Very Short Fact: On this day in 83 BC, 14 January, Mark Antony, Roman general and politician, was born:

Cicero’s political speeches, including his Philippics against Mark Antony (the title evoking Demosthenes’ defence of Greek freedom), are the best and final examples of oratory being used to influence political life in Rome. Cicero was killed by Antony’s men in December 43 BC, and his head and hands were cut off and nailed to the speaker’s platform in the forum, symbolizing the end of free political oratory as the republican system continued its descent into one-man rule.

[p. 97, Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction, by William Allan]

Image: M Antonius. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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