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M. Tullius Cicero

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Everything posted by M. Tullius Cicero

  1. M. Tullius Cicero

    Why Did The Roman Republic Fall?

    Which does not neccessarily point to anything on its own, except that standard practice was to kill or not kill based on the advantage it would bring. Would you claim that had Caesar judged it to be in his best intrests to drown the Italian peninsula in blood that he would not have done so? Other than the fact that he had formerly worked for Sulla, what evidence do you have to suggest Pompey would have started butchering people, with the implicit support of the Senate? And so on the one hand you have the argument that Cato should have laid aside his beliefs and duties and compromised with Caesar, possibly putting him in a position where the threat he posed could later be neutalized legally or otherwise. Or you can recall that Caesar was, legally, in the wrong of the matter, and that there was no reason to compromise other than that seemingly practical point above. As I take a moment to look more carefully at that comparison you made, which puts Caesar in the right while still sharing in some of the blame with the villainous Cato, I am forced to inquire: Why do you think that Caesars actions in defense of his dignitas were more acceptable then Catos actions in defense of the law? Legally, Caesars actions can not be excused, for as has been cited elsewhere, his conduct is full of flagrant violations. And as these illegal acts, up to and past his march on Rome, led directly to the downfall of the Republic, the only viable course of argument in Caesars defense is to ask whether or not his destruction of the old order was to the benefit of Rome (or whether it would have been to Romes benefit had he not be assassainated.)
  2. M. Tullius Cicero

    Why Did The Roman Republic Fall?

    Given that it takes at least two sides to fight a civil war, quite obviously there were many who DID defend the republic--not only against Caesar but also against Octavian and Antony. Do you not recall the forces assembled at Pharsalus? Or Utica? Did you forget that the combatants at Phillipi involved more Roman forces than had ever met on a field of battle? To claim that no one defended the republic--I don't even know what to say. It is obvious that in a civil war you must have at least two sides, so there can be no question of people fighting. Rather. one should ask whether or not the people who were "fighting for the Republic" were fighting to defend tradition and just government, or fighting to assure that their position atop the pyramid would remain, allowing them to continue to exploit the system as they had in the past. (Although one could argue that it need not simply be reduced to one or the other) It should be noted, Viggen, that a single person did not topple the Republic. Even with circumstances as they had been developing, one must remember Caesar had an army with him, and iron can be made useful tool in legislation.
  3. M. Tullius Cicero

    Cicero, Great Statesman Or Over-rated

    Really, do you know anything about the founding of the American republic or the political thought of the American founders or where they came up with the ideas of divided government or drew their philosophical inspiration? Have you ever bothered to pick up the Tusculan Disputations or any of Cicero's letters or any of his writings on political philosophy? In early American history, Cicero was more widely read and more influential than any other political thinker, including perhaps John Locke. Jefferson was a tremendous admirer of Cicero, modelling his life on Cicero's, and he considered the jewels of his immense library to be the 40 volumes of Cicero that he later donated to the Library of Congress. James Madison cites "Tully" with more reverence than Jesus. According to John Adams, "All ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher combined." Cicero was not only required reading at Harvard and every university in early America, being able to recite Cicero in Latin was a minimum requirement for entry. To say that Cicero's ideals have no bearing on modern republics is a statement of ignorance so vast... well, respect for this forum prevents me from saying anything more to you on this topc. Your chronic and willful indifference to historical facts make conversation with you pointless. Cicero didn't make the Roman republic, which is used as a model in modern republics today. As for people admiring him, although I find it revolting to admire such a person of emmense hypocrisy, admiring him is not enough to credit him as a model for modern republics, if you are going to use that logic Cato, then you would have to credit Caesar with modern militaries, tactics, startegies, achievements and warfare, in that case though Caesar contributed much so he deserves the credit. Cato it's not historical facts, it's your selective memory. Cicero's long lasting achievements for the Roman empire were his oratory, his political ideals didn't go anywhere. Put aside your Strawman. The argument has nothing to do with who invented the republic, but whether or not Ciceros arguments and writings influenced the development of modern republican governments. Admiring him not enough to credit him as an influence? If the admiration was idle or academic, yes, but Cato has already provided several examples of framers whose political thought was molded in part by his. Your analogy to Caesar is flawed because it is based on the ideas, refuted above, that Cicero is being established as the primary founding character and that this claim is backed by idle or whistful admiration as opposed to actual intellectual influence. If then we have established that Cicero and his ideas were an influence on the American founders, and thereby on the founders of later republics as well, we can safely agree that his ideals have moved along to a very great somewhere indeed.
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