The Essential Cicero?

  • Quote

    There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived.

    -Unto the Hills, Billy Graham

    Mr. Graham's assertion is too ridiculous to be taken seriously, but it has got me thinking about gaps in my reading. When it comes to the literature of Rome, Cicero looms large. I've read Anthony Everitt's biography. I've read a bit of On Ends, as it pertains to our school. I once had a joint copy of The Republic and The Laws, now lost.

    The Loeb collection of Cicero's work runs to 29 volumes. Thanks to Billy Graham, I'll be looking to expand the pagan collection of my small library! I'm curious whether anyone has suggestions on where I should turn my gaze?

  • IF you figure it out please let me know as i have the same issue. I highly recommend the ENTIRE book of 'on ends' in terms of philosophy, but i don't have a broad grounding like I would like. At one time I even bought the Taylor Caldwell "Pillar of Iron" which I understand to be sort of a biography, but I did not very far in it. I am beginning to think that it is going to be necessary just to start to read through his letters, but no doubt a biography which can relate the details to the wider scheme of events would give essential perspective.

  • I have dabbled in his letters to Atticus, and that might be a promising start for a deeper read. I recall enjoying the Everitt biography, Cassius, although it did take some getting through. I wish I could remember it better; another book lost to the flux of things!

  • I too am thinking that just diving into his writings may be good enough as a start, especially ON ENDS, which I find extremely helpful to the big picture of the philosophical conflicts as of Cicero's time. Probably those philosophical works can best be read before reading a biography, but I am thinking that diving into the letters would be best done after at least some introduction to a "Major Events In the Life of CIcero" timeline of some kind.