It was during this period of political upheav… The first office of justice is to keep one man from doing harm to another, unless provoked by wrong; and the next is to lead men to use common possessions for the common interests, private property for their own. Cicero, De Officiis 1.3. While wrong may be done, then, in either of two ways, that is, by force or by fraud, both are bestial: fraud seems to belong to the cunning fox, force to the lion; both are wholly unworthy of man, but fraud is the more contemptible. But if there shall be obligations already incurred, so that kindness is not to begin with us, but to be requited, still greater diligence, it seems, is called for; for no duty is more imperative that that of proving one’s gratitude. For example, if you have made an appointment with anyone to appear as his advocate in court, and if in the meantime your son should fall dangerously ill, it would be no breach of your moral duty to fail in what you agreed to do; nay, rather, he to whom your promise was given would have a false conception of duty if he should complain that he had been deserted in time of 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. 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. I shall, therefore, at this time and in this investigation follow chiefly the Stoics, not as a translator, but, as is my custom, I shall at my own option and discretion draw from those sources in such measure and in such manner as shall suit my purpose. But a still closer social union exists between kindred. Starting with that infinite bond of union of the human race in general, the conception is now confined to a small and narrow circle. line to jump to another position: 1 The essential differences between man and the lower animals. [23] The foundation of justice, moreover, is good faith;—that is, truth and fidelity to promises and agreements. But the most marked difference between man and beast is this: the beast, just as far as it is moved by the senses and with very little perception of past or future, adapts itself to that alone which is present at the moment; while man—because he is endowed with reason, by which he comprehends the chain of consequences, perceives the causes of things, understands the relation of cause to effect and of effect to cause, draws analogies, and connects and associates the present and the future—easily surveys the course of his whole life and makes the necessary preparations for its conduct. BOOK I. Language Latin. 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. 28 (Leipzig, 1963) 1-123. . : Vale igitur mi Cicero tibique persuade esse te mihi quidem carissimum sed multo cariorem si talibus monimentis [sic] preceptisque letabere. 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. 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. ... 11. Cicero was sent to Rome to study law under the Scaevolas, who were the equivalent Ciceros of their day, and he also studied philosophy under Philo, who had been head of the Academy at Athens and also the stoic Diodotus. With An English Translation. Full search De officiis [., Cicero, Gardiner, George B.] [section 8 is extant but is omitted here], [9] The consideration necessary to determine conduct is, therefore, as. 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. [30] For, if merely, for one’s own benefit one were to take something away from a man, though he were a perfectly worthless fellow, it would be an act of meanness and contrary to Nature’s law. 11, Pro Balbo, 23, Pro Archia Poeta, 5, De Lege Agraria, i. Cicero, de officiis 1,34-36 [51] This, then, is the most comprehensive bond that unites together men as men and all to all; and under it the common right to all things that Nature has produced for the common use of man is to be maintained, with the understanding that, while everything assigned as private property by the statutes and by civil law shall be so held as prescribed by those same laws, everything else shall be regarded in the light indicated by the Greek proverb: “Amongst friends all things in common.” Furthermore, we find the common property of all men in things of the sort defined by Ennius; and, though restricted by him to one instance, the principle may be applied very generally: Who kindly sets a wand’rer on his way Does e’en as if he lit another’s lamp by his: No less shines his, when he his friend’s hath lit. The whole truth, however, is in this verse, against Cicero’s great victory. Walter Miller. Again, there are certain duties that we owe even to those who have wronged us. 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. He warns him, therefore, to be careful not to go into battle; for, he says, the man who is not legally a soldier has no right to be fighting the foe. [5] Moreover, the subject of this inquiry is the common property of all philosophers; for who would presume to call himself a philosopher, if he did not inculcate any lessons of duty? 3. Expl. [14] And indeed these duties under discussion in these books the Stoics call “mean duties”; they are a common possession and have wide application; and many people attain to the knowledge of them through natural goodness of heart and through advancement in learning. All rights reserved. For instance, our forefathers actually admitted to full rights of citizenship the Tusculans, Acquians, Volscians, Sabines, and Hernicians, but they razed Carthage and Numantia to the ground. Popilius was general in command of a province. Pax Romana - Pax Americana: Die Frage nach dem gerechten Krieg. 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… From this all morality and propriety are derived, and upon it depends the rational method of ascertaining our duty. Album On Duties. [98] The poets will observe, therefore, amid a great variety of characters, what is suitable and proper for all—even for the bad. 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. Shall we not imitate the fruitful fields, which return more than they receive? As a result strength of character and self-control will shine forth in all their lustre. Book 1, understandably emphasizing the importance of philosophy bearing fruit in form of moral guidance, explains the discerning of the way or law of nature in the inclinations to the virtues in human beings. [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.]