On Old Age, On Friendship & On Divination
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...more
We know more about Cicero than any other Roman writer, and he was one of the most prolific. There is an unfortunate portrayal of him in the HBO series "Rome" that leaves the impression of his being a scheming, pedantic, intellectually effite weasel (I think that covers it), but he was an astonishingly deep thinker and the epitomy of Aristotle's virtue.
"Divination" is less revealing than "Old Age" and "Friends ...more
On Old Age provides the source information about Isocrates' and Gorgias' late production, as well as the argument about "use it or lose it." In fact much of it is close to current thought, except the bit about how it's better to not feel passions as you age...Viagra!
On Friendship is not particularly startling, only that he suggests that friendships should be carefully vetted because people ought to take as good of care with their friendships as they do with their goats and sheep. Plenty quo ...more
(No one is so old as to think that he cannot live one more year.)”