Book Report: Selected Works by Cicero (1948)

Look, Ma! I’m actually reading the Classics Club books I bought.

This book collects a number of Cicero’s works, including his law defenses or prosecutions, some of his letters, and some of his philosophical essays. I found it to be an interesting sampler plate, as it captures many different modes of Cicero. The attorney, with eloquent courtroom or Forum arguments for or against someone. In some cases, these were slow reads, as he goes on about people I don’t know. The politician and consul emerges through the letters, wherein he talks about how different people feel about him and how he’s going to persuade them, and so on and so forth. Finally, the philosopher emerges through the essays (and in spots in the letter or the courtroom things).

It’s also, frankly, a good piece of historical reading, too, as it open’s one’s eyes to the fall of the Roman Republic and the length and breadth of the Roman Empire+Roman Republic era. For example, Cicero writes in the first century BC and talks about the monuments that are already hundreds of years old. Marcus Aurelius will write his Meditations several hundred years hence.

Good reading, and I’m looking forward to reading other Cicero works in the future.

Books mentioned in this review:

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