1913. But since the resources of individuals are limited and the number of the needy is infinite, this spirit of universal liberality must be regulated according to that test of Ennius—“No less shines his”—in order that we may continue to have the means for being generous to our friends. For we are all attracted and drawn to a zeal for learning and knowing; and we think it glorious to excel therein, while we count it base and immoral to fall into error, to wander from the truth, to be ignorant, to be led astray. In this pursuit, which is both natural and morally right, two errors are to be avoided: first, we must not treat the unknown as known and too readily accept it; and he who wishes to avoid this error (as all should do) will devote both time and attention to the weighing of evidence. The pinnacle of his political career was probably the Catiline Conspiracy when he was granted emergency powers by the Roman Senate and given the title p… The civil law is not necessarily also the universal law; but the universal law ought to be also the civil law. But in bestowing a kindness, as well as in making a requital, the first rule of duty requires us—other things being equal—to lend assistance preferably to people in proportion to their individual need. Bold numbers in brackets indicate the standard divisions in Cicero’s texts in which are found in whole or part the sections reproduced here. From this attitude come greatness of soul and a sense of superiority to worldly conditions. The first principle is that which is found in the connection subsisting between all the members of the human race; and that bond of connection is reason and speech, which by the processes of teaching and learning, of communicating, discussing, and reasoning associate men together and unite them in a sort of natural fraternity. [99] We should, therefore, in our dealings with people show what I may almost call reverence toward all men—not only toward the men who are the best, but toward others as well. [16] For the more clearly anyone observes the most essential truth in any given case and the more quickly and accurately he can see and explain the reasons for it, the more understanding and wise he is generally esteemed, and justly so. Whether we do the kindness or not is optional; but to fail to requite one is not allowable to a good man, provided he can make the requital without violating the rights of others. There are also certain duties to be observed toward those who may have injured you. For he who posits the supreme good as having no connection with virtue and measures it not by a moral standard but by his own interests—if he should be consistent and not rather at times over-ruled by his better nature, he could value neither friendship nor justice nor generosity; and brave he surely cannot possibly be that counts pain the supreme evil, nor temperate he that holds pleasure to be the supreme good. If these errors are successfully avoided, all the labour and pains expended upon problems that are morally right and worth the solving will be fully rewarded. But as regards special duties for which positive rules are laid down, though they are affected by the doctrine of the supreme good, still the fact is not so obvious, because they seem rather to look to the regulation of everyday life; and it is these special duties that I propose to treat at length in the following books. Starting with that infinite bond of union of the human race in general, the conception is now confined to a small and narrow circle. Loeb edn. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ... {11} IV. quam ob rem magnopere te hortor mi cicero ut non solum orationes meas sed hos etiam de philosophia libros qui iam illis fere se aequarunt studiose legas uis enim maior in illis dicendi sed hoc quoque colendum est aequabile et temperatum orationis genus et id quidem nemini uideo ... Cicero De Officiis 1 3 Hi there. Copyright 2020 The Witherspoon Institute. Now the humblest station and the poorest fortune are those of slaves; and they give us no bad rule who bid us treat our slaves as we should our employees: they must be required to work; they must be given their dues. [13] Furthermore, when the Stoics speak of the supreme good as “living conformably to Nature,” they mean, as I take it, something like this: that we are always to be in accord with virtue, and from all other things that may be in harmony with Nature to choose only such as are not incompatible with virtue. [102] The appetites, moreover, must be made to obey the reins of reason and neither allowed to run ahead of it nor from listlessness or indolence to lag behind; but people should enjoy calm of soul and be free from every sort of passion. Popilius was general in command of a province. Bracketed words or phrases usually represent my effort to clarify a term or reference. De officiis (On Moral Duties), 1.11.33-1.13.41, 3.29.107. Hence we may clearly see how wide is the application not only of that propriety which is essential to moral rectitude in general, but also of the special propriety which is displayed in each particular subdivision of virtue. [In Book 2 Cicero has explored the appeal, from the justifiable to the excessive, of the useful or expedient. For he who, under the influence of anger or some other passion, wrongfully assaults another seems, as it were, to be laying violent hands upon a comrade; but he who does not prevent or oppose wrong, if he can, is just as guilty of wrong as if he deserted his parents or his friends or his country. [Shortly after this point in the complete text some important passages on the requisites of justice and the often later utilized images of the lion and fox appear.]