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. Cambridge, Mass. 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. 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. [158] And it is not true, as certain people maintain, that the bonds of union in human society were instituted in order to provide for the needs of daily life; for, they say, without the aid of others we could not secure for ourselves or supply to others the things that Nature requires; but if all that is essential to our wants and comfort were supplied by some magic wand, as in the stories, then every man of first-rate ability could drop all other responsibility and devote himself exclusively to learning and study. Pax Romana - Pax Americana: Die Frage nach dem gerechten Krieg. 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. 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. Liber primus Rainer Lohmann prosa 1 De Officiis Einführung Liber tertius Einleitung Ethik als Thema Definition und Einteilung der Pflichten 1. 1913. Nothing, moreover, is more conducive to love and intimacy than compatibility of character in good men; for when two people have the same ideals and the same tastes, it is a natural consequence that each loves the other as himself; and the result is, as Pythagoras requires of ideal friendship, that several are united in one. But of all the bonds of fellowship, there is none more noble, none more powerful than when good men of congenial character are joined in intimate friendship; for really, if we discover in another that moral goodness on which I dwell so much, it attracts us and makes us friends to the one in whose character it seems to dwell. For many people often do favours impulsively for everybody without discrimination, prompted by a morbid sort of benevolence or by a sudden impulse of the heart, shifting the wind. 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. 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. 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. And this is the foundation of civil government, the nursery, as it were, of the state. Translated by Thomas Habinek 2012: And so, Marcus, I strongly encourage you to study both my speeches and my philosophical treatises, which are almost as numerous. 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 was Cicero's last year alive, and he was 62 years of age. Every duty, therefore, that tends effectively to maintain and safeguard human society should be given the preference over that duty which arises from speculation and science alone. She also prompts men to meet in companies, to form public assemblies and to take part in them themselves; and she further dictates, as a consequence of this, the effort on man’s part to provide a store of things that minister to his comforts and wants—and not for himself alone, but for his wife and children and the others whom he holds dear and for whom he ought to provide; and this responsibility also stimulates his courage and makes it stronger for the active duties of life. Now reason demands that nothing be done with unfairness, with false pretence, or with misrepresentation. The civil law is not necessarily also the universal law; but the universal law ought to be also the civil law. on However, Cicero’s early life was not one that was sheltered behind books and learning, and at the age of 17 he served in the Social war under Pompey the Great’s father. Background. On Duties (De Officiis), Books 1 and 3 (Excerpts) By Cicero [Marcus Tullius Cicero. Consulta qui la traduzione all'italiano di Paragrafo 28, Libro 1 dell'opera latina De Officiis, di Cicerone 1. 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. De officiis (On Moral Duties), 1.11.33-1.13.41, 3.29.107. Composed in haste shortly before Cicero's death, de Officiis has exercised enormous influence over the centuries. Among all men, he emphasizes the special claim of attending to real need when deciding how to bestow favors and seeks to distinguish and even rank the obligations humans have to the various communities to which they belong.]. [section 8 is extant but is omitted here], [9] The consideration necessary to determine conduct is, therefore, as. [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.]. 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. 8. As a result strength of character and self-control will shine forth in all their lustre. M. Tullius Cicero. [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 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. [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. [21] There is, however, no such thing as private ownership established by nature, but property becomes private either through long occupancy (as in the case of those who long ago settled in unoccupied territory) or through conquest (is in the case of those who took it in war) or by due process of law, bargain, or purchase, or by allotment. . De Officiis. We should, therefore, adopt these principles and always be contributing something to the common weal. This is Cicero’s major ethical writing and his final philosophical work, done in the last year and a half of his life. Cicero, De Officiis 1.14. Modelled on the De Officiis of Cicero, Ambrose of Milan's work sets out his ethical vision for his clergy. Cicero, perhaps the most famous of the Roman philosophers, wrote an influential treatise on duties and obligations published after his death. For generosity is of two kinds: doing a kindness and requiting one. Although these four are connected and interwoven, still it is in each one considered singly that certain definite kinds of moral duties have their origin: in that category, for instance, which was designated first in our division and in which we place wisdom and prudence, belong the search after truth and its discovery; and this is the peculiar province of that virtue. 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. [37] There is extant, too, a letter of the elder Marcus Cato to his son Marcus, in which he writes that he has heard that the youth has been discharged by the consul, when he was serving in Macedonia in the war with Perseus. 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. 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. [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. [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. 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. [20] Of the three remaining divisions, the most extensive in its application is the principle by which society and what we may call its “common bonds” are maintained. 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… changes, storing new additions in a versioning system. And therefore we may follow the Stoics, who diligently investigate the etymology of words; and we may accept their statement that “good faith” is so called because what is promised is “made good,” although some may find this derivation rather farfetched. 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. 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. With this we close the discussion of the first source of duty. When these are modified under changed circumstances, moral duty also undergoes a change and it does not always remain the same. 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. Books 1 and 3. (Accessed 24 May 2008). 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, as physical beauty with harmonious symmetry of the limbs engages the attention and delights the eye, for the very reason that all the parts combine in harmony and grace, so this propriety, which shines out in our conduct, engages the approbation of our fellow-men by the order, consistency, and self-control it imposes upon every word and deed. From this attitude come greatness of soul and a sense of superiority to worldly conditions. De Officiis. line to jump to another position: Book III: the conflict between the right and the expedient, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License,,,, options are on the right side and top of the page. 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. An XML version of this text is available for download, Accordingly, the teaching of ethics is the peculiar right of the Stoics, the Academicians, and the Peripatetics; for the theories of Aristo, Pyrrho, and Erillus have been long since rejected; and yet they would have the right to discuss duty if they had left us any power of choosing between things, so that there might be a way of finding out what duty is. 