Venus is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, desire, fertility and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son, Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles. The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art, in the classical tradition of the West, Venus becomes one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality. It has connections to venerari and venia through a common root in an Indo-European *wenes- or *u̯enis. Their common Proto-Indo-European root is assumed as *wen- or *u̯en- to strive for, wish for, Venus has been described as perhaps the most original creation of the Roman pantheon, and an ill-defined and assimilative native goddess, combined with a strange and exotic Aphrodite. The ambivalence of her persuasive functions has been perceived in the relationship of the root *venes- with Latin venenum, in the sense of a charm, in myth, Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam.
Roman theology presents Venus as the yielding, watery female principle, essential to the generation and her male counterparts in the Roman pantheon and Mars, are active and fiery. Venus absorbs and tempers the male essence, uniting the opposites of male and female in mutual affection and she is essentially assimilative and benign, and embraces several otherwise quite disparate functions. She can give military victory, sexual success, good fortune, in one context, she is a goddess of prostitutes, in another, she turns the hearts of men and women from sexual vice to virtue. Images of Venus have been found in murals, mosaics. Petronius, in his Satyricon, places an image of Venus among the Lares of the freedman Trimalchios lararium, prospective brides offered Venus a gift before the wedding, the nature of the gift, and its timing, are unknown. Some Roman sources say that girls who come of age offer their toys to Venus, it is unclear where the offering is made, in dice-games, a popular pastime among Romans of all classes, the luckiest, best possible roll was known as Venus.
Venus signs were for the most part the same as Aphrodites, Venus statues, and her worshipers, wore myrtle crowns at her festivals. Likewise, Roman folk-etymology transformed the ancient, obscure goddess Murcia into Venus of the Myrtles, myrtle was thought a particularly potent aphrodisiac. The female pudendum, particularly the clitoris, was known as murtos, as goddess of love and sex, Venus played an essential role at Roman prenuptial rites and wedding nights, so myrtle and roses were used in bridal bouquets. Marriage itself was not a seduction but a condition, under Junos authority. Venus was a patron of the ordinary, everyday wine drunk by most Roman men and women, in the rites to Bona Dea, a goddess of female chastity, Venus and anything male were not only excluded, but unmentionable
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and it is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, politics, art, architecture, warfare, religion and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond, its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia, the Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia and it would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the part of the empire broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of history from the pre-medieval Dark Ages of Europe. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, while Numitors daughter, Rhea Silvia, because Rhea Silvia was raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine. The new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, a she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. Romulus became the source of the citys name, in order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted.
This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women, Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins, after a long time in rough seas, they landed at the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, one woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent them from leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships, the Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid
Taormina, is a small city and comune in the Metropolitan City of Messina on the east coast of the island of Sicily, midway between Messina and Catania. Taormina has been a tourist destination since the 19th century and its beaches, the most famous being Isola Bella are accessible via an aerial tramway built in 1992 on the Ionian sea and via highways from Messina in the north and Catania in the south. The area around Taormina was inhabited by the Siculi even before the Greeks arrived on the Sicilian coast in 734 BC to found a town called Naxos, the theory that Tauromenion was founded by colonists from Naxos is confirmed by Strabo and other ancient writers. The new settlement seems to have risen rapidly to prosperity, and was already a considerable town at the time of Timoleons expedition in 345 BC. It was the first place in Sicily where that leader landed, having eluded the vigilance of the Carthaginians, who were guarding the Straits of Messina, and crossed direct from Rhegium to Tauromenium.
He welcomed Timoleon with open arms, and afforded him a secure resting place until he was enabled to carry out his plans in other parts of Sicily. Andromachus was not deprived of his position of power all the other tyrants were expelled by Timoleon. Little is recorded about Tauromenium for some time after this, a few years we find that Tauromenium had fallen into the power of Hieron II of Syracuse, and was employed by him as a stronghold in the war against the Mamertines. It was one of the cities which was left under his dominion by the treaty concluded with him by the Romans in 263 BC. Strabo speaks of it as one of the cities on the east coast of Sicily that was still subsisting in his time, though inferior in population both to Messana and Catana. Both Pliny and Ptolemy assign it the rank of a colonia and its territory was noted for the excellence of its wine, and produced a kind of marble which seems to have been highly valued. Juvenal speaks of the sea off its rocky coast as producing the choicest mullets, the Itineraries place Tauromenium 32 miles from Messina, and the same distance from Catania.
