Marcus Tullius Cicero ( SISS-ə-roh; Latin: [ˈkɪkɛroː]; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC), most commonly known as simply Cicero, was a Roman statesman, lawyer and Academic skeptic philosopher who played an important role in the politics of the late Roman Republic and in vain tried to uphold republican principles during the crises that led to the establishment of the Roman Empire. His extensive writings include treatises on rhetoric, philosophy and politics, and he is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and served as consul in 63 BC.
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To say that there is a case for heroes is not to say that there is a case for hero worship. The surrender of decision, the unquestioning submission to leadership, the prostration of the average man before the Great Man — these are the diseases of heroism, and they are fatal to human dignity. . . . History amply shows that it is possible to have heroes without turning them into gods. And history shows, too, that when a society, in flight from hero worship, decides to do without great men at all, it gets into troubles of its own.