Cicero and Caesar's Relationship










Cicero and Caesar's relationship

Advantages

  • Caesar respected Cicero's oratory skill and offered him many jobs in Gaul and the Triumvirate

  • Caesar tried to help Cicero before his exiled by offering him a job on his staff in Gaul

  • Caesar pardoned Cicero after the Civil War, according to Plutarch 'rushed to meet him' and showed the 'utmost kindness'

  • Decided at the Conference of Luca, April 56 BC that Cicro should not oppose the Triumvirate, wrote the palinode- says the Atticus in May 56 BC that he must befriend them to gain power

  • Caesar made reforms Cicero approved of e.g. the calendar, tackling bribery in courts, trying to strengthen the senate and dealing with economic problems

  • Had similar literary interests- had gained fame through Cicero's philosophical works and Caesar's memoirs of his campaigns in Gaul

  • Letter to Atticus December 45, talks of the dinner party where he and Caesar were 'humans together- got on well when politics wasn't involved

Disadvantages

  • Cicero believed firmly in the Republic, gained each position at the minimum age, Caesar did not- gained consulship through power of triumvirate, did not respect Bibulus

  • Caesar spoke against Cicero executing the conspirators in the 63 BC Cataline Conspiracy

  • Triumvirate 60 BC went against Cicero's 'Harmony of Orders' , too much power for three men (Letter 2 to Atticus 59)

  • Caesar helped Clodius get adopted by a plebian family in 58 BC which then caused Cicero's exile

  • On recall, Cicero attacked Caesar's Agrarian Law in the senate to break up the Triumvirate

  • Cicero joined Pompey in the Civil War despite Caesar and Curio telling him to join theirs (Letter 13 in 49)

  • Letters to Atticus in 49 BC, calls Caesar indirectly a 'tyrant' and 'totalitarian rule'

  • When Cato committed suicide after the Battle of Thapsus in 46 BC Cicero wrote a speech praising him as a martyr, Caesar responded with the Anti-Cato

  • Cicero unhappy with Caesar's degree of power, kept urging him to save the Republic

  • After his death in 44 BC Cicero called Caesar's murders heroes in letter to Atticus

Evaluation

Similar in drive and ambition, shared interests but had different approaches to gaining power, also had different loyalties (e.g. Cicero's to Pompey) which caused them to disagree

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