. For it is only when they agree with Nature’s laws that we should give our approval to the movements not only of the body, but still more of the spirit. Could one in the same way advertise a house for sale, post up a notice “To be-sold,” like a snare, and have somebody run into it unsuspecting? Used with permission. The following questions are illustrative of the first part: whether all duties are absolute; whether one duty is more important than another; and so on. Cicero, De officiis, Cic.off.1,11-14 Grundzüge einer Anthropologie: Die Naturausstattung des Mensche (lateinisch - deutsch) Pax Romana - Pax Americana: Die Frage nach dem gerechten Krieg. [32] For a given promise or agreement may turn out in such a way that its performance will prove detrimental either to the one to whom the promise has been made or to the one who has made it. For we may well be guided by those fundamental principles of justice which I laid down at the outset: first, that no harm be done to anyone; second, that the common interests be conserved. With an English translation by Walter Miller ... Cicero, Marcus Tullius; Miller, Walter, 1864-1949. Books 1 and 3. http://www.stoics.com/cicero_book.html (Accessed 24 May 2008). Language Latin. In the 2000 edition (Oxford University Press, reprinted 2008, and recently added to my library), translator P.G. I only wish that we were true even to this; for, even as it is, it is drawn from the excellent models which Nature and Truth afford. Your current position in the text is marked in blue. For when appetites overstep their bounds and, galloping away, so to speak, whether in desire or aversion, are not well held in hand by reason, they clearly overleap all bound and measure; for they throw obedience off and leave it behind and refuse to obey the reins of reason, to which they are subject by Nature’s laws. Again, there are certain duties that we owe even to those who have wronged us. For if we do not hesitate to confer favours upon those who we hope will be of help to us, how ought we to deal with those who have already helped us? DE OFFICIIS LIBRI TRES LIBER PRIMUS Quamquam te, Marce fili, annum iam audientem 1.1.1 Cratippum idque Athenis abundare oportet praecep- tis institutisque philosophiae propter summam et doc- toris auctoritatem et urbis, quorum alter te scientia augere potest, altera exemplis, tamen, ut ipse ad meam 5 DE OFFICIIS. But when the young man out of love for the service stayed on in the field, his father wrote to Popilius to say that if he let him stay in the army, he should swear him into service with a new oath of allegiance, for in view of the voidance of his former oath he could not legally fight the foe. This was Cicero's last year alive, and he was 62 years of age. [24] Then, too, those very wrongs which people try to inflict on purpose to injure are often the result of fear: that is, he who premeditates injuring another is afraid that, if he does not do so, he may himself be made to suffer some hurt. Hunter College, CUNY John R.Wallach POLSC 201 Fall, 2020 READING QUESTIONS: CICERO, On Duties (De Officiis) Cicero writes out of the Stoic tradition of philosophizing, which originated in ancient Greece but became significantly more prominent in Rome. With the foregoing exposition, I think it is clear what the nature is of what we term propriety. Background. Of this again there are two divisions—justice, in which is the crowning glory of the virtues and on the basis of which men are called “good men”; and, close akin to justice, charity, which may also be called kindness or generosity. But there are some schools that distort all notions of duty by the theories they propose touching the supreme good and the supreme evil. Every treatise on duty has two parts: one, dealing with the doctrine of the supreme good; the other with the practical rules by which daily life in all its bearings may be regulated. It is all the more surprising that Andrew R. Dyck's volume is the first detailed English commentary on the work written in this century. options are on the right side and top of the page. Moreover, all our thought and mental activity will be devoted either to planning for things that are morally right and that conduce to a good and happy life, or to the pursuits of science and learning. But, for the most part, people are led to wrong-doing in order to secure some personal end; in this vice, avarice is generally the controlling motive. This bond of union is closer between those who belong to the same nation, and more intimate still between those who are citizens of the same city-state. 