Cicero, a powerful orator - Ancient Rome for Kids and Teachers Illustration

A Famous Roman Orator

Cicero was a famous Roman writer and orator.  He lived during the same time as Julius Caesar.  Cicero and Julius Caesar did know each other.  Both were popular and powerful politicians.  Both were successful generals.  Both had served as elected Consul, which was the most powerful position in the Republic of Rome's government.  Cicero was also a very talented author.  He left many of his speeches written down, and others copied them, so we still have them today.

As they did with Julius Caesar, people came to hear Cicero speak.  He was a powerful orator.  When Cicero spoke about how people should govern themselves they listened.  When Cicero spoke out about government, people listened.  Cicero said: "In a kingdom, only the king has many rights.  Kings can be wise and just.  But rule by one person can easily become tyranny."

Cicero spoke out against Julius Caesar when Caesar declared himself dictator. Julius Caesar knew if anyone could stop him from taking over the government of Rome it would be Cicero.   By then, Caesar had the Roman legion under his control. Julius Caesar sent soldiers to arrest him. Cicero had to flee Rome. When Julius Caesar was assassinated, Cicero returned.

Augustus, Caesar's adopted son, took charge.  He did not call himself a dictator or a king.  He called himself emperor.  He was the first Roman emperor.

Cicero again spoke out. He did not care if Rome's new leader called himself a dictator, a king, or an emperor.  Cicero spoke out against the rule of one man and spoke strongly for the virtues of a republic form of government for Rome. Cicero was assassinated because of his speeches against the emperor.

Cicero - On the Republic

Cicero's Opinion of a Just War

Did Cicero Say It?

Julius Caesar

Writing in Ancient Rome