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Famous for his persuasive political oratory, the Roman lawyer Cicero (106-43 BC), a self-made man, rose through the ranks of Roman society to become a Consul and join the nobility. Why Cicero Matters, a new book by Vittorio Bufacchi, explores the political philosophy of this immensely influential Roman politician and author, whose ideas about the best forms of government and the rights of citizens were shaped by the turbulent events he witnessed in the final years of the Roman Republic.
A great admirer of Plato, Cicero in his writings explored the ideal political state, built on justice and ethics. He also adapted and translated Greek philosophy into Latin for a Roman readership, publishing treatises on friendship and on old age, as well as his speeches and more political works. Hundreds of Cicero’s private letters to friends survive too, giving us invaluable insight into his values, his milieu and his life, which was brought to a violent end at the hands of the new autocrats, Mark Anthony and Octavian, in 43 BC.
‘This book is primarily a reflection on where philosophy overlaps with politics,’ writes Vittorio Bufacchi in the Introduction to his warm, witty and stimulating new book. Join him and Irish Times columnist, author and podcaster, Kathy Sheridan, to explore Why Cicero Matters.
This event is presented in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute, Dublin.
Vittorio Bufacchi is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University College Cork and has lived in Ireland for twenty years. He specialises in political philosophy, especially in questions of social injustice, human rights, and political violence. His PhD (1994) is from the London School of Economics.
In his previous book he explores philosophy and Covid-19, in Everything Must Change: Philosophical Lessons From Lockdown, Manchester University Press, 2021.