2. ff. Translated by Walter Miller. [, But a still closer social union exists between kindred. 83v-84r [Title:] Meditationes ad Ipsum. But of all forms of injustice, none is more flagrant than that of the hypocrite who, at the very moment when he is most false, makes it his business to appear virtuous. This is the first Modern English translation of Ambrose's Latin. [22] But since, as Plato has admirably expressed it, we are not born for ourselves alone, but our country claims a share of our being, and our friends a share; and since, as the Stoics hold, everything that the earth produces is created for man’s use; and as men, too, are born for the sake of men, that they may be able mutually to help one another; in this direction we ought to follow Nature as our guide, to contribute to the general good by an interchange of acts of kindness, by giving and receiving, and thus by our skill, our industry, and our talents to cement human society more closely together, man to man. And not only minds but bodies as well are disordered by such appetites. [7] Since, therefore, the whole discussion is to be on the subject of duty, I should like at the outset to define what duty is, as, to my surprise, Panaetius has failed to do. For there is a limit to retribution and to punishment; or rather, I am inclined to think, it is sufficient that the aggressor should be brought to repent of his wrong-doing, in order that he may not repeat the offence and that others may be deterred from doing wrong. Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies) Customer Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer ratings; And so no other animal has a sense of beauty, loveliness, harmony in the visible world; and Nature and Reason, extending the analogy of this from the world of sense to the world of spirit, find that beauty, consistency, order are far more to be maintained in thought and deed, and the same Nature and Reason are careful to do nothing in an improper or unmanly fashion, and in every thought and deed to do or think nothing capriciously. New here is his exploration in §107 of the difference between the universal nature and particular nature with which each person is endowed.]. Marcus Tullius Cicero. We should, therefore, adopt these principles and always be contributing something to the common weal. The de Officiis is, therefore, the first classical book to be issued from a printing press, with the possible exception of Lactantius and Cicero's de Oratore which bear the more exact date of October 30, 1465, and were likewise issued from the Monastery press at Subiaco. Cicero, de officiis 1,34-36 The bonds of common blood hold men fast through good-will and affection; [55] for it means much to share in common the same family traditions the same forms of domestic worship, and the same ancestral tombs. De Officiis (On Duties or On Obligations) is a 44 BC treatise by Marcus Tullius Cicero divided into three books, in which Cicero expounds his conception of the best … For the whole glory of virtue is in activity; activity, however, may often be interrupted, and many opportunities for returning to study are opened. We need only to look at the faces of men in a rage or under the influence of some passion or fear or beside themselves with extravagant joy: in every instance their features, voices, motions, attitudes undergo a change. Most people adopt the contrary course: they put themselves most eagerly at the service of the one from whom they hope to receive the greatest favours even though he has no need of their help. : Vale igitur mi Cicero tibique persuade esse te mihi quidem carissimum sed multo cariorem si talibus monimentis [sic] preceptisque letabere. Translated by Walter Miller. Current location in this text. If, for example, Neptune, in the drama, had not carried out his promise to Theseus, Theseus would not have lost his son Hippolytus; for, as the story runs, of the three wishes that Neptune had promised to grant him the third was this: in a fit of anger he prayed for the death of Hippolytus, and the granting of this prayer plunged him into unspeakable grief. Perseus provides credit for all accepted 4. It is, therefore, an excellent rule that they give who bid us not to do a thing, when there is a doubt whether it be right or wrong; for righteousness shines with a brilliance of its own, but doubt is a sign that we are thinking of a possible wrong. Login or signup free. [Shortly after in the complete text, the selection below follows, and here Cicero is found discussing the application of the standard of right to retribution, punishment and warfare.].