The Roman Search for Wisdom

The Roman Search for Wisdom


By (author) Michael K. Kellogg

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  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Format: Hardback | 335 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 231mm x 36mm | 580g
  • Publication date: 16 May 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Amherst
  • ISBN 10: 1616149256
  • ISBN 13: 9781616149253
  • Sales rank: 1,423,193

Product description

The Roman "philosophy of life" as mirrored in the literature of ten outstanding representative authors Though Rome conquered much of the world and established an empire that lasted more than a millennium, its citizens sometimes expressed a sense of inferiority to the intellectual accomplishments of ancient Greece. The notion that Roman philosophers, thinkers, and writers were just pale imitations of Greek originals has persisted to this day. Even the great Roman poet Horace wrote, "Captive Greece took its Roman captor captive, / Invading uncouth Latium with its arts." Michael K. Kellogg puts this notion to rest in this lively, very readable overview of Roman literature. The author uncovers many examples of Roman wisdom, showing that the Roman contribution to intellectual history is considerable and need not take second place to ancient Greek literature. Kellogg offers fresh and engaging portraits of poets (Lucretius, Virgil, Horace, Ovid); dramatists (Plautus, Terence, Seneca); biographers (Plutarch, Suetonius); historians (Livy, Tacitus); and philosophers (Cicero, Marcus Aurelius), against the background of Roman history. The contemporary reader will come away from this excellent survey with the realization that even today our culture still bears the lasting imprint of ancient Rome.

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Author information

Michael K. Kellogg is the author of "The Greek Search for Wisdom" and "Three Questions We Never Stop Asking." Educated at Stanford and Oxford in philosophy and at Harvard Law School, he is a founding and managing partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, PLLC.

Review quote

""The Roman Search for Wisdom" offers the general reader an ambitious survey of the richness of Roman thought. Ranging from the slapstick comedies of Plautus to the acerbic irony of Tacitus's political history to the intensely introspective reflections of Marcus Aurelius, Kellogg mines the greatest works of Roman literature, philosophy, and history to draw lessons about the deep and enduring challenges of human existence. This book will engage readers at a very personal level about the ends of their own lives." --Richard Saller, professor of Roman history, Stanford University "A wonderfully accessible introduction to the Greeks, one that eloquently reminds us why these works stand at the fountainhead of the Western tradition." --Francis Fukuyama, author of "The Origins of Political Order" (on "The Greek Search for Wisdom")