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De Officiis (On Duties) was Cicero's last philosophical work. In it he made use of Greek thought to formulate the political and ethical values of Roman Republican society as he saw them, revealing incidentally a great deal about actual practice. Writing at a time of political crisis after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC, when it was not clear how much of the old Republican order would survive, Cicero here handed on the insights of an elder statesman, adept at political theory and practice, to his son, and through him, to the younger generation in general. De Officiis has often been treated merely as a key to the lost Greek works that Cicero used. This volume aims to render De Officiis, which was such an important influence on later masterpieces of Western political thought, more intelligible by explaining its relation to its own time and place. A wholly new translation is accompanied by a lucid introduction and all the standard features of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, including a chronology, select bibliography, and notes on the vocabulary and significant individuals mentioned in the text.
For the great Roman orator and statesman Cicero, 'the good life' was at once a life of contentment and one of moral virtue - and the two were inescapably intertwined. This volume brings together a wide range of his reflections upon the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness. In essays that are articulate, meditative and inspirational, Cicero presents his views upon the significance of friendship and duty to state and family, and outlines a clear system of practical ethics that is at once simple and universal. These works offer a timeless reflection upon the human condition, and a fascinating insight into the mind of one of the greatest thinkers of Ancient Rome.
Cicero's On the Republic and On the Laws are his major works of political philosophy. They offer his fullest treatment of fundamental political questions: Why should educated people have any concern for politics? Is the best form of government simple, or is it a combination of elements from such simple forms as monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy? Can politics be free of injustice? The two works also help us to think about natural law, which many people have considered since ancient times to provide a foundation of unchanging, universal principles of justice. On the Republic features a defense of politics against those who advocated abstinence from public affairs. It defends a mixed constitution, the actual arrangement of offices in the Roman Republic, against simple forms of government. The Republic also supplies material for students of Roman history--as does On the Laws. The Laws, moreover, presents the results of Cicero's reflections as to how the republic needed to change in order not only to survive but also to promote justice David Fott's vigorous yet elegant English translation is faithful to the originals. It is the first to appear since publication of the latest critical edition of the Latin texts. This book contains an introduction that both places Cicero in his historical context and explicates the timeless philosophical issues that he treats. The volume also provides a chronology of Cicero's life, outlines of the two works, and indexes of personal names and important terms.
Cicero's The Republic is an impassioned plea for responsible government written just before the civil war that ended the Roman Republic. This is the first complete English translation of both works for over sixty years and features a lucid introduction, a table of dates, notes on the Roman constitution, and an index of names.
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