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Cato Maior de Senectute with Introduction and Notes   By: (106 BC - 43 BC)

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M. TULLI CICERONIS

CATO MAIOR DE SENECTUTE

WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY JAMES S. REID, M.L.

American Edition Revised

BY FRANCIS W. KELSEY

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Copyright, 1882

PREFACE.

Three years ago Mr. James S. Reid, of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, prepared for the Syndics of the University Press editions of Cicero's Cato Maior de Senectute and Laelius de Amicitia. The thorough and accurate scholarship displayed, especially in the elucidation of the Latinity, immediately won for the books a cordial reception; and since then they have gained a permanent place in the esteem of English scholars.

The present volume has the full authorization of Mr. Reid, and was prepared with the design of presenting to American students, in a form best adapted to their use, the results of his work. The Text remains substantially that of Mr. Reid; while mention is made in the notes of the most important variations in readings and orthography from other editions. The Introductions have been recast, with some enlargement; the analyses of the subject matter in particular have been entirely remodelled. The Notes have been in some instances reduced, in others amplified, especially by the addition of references to the standard treatises on grammar, history, and philosophy. It was at first the intention of the American editor to indicate by some mark the matter due to himself; but as this could hardly be done without marring the appearance of the page, and thus introducing a source of confusion to the student, it was not attempted. In the work of revision free use of the principal German and English editions has been made.

To some the notes of the present edition may appear too copious. The aim throughout, however, has been not simply to give aid on difficult points, but to call attention to the finer usages of the Latin, and to add also whatever explanation seemed necessary to a clear understanding of the subject matter. Latin scholarship which shall be at the same time broad and accurate, including not only a mastery of the language but also a comprehensive view of the various phases of Roman life and thought, will, it is believed, be best assured by the slow and careful reading of some portions of the literature and by the rapid survey of others. Certainly of the shorter Latin classics few would more fully repay close and careful study of both language and thought than these charming colloquies on Old Age and Friendship. While almost faultless in expression, they embody in a remarkable degree that universal element which characterizes the literary masterpiece, and makes it the valued possession not merely of an age or a nation, but of all time.

FRANCIS W. KELSEY

LAKE FOREST, ILL., May, 1882.

INTRODUCTION.

I. CICERO AS A WRITER ON PHILOSOPHY.

(i.) STATE OF PHILOSOPHY IN CICERO'S TIME.

In Philosophy the Romans originated nothing. Their energies in the earlier years of the state were wholly absorbed in organization and conquest. Resting in a stern and simple creed, they had little speculative interest in matters outside the hard routine of their daily life. But with the close of the Period of Conquest came a change. The influx of wealth from conquered provinces, the formation of large landed estates, the excessive employment of slave labor, and the consequent rise of a new aristocracy, prepared the way for a great revolution. The old religion lost its hold on the higher classes; something was needed to take its place. With wealth and luxury came opportunity and desire for culture. Greece, with Art, Literature, and Philosophy fully developed and highly perfected, stood ready to instruct her rude conqueror.[1]

In Cicero's time the productive era of Greek Philosophy had well nigh passed. Its tendency was less speculative, more ethical and practical than in the earlier time. There were four prominent schools, the New Academy, the Peripatetic, the Stoic, and the Epicurean... Continue reading book >>




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