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Cicero's Tusculan Disputations Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth   By: (106 BC - 43 BC)

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First Page:

CICERO'S TUSCULAN DISPUTATIONS;

ALSO, TREATISES ON

THE NATURE OF THE GODS,

AND ON

THE COMMONWEALTH.

LITERALLY TRANSLATED, CHIEFLY BY C. D. YONGE.

NEW YORK: HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE. 1877.

HARPER'S NEW CLASSICAL LIBRARY.

COMPRISING LITERAL TRANSLATIONS OF

CÆSAR. VIRGIL. SALLUST. HORACE. CICERO'S ORATIONS. CICERO'S OFFICES &c. CICERO ON ORATORY AND ORATORS. CICERO'S TUSCULAN DISPUTATIONS, the Republic, and the Nature of the Gods. TERENCE. TACITUS. LIVY. 2 Vols. JUVENAL. XENOPHON. HOMER'S ILIAD. HOMER'S ODYSSEY. HERODOTUS. DEMOSTHENES. 2 Vols. THUCIDIDES. ÆSCHYLUS. SOPHOCLES. EURIPIDES. 2 Vols. PLATO. [SELECT DIALOGUES.]

12mo, Cloth, $1.50 per Volume.

HARPER & BROTHERS will send either of the above works by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price .

NOTE.

The greater portion of the Republic was previously translated by Francis Barham, Esq., and published in 1841. Although ably performed, it was not sufficiently close for the purpose of the "CLASSICAL LIBRARY," and was therefore placed in the hands of the present editor for revision, as well as for collation with recent texts. This has occasioned material alterations and additions.

The treatise "On the Nature of the Gods" is a revision of that usually ascribed to the celebrated Benjamin Franklin.

CONTENTS.

Tusculan Disputations

On the Nature of the Gods

On the Commonwealth

THE TUSCULAN DISPUTATIONS.

INTRODUCTION.

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 into 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.

BOOK I.

ON THE CONTEMPT OF DEATH.

I. At a time when I had entirely, or to a great degree, released myself from my labors as an advocate, and from my duties as a senator, I had recourse again, Brutus, principally by your advice, to those studies which never had been out of my mind, although neglected at times, and which after a long interval I resumed; and now, since the principles and rules of all arts which relate to living well depend on the study of wisdom, which is called philosophy, I have thought it an employment worthy of me to illustrate them in the Latin tongue, not because philosophy could not be understood in the Greek language, or by the teaching of Greek masters; but it has always been my opinion that our countrymen have, in some instances, made wiser discoveries than the Greeks, with reference to those subjects which they have considered worthy of devoting their attention to, and in others have improved upon their discoveries, so that in one way or other we surpass them on every point; for, with regard to the manners and habits of private life, and family and domestic affairs, we certainly manage them with more elegance, and better than they did; and as to our republic, that our ancestors have, beyond all dispute, formed on better customs and laws... Continue reading book >>




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