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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2269
Cicero, Academica, 2.121
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1. Cicero, Academica, 2.120 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 5.13 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.13. namque horum posteri meliores illi quidem mea sententia quam reliquarum philosophi disciplinarum, sed ita degenerant, ut ipsi ex se nati esse videantur. primum Theophrasti, Strato, physicum se voluit; in quo etsi est magnus, tamen nova pleraque et perpauca de moribus. huius, Lyco, lyco V lico R lisias et N 2 ( versu ultra marg. continuato; ex priore script. lic cognosci posse videtur ); om. BE spatio vacuo rel. oratione locuples, rebus ipsis ipsi rebus R ieiunior. concinnus deinde et elegans huius, Aristo, sed ea, quae desideratur a magno philosopho, gravitas, in eo non fuit; scripta sane et multa et polita, sed nescio quo pacto auctoritatem oratio non habet. 5.13.  Let us then limit ourselves to these authorities. Their successors are indeed in my opinion superior to the philosophers of any other school, but are so unworthy of their ancestry that one might imagine them to have been their own teachers. To begin with, Theophrastus's pupil Strato set up to be a natural philosopher; but great as he is in this department, he is nevertheless for the most part an innovator; and on ethics he has hardly anything. His successor Lyco has a copious style, but his matter is somewhat barren. Lyco's pupil Aristo is polished and graceful, but has not the authority that we expect to find in a great thinker; he wrote much, it is true, and he wrote well, but his style is somehow lacking in weight.
3. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.35, 2.21-2.28, 2.75, 2.77, 2.82, 2.93-2.94 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.35. Theophrastus also is intolerably inconsistent; at one moment he assigns divine pre‑eminence to mind, at another to the heavens, and then again to the constellations and stars in the heavens. Nor is his pupil, Strato, surnamed the Natural Philosopher, worthy of attention; in his view the sole repository of divine power is nature, which contains in itself the causes of birth, growth and decay, but is entirely devoid of sensation and of form. 2.21. 'That which has the faculty of reason is superior to that which has not the faculty of reason; but nothing is superior to the world; therefore the world has the faculty of reason.' A similar argument can be used to prove that the world is wise, and happy, and eternal; for things possessed of each of these attributes are superior to things devoid of them, and nothing is superior to the world. From this it will follow that the world is god. Zeno also argued thus: 2.22. 'Nothing devoid of sensation can have a part of itself that is sentient; but the world has parts that are sentient; therefore the world has parts that are sentient; therefore the world is not devoid of sensation.' He also proceeds to press the argument more closely: 'Nothing,' he says, 'that is iimate and irrational can give birth to an animate and rational being; but the world gives birth to animate and rational beings; therefore the world is animate and rational.' Furthermore he proved his argument by means of one of his favourite comparisons, as follows: 'If flutes playing musical tunes grew on an olive-tree, surely you would not question that the olive-tree possessed some knowledge of the art of flute-playing; or if plane-trees bore well-tuned lutes, doubtless you would likewise infer that the plane-trees possessed the art of music; why then should we not judge the world to be animate and endowed with wisdom, when it produces animate and wise offspring? 2.23. However, having begun to treat the subject in a different way from that which I proposed at the beginning (for I said that this part required no discussion, since the existence of god was manifest to everybody), in spite of this I should like to prove even this point by means of arguments drawn from Physics or Natural Philosophy. It is a law of Nature that all things capable of nurture and growth contain within them a supply of heat, without which their nurture and growth would not be possible; for everything of a hot, fiery nature supplies its own source of motion and activity; but that which is nourished and grows possesses a definite and uniform motion; and as long as this motion remains within us, so long sensation and life remain, whereas so soon as our heat is cooled and quenched we ourselves perish and are extinguished. 2.24. This doctrine Cleanthes enforces by these further arguments, to show how great is the supply of heat in every living body: he states that there is no food so heavy that it is not digested in twenty-four hours; and even the residue of our food which nature rejects contains heat. Again, the veins and arteries never cease throbbing with a flame-like pulse, and frequent cases have been observed when the heart of an animal on being torn out of its body has continued to beat with a rapid motion resembling the flickering of fire. Every living thing therefore, whether animal or vegetable, owes its vitality to the heat contained within it. From this it must be inferred that this element of heat possesses in itself a vital force that pervades the whole world. 2.25. We shall discern the truth of this more readily from a more detailed account of this all‑permeating fiery element as a whole. All the parts of the world (I will however only specify the most important) are supported and sustained by heat. This can be perceived first of all in the element of earth. We see fire produced by striking or rubbing stones together; and when newly dug, 'the earth doth steam with warmth'; and also warm water is drawn from running springs, and this occurs most of all in the winter-time, because a great store of heat is confined in the caverns of the earth, which in winter is denser and therefore confines more closely the heat stored in the soil. 2.26. It would require a long discourse and a great many arguments to enable me to show that all the seeds that earth receives in her womb, and all the plants which she spontaneously generates and holds fixed by their roots in the ground, owe both their origin and growth to this warm temperature of the soil. That water also contains an admixture of heat is shown first of all by its liquid nature; water would neither be frozen into ice by cold nor congealed into snow and hoar-frost unless it could also become fluid when liquefied and thawed by the admixture of heat; this is why moisture both hardens when exposed to a north wind or a frost from some other quarter, and also in turn softens when warmed, and evaporates with heat. Also the sea when violently stirred by the wind becomes warm, so that it can readily be realized that this great body of fluid contains heat; for we must not suppose the warmth in question to be derived from some external source, but stirred up from the lowest depths of the sea by violent motion, just as happens to our bodies when they are restored to warmth by movement and exercise. Indeed the air itself, though by nature the coldest of the elements, is by no means entirely devoid of heat; 2.27. indeed it contains even a considerable admixture of heat, for it is itself generated by exhalation from water, since air must be deemed to be a sort of vaporized water, and this vaporization is caused by the motion of the heat contained in the water. We may see an example of the same process when water is made to boil by placing fire beneath it. — There remains the fourth element: this is itself by nature glowing hot throughout and also imparts the warmth of health and life to all other substances. 