Taormina was renamed Al-Muizziyya in honour of Caliph al-Muizz, muslim rule of the town lasted until 1078, when it was captured by the Norman count Roger I of Sicily. At this time Taormina and the surrounding Val Demone were still predominately Greek speaking, after the fall of the Normans and of their heirs, the Hohenstaufen, Taormina followed the history of Sicily under the Angevins and the Crown of Aragon. In 1410 King Martin II of Sicily was elected here by the Sicilian Parliament, Taormina was under Spanish suzerainty, receiving the status of city in the 17th century. In 1675 it was besieged by the French, who had occupied Messina and it received a station on the second-oldest railroad in the region. In the late 19th century Taormina gained further prominence as the place where Wilhelm von Gloeden worked most of his life as a photographer of predominantly male nudes, there is some speculation about Taormina being an early gentlemens destination. Also credited for making Taormina popular was Otto Geleng, best known in his hometown of Berlin for his fine paintings, what distinguishes Geleng, however, is his choice to depict the more southern regions where he captured the spectacular views and light of Sicily
Palermo is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence, Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz, Palermo became a possession of Carthage, before becoming part of the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire and eventually part of the Byzantine Empire, for over a thousand years. The Greeks named the city Panormus meaning complete port, from 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily when the city first became a capital. The Arabs shifted the Greek name into Balarme, the root for Palermos present-day name, eventually Sicily would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. The population of Palermo urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 855,285, in the central area, the city has a population of around 676,000 people.
The inhabitants are known as Palermitani or, panormiti, the languages spoken by its inhabitants are the Italian language, Sicilian language and the Palermitano dialect. Palermo is Sicilys cultural and touristic capital and it is a city rich in history, art and food. Palermo is the main Sicilian industrial and commercial center, the industrial sectors include tourism, commerce. Palermo currently has an airport, and a significant underground economy. In fact, for cultural and economic reasons, Palermo was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean and is now among the top tourist destinations in both Italy and Europe. It is the seat of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arab-Norman Palermo. The city is going through careful redevelopment, preparing to become one of the major cities of the Euro-Mediterranean area. Roman Catholicism is highly important in Palermitano culture, the Patron Saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia whose Feast Day is celebrated on 15 July. The area attracts significant numbers of each year and is widely known for its colourful fruit and fish markets at the heart of Palermo, known as Vucciria, Ballarò.
Palermo lies in a basin, formed by the Papireto, the basin was named the Conca dOro by the Arabs in the 9th century. The city is surrounded by a range which is named after the city itself. These mountains face the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palermo is home to a natural port and offers excellent views to the sea, especially from Monte Pellegrino
Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto
Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto is a town and comune of about 50,000 inhabitants in the north coast of Sicily, Italy,40 kilometres from Messina towards Palermo. It belongs to the Province of Messina, barcellona was founded in 1522, during the Spanish dominance of the island. It was merged with Pozzo di Gotto in 1836 and this Tyrrhenian town has a similar geographic position to the Catalan city on the Mediterranean. The same analogy have identified the first conquerors from County of Aragon, nicolao de Gotho. in quo Puzzo de Gotho. In 1571 Pozzogottesi obtained from the Grand Court of the Archbishop of Messina permission to elect their chaplain stationed in Saint Vitus no longer depend from Archpriest of Milazzo. In the area corresponding to the current municipal area were found the settlements and Necropolis placed the Bronze Age. Settlement and Necropolis certifiable around the tenth century BC in Pizzo Lando and Necropolis of ancient Greek or Hellenistic evaluated in the eighth century BC in Oliveto locality.
