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Cicero And The Feudal Link Essay

2136 words - 9 pages

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born at Arpinum in the Volscian Hills on January 3, 106 B.C. . Cicero's mother Helvia, was a noble and his father was a farmer who was greatly devoted to reading. Cicero's family had relations with the poplares, as did the family of Gaius Marius of Arpinum whom Cicero regarded as a national hero in his earliest poems . In 90 B.C Cicero would assume the white toga of manhood and education would consume the next ten years of his life . Cicero held the offices of quaestor of Sicily in 75 B.C., aedile in 69 B.C., praetor in 66 B.C. and Consul in 63 B.C. Cicero's life, political ideologies, and political success up until his consulship is the concern of this paper. In order to understand why Cicero was able to become a prominent politician in Rome, one must identify what influenced and shaped his intellect and beliefs. Thus, through exploring the influences of Gaius Marius upon Cicero, identifying Cicero's education in Stoicism and Law, and through exploring the oratory power of Cicero, an understanding of what influenced his political views and why he was able to rise to consulship can be established.Gaius Marius, as mentioned, was from Arpinum and was elected into the Consul from 107 - 100 B.C. At the time of Cicero's birth, Marius was able to become a part of the ring of noble families within Rome and was also able to monopolize the high offices of the State . Cicero would spend his life witnessing Marius's struggle for power. Marius represented aristocracy and the people while his opponent Sulla, represented the power of an aristocratic Senate .Marius would be the first Roman with the notion of professionalizing the army and allowing the landless fight in the army . In order for Marius to get the landless to fight for him, Marius promised to pass a law through Senate to ensure that the landless would receive a piece of land from each victorious battle that they participated in . Because of his promise and the Senate's unwillingness to act upon Marius proposed law, the army came to recognize Marius as their leader and not the Senate . Marius's ability to defend the lower class of Rome and identify himself with the upper classes of Rome is a balance that Cicero would come to admire.Cicero admired Marius as a forefather because Marius was able to open high political offices to most citizens of ambition and ability; namely Cicero himself . Cicero " was willing to couple Marius's achievement as his own" in order to gain whatever praise, fame, or favour he could from the situation at hand . However, this is as far as Marius influenced Cicero. Cicero did not believe in Marius's political ideologies that were mainly achieved through his military power. As fact, Cicero's only military service would consist of less than a year in 89 B.C during the Social War and was his only real experience of actual warfare as a soldier . Cicero believed that Marius's virtue lied within his ability to open political offices to those of equestrian...

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