. There is, too, a difference between justice and considerateness in one’s relations to one’s fellow-men. [49] Furthermore, we must make some discrimination between favours received; for, as a matter of course the greater the favour, the greater is the obligation. [18] Now, of the four divisions which we have made of the essential idea of moral goodness, the first, consisting in the knowledge of truth, touches human nature most closely. [69] Owing to the low ebb of public sentiment, such a method of procedure, I find, is neither by custom accounted morally wrong nor forbidden either by statute or by civil law; nevertheless it is forbidden by the moral law [law of nature (naturae lege)]. Cicero, De Officiis, iii. In the 2000 edition (Oxford University Press, reprinted 2008, and recently added to my library), translator P.G. But, if such is not the case, each one must bear his own burden of distress rather than rob a neighbour of his rights. When Popilius decided to disband one of his legions, he discharged also young Cato, who was serving in that same legion. 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. Such acts of generosity are not to be so highly esteemed as those which are performed with judgment deliberation, and mature consideration. [11] 4. [56] And while every virtue attracts us and makes us love those who seem to possess it, still justice and generosity do so most of all. In the third and final book of On Duties Cicero argues that following nature is to embrace the path of virtue and right as the truly expedient. Such a worker in the field of astronomy, for example, was Gaius Sulpicius, of whom we have heard; in mathematics, Sextus Pompey, whom I have known personally; in dialectics, many; in civil law, still more. For generosity is of two kinds: doing a kindness and requiting one. On Duties (De Officiis), Books 1 and 3 (Excerpts) By Cicero, [Marcus Tullius Cicero. 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. [11] First of all, Nature has endowed every species of living creature with the instinct of self-preservation, of avoiding what seems likely to cause injury to life or limb, and of procuring and providing everything needful for life—food, shelter, and the like. So much the more execrable are those monsters who have torn their fatherland to pieces with every form of outrage and who are and have been engaged in compassing her utter destruction. 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. 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; (1). Now reason demands that nothing be done with unfairness, with false pretence, or with misrepresentation. [52] On this principle we have the following maxims: “Deny no one the water that flows by;” “Let anyone who will take fire from our fire;” “Honest counsel give to one who is in doubt;” for such acts are useful to the recipient and cause the giver no loss. To proceed beyond the universal bond of our common humanity, there is the closer one of belonging to the same people, tribe, and tongue, by which men are very closely bound together; it is a still closer relation to be citizens of the same city-state; for fellow-citizens have much in common—forum, temples colonnades, streets, statutes, laws, courts, rights of suffrage, to say nothing of social and friendly circles and diverse business relations with many. 2) that concentrates on Ambrose's debts to Cicero. The Text and Translation in Volume 1 are supplemented by a detailed Commentary (Vol. Thus the question which Panaetius thought threefold ought, we find, to be divided into five parts. [31] And therefore Nature’s law itself, which protects and conserves human interests, will surely determine that a man who is wise, good, and brave, should in emergency have the necessaries of life transferred to him from a person who is idle and worthless; for the good man’s death would be a heavy loss to the common weal; only let him beware that self-esteem and self-love do not find in such a transfer of possessions a pretext for wrong-doing. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ... {11} IV. Another strong bond of fellowship is effected by mutual interchange of kind services; and as long as these kindnesses are mutual and acceptable, those between whom they are interchanged are united by the ties of an enduring intimacy. Therefore, inasmuch as in each case some of those things which by nature had been common property became the property of individuals, each one should retain possession of that which has fallen to his lot; and if anyone appropriates to himself anything beyond that, he will be violating the laws of human society. First of all, Nature has endowed every species 1 of living creature with the instinct of self-preservation, of avoiding what seems likely to cause injury to life or limb, and of procuring and providing everything needful for life—food, shelter, and the like. 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. Not at all. 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. : Harvard University Press. Bracketed words or phrases usually represent my effort to clarify a term or reference. 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? Is it not deception, then, to set snares, even if one does not mean to start the game or to drive it into them? : Harvard University Press. Login or signup free. [53] Then, too, there are a great many degrees of closeness or remoteness in human society. [48] But if, as Hesiod bids, one is to repay with interest, if possible, what one has borrowed in time of need, what, pray, ought we to do when challenged by an unsought kindness? The works of Ward, Blair, and Witherspoon have many similarities that all span from their underlying Ciceronianism. Books 1 and 3. http://www.stoics.com/cicero_book.html (Accessed 24 May 2008). Bracketed words or phrases usually represent my effort to clarify a term or reference. 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. All these professions are occupied with the search after truth; but to be drawn by study away from active life is contrary to moral duty. Cicero, perhaps the most famous of the Roman philosophers, wrote an influential treatise on duties and obligations published after his death. [36] As for war, humane laws touching it are drawn up in the fetial code of the Roman People under all the guarantees of religion; and from this it may be gathered that no war is just, unless it is entered upon after an official demand for satisfaction has been submitted or warning has been given and a formal declaration made. Cicero, De Officiis; C. Atzert, ed., Teubner fasc. But orderly behaviour and consistency of demeanor and self-control and the like have their sphere in that department of things in which a certain amount of physical exertion, and not mental activity merely, is required. 