Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), also known as Tully, was a Roman philosopher and politician who left an indelible mark on the subsequent history of prose and European literature. The rediscovery of Cicero’s work in the 14th century is considered one of the key causes of the Renaissance. His work also served as a major influence for 18th century Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke and David Hume. Cicero’s political career was his greatest pride. He championed the Roman republic and held many key positions including consul — the highest elected political office of the Roman republic. Politics also proved to be his ultimate undoing. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Cicero engaged in a power struggle with Marc Antony that eventually led to the former’s execution.
A master of eloquence and argument, Cicero argued the following in his Pro Archia Poeta.
“Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.”