Cicero: On the Commonwealth and On the Laws

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 9, 1999 - History - 207 pages
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Cicero's On the Commonwealth and On the Laws are his most important works of political philosophy. The present volume offers a scholarly reconstruction of the fragments of On the Commonwealth and a masterly translation of both dialogues, newly prepared by James E. G. Zetzel, Professor of Classics at Columbia University. The texts are supported by a helpful, concise introduction, notes and other aids; students in politics, philosophy, ancient history, law and classics will gain a new understanding of this seminal thinker thanks to Professor Zetzel's volume.
 

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Contents

Editors note
vi
Introduction
vii
Chronology
xxv
Bibliography
xxix
Text and Translation
xxxvi
Synopsis
xlii
On the Commonwealth
1
Book 2
33
Book 6
92
Unplaced fragments
103
On the Laws
105
Book 2
129
Book 3
157
Fragments
175
Biographical notes
176
Index of fragments
199

Book 3
59
Book 4
79
Book 5
87

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About the author (1999)

Born in Arpinum on January 3, 106 B.C., Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman orator, writer, and politician. In Rome, Cicero studied law, oratory, philosophy, and literature, before embarking on a political career. Banished from Rome in 59 B.C. for the execution of some members of the Catiline group, Cicero devoted himself to literature. Cicero was pardoned by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C., and returned to Rome to deliver his famous speeches, known as the "Philippics," urging the senate to declare war on Marc Antony. Cicero's chief works, written between 46 and 44 B.C., can be classified in the categories of philosophical works, letters, and speeches. The letters, edited by his secretary Tiro, showcase a unique writing style and charm. The most popular work of the period was De Officiis, a manual of ethics, in which Cicero espoused fundamental Christian values half a century before Christ. Cicero was murdered in Formiae, Italy, on December 4, 43 B.C., by Antony's soldiers after the triumvirate of Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius was formed.

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