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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Cicero, On The Nature Of The Gods, 1.6-1.7

nanI observe however that a great deal of talk has been current about the large number of books that I have produced within a short space of time, and that such comment has not been all of one kind; some people have been curious as to the cause of this sudden outburst of philosophical interest on my part, while others have been eager to learn what positive opinions I hold on the various questions. Many also, as I have noticed, are surprised at my choosing to espouse a philosophy that in their view robs the world of daylight and floods it with a darkness as of night; and they wonder at my coming forward so unexpectedly as the champion of a derelict system and one that has long been given up. As a matter of fact however I am no new convert to the study of philosophy. From my earliest youth I have devoted no small amount of time and energy to it, and I pursued it most keenly at the very periods when I least appeared to be doing so, witness the philosophical maxims of which my speeches are full, and my intimacy with the learned men who have always graced my household, as well as those eminent professors, Diodotus, Philo, Antiochus and Posidonius, who were my instructors.

nanBut if any one should ask what has induced me, in the decline of life, to write on these subjects, nothing is more easily answered; for when I found myself entirely disengaged from business, and the commonwealth reduced to the necessity of being governed by the direction and care of one man, I thought it becoming, for the sake of the public, to instruct my countrymen in philosophy, and that it would be of importance, and much to the honor and commendation of our city, to have such great and excellent subjects introduced in the Latin tongue. I the less repent of my undertaking, since I plainly see that I have excited in many a desire, not only of learning, but of writing; for we have had several Romans well grounded in the learning of the Greeks who were unable to communicate to their countrymen what they had learned, because they looked upon it as impossible to express that in Latin which they had received from the Greeks. In this point I think I have succeeded so well that what I have done is not, even in copiousness of expression, inferior to that language. Another inducement to it was a melancholy disposition of mind, and the great and heavy oppression of fortune that was upon me; from which, if I could have found any surer remedy, I would not have sought relief in this pursuit. But I could procure ease by no means better than by not only applying myself to books, but by devoting myself to the examination of the whole body of philosophy. And every part and branch of this is readily discovered when every question is propounded in writing; for there is such an admirable continuation and series of things that each seems connected with the other, and all appear linked together and united.

nanMoreover, if it be true that all the doctrines of philosophy have a practical bearing, I may claim that in my public and private conduct alike I have practised the precepts taught by reason and by theory. If again anyone asks what motive has induced me so late in the day to commit these precepts to writing, there is nothing that I can explain more easily. I was languishing in idle retirement, and the state of public affairs was such that an autocratic form of government had become inevitable. In these circumstances, in the first place I thought that to expound philosophy to my fellow-countrymen was actually my duty in the interests of the commonwealth, since in my judgement it would greatly contribute to the honour and glory of the state to have thoughts so important and so lofty enshrined in Latin literature also;

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11 results
