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Lecture on November 4th

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Johnathon Burgess

CLA160 - Lecture on November 4th Cicero’s Letters, Lucretius and Greco-Roman Philosophy Cicero’s Letters: - hundreds of letters written across several decades - includes letters to lifelong friend Atticus, brother quintus, and other important romans in the late republic - invaluable source for piecing together political history Thoughts about political situations at the end of the republic: - afraid caesar might become a dictator if he wins the civil war - ponders whether he should take the side of pompey and fight with republican forces or sit it out like Atticus did. After Caesar’s victory: - cicero now thinks he isn’t so bad Humanity in the letters: - the letters document cicero’s personal life in detail unparalleled in ancient sources: - we hear of: - tensions with son, divorce with his wife, death of his daughter, pride and occasional arrogance, literary and social life Literary works: - poetry, speeches,handbooks of rhetoric and oratory, technical discussions, philosophical dialogues, translations of greek literature - helped introduce greek ideas and culture into roman society. Cicero the Philosopher: - dialogues (platos tradition) - to depict different beliefs and ideas - “aporetic” - end without a firm conclusion, written not to tell
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