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Roman Philosophy and the Good Life [Paperback]

Raymond Angelo Belliotti

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Book Description

August 15, 2009 0739139703 978-0739139707
A practical people not prone to be lured to philosophical abstraction for its own sake, the Romans looked toward philosophy for guidance on how to live. Though wary of Greek philosophy, the Romans would come to see the need for philosophies such as Stoicism, Epicureanism, Platonism, and Aristotelianism to point the way to leading the good life. With the help of these philosophies, they attempted to grapple with some of most enduring concerns of the human condition: Who am I? How should I live my life? What, if anything, is my destiny? Raymond Angelo Belliotti's Roman Philosophy and the Good Life provides an accessible picture of these major philosophical influences in Rome and details the crucial role they played during times of major social upheaval. Belliotti demonstrates the contemporary relevance of some of the philosophical issues faced by the Romans, and offers ways in which today's society can learn from the Romans in our attempt to create meaningful lives. Roman Philosophy and the Good Life will certainly intrigue those who are drawn to Roman history and politics, and especially those who enjoy viewing philosophy in action.

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Roman Philosophy and the Good Life + Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Belliotti's Roman Philosophy and the Good Life is brilliantly written! The work exposes the intricacies of historic events and the pivotal roles played by main characters, such as Cicero, Caesar, Epicurus and Seneca, whose ideas are inherent in Western culture. Unlike many books on the classics, Belliotti sustains the novel-like appeal throughout the book without compromising philosophical rigor. (G John M. Abbarno, D'Youville College)

Roman Philosophy and the Good Life offers a thoughtful overview of the reception of the Hellenistic schools into Rome through the writings of Cicero and successive Roman philosophical thinkers. Belliotti has written an engaging exploration of a historical period when philosophy and action were unusually and intriguingly intertwined. (Joseph G. DeFilippo, Ph.D., State Council of Higher Education for Virginia)

Belliotti's approach brings out the degree to which Roman philosophy is a practical guide to public and private life, rather than an abstract theoretical activity. The treatment of Roman philosophers and their Greek predecessors is reliable, and Belliotti judiciously engages enough of the vast secondary literature to help students find their way into it. Clearly written in a lively, engaging style, this book is a useful guide for students getting oriented in Roman thought. Recommended. (CHOICE, February 2010)

Belliotti's sweeping tale deftly combines history, politics, and ethics as it recounts the lives, characters and thoughts of the great Roman philosophers. He investigates the interactions between Roman philosophy and politics, while offering insightful evaluations of Skepticism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism and their competing conceptions of the good life. An enjoyable and informative read. (Harvey Siegel, University of Miami)

About the Author

Raymond Angelo Belliotti is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

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