Cicero on the Philosophy of Religion: On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination

Cicero on the Philosophy of Religion: On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination

by J. P. F. Wynne

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During the months before and after he saw Julius Caesar assassinated on the Ides of March, 44 BC, Cicero wrote two philosophical dialogues about religion and theology: On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination. This book brings to life his portraits of Stoic and Epicurean theology, as well as the scepticism of the new Academy, his own school. We meet the Epicurean gods who live a life of pleasure and care nothing for us, the determinism and beauty of the Stoic universe, itself our benevolent creator, and the reply to both that traditional religion is better served by a lack of dogma. Cicero hoped that these reflections would renew the traditional religion at Rome, with its prayers and sacrifices, temples and statues, myths and poets, and all forms of divination. This volume is the first to fully investigate Cicero's dialogues as the work of a careful philosophical author.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108627276
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/31/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

J. P. F. Wynne is Associate Professor of Classics in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Utah. He is a scholar of later ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and religion, and a specialist on Cicero, Stoic and sceptical philosophy, and the philosophy of religion in the ancient world.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Cicero and the translation of philosophy from Greece to Rome; 1. Cicero's project in On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination; 2. The beatitude of Gaius Velleius; 3. Balbus the reformer and Cotta the pontifex; 4. Quintus' Stoic case for divination; 5. Marcus' arguments against divination; 6. Marcus' moderation; Appendix 1. Terminology in DND and Div. for religious virtues and vices, and Greek equivalents; Appendix 2. Velleius' strategies against his opponents; Appendix 3. Balbus' classification of the gods.

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