1. Cicero, Academica, 1.17, 1.46, 2.7-2.9, 2.148 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.17. Platonis autem auctoritate, qui varius et multiplex et copiosus fuit, una et consentiens duobus vocabulis philosophiae forma instituta constituta *g est Academicorum et Peripateticorum, qui rebus congruentes nominibus differebant. nam cum Speusippum sororis filium Plato philosophiae quasi heredem reliquisset, duo duos p 2 p 1 p 2 rg 2 f c autem praestantissimo praestatnissimos mn studio atque doctrina, Xenocratem Calchedonium et Aristotelem Stagiritem, qui erant cum Aristotele Peripatetici dicti sunt, quia disputabant inambulantes in Lycio, illi autem, quia quia *g*p qui wn Platonis instituto in Academia, quod est alterum gymnasium, coetus erant et sermones habere soliti, e loci vocabulo nomen habuerunt. sed utrique Platonis ubertate completi certam quandam disciplinae formulam composuerunt et eam quidem plenam ac refertam, illam autem Socraticam dubitanter dubitanter Bai. -tantem *g -tationem *d (tionem in ras. p ) de omnibus rebus et nulla affirmatione adhibita consuetudinem consuetudine mn ; adh. cons. in. ras. p disserendi reliquerunt. ita facta est, est disserendi *d (diss. in ras. p ) quod minime Socrates probabat, ars quaedam philosophiae et rerum ordo et descriptio disciplinae. 1.46. Hanc Academiam novam appellant, quae mihi vetus videtur, si quidem Platonem ex illa vetere numeramus, cuius in libris nihil affirmatur et in utramque partem multa disseruntur, de omnibus quaeritur nihil certi dicitur—sed tamen illa quam exposuisti exposuisti Dur. exposui *g*d ; an a Cicerone neglegenter scriptum ? vetus, haec nova nominetur. quae usque ad Carneadem perducta, producta mn (per in ras. p ) qui quartus ab Arcesila fuit, in eadem Arcesilae ratione permansit. Carneades autem nullius philosophiae partis ignarus et, ut cognovi ex is qui illum audierant maximeque ex Epicureo Epicureo ms -ZZZo *g*d Zenone, qui cum ab eo plurimum dissentiret unum tamen praeter ceteros mirabatur, incredibili quadam fuit facultate et to fuit īo facultate et do m 1, īo del. et do ctrina m 2 ; et to om. *dn et co pia dicendi Chr. ” quid autem stomachatur stomachetur Sig. Mnesarchus, quid Antipater digladiatur Non. p. 65 (digladiari) digladiatur F 1 -etur cett. cum Carneade tot voluminibus? *
2. Cicero, On Divination, 1.7, 2.8-2.9 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.7. Sed haec quidem laus Academiae praestantissumi philosophi iudicio et testimonio conprobata est. Etenim nobismet ipsis quaerentibus, quid sit de divinatione iudicandum, quod a Carneade multa acute et copiose contra Stoicos disputata sint, verentibusque, ne temere vel falsae rei vel non satis cognitae adsentiamur, faciendum videtur, ut diligenter etiam atque etiam argumenta cum argumentis comparemus, ut fecimus in iis tribus libris, quos de natura deorum scripsimus. Nam cum omnibus in rebus temeritas in adsentiendo errorque turpis est, tum in eo loco maxime, in quo iudicandum est, quantum auspiciis rebusque divinis religionique tribuamus; est enim periculum, ne aut neglectis iis impia fraude aut susceptis anili superstitione obligemur. 2.8. Nam cum de divinatione Quintus frater ea disseruisset, quae superiore libro scripta sunt, satisque ambulatum videretur, tum in bibliotheca, quae in Lycio est, adsedimus. Atque ego: Adcurate tu quidem, inquam, Quinte, et Stoice Stoicorum sententiam defendisti, quodque me maxime delectat, plurimis nostris exemplis usus es, et iis quidem claris et inlustribus. Dicendum est mihi igitur ad ea, quae sunt a te dicta, sed ita, nihil ut adfirmem, quaeram omnia, dubitans plerumque et mihi ipse diffidens. Si enim aliquid certi haberem, quod dicerem, ego ipse divinarem, qui esse divinationem nego. 2.9. Etenim me movet illud, quod in primis Carneades quaerere solebat, quarumnam rerum divinatio esset, earumne, quae sensibus perciperentur. At eas quidem cernimus, audimus, gustamus, olfacimus, tangimus. Num quid ergo in his rebus est, quod provisione aut permotione mentis magis quam natura ipsa sentiamus? aut num nescio qui ille divinus, si oculis captus sit, ut Tiresias fuit, possit, quae alba sint, quae nigra, dicere aut, si surdus sit, varietates vocum aut modos noscere? Ad nullam igitur earum rerum, quae sensu accipiuntur, divinatio adhibetur. Atqui ne in iis quidem rebus, quae arte tractantur, divinatione opus est. Etenim ad aegros non vates aut hariolos, sed medicos solemus adducere, nec vero, qui fidibus aut tibiis uti volunt, ab haruspicibus accipiunt earum tractationem, sed a musicis. 