Settlement and Necropolis Sicano Greek estimated at around the sixth and fifth centuries BC in SantOnofrio locality,265 BC - Battle of Longano between the army of Hieron of Syracuse and Mamertines under the command of the leader Cione. 1757 Flood torrent Longano and consequent start construction of the ramparts during the reign of King Charles III,1783 Seismic event, known as the southern Calabrian earthquake in 1783 causes considerable damage. The Austrians forced to leave the city, Sicilian Revolution in 1848,1860 - July 20 The population supports the Battle of Milazzo for the conquest of the Castle Fortress for the expulsion of the House of Bourbon. 1866 Confiscation of the property of religious orders in the city. 1908 Event disastrous earthquake, known as the Messina earthquake in 1908 makes serious damage,1943 -15 August Anglo-American Bombing have caused 74 victims. 2011 - November 22, Flood and flooding of the river Longano serious damage, the thirteenth-century village of Castroreale, home to a tower from a medieval castle built by King Frederick II of Aragon, is located nearby
First Punic War
The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. For more than 20 years, the two struggled for supremacy, primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters. The war signaled the beginning of a transformation in the western Mediterranean. Carthage began the war as the great sea-power of the western Mediterranean, while Rome had, the series of wars between Rome and Carthage took the name Punic from the Latin name for the Carthaginians, Punici. This is derived from Phoenicis, and it refers to the Carthaginian heritage as Phoenician colonists, a Carthaginian name for the conflicts does not survive in any records. Rome had recently emerged as the leading city-state in the Italian Peninsula, over the past one hundred years, Rome had come into conflict, and defeated rivals on the Italian peninsula, incorporated them into the Roman political world. By the beginning of the First Punic War, the Romans had secured the whole of the Italian peninsula and it originated as a Phoenician colony in Africa, near modern Tunis.
At the height of power, just before the First Punic War, North African peoples such as the Berbers in the area around Carthage were loosely associated with Carthage. In the midst of the First Punic War some tribes would rebel against Carthage, the rich, strategically influential, and well-fortified Greek colony of Syracuse was politically independent of Rome and Carthage. Hostilities of the First Punic War began with developments involving the Romans, Carthaginians, at the same time, a group of Roman troops made up of Campanian citizens without the vote seized control of Rhegium, lying across the Straits of Messina on the mainland of Italy. In 270 BC, the Romans regained control of Rhegium and severely punished the survivors of the revolt, in Sicily, the Mamertines ravaged the countryside and collided with the expanding regional empire of the independent city of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River, following their defeat, the Mamertines appealed to both Rome and Carthage for assistance.
The Carthaginians acted first, approached Hiero to take no further action, the rivalry between Rome and Carthage had grown since the war with Pyrrhus and that alliance was simply no longer feasible. According to the historian Polybius, considerable debate took place in Rome on the question as to whether to accept the Mamertines appeal for help, many were unwilling to see Carthaginian power in Sicily expand even further. Leaving them at Messana would give the Carthaginians a free hand to deal with Syracuse, after the Syracusans had been defeated, the Carthaginian takeover of Sicily would essentially be complete. Sicily is a volcanic island, with geographical obstacles and rough terrain making lines of communication difficult to maintain. For this reason, land warfare played a role in the First Punic War. Land operations were confined to small raids and skirmishes, with few pitched battles
A sanctuary, in its original meaning, is a sacred place, such as a shrine. By the use of such places as a haven, by extension the term has come to be used for any place of safety. This secondary use can be categorized into human sanctuary, a place for humans, such as a political sanctuary. The meaning was extended to places of holiness or safety, a religious sanctuary may be a sacred place, or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar. Examples are St. Peters Basilica in Rome and St. Albans Cathedral in England, the place, and therefore the church built there, was considered to have been sanctified by what happened there. In modern times, the Catholic Church has continued this practice by placing in the altar of each church, when it is consecrated for use, the relics box is removed when the church is taken out of use as a church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the antimension on the altar serves a similar function and it is a cloth icon of Christs body taken down from the cross, and typically has the relics of a saint sewn into it.
In addition, it is signed by the bishop, and represents his authorization. In many Western traditions altar rails sometimes mark the edge of the sanctuary or chancel, in many churches the architectural term chancel covers the same area as the sanctuary, and either term may be used. In some Protestant churches, the term denotes the entire worship area while the term chancel is used to refer to the area around the altar-table. In other Oriental Orthodox traditions, a curtain is used. In most modern synagogues, the room for prayer is known as the sanctuary, to contrast it with smaller rooms dedicated to various other services. When referring to prosecution of crimes, sanctuary can mean one of the following, Church sanctuary A sacred place, such as a church, in which fugitives formerly were immune to arrest. While the practice of churches offering sanctuary is still observed in the modern era, political sanctuary Immunity to arrest afforded by a sovereign authority. People seeking political sanctuary typically do so by asking a sovereign authority for asylum, many ancient peoples recognized a religious right of asylum, protecting criminals from legal action and from exile to some extent.
