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The political speeches of Marcus Tulius Cicero

Politické prejavy Marca Tulia Cicerona


Milan Olejník, Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV, Košice,

ISSN: 1335-3608


For the study of democracy in its struggle with a tyrany, the public speeches of Marcus Tulius Cicero, the Roman politician, lawyer and literate, are a significant contribution in the theoretical level as well as in tne concrete historic and political relations of late period of Roman Republic. The inevitable transformation of Roman republic, which after the victories in wars with Carthage, Macedonia and Syria grew from the city-state into a multi-national empire, dramatically influenced the development of every sphere of society. The traditional democratic government, built on more or less evenly balanced power structure consisting of plebeian tribunes checking the power of aristocratic senate, ceased to function. The political system of Roman Republic, formed in line with the needs of city-state , could not to harmonize the contradictions, created by tremendous growth of power and welth, combined with the onslaught of new ideas. Time-honoured truths, sanctified by centuries, lost their validity. The respect toward the traditions replaced pragmatic approach. besides Cato and some other defendants of traditions, an uncomprimising proponent of return to the traditional values was also Cicero. The fight against the degradation of democratic principles and loss of respect for an authority of law was, in Ciceros view, possible only on the base of united action of knite class and aristocratic senate, the segments of Roman society, which traditionally occupied posts of privilege and honour. An idealistic vision, that the return to the times of early Republic is possible, stayed in the centre of Ciceros recipe how to solve cirsis, which beleaguered Roman society. Ciceros hatred of „tyrants" as an anathema of democracy, assumed a concrete form in the fight with Marc Anthony, struggle which costet Cicero his life. In spite of Ciceros lack of understanding of irreversibility of changes in Roman society and his tragic end, his views, presented in the series of speeches, are a valuable contribution not only to the bette understanding of history of Rome, but also a lasting tribute to critical analysis of tyrany as a form of government.

Bibliografické informácie (sk)

OLEJNÍK, Milan. Politické prejavy Marca Tulia Cicerona. Človek a spoločnosť, 1999, roč. 2 , č. 1.

Bibliographic information

OLEJNÍK, Milan. The political speeches of Marcus Tulius Cicero. Individual and Society, 1999, Vol. 2 , No. 1.

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