How do Cicero's actions and values affect us and what influence do you think he had on the writing of the "Declaration of Independence"?

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A great question with a sad answer, at least in part. Cicero's actions and values affect the vast majority of people today not at all. Why? Because they don't know anything about him. He's unknown to the average citizen. Should he be known? Absolutely. His own virtue, and his arguments for the need of a dedicated citizenship to devote themselves to their country, provide powerful models for virtuous action. He was an inspiration to the founding fathers, and could be to us. As far as the Declaration, Jefferson rejected Cicero's call for a state religion, but formed his ideas in opposition to it. His discussion of the erosion of the Roman Republic led the founding fathers to want to protect our emerging republic.

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