Cicero Bio

Rome and Christianity
c. 106–43 BC
WHY HE MADE HISTORY Cicero translated
many ideas and words from Greek into Latin.
As a result, Latin became the language known
for intellectual communication.
As you read the biography below, think about
how Cicero’s intelligence and dedication to language helped change history.
Cicero (SIS-uh-roh) was a statesman in Rome.
He was best known for his orations, which he also
wrote down. Cicero’s writings made him one of the
most respected and influential writers in Rome.
By the time he died, Cicero had written more than
100 orations.
Cicero was born in Italy to middle-class parents.
He studied many subjects in school, including law,
rhetoric, philosophy, and literature. Cicero visited
Rome, Athens, and Rhodes. At Athens, Cicero
studied with Titus Pomponius Atticus, who became
a lifelong friend.
Cicero wrote many letters, a large number of
which still exist. Cicero wrote letters to his brother,
to his friend Atticus, and even to Brutus (one of
Julius Caesar’s assassins). Cicero’s letters reveal
much about Roman life in his time.
Cicero also contributed to language by translating
ideas and technical terms from Greek into Latin. He
improved Latin so much that it became an
international language for centuries to come.
oration a formal speech,
often given for a ceremony
or special occasion
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Cicero, continued
Politically, Cicero was very vocal. While serving
in the Roman Senate, he strongly opposed Caesar.
Cicero called on Romans to limit the power of the
generals and give control of the government back
to the Senate. When Caesar was assassinated, Cicero
applauded his death. But loyal supporters of Caesar
did not tolerate Cicero’s opposition. Cicero was
banished from Rome in 58 BC because of his
political views. Cicero returned to Rome in 57 BC.
Marc Antony and Cicero were enemies. The
second triumvirate—Octavian, Lepidus, and Marc
Antony—were all supporters of Caesar. The three
disapproved of Cicero’s political beliefs, and Antony
included Cicero’s name on a list of condemned
Romans. Cicero was killed in 43 BC.
1. What subjects did Cicero study?
2. Contrast How is politics different in America today than in Rome during
Cicero’s time?
3. Think about Cicero and his writings. Write a letter to a friend or family member
describing what you have learned about Cicero.
Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. All rights reserved.
Rome and Christianity
Answer Key
Biography Marc Antony
9. “God’s chosen one” in Hebrew; prophets
used to this word to describe the leader
who was a descendant of King David
10. probably the most important figure in the
spread of Christianity after Jesus’s death;
traveled throughout the Roman world
spreading Christian teachings
11. punishing a group because of its beliefs; a
few Roman emperors banned Christianity
and caused this to happen to Christians
12. what Christians call Jesus’s rise from the
dead; believed by early Christians to be a
sign that Jesus was the Messiah and the
son of God
1. Marc Antony delivered Caesar’s eulogy,
and helped form the Second Triumvirate.
2. Antony lost influence and power in
Rome because he ended his alliance with
the Second Triumvirate, and also with
Octavianus. Antony also gave each of his
children a different country or kingdom,
which breached relations with Rome.
3. Students’ time lines will vary.
Biography Saint Peter
Vocabulary Builder
Section 3
1. Saint Peter was known for being Jesus’s
1. Diocletian ruled the Roman Empire in the
most trusted companion. He is
considered by some Christians to be the
first head of the church, and was the first
bishop of Rome.
2. Peter was a fisherman. He met Jesus,
and went on a journey with him and his
brother Andrew. He began preaching
Christianity. Peter then went on a
missionary journey, then died as a martyr.
late 200s.
The Huns, under the fearsome leader
Attila, raided Roman territory in the east.
By the 400s corruption, the decay of
people’s values, had become widespread in
Roman government.
Justinian, an emperor who ruled from 527
to 565, wanted to reunite the old Roman
Empire, as well as had passions for the law
and the church.
Justinian’s smart and powerful wife was
Theodora, who convinced Justinian to stay
in power for the rest of his reign.
Historians call the society that developed in the eastern Roman Empire the
Byzantine Empire.
3. Answers will vary.
1. Students’ answers will vary.
Biography Cicero
1. She knows she can outrun them so she
won’t ever have to marry.
1. Cicero studied law, rhetoric, Latin,
2. Answers may vary. Hippomenes will win
philosophy and literature.
because the oracle said that Atalanta will
marry. Atalanta will win because she is
faster and can outrun everyone.
2. In Cicero’s time, you had to agree with the
political leaders or they had the power to
have you silenced or killed. Today, people
are encouraged to voice their opinions
and share their differences.
3. Students’ letters will vary.
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