I recently finished a historical novel about Cicero – A Pillar of Iron, by Taylor Caldwell published in the early 1980s. While reading this, i wondered if it was recently published and she was intentionally creating parallels between the Rome of Cicero and current US. But alas, only if the 1980s were as we are today … similar? maybe.
It seems Cicero is a character loved to be hated by almost every dogmatic position through history – and he was eventually executed because of it. But Caldwell’s treatment of the narrative suggests he was above all in favor of a Republic, and he fought (often unsuccessfully) via rhetoric and law (are they really rooted differently?) to save the dream of a republic against the tyranny of the privilged; they, who expertly inflamed and manipulated the poor against the middle class to maintain full privileged power … that eventually evolved into the dictators and then emperors …
I ask myself without a real answer, “how far are we today to that same slippery slope”?
That old saying about learning history to avoid repeating it cannot be wrong, else why do so many people know it (but sadly fail to practice it)?