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The Academic Questions, Treatise De Finibus, and Tusculan Disputations, of M.T. Cicero, With a Sketch of the Greek Philosophers Mentioned by Cicero   By: (106 BC - 43 BC)

Book cover

First Page:

The Academic Questions,

Treatise De Finibus.


Tusculan Disputations


M. T. Cicero


A Sketch of the Greek Philosophers Mentioned by Cicero.

Literally Translated by

C. D. Yonge, B.A.

London: George Bell and Sons

York Street

Covent Garden

Printed by William Clowes and Sons,

Stamford Street and Charing Cross.



A Sketch of the Greek Philosophers Mentioned by Cicero. Introduction. First Book Of The Academic Questions. Second Book Of The Academic Questions. A Treatise On The Chief Good And Evil. First Book Of The Treatise On The Chief Good And Evil. Second Book Of The Treatise On The Chief Good And Evil. Third Book Of The Treatise On The Chief Good And Evil. Fourth Book Of The Treatise On The Chief Good And Evil. Fifth Book Of The Treatise On The Chief Good And Evil. The Tusculan Disputations. Introduction. Book I. On The Contempt Of Death. Book II. On Bearing Pain. Book III. On Grief Of Mind. Book IV. On Other Perturbations Of The Mind. Book V. Whether Virtue Alone Be Sufficient For A Happy Life. Footnotes


In the works translated in the present volume, Cicero makes such constant references to the doctrines and systems of the ancient Greek Philosophers, that it seems desirable to give a brief account of the most remarkable of those mentioned by him; not entering at length into the history of their lives, but indicating the principal theories which they maintained, and the main points in which they agreed with, or differed from, each other.

The earliest of them was Thales , who was born at Miletus, about 640 B.C. He was a man of great political sagacity and influence; but we have to consider him here as the earliest philosopher who appears to have been convinced of the necessity of scientific proof of whatever was put forward to be believed, and as the originator of mathematics and geometry. He was also a great astronomer; for we read in Herodotus (i. 74) that he predicted the eclipse of the sun which happened in the reign of Alyattes, king of Lydia, B.C. 609. He asserted that water is the origin of all things; that everything is produced out of it, and everything is resolved into it. He also asserted that it is the soul which originates all motion, so much so, that he attributes a soul to the magnet. Aristotle also represents him as saying that everything is full of Gods. He does not appear to have left any written treatises behind him: we are uncertain when or where he died, but he is said to have lived to a great age to 78, or, according to some writers, to 90 years of age.

Anaximander , a countryman of Thales, was also born at Miletus, about 30 years later; he is said to have been a pupil of the former, and deserves especial mention as the oldest philosophical writer among the Greeks. He did not devote himself to the mathematical studies of Thales, but rather to speculations concerning the generation and origin of the world; as to which his opinions are involved in some obscurity. He appears, however, to have considered that all things were formed of a sort of matter, which he called {~GREEK SMALL LETTER TAU~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON WITH VARIA~} {~GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND OXIA~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER PI~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER RHO~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON~}{~GREEK SMALL LETTER NU~}, or The Infinite; which was something everlasting and divine, though not invested with any spiritual or intelligent nature... Continue reading book >>

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