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Tusculan Disputations (Loeb Classical…

Tusculan Disputations (Loeb Classical Library) (v. 18) (edition 1927)

by Cicero, J. E. King (Translator)

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226481,084 (3.53)2
Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106-43 BCE), Roman lawyer, orator, politician and philosopher, of whom we know more than of any other Roman, lived through the stirring era which saw the rise, dictatorship, and death of Julius Caesar in a tottering republic. In his political speeches especially and in his correspondence we see the excitement, tension and intrigue of politics and the part he played in the turmoil of the time. Of about 106 speeches, delivered before the Roman people or the Senate if they were political, before jurors if judicial, 58 survive (a few of them incompletely). In the fourteenth century Petrarch and other Italian humanists discovered manuscripts containing more than 900 letters of which more than 800 were written by Cicero and nearly 100 by others to him. These afford a revelation of the man all the more striking because most were not written for publication. Six rhetorical works survive and another in fragments. Philosophical works include seven extant major compositions and a number of others; and some lost. There is also poetry, some original, some as translations from the Greek. The Loeb Classical Library edition of Cicero is in twenty-nine volumes.… (more)
Title:Tusculan Disputations (Loeb Classical Library) (v. 18)
Other authors:J. E. King (Translator)
Info:Loeb Classical Library (1927), Edition: 2, Hardcover, 624 pages
Collections:Your library

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Tusculan disputations by Cicero

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"It was to philosophy's bosom I was driven from my earliest years by my wishes and interests, and in these dire misfortunes, buffered by a great storm, I have sought refuge in the same harbour from which I first hoisted sail. O philosophy, guide to life, you who search out virtue and drive out vice! . . . to you I entrust myself, as once in large measure, so now deeply and entirely. A single day spent well and in accordance with your lessons is to be preferred to an unending life of error."

"And yet, so far from receiving the praise its services to human life have deserved that it is ignored by most men and even traduced by many . . . But, in my opinion, this misconception, this darkness has blinded the minds of the uneducated, because they are incapable of looking back sufficiently far into the past, and do not consider that the men who were the first to furnish the life of man with its needs were philosophers."

". . . the story goes that Pythagoras came to Philus and in the company of Leon, that town's leading citizen, discussed certain topics learnedly and at length. Leon was struck by his intellect and eloquence, and asked him what art he relied on especially. The reply that Pythagoras gave was that he knew no 'art' but was a philosopher. Surprised at the novelty of the term, Leon asked who philosophers were and what was the difference between them and the rest of men."
—Book V
The Tusculan Disputations are split into 5 books, each taking place over one "day":
Book I deals with death: why death is not an evil both for those who are dead and alive; the immortality of the soul; if the soul is not immortal, still death is not an evil
Book II deals with pain: pain is not the greatest evil, or an evil at all; habit can bring about an endurance of pain; philosophical remedies against pain
Book III deals with grief
Book IV deals with other perturbations of the mind
Book V deals with the happy life: virtue is sufficient for happiness; examples from Greek & Roman history of powerful men who were wretched, as opposed to the life of men of learning and wisdom; the Wise Man is always happy, and virtue is enough to live happily

Books III & IV are commonly left out of modern editions of the Disputations; having read all five, I can see why this is the case with Book III, but in my opinion, Book IV contains some interesting discussion, and is worth reading.

By the by, the Tusculan Disputations are the locus classicus of the legend of The Sword of Damocles, which can be found at Book V. 61
"The same things are said by many writers, and so they have stuffed the world with books." —Book II

"Nature has seen to it that there is in the soul of virtually all people an element of softness, of lowliness, of the abject, of, as it were, what is nerveless and feeble. If he possessed nothing beyond this, man would be the most hideous of all creatures; but by his side stands reason, the mistress and queen of all, who through striving by her own strength and forging onward becomes perfected virtue. What a man must look to is that reason commands that part of the soul which ought to obey. —Book II

"I am speaking of a learned and educated man, for whom to live is to think . . . This is the man who has secured the best way of living . . . and can be compared with nothing else except with God himself, if that is not a blasphemous statement." —Book V ( )
  EroticsOfThought | Feb 28, 2018 |
Perhaps it's the translation ... I feel as though I would enjoy Cicero in the original, but since I don't know Latin I cannot back that up or even provide a good reason why.

Anyhoo, while C. draws on a great number of (perhaps more intellectually substantial?) predecessors for his philosophical thoughts, the Tusculan Disputations just seems to kind of -- in the immortal words of MST3K's Mike Nelson -- wander around the house. Mind you, it's an attractive house, a witty house, but this house (work) does not make a good case for Romans being "as good at" philosophy as the Greeks (I'm not sure C makes that claim so directly and boldly). ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Oct 23, 2017 |
Edition: // Descr: xxxvii, 578 p. 17 cm. // Series: The Loeb Classical Library Call No. { 875 C48-L 6 } Series Edited by T.E. Page With an English Translation by J.E. King Contains Latin and English Versions, Appendices, and Index. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
Edition: // Descr: xxxvi, 322 p. 19 cm. // Series: Allyn and Bacon's College Latin Series Call No. { 875 C48 25 } Series under the General Editorship of John C. Rolfe With Introduction and Notes by H.C. Nutting. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
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King, J. E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Als ich mich endlich von meiner Arbeit als Verteidiger vor Gericht und von den Pflichten als Senator ganz oder doch zum größten Teil befreit sah, da kehrte ich - vor allem auf deine Mahnung hin, Brutus - zu jenen Studien zurück, die ich im Geist zwar festgehalten, unter dem Zwang der Umstände aber zurückgestellt hatte und die während langer Zeit liegen geblieben waren.
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A: Anser du meg som så forrykt at jeg skulle tro på slike eventyr?
M: Du tror altså ikke på dem?
A: Absolutt ikke.
M: Det var virkelig trist.
A: Hvorfor det?
M: Fordi jeg kunne vært så veltalende hvis jeg skulle ha talt mot slike eventyr.
Undertiden - men sjelden - kan det tillates for en mann å stønne; å hyle, ikke engang for en kvinne.
Theodoros sa til Lysimakhos som truet ham med døden: 'Du får sannelig utrettet noe stort hvis du har fått samme makt som en giftflue.'
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