035 - Stubborn Nags of Ancient Rome, Part XI

History's Trainwrecks

Mar 6 2022 • 16 mins

“Not bad for a lawyer.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero, former Roman consul, famed orator, Senator, and jurist, had been sent to govern the province of Cilicia, near modern-day Turkey. He had vanquished some roving bands of thieves, sent a Parthian reconnaissance force scurrying back to their territory, and stormed a hilltop fortress.

He didn’t equate himself with the two great generals circling Rome like tigers about to pounce—Julius Caesar and Pompey Magnus—but since his performance was pretty good for an intellectual egghead, Cicero thought he deserved a triumph.

Even though Rome was a year away from the total collapse of its ancient republic, this was just the kind of distraction that kept things spiraling down the drain.

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