1.7. At any rate, this praiseworthy tendency of the Academy to doubt has been approved by the solemn judgement of a most eminent philosopher. [4] Accordingly, since I, too, am in doubt as to the proper judgement to be rendered in regard to divination because of the many pointed and exhaustive arguments urged by Carneades against the Stoic view, and since I am afraid of giving a too hasty assent to a proposition which may turn out either false or insufficiently established, I have determined carefully and persistently to compare argument with argument just as I did in my three books On the Nature of the Gods. For a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, and especially so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, and to religious observances; for we run the risk of committing a crime against the gods if we disregard them, or of becoming involved in old womens superstition if we approve them. [5] 1.7. As briefly as I could, I have discussed divination by means of dreams and frenzy, which, as I said, are devoid of art. Both depend on the same reasoning, which is that habitually employed by our friend Cratippus: The human soul is in some degree derived and drawn from a source exterior to itself. Hence we understand that outside the human soul there is a divine soul from which the human soul is sprung. Moreover, that portion of the human soul which is endowed with sensation, motion, and carnal desire is inseparable from bodily influence; while that portion which thinks and reasons is most vigorous when it is most distant from the body. 2.8. After my brother Quintus had delivered his views on divination, as set out in the preceding volume, and we had walked as much as we wished, we took our seats in the library in my Lyceum, and I remarked:Really, my dear Quintus, you have defended the Stoic doctrine with accuracy and like a Stoic. But the thing that delights me most is the fact that you illustrated your argument with many incidents taken from Roman sources — incidents, too, of a distinguished and noble type. I must now reply to what you said, but I must do so with great diffidence and with many misgivings, and in such a way as to affirm nothing and question everything. For if I should assume anything that I said to be certain I should myself be playing the diviner while saying that no such thing as divination exists! 2.8. Then dismiss Romuluss augural staff, which you say the hottest of fires was powerless to burn, and attach slight importance to the whetstone of Attus Navius. Myths would have no place in philosophy. It would have been more in keeping with your rôle as a philosopher to consider, first, the nature of divination generally, second, its origin, and third, its consistency. What, then, is the nature of an art which makes prophets out of birds that wander aimlessly about — now here, now there — and makes the action or inaction of men depend upon the song or flight of birds? and why was the power granted to some birds to give a favourable omen when on the left side and to others when on the right? Again, however, when, and by whom, shall we say that the system was invented? The Etruscans, it is true, find the author of their system in the boy who was ploughed up out of the ground; but whom have we? Attus Navius? But Romulus and Remus, both of whom, by tradition, were augurs, lived many years earlier. Are we to say that it was invented by the Pisidians, Cilicians, or Phrygians? It is your judgement, then, that those devoid of human learning are the authors of a divine science! [39] 2.9. I am impressed with the force of the questions with which Carneades used to begin his discussions: What are the things within the scope of divination? Are they things that are perceived by the senses? But those are things that we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Is there, then, in such objects some quality that we can better perceive with the aid of prophecy and inspiration than we can with the aid of the senses alone? And is there any diviner, anywhere, who, if blind, like Tiresias, could tell the difference between white and black? Or, who, if deaf, could distinguish between different voices and different tones? Now you must admit that divination is not applicable in any case where knowledge is gained through the senses.Nor is there any need of divination even in matters within the domain of science and of art. For, when people are sick, we, as a general rule, do not summon a prophet or a seer, but we call in a physician. Again, persons who want to learn to play on the harp or on the flute take lessons, not from a soothsayer, but from a musician. 2.9. What inconceivable madness! For it is not enough to call an opinion foolishness when it is utterly devoid of reason. However, Diogenes the Stoic makes some concessions to the Chaldeans. He says that they have the power of prophecy to the extent of being able to tell the disposition of any child and the calling for which he is best fitted. All their other claims of prophetic powers he absolutely denies. He says, for example, that twins are alike in appearance, but that they generally unlike in career and in fortune. Procles and Eurysthenes, kings of the Lacedaemonians, were twin brothers.
3. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 2.2-2.3 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.2. sed et illum, quem nominavi, et ceteros sophistas, ut e Platone intellegi potest, lusos videmus a Socrate. is enim percontando percontando A 2 percun- tando NV percunctando A 1 BE per cunctando R atque interrogando elicere solebat eorum opiniones, quibuscum disserebat, ut ad ea, ea haec R quae ii ii hi BER hii A hij NV respondissent, si quid videretur, diceret. qui mos cum a posterioribus non esset retentus, Arcesilas archesilas A acesilaos N achesilas V eum revocavit instituitque ut ii, qui se audire vellent, non de se quaererent, sed ipsi dicerent, quid sentirent; quod cum dixissent, ille contra. sed eum eum om. RNV qui audiebant, quoad poterant, defendebant sententiam suam. apud ceteros autem philosophos, qui quaesivit aliquid, tacet; quod quidem iam fit etiam etiam om. BER in Academia. ubi enim is, qui audire vult, ita dixit: 'Voluptas mihi videtur esse summum bonum', perpetua oratione contra disputatur, ut facile intellegi possit eos, qui aliquid sibi videri sibi aliquid (aliquit E) videri BE aliquid videri sibi V dicant, non ipsos in ea sententia esse, sed audire velle contraria. Nos commodius agimus. 2.3. non enim solum Torquatus dixit quid sentiret, sed etiam cur. ego autem arbitror, quamquam admodum delectatus sum eius oratione perpetua, tamen commodius, cum in rebus singulis insistas et intellegas quid quisque concedat, quid abnuat, ex rebus concessis concludi quod velis et ad exitum perveniri. cum enim fertur quasi torrens oratio, quamvis multa cuiusque modi rapiat, nihil tamen teneas, nihil apprehendas, reprehendas BE nusquam orationem rapidam cœrceas. Omnis autem in quaerendo, quae via quadam et ratione habetur, oratio praescribere primum debet ut quibusdam in formulis ea res agetur, ut, inter quos disseritur, conveniat quid sit id, de quo disseratur. 2.2.  But we read how Socrates made fun of the aforesaid Gorgias, and the rest of the Sophists also, as we can learn from Plato. His own way was to question his interlocutors and by a process of cross-examination to elicit their opinions, so that he might express his own views by way of rejoinder to their answers. This practice was abandoned by his successors, but was afterwards revived by Arcesilas, who made it a rule that those who wished to hear him should not ask him questions but should state their own opinions; and when they had done so he argued against them. But whereas the pupils of Arcesilas did their best to defend their own position, with the rest of the philosophers the student who has put a question is then silent; and indeed this is nowadays the custom even in the Academy. The would‑be learner says, for example, 'The Chief Good in my opinion is pleasure,' and the contrary is then maintained in a formal discourse; so that it is not hard to realize that those who say they are of a certain opinion do not actually hold the view they profess, but want to hear what can be argued against it. 2.3.  We are adopting a more profitable mode of procedure, for Torquatus has not only told us his own opinion but also his reasons for holding it. Still, for my part, though I enjoyed his long discourse very much, I believe all the same that it is better to stop at point after point, and make out what each person is willing to admit and what he denies, and then to draw such inferences as one desires from these admissions and so arrive at one's conclusion. When the exposition goes rushing on like a mountain stream in spate, it carries along with it a vast amount of miscellaneous material, but there is nothing one can take hold of or rescue from the flood; there is no point at which one can stem the torrent of oratory. "However, in philosophical investigation a methodical and systematic discourse must always begin by formulating a preamble like that which occurs in certain forms of process at law, 'The issue shall be as follows'; so that the parties to the debate may be agreed as to what the subject is about which they are debating.  
4. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.1-1.4, 1.7, 1.10-1.14, 2.5 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.1. There are a number of branches of philosophy that have not as yet been by any means adequately explored; but the inquiry into the nature of the gods, which is both highly interesting in relation to the theory of the soul, and fundamentally important for the regulation of religion, is one of special difficulty and obscurity, as you, Brutus, are well aware. The multiplicity and variety of the opinions held upon this subject by eminent scholars are bound to constitute a strong argument for the view that philosophy has its origin and starting-point in ignorance, and that the Academic School were well-advised in "withholding assent" from beliefs that are uncertain: for what is more unbecoming than ill‑considered haste? and what is so ill‑considered or so unworthy of the dignity and seriousness proper to a philosopher as to hold an opinion that is not true, or to maintain with unhesitating certainty a proposition not based on adequate examination, comprehension and knowledge? 1.2. As regards the present subject, for example, most thinkers have affirmed that the gods exist, and this is the most probable view and the one to which we are all led by nature's guidance; but Protagoras declared himself uncertain, and Diagoras of Melos and Theodorus of Cyrene held that there are no gods at all. Moreover, the upholders of the divine existence differ and disagree so widely, that it would be a troublesome task to recount their opinions. Many views are put forward about the outward form of the gods, their dwelling-places and abodes, and mode of life, and these topics are debated with the widest variety of opinion among philosophers; but as to the question upon which the whole issue of the dispute principally turns, whether the gods are entirely idle and inactive, taking no part at all in the direction and government of the world, or whether on the contrary all things both were created and ordered by them in the beginning and are controlled and kept in motion by them throughout eternity, here there is the greatest disagreement of all. And until this issue is decided, mankind must continue to labour under the profoundest uncertainty, and to be in ignorance about matters of the highest moment. 1.3. For there are and have been philosophers who hold that the gods exercise no control over human affairs whatever. But if their opinion is the true one, how can piety, reverence or religion exist? For all these are tributes which it is our duty to render in purity and holiness to the divine powers solely on the assumption that they take notice of them, and that some service has been rendered by the immortal gods to the race of men. But if on the contrary the gods have neither the power nor the will to aid us, if they pay no heed to us at all and take no notice of our actions, if they can exercise no possible influence upon the life of men, what ground have we for rendering any sort of worship, honour or prayer to the immortal gods? Piety however, like the rest of the virtues, cannot exist in mere outward show and pretence; and, with piety, reverence and religion must likewise disappear. And when these are gone, life soon becomes a welter of disorder and confusion; 1.4. and in all probability the disappearance of piety towards the gods will entail the disappearance of loyalty and social union among men as well, and of justice itself, the queen of all the virtues. There are however other philosophers, and those of eminence and note, who believe that the whole world is ruled and governed by divine intelligence and reason; and not this only, but also that the gods' providence watches over the life of men; for they think that the cornº and other fruits of the earth, and also the weather and the seasons and the changes of the atmosphere by which all the products of the soil are ripened and matured, are the gift of the immortal gods to the human race; and they adduce a number of things, which will be recounted in the books that compose the present treatise, that are of such a nature as almost to appear to have been expressly constructed by the immortal gods for the use of man. This view was controverted at great length by Carneades, in such a manner as to arouse in persons of active mind a keen desire to discover the truth. 