Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Liberty Quote Of The Day: Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero was a great Roman philosopher and statesman. His simple quote below on the value of freedom rings as true today as when he put pen to paper over two thousand years ago.

Cicero's views on freedom were forged from a remarkable and unlikely life lived in the crosshairs of history. After a variety of hurdles including an exile that caused Cicero to reflect on freedom lost, Cicero stood bravely behind his conviction in opposition to Julius Caesar's dictatorship and in favor of a true republic. While not part of the conspiracy that led to Caesar's assassination at the hands of Brutus, allegedly Brutus called out for Cicero to restore the Republic even as he withdrew the bloodied knife from Caesar's body.

The power vacuum created by Caesar's murder was filled by the competing efforts of Cicero and Caesar's loyal servant Mark Antony. Cicero fought Antony with a barrage of words in his attempt to re-establish the Republic. After losing a power struggle, Cicero sought to escape the Empire before being captured, decapitated and de-handed (if that's a word). Antony nailed his head and hands to the speaker's podium of the Roman Forum (yes, you read that correctly). Wikipedia states that Antony's wife removed Cicero's tongue and "jabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin in final revenge against Cicero's power of speech."

Having processed the above, TILB dares not take its own freedom for granted. As Cicero noted:

"Freedom is a possession of inestimable value."
- Cicero