“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 BC
Evidently, we learned nothing.
Mid-1st Century AD bust of Cicero in the Capitoline Museums
Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, orator, political theorist, Roman consul and constitutionalist.
The peak of Cicero’s authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial. His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic.
During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar’s death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle. Cicero was declared an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and subsequently murdered in 43 BC.
H/t my sis-in-law Shireen.