The Good Book: Acts, chapters 67-86 – Cicero

The final character portrait of the book of Acts is that of the Roman orator Cicero. Again, as with Cato, Grayling seems more able to give an even-handed portrait of a Roman than a Greek – although he is careful to emphasise that Cicero was educated in Greece as a young man, and how this coloured his later actions.

If anything, Grayling’s evenhandedness here appears to err on the side of being over-critical, and it’s notable that in Cicero’s case, he seems more willing to include the arguments of later historians rather contemporaries and near contemporaries. But his celebration of the man’s virtues has the same self-congratulatory tone as his other such writings.

Only two more books of the Good Book to go. I’m so glad.