1.7. Moreover, if it be true that all the doctrines of philosophy have a practical bearing, I may claim that in my public and private conduct alike I have practised the precepts taught by reason and by theory. If again anyone asks what motive has induced me so late in the day to commit these precepts to writing, there is nothing that I can explain more easily. I was languishing in idle retirement, and the state of public affairs was such that an autocratic form of government had become inevitable. In these circumstances, in the first place I thought that to expound philosophy to my fellow-countrymen was actually my duty in the interests of the commonwealth, since in my judgement it would greatly contribute to the honour and glory of the state to have thoughts so important and so lofty enshrined in Latin literature also; 1.10. Those however who seek to learn my personal opinion on the various questions show an unreasonable degree of curiosity. In discussion it is not so much weight of authority as force of argument that should be demanded. Indeed the authority of those who profess to teach is often a positive hindrance to those who desire to learn; they cease to employ their own judgement, and take what they perceive to be the verdict of their chosen master as settling the question. In fact I am not disposed to approve the practice traditionally ascribed to the Pythagoreans, who, when questioned as to the grounds of any assertion that they advanced in debate, are said to have been accustomed to reply 'He himself said so,' 'he himself' being Pythagoras. So potent was an opinion already decided, making authority prevail unsupported by reason. 1.11. To those again who are surprised at my choice of a system to which to give my allegiance, I think that a sufficient answer has been given in the four books of my Academica. Nor is it the case that I have come forward as the champion of a lost cause and of a position now abandoned. When men die, their doctrines do not perish with them, though perhaps they suffer from the loss of their authoritative exponent. Take for example the philosophical method referred to, that of a purely negative dialectic which refrains from pronouncing any positive judgement. This, after being originated by Socrates, revived by Arcesilas, and reinforced by Carneades, has flourished right down to our own period; though I understand that in Greece itself it is now almost bereft of adherents. But this I ascribe not to the fault of the Academy but to the dullness of mankind. If it is a considerable matter to understand any one of the systems of philosophy singly, how much harder is it to master them all! Yet this is the task that confronts those whose principle is to discover the truth by the method of arguing both for and against all the schools. 1.12. In an undertaking so extensive and so arduous, I do not profess to have attained success, though I do claim to have attempted it. At the same time it would be impossible for the adherents of this method to dispense altogether with any standard of guidance. This matter it is true I have discussed elsewhere more thoroughly; but some people are so dull and slow of apprehension that they appear to require repeated explanations. Our position is not that we hold that nothing is true, but that we assert that all true sensations are associated with false ones so closely resembling them that they contain no infallible mark to guide our judgement and assent. From this followed the corollary, that many sensations are probable, that is, though not amounting to a full perception they are yet possessed of a certain distinctness and clearness, and so can serve to direct the conduct of the wise man. 1.13. However, to free myself entirely from ill‑disposed criticism, I will now lay before my readers the doctrines of the various schools on the nature of the gods. This is a topic on which it seems proper to summon all the world to sit in judgement and pronounce which of these doctrines is the true one. If it turn out that all the schools agree, or if any one philosopher be found who had discovered the truth, then but not before I will convict the Academy of captiousness. This being so, I feel disposed to cry, in the words of the Young Comrades: O ye gods and O ye mortals, townsmen, gownsmen, hear my call; I invoke, implore, adjure ye, bear ye witness one and all — not about some frivolous trifle such as that of which a character in the play complains — . . . here's a monstrous crime and outrage in the land; Here's a lady who declines a guinea from a lover's hand! 1.14. but to attend in court, try the case, and deliver their verdict as to what opinions we are to hold about religion, piety and holiness, about ritual, about honour and loyalty to oaths, about temples, shrines and solemn sacrifices, and about the very auspices over which I myself preside; for all of these matters ultimately depend upon this question of the nature of the immortal gods. Surely such wide diversity of opinion among men of the greatest learning on a matter of the highest moment must affect even those who think that they possess certain knowledge with a feeling of doubt. 2.5. how is the latter fact more evident than the former? Nothing but the presence in our minds of a firmly grasped concept of the deity could account for the stability and permanence of our belief in him, a belief which is only strengthened by the passage of the ages and grows more deeply rooted with each successive generation of mankind. In every other case we see that fictitious and unfounded opinions have dwindled away with lapse of time. Who believes that the Hippocentaur or the Chimaera ever existed? Where can you find an old wife senseless enough to be afraid of the monsters of the lower world that were once believed in? The years obliterate the inventions of the imagination, but confirm the judgements of nature. "Hence both in our own nation and among all others reverence for the gods and respect for religion grow continually stronger and more profound.