1913. Cambridge. [12] Nature likewise by the power of reason associates man with man in the common bonds of speech and life; she implants in him alone above all, I may say, a strangely tender love for his offspring. And yet moral goodness, in the true and proper sense of the term, is the exclusive possession of the wise and can never be separated from virtue; but those who have not perfect wisdom cannot possibly have perfect moral goodness, but only a semblance of it. For no phase of life, whether public or private, whether in business or in the home, whether one is working on what concerns oneself alone or dealing with another, can be without its moral duty; on the discharge of such duties depends all that is morally right, and on their neglect all that is morally wrong in life. For indifference to public opinion implies not merely self-sufficiency, but even total lack of principle. And among our countrymen justice has been observed so conscientiously in this direction, that those who have given promise of protection to states or nations subdued in war become, after the custom of our forefathers, the patrons of those states. [This selection from Book I picks up at a later point where Cicero is found emphasizing again the need for overcoming excessive attachment to one’s self in order to understand well what is right, and here he presents the basic rule of not doing harm and serving always the common good.]. [34] Then, too, in the case of a state in its external relations, the rights of war must be strictly observed. With an English translation by Walter Miller ... Cicero, Marcus Tullius; Miller, Walter, 1864-1949. In no other particular are we farther removed from the nature of beasts; for we admit that they may have courage (horses and lions, for example); but we do not admit that they have justice, equity, and goodness; for they are not endowed with reason or speech. For there is a bond of fellowship—although I have often made this statement, I must still repeat it again and again—which has the very widest application, uniting all men together and each to each. Cicero was a Roman statesman and politician, born in 106 BCE, a member of the lower aristocracy called theordo equester or the equestrians. We are not to say, therefore, that sickness or want or any evil of that sort is more repugnant to Nature than to covet and to appropriate what is one’s neighbour’s; but we do maintain that disregard of the common interests is repugnant to Nature; for it is unjust. Further than this, who fails to see that those promises are not binding which are extorted by intimidation or which we make when misled by false pretences? But it seems we must trace back to their ultimate sources the principles of fellowship and society that Nature has established among men. Cicero wrote that in 44 BCE in his last work in his last year of life: De Officiis, or in English: On Obligations. And if my advice had been heeded on this point, we should still have at least some sort of constitutional government, if not the best in the world, whereas, as it is, we have none at all. 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. 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. [58] Now, if a contrast and comparison were to be made to find out where most of our moral obligation is due, country would come first, and parents; for their services have laid us under the heaviest obligation; next come children and the whole family, who look to us alone for support and can have no other protection; finally, our kinsmen, with whom we live on good terms and with whom, for the most part, our lot is one. Translated by Thomas Habinek 2012: [The next selection from the full text finds Cicero treating the fellowship of the entire human community, the various levels or kinds of community and the special nature of friendship. All needful material assistance is, therefore, due first of all to those whom I have named; but intimate relationship of life and living, counsel, conversation, encouragement, comfort, and sometimes even reproof flourish best in friendships. [50] The interests of society, however, and its common bonds will be best conserved, if kindness be shown to each individual in proportion to the closeness of his relationship. In this example he effectively teaches us all to bestow even upon a stranger what it costs us nothing to give. Diversities of character are greater still. Enter a Perseus citation to go to another section or work. It is the function of justice not to do wrong to one’s fellow-men; of considerateness, not to wound their feelings; and in this the essence of propriety is best seen. Again, every action ought to be free from undue haste or carelessness; neither ought we to do anything for which we cannot assign a reasonable motive; for in these words we have practically a definition of duty. [In Book 2 Cicero has explored the appeal, from the justifiable to the excessive, of the useful or expedient. For he would seek to escape from his loneliness and to find someone to share his studies; he would wish to teach, as well as to learn; to hear, as well as to speak. M. Tullius Cicero. 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. 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. section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 section 9 section 10 section 11 section 12 section 13 section 14 section 15 section 16 section 17 section 18 section 19 section 20 section 21 section 22 section 23 section 24 section 25 section 26 ... M. Tullius Cicero. Then follow the bonds between brothers and sisters, and next those of first and then of second cousins; and when they can no longer be sheltered under one roof, they go out into other homes, as into colonies. –Walter Nicgorski. Cicero adapts this philosophy in De Officiis to provide moral (i.e., ethical and political) guidance for his son. 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. 4. [, In this example he effectively teaches us all to bestow even upon a stranger what it costs us nothing to give. 4, Diet of Metz (1356/57) (1,074 words) [view diff] case mismatch in snippet view article imperial insignia) 27 Function of the electors at festive diets (Latin De officiis principum electorum in solempnibus curiis imperatorum vel regum Romanorum) It is from these elements that is forged and fashioned that moral goodness which is the subject of this inquiry—something that, even though it be not generally ennobled, is still worthy of all honour and by its own nature, we correctly maintain, it merits praise even though it be praised by none.