Exploring the Life and Legacy of Cicero: An Introduction

  1. Major philosophers
  2. Ancient philosophers
  3. Cicero

For over two thousand years, the name Cicero has been associated with the great minds of Ancient Rome and the legacy of one of its most influential figures. Born into a wealthy and influential family, Cicero was a politician, philosopher, orator, and statesman. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest minds to have ever lived and his influence on the development of Western civilization is immense. Cicero's influence ranged from developing the Latin language and literature to creating some of the first written works on political and moral philosophy. His works have inspired generations of scholars, thinkers, and writers, with Cicero's ideas still influencing our society today. In this article, we will explore Cicero's life and legacy, from his humble beginnings to his rise to fame.

We will look at his impact on Roman society and the Western world, and discuss how his ideas have shaped our modern world. Finally, we will consider Cicero's lasting influence on politics, philosophy, and literature. Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a small town in central Italy. He was raised by his father, who was a wealthy landowner. As a young man, he studied rhetoric and philosophy, becoming one of the most eminent scholars of his time.

He went on to become an influential statesman and political leader in Rome, where he was admired for his oratorical skills. Cicero's most famous works include De Officiis, De Republica, De Legibus, and De Finibus. These works cover a range of topics including ethics, politics, law, and philosophy. His writings have had a lasting impact on Western thought, inspiring generations of scholars.

He is also credited with helping to shape Roman law and laying the foundations for modern legal systems. Cicero was a staunch advocate of democracy and the rule of law. He was a fierce critic of tyranny and argued for justice and equality for all citizens. He spoke out against corruption and championed freedom of speech. His strong stance on these issues earned him a great deal of admiration from his contemporaries. Cicero's legacy is still felt today.

He is remembered as one of the greatest minds of the ancient world and has been celebrated in literature, art, and film. His works continue to be studied by scholars around the world and have been translated into numerous languages. He has been credited with introducing new ideas about political philosophy, legal theory, and ethics to the Western world. His writings have had a profound influence on the development of modern legal systems, inspiring generations of philosophers, thinkers, and leaders. Cicero's lasting legacy is that of a great thinker whose ideas have stood the test of time.

His works continue to be studied by scholars around the world and serve as an important part of our understanding of the ancient world. He has been remembered as one of the greatest minds of the ancient world, and his works continue to inspire generations of thinkers.

Key Contributions to Philosophy

Cicero was a firm believer in Stoicism, an ancient school of philosophy that taught its followers to live in harmony with nature and find inner peace through self-discipline. He wrote extensively on the subject, advocating its principles and advocating for moral behavior as essential for a healthy society. Cicero's writings on Stoicism and ethics had a profound influence on Western thought, inspiring generations of philosophers and thinkers.

Cicero was also an important contributor to Roman law, which was heavily based on his writings. He wrote several seminal works on the topic, such as De Legibus and De Officiis, which laid out the foundations of the legal system. Cicero's writings on Roman law have had a lasting impact, influencing modern legal systems around the world. Finally, Cicero was also a renowned political philosopher. He wrote extensively about the nature of government and argued that a republic should be based on justice, virtue, and public service.

His ideas were influential in the formation of the Roman Republic and have had a significant impact on political thought throughout history.

Influence on Roman Law

Cicero had a significant influence on Roman law. He argued that laws should be based on natural justice rather than arbitrary commands from rulers. This concept, which Cicero termed “natural law”, was the foundation of modern legal systems such as those found in the United States and other democracies. He believed that laws should be based on universal principles of morality and justice, rather than the whims of rulers or politics. Cicero's views on natural law were revolutionary for his time, and had a lasting impact on later philosophers and legal systems.

His ideas about the importance of natural justice and morality remain essential to modern legal systems, which are based on the notion that laws should be just and fair, and not based on bias or prejudice. Cicero's influence on Roman law is undeniable. His writings have provided generations of lawyers and legal scholars with a foundation of moral principles and a set of standards to aspire to when making decisions. His legacy is an important reminder that laws should be based on fairness and justice, not power or politics.


Cicero's legacy continues to be felt in our world today. His works are still studied by scholars from many different backgrounds, and his ideas remain relevant in modern debates about justice, democracy, and freedom.

Cicero's works help us to understand the importance of constitutional government and the principles of liberty and justice. His writings also provide insight into the structure of Roman law and the legal system of the time. Cicero's influence on political thought has been immense, inspiring leaders and thinkers throughout history. He was a key figure in the development of republicanism and the idea of a mixed constitution, which would come to shape modern democracies.

He is also credited with helping to establish the concept of natural law, which holds that certain laws exist independent of human-made legislation. Cicero's legacy also extends beyond politics and philosophy. His work on rhetoric has been widely cited and his writings on language have inspired generations of writers and orators. His works have also helped to shape our understanding of Latin literature and the classical era.

In conclusion, Cicero's legacy remains strong today. His influential writings on politics, philosophy, and law continue to inform our understanding of history, while his works on rhetoric and language have inspired generations of writers and orators. Cicero was an influential figure in the ancient world, revered for his oratory, statesmanship, philosophy, and legal scholarship. He left a lasting legacy that continues to influence Western thought and culture today. His views on justice, democracy, and freedom are still relevant and discussed in modern times.

He was also instrumental in the development of Roman law, which still forms the basis of many legal systems around the world. Through his writings and speeches, Cicero helped shape the political and philosophical landscape of the ancient world.