5. Cicero, On Duties, 1.2, 1.6, 2.7-2.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2. Quam ob rem disces tu quidem a principe huius aetatis philosophorum, et disces, quam diu voles; tam diu autem velle debebis, quoad te, quantum proficias, non paenitebit; sed tamen nostra legens non multum a Peripateticis dissidentia, quoniam utrique Socratici et Platonici volumus esse, de rebus ipsis utere tuo iudicio (nihil enim impedio), orationem autem Latinam efficies profecto legendis nostris pleniorem. Nec vero hoc arroganter dictum existimari velim. Nam philosophandi scientiam concedens multis, quod est oratoris proprium, apte, distincte, ornate dicere, quoniam in eo studio aetatem consumpsi, si id mihi assumo, videor id meo iure quodam modo vindicare. 1.6. Quae quamquam ita sunt in promptu, ut res disputatione non egeat, tamen sunt a nobis alio loco disputata. Hae disciplinae igitur si sibi consentaneae velint esse, de officio nihil queant dicere, neque ulla officii praecepta firma, stabilia, coniuncta naturae tradi possunt nisi aut ab iis, qui solam, aut ab iis, qui maxime honestatem propter se dicant expetendam. Ita propria est ea praeceptio Stoicorum, Academicorum, Peripateticorum, quoniam Aristonis, Pyrrhonis, Erilli iam pridem explosa sententia est; qui tamen haberent ius suum disputandi de officio, si rerum aliquem dilectum reliquissent, ut ad officii inventionem aditus esset. Sequemur igitur hoc quidem tempore et hac in quaestione potissimum Stoicos non ut interpretes, sed, ut solemus, e fontibus eorum iudicio arbitrioque nostro, quantum quoque modo videbitur, hauriemus. 2.7. Occurritur autem nobis, et quidem a doctis et eruditis quaerentibus, satisne constanter facere videamur, qui, cum percipi nihil posse dicamus, tamen et aliis de rebus disserere soleamus et hoc ipso tempore praecepta officii persequamur. Quibus vellem satis cognita esset nostra sententia. Non enim sumus ii, quorum vagetur animus errore nec habeat umquam, quid sequatur. Quae enim esset ista mens vel quae vita potius non modo disputandi, sed etiam vivendi ratione sublata? Nos autem, ut ceteri alia certa, alia incerta esse dicunt, sic ab his dissentientes alia probabilia, contra alia dicimus. 2.8. Quid est igitur, quod me impediat ea, quae probabilia mihi videantur, sequi, quae contra, improbare atque affirmandi arrogantiam vitantem fugere temeritatem, quae a sapientia dissidet plurimum? Contra autem omnia disputatur a nostris, quod hoc ipsum probabile elucere non posset, nisi ex utraque parte causarum esset facta contentio. Sed haec explanata sunt in Academicis nostris satis, ut arbitror, diligenter. Tibi autem, mi Cicero, quamquam in antiquissima nobilissimaque philosophia Cratippo auctore versaris iis simillimo, qui ista praeclara pepererunt, tamen haec nostra finitima vestris ignota esse nolui. Sed iam ad instituta pergamus. 2.7.  But people raise other objections against me â€” and that, too, philosophers and scholars — asking whether I think I am quite consistent in my conduct — for although our school maintains that nothing can be known for certain, yet, they urge, I make a habit of presenting my opinions on all sorts of subjects and at this very moment am trying to formulate rules of duty. But I wish that they had a proper understanding of our position. For we Academicians are not men whose minds wander in uncertainty and never know what principles to adopt. For what sort of mental habit, or rather what sort of life would that be which should dispense with all rules for reasoning or even for living? Not so with us; but, as other schools maintain that some things are certain, others uncertain, we, differing with them, say that some things are probable, others improbable. 2.8.  What, then, is to hinder me from accepting what seems to me to be probable, while rejecting what seems to be improbable, and from shunning the presumption of dogmatism, while keeping clear of that recklessness of assertion which is as far as possible removed from true wisdom? And as to the fact that our school argues against everything, that is only because we could not get a clear view of what is "probable," unless a comparative estimate were made of all the arguments on both sides. But this subject has been, I think, quite fully set forth in my "Academics." And although, my dear Cicero, you are a student of that most ancient and celebrated school of philosophy, with Cratippus as your master — and he deserves to be classed with the founders of that illustrious sect — still I wish our school, which is closely related to yours, not to be unknown to you. Let us now proceed to the task in hand.
