'On Duties' Summary
De Officiis is written in the form of a letter to his son Cicero Minor, who studied philosophy in Athens. Judging from its form, it is nonetheless likely that Cicero wrote with a broader audience in mind. The essay was published posthumously.
Although Cicero was influenced by the Academic, Peripatetic, and Stoic schools of Greek philosophy, this work shows the influence of the Stoic philosopher Panaetius. Panaetius was a Greek philosopher who had resided in Rome around eighty years previously. He wrote a book On Duties (Greek: Περὶ Καθήκοντος) in which he divided his subject into three parts but had left the work unfinished at the third stage. Although Cicero draws from many other sources, for his first two books he follows the steps of Panaetius fairly closely. The third book is more independent, and Cicero disclaims having been indebted to any preceding writers on the subject. Michael Grant tells us that "Cicero himself seems to have regarded this treatise as his spiritual testament and masterpiece."
Cicero urged his son Marcus to follow nature and wisdom, as well as politics, and warned against pleasure and indolence. Cicero's essay relies heavily on anecdotes, much more than his other works, and is written in a more leisurely and less formal style than his other writings, perhaps because he wrote it hastily. Like the satires of Juvenal, Cicero's De Officiis refers frequently to current events of his time.
There are 10 divisions in this title. This project is a recording of book 6. There is a number of interesting anecdotes on the lives of Antisthenes, D...
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