Stoicism in De Officiis Written by Cicero

1529 Words7 Pages
After Stoicism spread to Rome it took off in popularity because it was introduced to a well known and respected individual: the famous general Scipio Africanus the Younger. Scipio was a general famous for his victories in the third punic war and for conquering cities in Spain. He was born into a great Patrician family and adopted into another, while still keeping close with his birth family. He was descended by blood or legal ties to Consuls and several famed generals.The philosopher who introduced Scipio to Stoicism was a man named Panaetius. Panaetius came to Rome and lived there for many years before he returned to Athens to become the head of the Stoic school there. When he first came to Rome he met Scipio who was greatly interested in Panaetius’ Stoic ideas. Scipio introduced him to the Scipionic circle, which he became part of. It was the first literary circle of Rome composed of distinguished individuals, including Lucilius a famed satirist, and members of Scipio’s family. Panaetius taught his Stoic ideas to this esteemed group which essentially introduced Stoicism to Rome’s intellectually elite. The friendship between Scipio Africanus the Younger and Panaetius also greatly popularized Stoicism. Scipio and the circle’s acceptance and admiration for this philosophy aided its spread though Roman society.
Stoicism made the transition from intriguing foreign philosophy to a popular practice because it was taken up by several high profile figures. Stoicism was first adopted by Marcus Tullius Cicero. He had been highly educated in both Greece and Rome. The fact that he had studied in Greece and spoke Greek would have greatly helped him understand Stoicism. He was also a great intellectual and orator of his time which would hav...

... middle of paper ...

...it's Influence on Roman Life and Thought." The Classical Journal 29 (1934) 645-657

Russell, Bertand. A History of Western Philosophy. USA: Simon and Schuster Press, 1945.

Solomon, Robert. A Short History of Philosophy. USA: Oxford University Press, 1996.

“Stoicism,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1996), accessed April 10, 2014. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/

Strange, Steven. Zupko, Jack. Stoicism: Traditions and Transformations. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, s.v. “Marcus Tullius Cicero,” accessed April 14, 2014, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/117565/Marcus-Tullius-Cicero/299678/Oratory. Merriam Webster Online, s.v. “stoic,” accessed April 20th, 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stoic

Rome in the Late Republic by M Beard and M Crawford, (2nd ed, Duckworth, 1999)
Open Document