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From Epicurus to EpictetusStudies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy$
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A. A. Long

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279128.001.0001

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Cicero's Politics in De officiis

Cicero's Politics in De officiis

(p.307) 15 Cicero's Politics in De officiis
From Epicurus to Epictetus

A. A. Long (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

TheDe officiis(henceforthOff.) is one of the ‘great books’, but no one today perhaps can read it with fresh eyes. Less obvious aboutOff. is the work's radical nature in its effort to reform Roman ideology. ApproachingOff., as Cicero encourages us to do via his adaptation of Panaetius, interpreters are tempted to read it as Greek philosophy in Roman dress, or — to cite Miriam Griffin — as ‘a fusion of Greek philosophical precepts with the traditional values of the great Roman statesmen of the past’. It is argued that this temptation should be resisted. It is too bland to represent Cicero's existential situation, at the time when he wrote. It is also too bland to register the problems Roman ideology had generated and Cicero's proposed solutions to them.

Keywords:   political thought, Greek philosophy, Roman ideology, glory, Caesar

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