6. Cicero, Letters, 13.16.1 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

7. Cicero, Letters, 13.16.1 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

8. Cicero, Letters, 13.16.1 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

9. Cicero, Letters, 13.16.1 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

10. Cicero, Lucullus, 132 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

11. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 1.8, 5.5, 5.11 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.8. itaque dierum quinque scholas, ut Graeci appellant, in totidem libros contuli. fiebat autem ita ut, cum is his G 1 V 1 H qui audire audiri X ( corr. V 2 l e ss. K 2 ) vellet dixisset, quid quod K 1 V 2 sibi videretur, tum ego contra dicerem. haec est enim, ut scis, vetus et et om. V 1 add. 2 Socratica ratio contra alterius opinionem disserendi. nam ita facillime, quid veri simillimum esset, inveniri posse Socrates arbitrabatur. Sed quo commodius disputationes nostrae explicentur, sic eas exponam, quasi agatur res, non quasi narretur. Philosophia ... 221, 7 narretur H (27 fieri 220, 5 litteris et 220,13 adulescentes 220, 18 dicere bis ) ergo ergo et primam lit- teram verbi malum om. R 1 V 1 spatio rubicatori relicto ; ergo add. R al. m ergo et m V c ita nasce- in r. V 1 nascatur corr. V c ita nascetur exordium: Malum ergo et primam lit- teram verbi malum om. R 1 V 1 spatio rubicatori relicto ; ergo add. R al. m ergo et m V c ita nasce- in r. V 1 nascatur corr. V c mihi videtur esse mors. 5.5. Sed et huius culpae et ceterorum vitiorum peccatorumque nostrorum omnis a philosophia petenda correctio est. est H (9 nihil est... 405, 8 videantur et 405, 18 illa ... 405, 29 est bis ) cuius in sinum cum a primis temporibus ( initio libere ) ... 405, 29 aetatis nostra nostram K 1 voluntas studiumque nos compulisset, his gravissimis casibus in eundem portum, ex quo eramus egressi, magna iactati tempestate confugimus. o vitae philosophia dux, o virtutis virtus KRH indagatrix expultrixque excultrixque GKR 1 V 1 H Apul. plur. (exculptrixque PL ) Lact. P 1 V (ultrixque H ) expultrixque R vet V rec M s Prisc. Apul. F 2 Lact. BP 2 vitiorum! o vitae ... 4 vitiorum Prisc. GL. 2, 371, 10 o vitae, om. codd. phil....potuisset et tu inventrix...fuisti Lact. inst.3, 13, 15 cf. Apul. mund. 1 quid quid qui V 1 ( dadd, 1 aut 2 ) ft. recte cf. Mue. non modo nos, sed omnino vita hominum sine te esse potuisset? tu urbis peperisti, tu dissipatos homines in societatem vitae convocasti, tu eos inter se primo domiciliis, deinde coniugiis, tum litterarum literarum K et vocum communione iunxisti, tu inventrix legum, tu magistra morum et disciplinae fuisti; ad te confugimus, a te opem petimus, tibi nos, ut antea magna ex parte, sic nunc penitus totosque tradimus. est autem quid ad te opem ferimus. est autem H unus dies bene et ex praeceptis tuis actus peccanti peccandi R 1 imm. GH inmortalitati anteponendus. 5.11. cuius multiplex ratio disputandi rerumque varietas et ingenii magnitudo Platonis memoria et litteris consecrata plura genera effecit effecit s efficit X dissentientium philosophorum, e quibus nos id potissimum consecuti consecuti con del. V 2 sumus, quo Socratem usum arbitrabamur, arbitramur V 2 s ut nostram ipsi sententiam tegeremus, errore alios levaremus et in omni disputatione, quid esset simillimum veri, quaereremus. quaeremus G 1 K quem morem moyerem G 2 cum Carneades acutissime copiosissimeque tenuisset, fecimus et alias saepe et nuper in Tusculano, ut ad eam eam ( del. c ) R consuetudinem disputaremus. et quadridui quidem sermonem superioribus ad ad a R missimus G 1 K te perscriptum libris misimus, quinto autem die cum eodem in loco consedissemus, sic est propositum, de quo disputaremus:

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
academics, the academy Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
academy Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
antiochus of ascalon Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288; Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9, 110
antonius m. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
argument Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
athens Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
atticus t. pomponius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
augustus octavianus c. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
brutus m. junius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
caesar c. julius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
carneades Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
cato m. porcius uticensis (the younger) Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
cicero, on philosophy Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
cicero, on plato and aristotle Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
cicero Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
clitomachus Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
cosmos Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
desire / tendency / adpetitio Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9, 19
dicaearchus Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
diodotus Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
dogmatism Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
eloquence / eloquentia Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
epicureanism Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
epistemology Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
gods Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
hortensius q. hortalus Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
mithridates / mithridatic Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
panaetius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
phaedrus Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
philippi Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
philo of larisa Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
philo of larissa Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9, 110
physics Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
plato, cicero on Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
plato Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
politics Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
posidonius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9
preconceptions Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
reader Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 115
religion Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 124
scepticism, academic' Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 288
scepticism Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9, 110
stoicism, xi Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 115, 124
theophrastus Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
truth Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 115
tullia Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
varro Atkins, The Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy (2021) 115
varro m. terentius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 19
xenocrates Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 110
zeno of sidon Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 9