Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (Annotated): Also the Nature of the Gods and the Commonwealth

Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (Annotated): Also the Nature of the Gods and the Commonwealth

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By (author) Marcus Tullius Cicero

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  • Publisher: Createspace
  • Format: Paperback | 318 pages
  • Dimensions: 216mm x 279mm x 18mm | 907g
  • Publication date: 5 June 2013
  • ISBN 10: 1490355367
  • ISBN 13: 9781490355368
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

In the year a.u.c. 708, and the sixty-second year of Cicero's age, his daughter, Tullia, died in childbed; and her loss afflicted Cicero to such a degree that he abandoned all public business, and, leaving the city, retired to Asterra, which was a country house that he had near Antium; where, after a while, he devoted himself to philosophical studies, and, besides other works, he published his Treatise de Finibus, and also this treatise called the Tusculan Disputations, of which Middleton gives this concise description: "The first book teaches us how to contemn the terrors of death, and to look upon it as a blessing rather than an evil; "The second, to support pain and affliction with a manly fortitude; "The third, to appease all our complaints and uneasinesses under the accidents of life; "The fourth, to moderate all our other passions; "And the fifth explains the sufficiency of virtue to make men happy." It was his custom in the opportunities of his leisure to take some friends with him into the country, where, instead of amusing themselves with idle sports or feasts, their diversions were wholly speculative, tending to improve the mind and enlarge the understanding. In this manner he now spent five days at his Tusculan villa in discussing with his friends the several questions just mentioned. For, after employing the mornings in declaiming and rhetorical exercises, they used to retire in the afternoon 8into a gallery, called the Academy, which he had built for the purpose of philosophical conferences, where, after the manner of the Greeks, he held a school, as they called it, and invited the company to call for any subject that they desired to hear explained, which being proposed accordingly by some of the audience became immediately the argument of that day's debate. These five conferences, or dialogues, he collected afterward into writing in the very words and manner in which they really passed; and published them under the title of his Tusculan Disputations, from the name of the villa in which they were held.

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Author information

Marcus Tullius Cicero; 3 January 106 BC - 7 December 43 BC; sometimes anglicized as Tully) was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists. His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language." Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia) distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.