The Garden Guide

Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Born - Died : 106BC - 43BC

Roman orator, statesman and author. He was admired in eighteenth century England as the last prophet of the Roman Republic and the greatest humanist of his age - a defender of the liberties of the peoples against the forces of totalitarianism. Cicero was murdered, after Julius Caesar, for speaking against Antony.

Cicero conceived of 'three natures' (1) wild nature (2) the landscape of agriculture (3) gardens. DE NATURA DEORUM, 11. Ix.— Ixi. We enjoy the fruits of the plains and of the mountains, the rivers and the lakes are ours, we sow corn, we plant trees, we fertilze the soil by irrigation, we confine the rivers and straighten or divert their courses. In fine, by means of our hands we essay to create as it were a second world within the world of nature

John Dixon Hunt comments that 'This second nature is what today we would call the cultural landscape: agriculture, urban developments, roads, bridges, ports, and other infrastructures. Cicero uses the phrase alteram naturam, an alternative nature, or second of two; his etymology therefore implies that there is also a first nature. This 'the natural world' to which he refers at the end of the passage quoted.' (Hunt, J.D., Greater perfections: the practice of garden theory Chapter  3'The idea of a garden and the three Natures' p.33 )