Marcus Tullius Cicero was the ancient master of the ‘save’ key. He composed more letters, speeches and philosophy books than most writers of any epoch; but more important than any particular work was that so much survived to define his time. He had a secretary, Tiro, who can reasonably be given the credit for researching, correcting, copying and casting out his master’s words.
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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £18 Tel: 08430 600033. Peter Stothard, edited the Times for ten years from 1992, and is now editor of the TLS. His latest book is Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra.
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