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However, it is more likely that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas.Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames. The famous family names of Fabius, Lentulus, and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils, and peas, respectively.The third part explained that Chrysogonus had immense political power, and the accusation was successfully made due to that power.

Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer.

Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea.

Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus ("Swollen-ankled") and Catulus ("Puppy").

During this period in Roman history, "cultured" meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek.

He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during an attempted flight from the Italian peninsula.

His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum.Cicero wanted to pursue a public career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum.In 90–88 BC, he served both Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo and Lucius Cornelius Sulla as they campaigned in the Social War, though he had no taste for military life, being an intellectual first and foremost.Cicero's fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus (who became a famous lawyer, one of the few whom Cicero considered superior to himself in legal matters), and Titus Pomponius.The latter two became Cicero's friends for life, and Pomponius (who later received the nickname "Atticus", and whose sister married Cicero's brother) would become, in Cicero's own words, "as a second brother", with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence.Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture.

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