2.28. Hence from the fact that all the parts of the world are sustained by heat the inference follows that the world itself also owes its continued preservation for so long a time to the same or a similar substance, and all the more so because it must be understood that this hot and fiery principle is interfused with the whole of nature in such a way as to constitute the male and female generative principles, and so to be the necessary cause of both the birth and the growth of all living creatures, whether animals or those whose roots are planted in the earth. 2.75. I therefore declare that the world and all its parts were set in order at the beginning and have been governed for all time by converse providence: a thesis which our school usually divides into three sections. The first is based on the argument proving that the gods exist; if this be granted, it must be admitted that the world is governed by their wisdom. The second proves that all things are under the sway of sentient nature, and that by it the universe is carried on in the most beautiful manner; and this proved, it follows that the universe was generated from living first causes. The third topic is the argument from the wonder that we feel at the marvel of creation, celestial and terrestrial. 2.77. in that case the nature of the gods is not superior to all else in power, inasmuch as it is subject to a necessity or nature that rules the sky, sea and land. But as a matter of fact nothing exists that is superior to god; it follows therefore that the world is ruled by him; therefore god is not obedient or subject to any form of nature, and therefore he himself rules all nature. In fact if we concede divine intelligence, we concede also divine providence, and providence exercised in things of the highest moment. Are then the gods ignorant what things are of the highest moment and how these are to be directed and upheld, or do they lack the strength to undertake and to perform duties so vast? But ignorance is foreign the time of divine nature, and weakness, with a consequent incapacity to perform one's office, in no way suits with the divine majesty. This proves our thesis that the world is governed by divine providence. 2.82. Some thinkers again denote by the term 'nature' the whole of existence — for example Epicurus, who divides the nature of all existing things into atoms, void, and the attributes of these. When we on the other hand speak of nature as the sustaining and governing principle of the world, we do not mean that the world is like a clod of earth or lump of stone or something else of that sort, which possesses only the natural principle of cohesion, but like a tree or an animal, displaying no haphazard structure, to be order and a certain semblance of design. 2.93. At this point must I not marvel that there should be anyone who can persuade himself that there are certain solid and indivisible particles of matter borne along by the force of gravity, and that the fortuitous collision of those particles produces this elaborate and beautiful world? I cannot understand why he who considers it possible for this to have occurred should not all think that, if a counts number of copies of the one-and‑twenty letters of alphabet, made of gold or what you will, were thrown together into some receptacle and then shaken out on the ground, it would be possible that they should produce the Annals of Ennius, all ready for the reader. I doubt whether chance could possibly succeed in producing even a single verse! 2.94. Yet according to the assertion of your friends, that out of particles of matter not endowed with heat, nor with any 'quality' (the Greek term poiotes), nor with sense, but colliding together at haphazard and by chance, the world has emerged complete, or rather a countless number of worlds are some of them being born and some perishing at every moment of time — yet if the clash of atoms can create a world, why can it not produce a colonnade, a temple, a house, a city, which are less and indeed much less difficult things to make? The fact is, they indulge in such random babbling about the world that for my part I cannot think that they have ever looked up at this marvellously beautiful sky — which is my next topic.
4. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 5.1-5.2 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Lucan, Pharsalia, 2.9-2.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Manilius, Astronomica, 1.778-1.779



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aristotelianism Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10, 28
aristotle Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127; Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196; Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 80
atomism Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10, 28
carneades Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
causation, cause Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
chance Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
cicero Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
community Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 80
democritus Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127; Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10
epicurus, on nature and the self Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
erasistratus Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 28
explanation, mechanistic Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
hero of alexandria Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10
hylomorphism Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10, 28
intelligent design Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
lucretius Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
materialism Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10
mechanicism Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
mechanism Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10, 28
mind Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
nature, laws of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
nature Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
oesophagus Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
pellegrin, p. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
peripateticism Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 78
philoponus Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 28
plato Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
pneuma Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
power (dunamis) Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
repici, l. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
reproduction Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 28
rodier, g. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
sedley, d. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
self, concepts of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
stoicism, stoics Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 210
strato of lampsacus Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127; Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196; Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 78, 80
style of writing. see stoicism, wisdom., theology' Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 80
teleology, divine Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
teleology Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127; Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 10, 28
theophrastus, and teleology Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
theophrastus Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
understanding (epistēmē) Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196
void Inwood and Warren, Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy (2020) 28
wehrli, f. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 127
windpipe Hankinson, Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998) 196