Monday, December 22, 2014

Markus Tullius Cicero Is Dying

Wiki says:
Marcus Tullius Cicero; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC, victim of political murder; was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language". Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia) distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.
Cicero held strong for the institutions of the Republic during the time when Rome was moving into its Imperial incarnation. He stood in the way of Imperial powers and was murdered for it.

Markus Tullius Cicero Is Dying

There's smoke in the wind
and the women grieve out loud -
Oh! Wise Minerva!
Oh! You Cicero,
sliced by the hot knives of Rome!

The Consul had words
for us, they say, love
for us, they say, and they weep.

I must clear my throat,
wrap my pallium
tighter and squeeze my face shut
against a savage
cry that rises in
the deep of me at the thought
of my helplessness.

But should I cry out
they will find me and fillet
me, nail my skin flat
while I still bleed out.
Just what's the good in that You
would ask me even
as the eagle soars
and You embrace my best dreams
Oh! I am undone!

‎December ‎22, ‎2014 9:13 AM

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