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Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods (De natura deorum) / Academica (Loeb Classical Library, No. 268) Hardcover – January 31, 1933

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674992962 ISBN-10: 0674992962

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 1, 1933)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674992962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674992962
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Johannes Platonicus on May 5, 2004
This particular volume concerns Ciceronian theology and epistimology. In the first treatise, De Natura Deorum, Cicero devotes three books to the theological views of the Epicureans , Stoics, and Academics. In Cicero's characteristic use of Platonic dialogue, he ultimately discusses the nature of the gods and their role in human society with three representatives of the schools listed above, Velleius, Balbus, and Cotta. In the second treatise, the Academica, which unfortunately only the second half survives, Cicero deals with the epistimological views of the Old and New Academy and demonstrates that their views are compatible rather than conflicting. For the individual who wishes to receive a preliminary crash course on the theology and epistimology of Cicero's time, then this volume will be a great place to start. Overall, these works are seasoned with Ciceronian eloquence and are full of his encyclopedic knowledge of the philosophical tenets of middle-platonism, and of the Stoics and Epicureans.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "acominatus" on February 1, 2003
This volume (#268) in the Loeb Classical Library
editions of Greek and Latin works -- contains two
major philosophical works by Cicero {Marcus Tullius
Cicero -- sometimes referred to as "Tully" by later
writers of the 17th and 18th centuries). The two
works are: -De Natura Deorum-, and, -Academica-.
There are, in his life and in his writings, two
different Ciceros, according to the implications in
Cicero's writings. There was the public man Cicero--
the lawyer in the courts (whether prosecuting or
defense), the Consul, the politcal activist, the
manipulator and manipulated man. Then there was
the retiree from public life, the father cast into
sorrow by the grief over the loss of his daughter,
the man seeking consolation and engagement with
philosophy. It is the second of these two men
who is the author and thinker in these two works.
Both works are cast as dialogues...discourses,
or gentlemanly "arguments" about the schools of
philosophy and the approaches of philosophical
thought which were available in Cicero's time.
They mainly concern what had happened to philo-
sophical thought after the death of Plato, and
the fate of his school (the Academy) and its
teachings were passed down to various "stewards"
of thought. Each of the succeeding masters of
the school took a different approach toward
philosophical investigation and interest, depending
on how they interpreted Plato's emphases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donnie Fox on December 31, 2013
Verified Purchase
Loeb (Harvard) Classical Library editions are nicely bound cloth covered hardbound books, printed on acid-free paper, and small enough to fit in a coat pocket (about 4.5 by 6.5 inches). This book is printed with the Latin on the left page and English translation on the right.
I found the reported sighting of the Roman gods Castor and Pollux having been seen fighting alongside Romans at the battle of Lake Regillus fascinating. (page 127) It is no wonder that the Romans persecuted early Christians--after all, the Christians were atheists who refused to honor the gods that made Rome a great nation! I doubt the Romans would have converted to Christianity had they not been forced by Roman emperors Constantine, Theodosius and Justinian.
If you would like to read personal testimony regarding the existence of the gods, you might also want to purchase the Loeb edition of Marcus Aurelius. This Roman emperor testifies to his personal experience of the gods in his life and his deep reverence for them.
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By Viktoria Michaelis on January 27, 2014
Accepting something merely because it has always been that way - whether in a religious sense or any other - has always been the easiest thing a person can do. Discussion, on the other hand, is difficult, especially when the discussion takes place between people of different opinions, different beliefs, different cultural backgrounds.

To understand much of the present day arguments about religion it is necessary to go back through time and see how some of these beliefs began, where they have their roots, what makes people follow one specific belief over another. It is necessary to look critically at what is propounded by modern-day religions, and where they stem from, how they came to be in the present form, what appeals to people who follow these religions, this form of faith.

Cicero's book, written in the final years of his life, takes three differing aspects of the subjects 'gods' and 'belief' and allows his characters to explain why they follow a certain train of thought, why their own belief is based within a specific area. His characters discuss three differing schools of thought during the pre-Christian era, thoughts which have influenced us whether we know it or not.

His carefully constructed discussion is a masterpiece of poetic language as much as a revelation about our past. How the philosophical schools of his time came to terms with the idea of a god, or many gods, or even the lack of a supreme being. How daily life was governed by their perceived rule, by their actions or inaction, by the messages they are purported to have passed down to mortal man. On the Nature of the Gods gives us a valuable insight into the thinking of his times and the first constructs which would, in coming centuries, be adapted and forced into the belief in one single god.
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Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods (De natura deorum) / Academica (Loeb Classical Library, No. 268)
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