Date of Award

8-31-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Lewis Sussman

Second Reader

Hans-Friedrich Mueller

Abstract

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a pivotal character in the transitional period from the end of the Roman Republic to the beginning of what was to become the Roman Empire . His contribution to our modern knowledge of Roman history, mores, judicial practices, the daily lives of the patrician class and more is invaluable. More than any other Roman, he left us with a breathing account of life in his times, through his correspondence with friends, family and associates, his many political and philosophical doctrines and, of course, his speeches in the Senate and trial courts of Rome. Cicero was brilliant, clever and funny and, yet, prone to uncontrollable ego and shockingly bad political choices and decisions. These political errors are crucial to Cicero's ultimate decision to return to active political life and leadership in 44 B.C. after the assassination of Julius Caesar, including the delivery of fourteen extant Philippics against Marcus Antonius, a decision which led to his own execution . Th is paper examines the behavior and actions of a man who only wanted to recapture the earlier glory of h is consular year, 63 B.C., but who inevitably seemed to always take the wrong course.

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