Marcus Tullius Cicero – Mistakes that mankind keeps making


I bumped into a good buddy of mine, Pat Sweeney recently and we were exchanging various nuggets of wisdom (of course!) and he started chatting about some wise fella called Cicero, that he is very interested in and studies quite a bit.

Cicero used talk about six mistakes that mankind keeps making century after century. I was quite interested in what these mistakes were and when he was alive.

Marcus Tullius CiceroIt turns out Marcus Tullius Cicero was  3rd January 106 BC and died on the 7th December 43 BC. He was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul, and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and was widely considered to be one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.

He seems to have had an interesting life – following Julius Caesar’s death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and was consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum!

The six mistakes he spoke about were:

  • Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others
  • Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected
  • Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it
  • Refusing to set aside trivial preferences
  • Neglecting development and refinement of the mind
  • Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do

Not a whole lot has changed since 43 BC!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork



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One Response to “Marcus Tullius Cicero – Mistakes that mankind keeps making”

  1. Fergal Bell Says:

    Wise man.

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