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Cicero (106–43 B.C.)

Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of history's most celebrated orators. He exerted a profound influence on the development of classical liberal and libertarian thought. In large measure because the beauty of his Latin prose led to its preservation into the modern age, Cicero's ideas about natural law and justice were preserved and transmitted to medieval Europe from classical antiquity. Cicero was born in Arpinum, a town about 70 miles south of Rome. As a youth, he studied rhetoric, jurisprudence, and philosophy. (His earliest work, De Inventione, is based on his study of the art of rhetoric.) He made his mark in law and politics as a novus homo (a “new man,” not descended from one of Rome's great families).

Cicero was deeply involved in Roman politics. ...

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