This principle was adopted by the early Christian church, and various rules developed for what the person had to do to qualify for protection and just how much protection it was. By Norman times, there had come to be two kinds of sanctuary, All churches had the kind, but only the churches the king licensed had the broader version. The medieval system of asylum was finally abolished entirely in England by James I in 1623, a prime example is Queen Elizabeth Woodville, consort of Edward IV of England
Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, eloquence, messages/communication, boundaries, luck and thieves. He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology, in his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand, similar to his Greek equivalent he was awarded the caduceus by Apollo who handed him a magic wand, which turned into the caduceus. Mercury did not appear among the di indigetes of early Roman religion. Rather, he subsumed the earlier Dei Lucrii as Roman religion was syncretized with Greek religion during the time of the Roman Republic, starting around the 4th century BC. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, like Hermes, he was a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade.
Mercury was considered a god of abundance and commercial success, particularly in Gaul and he was also, like Hermes, the Romans psychopomp, leading newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Additionally, Ovid wrote that Mercury carried Morpheus dreams from the valley of Somnus to sleeping humans, archeological evidence from Pompeii suggests that Mercury was among the most popular of Roman gods. The god of commerce was depicted on two bronze coins of the Roman Republic, the Sextans and the Semuncia. This is probably because in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan, by interpretatio Romana, 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples. The Romans made use of small statues of Mercury. Mercurius Arvernus, a syncretism of the Celtic Arvernus with Mercury, Mercurius Cimbrianus, a syncretism of Mercury with a god of the Cimbri sometimes thought to represent Odin. Mercurius Cissonius, a combination of Mercury with the Celtic god Cissonius, Mercurius Esibraeus, a syncretism of the Iberian deity Esibraeus with the Roman deity Mercury.
Esibraeus is mentioned only in an inscription found at Medelim, and is possibly the deity as Banda Isibraiegus. Mercurius Gebrinius, a syncretism of Mercury with the Celtic or Germanic Gebrinius, known from an inscription on an altar in Bonn, Mercurius Moccus, from a Celtic god, who was equated with Mercury, known from evidence at Langres, France. The name Moccus implies that this deity was connected to boar-hunting, Mercurius Visucius, a syncretism of the Celtic god Visucius with the Roman god Mercury, attested in an inscription from Stuttgart, Germany. Visucius was worshiped primarily in the area of the empire in Gaul
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily, southern Italy, it is the name of the islands main town. Its population is 11,231, but during the May to September tourist season, Lipari is the largest of a chain of islands in a volcanic archipelago situated in between Vesuvius and Etna. The island has an area of 37.6 square kilometres and is 30 kilometres from Sicily. Geologists agree on the fact that Lipari was created by a succession of four volcanic movements, a further important phenomenon should have happened around 9000 BC. The last recorded eruptions occurred in the fifth century CE when airborne pumice, together with volcanic ash, the volcanoes are considered active, and steaming fumaroles and hydrothermal activity may still be seen. As a result of its origin, the island is covered with pumice. Pumice mining has become an industry on Lipari, and the pale pumice from Lipari is shipped worldwide. Liparis history is rich in incidents as witnessed by the recent retrievals of several necropolis, humans seem to have inhabited the island already in 5000 BC, though a local legend gives the eponymous name Liparus to the leader of a people coming from Campania.
In the Mycenaean Period, Lipari has yielded pottery from LHI to LHIII, liparis continuous occupation may have been interrupted violently when in the late 9th century an Ausonian civilization site was burned and apparently not rebuilt. Many household objects have been retrieved from the charred site, Greek colonists from Knidos arrived at Lipara ~580 BC after their first colonization attempt in Sicily failed and their leader, was killed. They settled on the site of the now known as Castello. The colony successfully fought the Etruscans for control of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Lipara prospered, but in 304 Agathokles took the town by treachery and is said to have lost all of his pillage from it in a storm at sea. Many objects recovered from old wrecks are now in the Aeolian Museum of Lipari, Lipara became a Carthaginian naval base during the first Punic War, but fell to Roman forces in 252–251 BC, and was occupied by Agrippa in Octavians campaign against Pompei. Under the Roman Empire, it was a place of retreat, the presence of the relics has been attested since at least 546.
