge Military Academy and College, the Marine Military Academy, the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, Georgia Military College, California Maritime Academy; the term is used for new cadets at the Philippine Military Academy. Early public schools in the United Kingdom would enrol pupils as "plebeians" as opposed to sons of gentry and aristocrats. In British, Australian, New Zealand and South African English the back-formation pleb, along with the more derived adjectival form plebby, is used as a derogatory term for someone considered unsophisticated or uncultured. Bread and circuses – Figure of speech referring to a superficial means of appeasement Capite censi – The lowest class of citizens of ancient Rome Plebeian Council – The principal assembly of the ancient Roman Republic Proletariat – The class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power Roman Republic – Period of ancient Roman civilization Plebgate, a 2012 British political scandal involving the use of the word as a slur Jackson J. Spielvogel.
World History: Journey Across Time. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Scott Wertsching. What is a Pleb?. Rome: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Ferenczy, Endre. From the Patrician State to the Patricio-Plebeian State. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert. Horsfall, Nicholas; the Culture of the Roman Plebs. London: Duckworth. Millar, Fergus; the Crowd In Rome In the Late Republic. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Mitchell, Richard E.. Patricians and plebeians: The origin of the Roman state. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Morstein-Marx, Robert. Mass oratory and political power in the late Roman Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mouritsen, Henrik. Plebs and politics in the late Roman Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Raaflaub, Kurt A.. Social struggles in Archaic Rome: New perspectives on the conflict of the orders. Oxford: Blackwell. Vanderbroeck, Paul J. J.. Popular leadership and collective behavior in the late Roman Republic. Amsterdam: Gieben. Vishnia, Rachel Feig. State and Popular Leaders In Mid-Republican Rome 241-167 BC.
London: Routledge. Williamson
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, orator and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists, his influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement, it was during his consulship that the second Catilinarian conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, Cicero suppressed the revolt by summarily and controversially executing five conspirators.
During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches, he was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during an attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed on The Rostra. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs and classical Roman culture. According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity." The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers and political theorists such as John Locke, David Hume and Edmund Burke was substantial.
His works rank among the most influential in European culture, today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history the last days of the Roman Republic. Cicero was born in 106 BC in a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome, he belonged to the tribus Cornelia. His father possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he studied extensively to compensate. Although little is known about Cicero's mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Cicero's brother Quintus wrote in a letter. Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas. Romans chose down-to-earth personal surnames.
The famous family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans and peas, respectively. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus and Catulus. During this period in Roman history, "cultured" meant being able to speak both Greek. Cicero was therefore educated in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers and historians. Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience, it was his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite. Cicero's interest in philosophy figured in his career and led to him providing a comprehensive account of Greek philosophy for a Roman audience, including creating a philosophical vocabulary in Latin. In 87 BC, Philo of Larissa, the head of the Academy, founded by Plato in Athens about 300 years earlier, arrived in Rome.
Cicero, "inspired by an extraordinary zeal for philosophy", sat enthusiastically at his feet and absorbed Plato's philosophy. Cicero said of Plato's Dialogues. According to Plutarch, Cicero was an talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Cicero's fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, Titus Pomponius; the latter two became Cicero's friends for life, Pomponius would become, in Cicero's own words, "as a second brother", with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. In 79 BC, Cicero left for Asia Minor and Rhodes; this was to avoid the potential wrath of Sulla, as Plutarch claims, though Cicero himself says it was to hone his skills and improve his p