Philosophical Life in Cicero's Letters (Cambridge Classical by Sean McConnell

By Sean McConnell

Cicero's letters are saturated with discovered philosophical allusions and arguments. This leading edge learn indicates simply how primary those are for knowing Cicero's philosophical actions and for explaining the long-lasting curiosity of his moral and political concept. Dr McConnell attracts specific consciousness to Cicero's therapy of Plato's 7th Letter and his perspectives at the courting among philosophy and politics. He additionally illustrates a number of the ways that Cicero unearths philosophy an beautiful and powerful mode of self-presentation and a congenial, pointed medium for chatting with his friends approximately moral and political issues. The publication deals more than a few clean insights into the notable scope and class of Cicero's epistolary and philosophical perform and the vibrancy of the philosophical surroundings of the 1st century BC. a brand new photo emerges of Cicero the thinker and philosophy's position in Roman political tradition.

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46),26 in this case taking that to mean that it is proper to weigh circumstances and adjust his conduct accordingly. In this instance, this characterisation serves an obvious apologetic purpose: what might appear to be a volte-face is in fact consistency on his part; indeed, given the relevant circumstances, his involvement in politics is the right thing to do. In addition to this apologetic argument, at this point of his letter Cicero raises significant points about the relationship between philosophy and politics.

Fam. 12 ¼ 35 SB), and he served as tribune of the plebs in 51 bc (Fam. 6–7 ¼ 84 SB) before joining the side of Caesar in the civil war. Caesar nominated him as one of the consuls for 43, and on taking the office after Caesar’s death he supported the restoration of the republic (Cic. Phil. 1, 12–13, 35). On 14 April 43 he took his legions into battle against Mark Antony at Forum Gallorum, where he was mortally wounded (Cic. Fam. 30 ¼ 378 SB). 23 Introduction professed Epicurean (Fam. 12 ¼ 35 SB),56 is held by the good men (boni) because of his honourable humane conduct towards the defeated, which, Cicero claims, demonstrates what Cassius has recently begun to doubt, namely that the good is to be chosen for its own sake: Pansa noster paludatus a.

65 Indeed, in On Style pseudo-Demetrius warns against writing letters that are really just treatises with a greeting at the beginning and a farewell at the end, citing many of the Platonic letters as examples of this poor practice (228). In any case, it would seem that merely being a consolation or a letter of advice, for example, is not sufficient in itself for a letter to be ‘philosophical’; so what else is needed? In On Style pseudo-Demetrius provides some help as he offers stylistic guidelines for discussing philosophical matters in letters: some topics such as logic and physics are not appropriate for letters (230–1); a letter should not be too long or resemble a treatise (228, 234) – rather it should be composed as one side of a conversational dialogue, although the wording should be formal (223–7); a plain and elegant style should be employed (235); a letter should convey the character of the author (227, 231–2; 64 65 Pseudo-Demetrius demarcates the twenty-one types of letter by virtue of their function.

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