Back to entry: cicero | Show links black


(106-43 BCE) Marcus Tullius Cicero, celebrated Roman orator and author of many works. He is included here for his interplanetary fable Somnium Scipionis ["The Dream of Scipio"] which is part of his De re publica ["On the Republic"] (51 BCE). In this terse but suggestive text the historical figure Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus is taken by the spirit of his adoptive grandfather, the famous Scipio Africanus, up through the planetary spheres of a Ptolemaic solar system. Discussion between the two men covers Cosmology, dreams, prophecy, reincarnation and time-cycles. The work proved enormously influential on Renaissance and later Fantastic Voyage narratives. [AR]

see also: Proto SF.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

born Arpinum [now Arpino]: 3 January 106 BCE

died Formiae [now Formia]: 7 December 43 BCE


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls and Graham Sleight.
Accessed 15:05 pm on 6 December 2021.