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Selected works (Penguin classics-no.L99) Unknown Binding – 1 Jan 1960

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (1960)
  • ASIN: B0000CKMZL
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,375,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 bc), Roman orator and statesman, was born at Arpinium of a wealthy local family. Having been educated in Rome, by 70 bc he had established himself as a leading barrister and was beginning a successful political career. Cicero received honors usually reserved only for the Roman aristocracy and was one of the greatest Roman orators.


Michael Grant has been successively Chancellor's Medallist and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Humanity at Edinburgh University, first Vice-chancellor of Khartoum University, President and Vice-chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast and President of the Classical Association.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Cicero perhaps doesn't need introducing. He was a powerful politician of the last decades of the Roman Republic, the 70s to the 40s BC. Originally a lawyer and an orator, he made his name prosecuting corrupt figures of the senatorial establishment, before joining the conservative camp against the populist tribunes and against Caesar. Cicero was consul in 63BC. His writings are massive and are one of the period's key historical sources, even if obviously not unbiased. He also wrote a set of philosophical treatises.

This edition contains only a tiny portion of the 800 or so letters, countless speeches, works on the constitution, on laws, and on moral questions that Cicero produced. The selection, furthermore, is problematic. The editors have labelled the larger section, comprising political texts, 'Against Tyranny' (which they also call, anachronistically, 'totalitarianism'). This section includes the Verrine indictment and speeches in defiance of Marc Antony, glossing over Cicero's switching to the side of Verres' friends in the intervening decades. Moreover, the editors avoid mention of Cicero's contentious role, as consul, in using extra-judicial means to repress the Catilinarian conspiracy. The Catilinarian speeches, perhaps his best known, are essential to an honest portrait of Cicero's politics; they are missing from this edition. The philosophical, second section likewise aims to portray Cicero as a grand old moral figure, comprising only On Duties and On Old Age. It misses fancier but interesting essays such as On Divination (Cicero was also an augur, an official soothsayer) and On the Nature of the Gods. The selection of letters, finally, is interesting, though only for the reader with good basic knowledge of their background (the editors' notes don't quite suffice).
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Format: Paperback
Cicero was one of the greatest of Roman orators and one of the joys of reading him should be to bask in his superb writing style and use of language. For non Latin readers like me that will of course depend on the skill of the translator. I bet Michael Grant did a fine job but I did not much enjoy reading this translation even though I have long wanted to read two of the chapters: Cicero's spectacular prosecution of the corrupt ex-governor Verres and the famous Phillipic Against {Mark} Anthony. I got no tingling sensation. There is a chapter here including selected letters but there's a whole book of them published by Oxford World Classics and translated by P.G. Walsh which I enjoyed far more and which I found to be far more vibrant. The one chapter here that I enjoyed very much was the essay "On Old Age", a fictional conversation between Cato and friends inquiring of him what it is like to be old. This is very very good.
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Format: Paperback
What a fabulous read this is. Anybody wishing to get an idea of Ancient Roman justice in practice should read this. Cicero orates beautifullySelected Works (Classics) if the translations are accurate, in an easy, florid style that has the reader immersed, desperately angry one moment and in stitches the next. 'In Defence of Sextus Roscius' kept me glued. I could wax lyrical for an age if I had the talent! Buy this and enjoy! I followed on reading Cicero's 'Selected Works'
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Difficult to rate this work, Cicero is one is of fundamental thinkers of the ancient world, though not as such a philosopher. With a tendency to the verbose it can sometimes be difficult to pick out the thread of his arguments. In contrast to reading say, Plato. Nevertheless, his infulence on what we call modern thinking cannot be underestimated. An essential read.
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Format: Paperback
Good translation with comments keeping the gist of ciceronian spirit and yet accesable to the present day reader. Book physical form does not give justice to its content also it would be so good to retain some of the Latin text to give reader with some Latin knowledge better insight into ciceronian mind!
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It is a good book however the condition was a little bit ruined on the spine and back. Also I did receive an older version or the book as te cover was different to how it is in the picture but that didn't matter to much as the content was still the same.
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hroughly enjoyed this book work,my first dip into this and other Roman historical journals. Can be for a newcomer to this a little dry in places but well worth the effort.
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Well worth buying this book for hardcore fans of Roman history like me or for beginners to the subject.
Easy read considering its nearly 2000 year old text
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