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 (1). 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. 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. De Officiis(On Dutiesor On Obligations) is a treatise by Marcus Tullius Cicerodivided into three books, in which Cicero expounds his conception of the best way to live, behave, and observe moral obligations. Again, there are certain duties that we owe even to those who have wronged us. [33] Again, there are certain duties that we owe even to those who have wronged us. But to us Nature has assigned the roles of steadfastness, temperance, self-control, and considerateness of others; Nature also teaches us not to be careless in our behaviour towards our fellow-men. For the whole glory of virtue is in activity; activity, however, may often be interrupted, and many opportunities for returning to study are opened. 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. Your current position in the text is marked in blue. 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. 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? On Duties (De Officiis), Books 1 and 3 (Excerpts) By Cicero, [Marcus Tullius Cicero. [41] But let us remember that we must have regard for justice even towards the humblest. ("Agamemnon", "Hom. 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. 1913. 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. The few passages below from Book 3 are statements found in this book especially relevant to the law of nature and its realization as a guide in human life.]. The Text and Translation in Volume 1 are supplemented by a detailed Commentary (Vol. It may, for example, not be a duty to restore a trust or to fulfil a promise, and it may become right and proper sometimes to evade and not to observe what truth and honour would usually demand. : Harvard University Press. [11] 4. [, There are, on the other hand, two kinds of injustice—the one, on the part of those who inflict wrong, the other on the part of those who, when they can, do not shield from wrong those upon whom it is being inflicted. 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 if we bring a certain amount of propriety and order into the transactions of daily life, we shall be conserving moral rectitude and moral dignity. [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. A common property of all creatures is also the reproductive instinct (the purpose of which is the propagation of the species) and also a certain amount of concern for their offspring. 28 (Leipzig, 1963) 1-123. with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. [, The Influence of the Scottish Enlightenment. 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. 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. [, In this example he effectively teaches us all to bestow even upon a stranger what it costs us nothing to give. Current location in this text. 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? de quibus est nobis his libris explicandum. 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. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 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. And not only minds but bodies as well are disordered by such appetites. [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. Login or signup free. Parents are dear; dear are children, relatives, friends; one native land embraces all our loves; and who that is true would hesitate to give his life for her, if by his death he could render her a service? With an English translation by Walter Miller ... Cicero, Marcus Tullius; Miller, Walter, 1864-1949. [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. Besides, the working of the mind, which is never at rest, can keep us busy in the pursuit of knowledge even without conscious effort on our part. [17] For these reasons it is unlawful either to weigh true morality against conflicting expediency, or common morality, which is cultivated by those who wish to be considered good men, against what is profitable; but we every-day people must observe and live up to that moral right which comes within the range of our comprehension as jealously as the truly wise men have to observe and live up to that which is morally right in the technical and true sense of the word. 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. Cicero The Latin Library The Classics Page The Latin Library The Classics Page It was during this period of political upheav… Cicero wrote that in 44 BCE in his last work in his last year of life: De Officiis, or in English: On Obligations. In my opinion, at least, we should always strive to secure a peace that shall not admit of guile. Click anywhere in the Not at all. In the matter of physical endowment there are great differences: some, we see, excel in speed for the race, others in strength for wrestling; so in point of personal appearance, some have stateliness, others comeliness. [23] The foundation of justice, moreover, is good faith;—that is, truth and fidelity to promises and agreements. Enter a Perseus citation to go to another section or work. If we follow Nature as our guide, we shall never go astray, but we shall be pursuing that which is in its nature clear-sighted and penetrating (Wisdom), that which is adapted to promote and strengthen society (Justice), and that which is strong and courageous (Fortitude). From this all morality and propriety are derived, and upon it depends the rational method of ascertaining our duty. Shall we not imitate the fruitful fields, which return more than they receive? [14] And it is no mean manifestation of Nature and Reason that man is the only animal that has a feeling for order, for propriety, for moderation in word and deed. Is it not deception, then, to set snares, even if one does not mean to start the game or to drive it into them? 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; He insists that the human being can and ought progress in his ability to recognize, even in perplexing cases, the identity of the right and the expedient. 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. [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. Translated by Walter Miller. –Walter Nicgorski. Expl. [101] Now we find that the essential activity of the spirit is twofold: one force is appetite (that is,  hormé, in Greek), which impels a man this way and that; the other is reason, which teaches and explains what should be done and what should be left undone. 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. But a still closer social union exists between kindred. Hauptteil: Die aus der Tugend entspringenden Pflichten Definition und Einteilung Die Tugend der Einsicht und die daraus hervorgehenden Pflichten (1. De Officiis, along with his Republic/Commonwealth and Laws, serve as Cicero’s longstanding political legacy to the West. He explicitly follows, to the degree that makes sense to him, a text by the modified Stoic philosopher, Panaetius, who had direct impact in the previous century on the statesmen Scipio and Laelius. 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. The speeches are more forceful, but a mild and restrained style is worth developing as well. [68] Now the law disposes of sharp practices in one way, philosophers in another: the law deals with them as far as it can lay its strong arm upon them; philosophers, as far as they can be apprehended by reason and conscience. BOOK I. [34] Then, too, in the case of a state in its external relations, the rights of war must be strictly observed. [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. Books 1 and 3. Your current position in the text is marked in blue. [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 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. 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 … 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. Natural Law, Natural Rights, and American Constitutionalism. Thus the question which Panaetius thought threefold ought, we find, to be divided into five parts.

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