In the 9th century, Sicily was conquered by the Arabs, in 839 the Saracens slaughtered much of the population, the relics of St. Bartholomew were moved to Benevento, and Lipari was eventually almost totally abandoned. The Normans conquered the Arabs throughout Sicily between 1060 and 1090, and repopulated the island once their rule was secure, the Lipari episcopal seat was reinstated in 1131. Though still plagued by raids, the island was continually populated from this time onward. In 1544, Hayreddin Barbarossa, together with the French fleet of Captain Polin under a Franco-Ottoman alliance, ransacked Lipari and he mentioned the tears and cries of these poor Lipariotes, the father regarding his son and the mother her daughter
Castor and Pollux
In Greek and Roman mythology and Pollux, or Kastor and Polydeuces, were twin brothers, together known as the Dioscuri or Dioskouroi. Their mother was Leda, but they had different fathers, Castor was the son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters or half-sisters Helen of Troy. In Latin the twins are known as the Gemini or Castores. When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, the pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmos fire, and were associated with horsemanship. They are sometimes called the Tyndaridae or Tyndarids, seen as a reference to their father and stepfather Tyndareus, the best-known story of the twins birth is that Zeus disguised himself as a swan and seduced Leda. Thus Ledas children are said to have hatched from two eggs that she produced.
The Dioscuri can be recognized in vase-paintings by the skull-cap they wear, the pilos, whether the children are thus mortal or half-immortal is not consistent among accounts, nor is whether the twins hatched together from one egg. In some accounts, only Pollux was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and this explains why they were granted an alternate immortality. It is a belief that one would live among the gods. Castor and Pollux are sometimes both mortal, sometimes both divine, one consistent point is that if only one of them is immortal, it is Pollux. In Homers Iliad, Helen looks down from the walls of Troy, the narrator remarks that they are both already dead and buried back in their homeland of Lacedaemon, thus suggesting that at least in some early traditions, both were mortal. Their death and shared immortality offered by Zeus was material of the lost Cypria in the Epic cycle, the Dioscuri were regarded as helpers of humankind and held to be patrons of travellers and of sailors in particular, who invoked them to seek favourable winds.
Their role as horsemen and boxers led to them being regarded as the patrons of athletes and they characteristically intervened at the moment of crisis, aiding those who honoured or trusted them. Ancient Greek authors tell a number of versions of the story of Castor, homer portrays them initially as ordinary mortals, treating them as dead in the Iliad, but in the Odyssey they are treated as alive even though the corn-bearing earth holds them. The author describes them as having honour equal to gods, living on alternate days due to the intervention of Zeus, in both the Odyssey and in Hesiod, they are described as the sons of Tyndareus and Leda. In Pindar, Pollux is the son of Zeus while Castor is the son of the mortal Tyndareus, the theme of ambiguous parentage is not unique to Castor and Pollux, similar characterisations appear in the stories of Hercules and Theseus. The Dioscuri are invoked in Alcaeus Fragment 34a, though whether this poem antedates the Homeric Hymn to the twins is unknown and they appear together in two plays by Euripides and Elektra
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, lawyer, political theorist and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy family of the Roman equestrian order. According to Michael Grant, the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature, 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 orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars, following Julius Caesars death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. His severed hands and head were then, as a revenge of Mark Antony. Petrarchs rediscovery of Ciceros letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, according to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity.
Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome and his father was a well-to-do member of the equestrian order and possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life, although little is known about Ciceros mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Ciceros brother Quintus wrote in a letter that she was a thrifty housewife, Ciceros cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Ciceros ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is likely that Ciceros ancestors prospered through the cultivation. Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames, the family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this name when he entered politics. During this period in Roman history, cultured meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek, 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 precisely his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite, according to Plutarch, Cicero was an extremely talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Ciceros fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the latter two became Ciceros friends for life, and Pomponius would become, in Ciceros own words, as a second brother, with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. Cicero wanted to pursue a career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum