Do try to kill me properly !


During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC, Rome marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar. Following Julius Caesar's death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony (a contemporary Roman politician & general) in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. Cicero is generally perceived to be one of the most versatile minds of ancient Rome and one of Rome's greatest orators. Cicero was proscribed (condemnation to death or banishment) as an enemy of the state by the the political alliance of Augustus Caesar (Octavian) and Mark Antony. Cicero and all of his contacts and supporters were numbered among the enemies of the state, and reportedly, Octavian argued for two days against Cicero being added to the list.

Cicero was one of the most viciously and doggedly hunted among the proscribed. He was viewed with sympathy by a large segment of the public and many people refused to report that they had seen him. He was caught 7 December 43 BC leaving his villa in Formiae in a litter going to the seaside where he hoped to embark on a ship destined for Macedonia.

Cicero's last words are said to have been, "There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly."

Mark Antonys Wife Fulvia With the Head of Cicero

He bowed to his captors, leaning his head in a gladiatorial gesture to ease the task. By baring his neck and throat to the soldiers, he was indicating that he wouldn't resist. The soldier first slew him, then cut off his head. On Antony's instructions his hands, which had penned against Antony, were cut off as well; these were nailed along with his head on the Rostra (a large platform built in the city of Rome) in the Forum Romanum. Cicero was the only victim of the proscriptions who was displayed in that manner. According to historians, Antony's wife Fulvia took Cicero's head, pulled out his tongue, and jabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin in final revenge against Cicero's power of speech.

Fulvia was an aristocratic Roman woman who gained access to power through her marriage to three of the most promising men of her generation. Fulvia's third marriage was to Mark Antony. Cicero had openly criticized Mark Antony for abusing his powers as consul after Caesar's assassination and also suggested that Antony married Fulvia for her money.

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