M. Tullius Cicero (106–43 BC) was born to a family of the equestrian class in Ardinum. Cicero’s father was an influential man in the community who placed great emphasis on education. Cicero was educated by his father and then by private teachers, who instructed him in Greek oratory and philosophy. Cicero studied Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. After winning his first case, Cicero left Rome to visit Greece, Asia Minor, and Rhodes. While in Greece, Cicero studied rhetoric with a number of famous rhetoricians in Athens. Upon his return to Rome, he became quite involved in political life. He ascended the Roman hierarchy, becoming a quaestor at age 31, an aedile at 37, a praetor at 40 and, at 43, a consul, the highest office. For a time he was exiled for executing, without trial, a group of Roman citizens who had plotted to kill him and overthrow the republic. Upon his return, Cicero was caught up in the standoff between Julius Caesar and the senate. When civil war broke out, Cicero took the side of the Republic (against Caesar), though he attempted to maintain some good will with Caesar. After Caesar’s assassination, Cicero fell out with Mark Antony, who had him murdered.