On Life and Death (Oxford World's Classics)
any service I may have rendered my countrymen in my active lifeI may also extend to them... now that I am at leisure'Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), Rome's greatest orator, had acareer of intense activity in politics, the law courts and theadministration, mostly in Rome. His fortunes, however, followedthose of Rome, and he found himself driven into exile in 58 BC,only to return a year later to a city paralyzed by the dominationof Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar. Cicero, though a senior statesman,struggled to maintain his independence and it was during theseyears that, frustrated in public life, he first started to put hisexcess energy, stylistic brilliance, and superabundant vocabularyinto writing these works of philosophy. The three dialoguescollected here are the most accessible of Cicero's works, writtento his friends Atticus and Brutus, with the intent of popularizingphilosophy in Ancient Rome. They deal with the everyday problems oflife; ethics in business, the experience of grief, and thedifficulties of old age.