Cicero the Philosopher: Twelve Papers

Cicero the Philosopher: Twelve Papers

Cicero the Philosopher: Twelve Papers

Cicero the Philosopher: Twelve Papers

Synopsis

'...a stimulating read for anyone interested in either the thought of this remarkable man, or the development of ideas and language in the Late Roman Republic...' JACT '...well illustrates the range of current interests and approaches to these texts...well worth reading...' Classical Review '..For all interested in Cicero or Hellenistic philosophy this excellent book is highly recommended in its entirety...' Journal of Roman Studies Cicero may be best known for his politics, but he was also one of the few significant Roman writers of philosophy. This book presents a selection of new scholarly work on Cicero the philosopher, bringing together original contributions from twelve leading scholars in the field. The introduction, by the editor, provides a general account of Cicero's philosophical writing and its intellectual background, setting the papers usefully in context. The papers discuss Cicero from a wide range of perspectives including his views on Plato and Aristotle, his definition of res publica, the continuity of his scepticism, and his account of Epicurean pleasures. A reflection of the notable revival of interest in Cicero's philosophical writing among classical scholars and philosophers in recent years, this volume embodies a diversity of approaches combined with a common conviction that Cicero is worth taking seriously as a philosophical writer.

Excerpt

In the first place, I owe thanks and apologies to all the contributors to this volume, who have responded magnificently to my invitations to contribute, and have shown great forbearance in tolerating the frequent delays of which I have been guilty amid the pressure of other occupations. One fortuitous result of these delays is that the publication of this volume will coincide almost exactly with the 2,100th anniversary of Cicero's birth; but I do not regard this as an excuse. I hope the final product will turn out to have been worth waiting for. All the papers have been written originally for this volume and none has previously been published elsewhere.

The idea of preparing this volume arose from a consciousness of growing scholarly interest in Cicero's philosophical works. I thought that if some of the work currently in progress in this field were to be collected into one place, it would not only be more conveniently accessible but would also have more immediate impact than if it were left to scatter itself among the periodicals. This book may perhaps stand beside Griffin and Barnes Philosophia Togata, a collection of papers on more general aspects of Roman philosophy, informed by a similar conviction of its interest and importance. It will also serve, in some measure, as a companion to the new Oxford Classical Text of Cicero's opera philosophica, of which one volume has already gone to press.

Clearly, different parts of the collection will appeal to different readers. There is, I hope, something here for the professional philosophers, something for the historians of ideas, something for the Latinists, and something for those with a general interest in Cicero. Our author has sometimes suffered from the specialization (not to say fragmentation) of modern scholarship, but even a specialized study of one aspect of Cicero should not lose sight of the whole man in the context of his time. the unifying factor in a collection such as this must in the end be Cicero himself. I am aware that certain areas of his philosophical output (e.g. the De Officiis) are not discussed in this collection; but an enterprise like the . . .

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