Being mostly acclaimed throughout the centuries as the champion of Roman oratory and as innovator of rhetoric, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) did not achieve an equally well-established and wide-ranging reputation as a philosophical thinker, especially with regard to the sphere of political thought. This might be due to a variety of reasons. In the first place, Cicero himself declares that there are many to whom he yields precedence in knowledge of philosophy, and that he can rather lay claim to the orator’s peculiar set of abilities (De Officiis I, 1.2). Also, his frequent and explicit reminders to the doctrines of thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, the Skeptics and the Stoics in his written works have often lead scholars to charge him of mindless eclecticism. Most notably, when it comes to his political views, these have often been judged in terms a simple projection of his life and active commitments in the turbulent period of factional strife preceding the death of the Roman Republic, and not as convictions substantiated by an authentic philosophical outlook. The aim of this monograph is to shed a new light on Cicero as political thinker and foster an appreciation of his thought by bringing into focus some of its main theoretical underpinnings. With a view to this goal, writings that have enjoyed special consideration have been his De Republica (55-51 a.C) and De Legibus (around 52 a.C), although even ethical works like the De Officiis, his orations and letters have been investigated and adopted as privileged points of view for a fruitful analysis of Cicero’s political doctrines. The book addresses a varieties of issues, among which: 1) Cicero’s conception of the relationship between contemplative and political life. 2) The nexus between the morals implied in political customs and individual moral virtue. 3) Criteria and principles of choice employed by Cicero while drawing on the teaching of various philosophical schools. 4) Aspects of originality of Cicero’s political philosophy with respect to the adopted philosophical sources. 5) A supposed principle of synthesis that governs Greek and Roman philosophical principles employed by Cicero. 6) The nature of constitutions and their transformations. 7) The nature of virtuous statesmanship and citizenship. 8) The nature of concepts like iustitia, res publica and populus. 9) Cicero’s theory of the law of nature and its relationship with conventional laws. 10) The dialogic structure of the De Republica and the De Legibus, its aims and methods. 11) Modern and Contemporary reception of Cicero’s political works. 12) The relationship between the stoic approach to the issue of natural law and Cicero’s theory the “harmony among the classes” (Concordia Ordinum).

Rethinking Cicero as Political Philosopher

GIORGINI, GIOVANNI;IRRERA, ELENA
2014

Abstract

Being mostly acclaimed throughout the centuries as the champion of Roman oratory and as innovator of rhetoric, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) did not achieve an equally well-established and wide-ranging reputation as a philosophical thinker, especially with regard to the sphere of political thought. This might be due to a variety of reasons. In the first place, Cicero himself declares that there are many to whom he yields precedence in knowledge of philosophy, and that he can rather lay claim to the orator’s peculiar set of abilities (De Officiis I, 1.2). Also, his frequent and explicit reminders to the doctrines of thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, the Skeptics and the Stoics in his written works have often lead scholars to charge him of mindless eclecticism. Most notably, when it comes to his political views, these have often been judged in terms a simple projection of his life and active commitments in the turbulent period of factional strife preceding the death of the Roman Republic, and not as convictions substantiated by an authentic philosophical outlook. The aim of this monograph is to shed a new light on Cicero as political thinker and foster an appreciation of his thought by bringing into focus some of its main theoretical underpinnings. With a view to this goal, writings that have enjoyed special consideration have been his De Republica (55-51 a.C) and De Legibus (around 52 a.C), although even ethical works like the De Officiis, his orations and letters have been investigated and adopted as privileged points of view for a fruitful analysis of Cicero’s political doctrines. The book addresses a varieties of issues, among which: 1) Cicero’s conception of the relationship between contemplative and political life. 2) The nexus between the morals implied in political customs and individual moral virtue. 3) Criteria and principles of choice employed by Cicero while drawing on the teaching of various philosophical schools. 4) Aspects of originality of Cicero’s political philosophy with respect to the adopted philosophical sources. 5) A supposed principle of synthesis that governs Greek and Roman philosophical principles employed by Cicero. 6) The nature of constitutions and their transformations. 7) The nature of virtuous statesmanship and citizenship. 8) The nature of concepts like iustitia, res publica and populus. 9) Cicero’s theory of the law of nature and its relationship with conventional laws. 10) The dialogic structure of the De Republica and the De Legibus, its aims and methods. 11) Modern and Contemporary reception of Cicero’s political works. 12) The relationship between the stoic approach to the issue of natural law and Cicero’s theory the “harmony among the classes” (Concordia Ordinum).
2014
515
Giovanni Giorgini; Elena Irrera
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/466167
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact