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De natura deorum

characters De natura deorum

Nswer prayers or intervene in human affairs Does he know the future Does morality need the support of religion Profoundly influential on later thinkers such as Saint Augustine and Thomas Auinas this is a fascinating consideration of fundamental issues of faith and philosophical though. Good to complement your understanding of stoicism😌

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Towards the end of his life Cicero turned away from his oratorical and political career and looked instead to matters of philosophy and religion The dialogue The Nature of the Gods both explores his own views on these subjects as a monotheist and member of the Academic School and cons. My goal to read this in the original Latin has emerged partially intact I read big chunks of each book untranslated but not uite all of it I read the intervening sections in translation It was a fascinating way to read a piece of history and piece of philosophy The slowness and mostly the fact that I was reading it for a class allowed for a good bit of outside reading which enriched the experience It also allowed for an appreciation of Cicero's language which is really pretty wonderful sometimes On the other hand the close focus on translating the material meant that I often couldn't see the forest for the trees it often felt as if I were just staring really closely at the bark Cicero's De natura deorum is a dialogue between three Roman philosophers the Epicurean Velleius the Stoic Balbus and the Academic Skeptic Cotta I only had the vaguest idea of what these labels entailed going into this text and in a lot of ways I think that was a good way to approach it One of Cicero's main reasons for writing his philosophical works was to introduce expand the audience for Greek philosophy in the Roman world Because of this each book acts as a nice encapsulation of Epicureanism Stoicism and Skepticism all presented in nice Ciceronian prose Since its manuscripts survived the course of 2000 years better than the manuscripts of the Greek philosophers who inspired it De natura deorum provides us with uite a bit of what we know about Stoicism Epicureanism and Skepticism It's also gone on to have uite an illustrious history of influencing great thinkers from Augustine to Auinas to Milton to Spinoza to Hume to VoltaireIn the course of three days our three philosophers traverse the theological and philosophical landscape of contemporary Rome do the gods exist and if they do in what manner What shape do they take what degree of concern do they have for human affairs What is the nature of the cosmos and what does that imply about its gods And is there any way to know or to prove really if the gods exist at allDespite the fact that they could easily just be mouthpieces Cicero imbues each of his spokesmen with a nice sense of personality and humanity which breathes a lot of life into the text Velleius has a nice sardonic wit Balbus is effusive Cotta is wary yet earnest There are passages that are very clever and passages that are very beautiful I also like that the dialogue on a wonderfully ambiguous note Cicero had inserted himself into the dialogue at the beginning of the text but he's just an observer Once he arrives and is invited to listen he essentially disappears and does not speak another word until the work's last line He the states the following Haec cum essent dicta ita discessimus ut Velleio Cottae disputatio verior mihi Balbi ad veritatis similitudinem videretur esse propensior Roughly translated it reads When these things had been said we all went our own way To Velleius the argument of Cotta seemed accurate But to me the argument of Balbus seemed to closer to the likeness of the truthThis is all kinds of fun particularly because Cicero spends a solid portion of the introduction to his dialogue defending his choice to align with the Academic Skeptics Cotta's school not Balbus's despite their relative unpopularity at the time Lots of classicist ink has been spilled trying to figure out exactly what Cicero was playing at here whether he was lying to protect his reputation against accusation of atheism if he was really a closeted Stoic or if he was simply demonstrating an application of Skeptical open mindedness I'm not sure that anyone really knows or will ever really know But it's just a fun example of much thought and possibility is packed into almost every line of this text It's the sort of work you can read over and over again and find new things each time Dom na Zanzibarze years better than the manuscripts of the Greek philosophers who inspired it De natura deorum provides us with uite a bit of what we know about Stoicism Epicureanism and Skepticism It's also gone on to have uite an illustrious history of influencing great thinkers from Augustine to Auinas to Milton to Spinoza to Hume to VoltaireIn the course of three days our three philosophers traverse the theological and philosophical landscape of contemporary Rome do the gods exist and if they do in what manner What shape do they take what degree of concern do they have for human affairs What is the nature of the cosmos and what does that imply about its gods And is there any way to know or to prove really if the gods exist at allDespite the fact that they could easily just be mouthpieces Cicero imbues each of his spokesmen with a nice sense of personality and humanity which breathes a lot of life into the text Velleius has a nice sardonic wit Balbus is effusive Cotta is wary Quantum Physics and the Multiplicity of Mind yet earnest There are passages that are very clever and passages that are very beautiful I also like that the dialogue on a wonderfully ambiguous note Cicero had inserted himself into the dialogue at the beginning of the text but he's just an observer Once he arrives and is invited to listen he essentially disappears and does not speak another word until the work's last line He the states the following Haec cum essent dicta ita discessimus ut Velleio Cottae disputatio verior mihi Balbi ad veritatis similitudinem videretur esse propensior Roughly translated it reads When these things had been said we all went our own way To Velleius the argument of Cotta seemed accurate But to me the argument of Balbus seemed to closer to the likeness of the truthThis is all kinds of fun particularly because Cicero spends a solid portion of the introduction to his dialogue defending his choice to align with the Academic Skeptics Cotta's school not Balbus's despite their relative unpopularity at the time Lots of classicist ink has been spilled trying to figure out exactly what Cicero was playing at here whether he was lying to protect his reputation against accusation of atheism if he was really a closeted Stoic or if he was simply demonstrating an application of Skeptical open mindedness I'm not sure that anyone really knows or will ever really know But it's just a fun example of much thought and possibility is packed into almost every line of this text It's the sort of work Deathgame (Hardy Boys: Casefiles, you can read over and over again and find new things each time

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Iders the opinion of other philosophical schools of the Hellenistic age through the figures of Velleius the Epicurean and Balbus the Stoic Elouent clearly argued and surprisingly modern it focuses upon a series of fundamental religious uestions including is there a God If so does he a. Cicero tried to popularise Greek theology and philosophy Lots of astronomy and anatomy so partly is a cyclopaedia as well Plato elements are well represented and lots of evidence and argumentation of intelligent design and God


9 thoughts on “De natura deorum

  1. says:

    I devoured this book Behe you fool You can come up with no greater argument than Cicero's own watchmaker hypothesis? Idiot The same so called Reasons for the gods are still the best we can do with all of our technological advances since Rome? Bastards In praise of Cicero who for his time was highly critical in his critiue of not only the existence of gods but what their inherent nature must be Good for you Cicero and shame to all those who have done no better since him prattling the same so called proofs when so much has been gained as of late The reasons this work must be read1 To gain an appreciation for the vastness of ideas surrounding the so called gods of his time including those not taking human form such as worship of the sun the universe and various elements and virtues 2 The identification with another human living at such a vital time in Roman history who as is very apparent not only possesses the rational arguments best euipped to him in his own human form but brilliantly presented as extended dialogue between characters 3 To enjoy the views of the Epicureans and the Stoics of the day huzzah 4 To gain an appreciation for what Rome had gained in knowledge from the Greeks as early as this They knew that the stars were the same as the sun That the sun was bigger only because of relative view They knew that the earth was a sphere They knew that there were other universes similar to our own that were uncountable What treasures we lost since then and what pains had to be taken to recover this information The dark ages truly were dark indeed To be fair I will warn you Cicero does not fully develop all of his ideas in fact he does not finish the book and many parts of it are rud to be missing The main flaw is that despite his rigorous challenges to a general belief in god he falls back on what seem to be long old assertions because perhaps of social pressure as many atheists were killed at this time and also perhaps because this is the best he can do What a sad and unappealing ending to so many good thoughts and so much willing banter Ah Cicero would you have been born in our times the greatness of your mind could fully have been used to continue your elouence on these matters Tragedy For Tragedy If you want to read a book to be convinced on the nature of god yourself the existence of or the disproving of despite the authors intent this may not be the read for you as the book is for obvious reasons outdated in many of its references But if you want to hear ancient philosophy in tow and marvel at the mind of man and his cognitive abilities to think through circumstance when heavily steeped and pressured by society to avoid such by all means enjoy as did I this short work


  2. says:

    My goal to read this in the original Latin has emerged partially intact I read big chunks of each book untranslated but not uite all of it I read the intervening sections in translation It was a fascinating way to read a piece of history and piece of philosophy The slowness and mostly the fact that I was reading it for a class allowed for a good bit of outside reading which enriched the experience It also allowed for an appreciation of Cicero's language which is really pretty wonderful sometimes On the other hand the close focus on translating the material meant that I often couldn't see the forest for the trees it often felt as if I were just staring really closely at the bark Cicero's De natura deorum is a dialogue between three Roman philosophers the Epicurean Velleius the Stoic Balbus and the Academic Skeptic Cotta I only had the vaguest idea of what these labels entailed going into this text and in a lot of ways I think that was a good way to approach it One of Cicero's main reasons for writing his philosophical works was to introduce expand the audience for Greek philosophy in the Roman world Because of this each book acts as a nice encapsulation of Epicureanism Stoicism and Skepticism all presented in nice Ciceronian prose Since its manuscripts survived the course of 2000 years better than the manuscripts of the Greek philosophers who inspired it De natura deorum provides us with uite a bit of what we know about Stoicism Epicureanism and Skepticism It's also gone on to have uite an illustrious history of influencing great thinkers from Augustine to Auinas to Milton to Spinoza to Hume to VoltaireIn the course of three days our three philosophers traverse the theological and philosophical landscape of contemporary Rome do the gods exist and if they do in what manner? What shape do they take what degree of concern do they have for human affairs? What is the nature of the cosmos and what does that imply about its gods? And is there any way to know or to prove really if the gods exist at all?Despite the fact that they could easily just be mouthpieces Cicero imbues each of his spokesmen with a nice sense of personality and humanity which breathes a lot of life into the text Velleius has a nice sardonic wit Balbus is effusive Cotta is wary yet earnest There are passages that are very clever and passages that are very beautiful I also like that the dialogue on a wonderfully ambiguous note Cicero had inserted himself into the dialogue at the beginning of the text but he's just an observer Once he arrives and is invited to listen he essentially disappears and does not speak another word until the work's last line He the states the following Haec cum essent dicta ita discessimus ut Velleio Cottae disputatio verior mihi Balbi ad veritatis similitudinem videretur esse propensior Roughly translated it reads When these things had been said we all went our own way To Velleius the argument of Cotta seemed accurate But to me the argument of Balbus seemed to closer to the likeness of the truthThis is all kinds of fun particularly because Cicero spends a solid portion of the introduction to his dialogue defending his choice to align with the Academic Skeptics Cotta's school not Balbus's despite their relative unpopularity at the time Lots of classicist ink has been spilled trying to figure out exactly what Cicero was playing at here whether he was lying to protect his reputation against accusation of atheism if he was really a closeted Stoic or if he was simply demonstrating an application of Skeptical open mindedness I'm not sure that anyone really knows or will ever really know But it's just a fun example of much thought and possibility is packed into almost every line of this text It's the sort of work you can read over and over again and find new things each time


  3. says:

    Of course we are all familiar with the Greek myths adopted by the Romans The Metamorphoses by Ovid is a great Roman retelling of the classic Greek myths but what did they really believe? In his Treatise on the Nature of the Gods Cicero tells us Here he gives us not dogma or a rehash of myths but a sense of what educated men from the time of the late republic actually believed This book is written as a dialogue and its characters freely argue for their points of view and the bases for their beliefs or lack thereof Interesting but not so interesting that I didn’t find myself skimming bits of it And unfortunately for Cicero I’ve read a couple of Plato’s dialogues at the same time I’ve been reading this and Cicero suffers by the comparison I love him but his dialogue lacks the humor characterization and literary skill demonstrated by Plato


  4. says:

    On the Nature of the Gods is a philosophical dialogue by the Roman orator Cicero written in 45 BC It is laid out in three books each of which discusses the theology of different Roman and Greek philosophers The dialogue uses Stoic Epicurean and skeptical theories to examine fundamental uestions of theologyThe dialogue is on the whole narrated by Cicero himself though he doesn't play an active part in the discussion Gaius Velleius represents the Epicurean school uintius Lucilius Balbus argues for the Stoics and Gaius Cotta speaks for Cicero's own Academic skepticism The first book of the dialogue contains Cicero's introduction Velleius' case for the Epicurean theology and Cotta's criticism of Epicureanism Book II focuses on Balbus' explanation and defense of Stoic theology Book III lays out Cotta's criticism of Balbus' claims This work alongside Cicero's De Officiis and De Divinatione was highly influential on the philosophers of the 18th century Voltaire called it perhaps the best book of all antiuityI didn't think there was anything mind blowing in here but it's a nice introduction to three of the most important philosophical schools of antiuity stoicism epicureanism and skepticism 3 stars


  5. says:

    Cicero tried to popularise Greek theology and philosophy Lots of astronomy and anatomy so partly is a cyclopaedia as well Plato elements are well represented and lots of evidence and argumentation of intelligent design and God


  6. says:

    The direct antecedent to Hume's altogether superior Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion this book is however a treasure trove for information about the various ancient philosophies Epicurean Stoic Academic Skeptic Cynic and Peripatetic as they stood in the 1st century BCE It is a thought provoking dialogue and as always with Cicero possesses that unctuous yet enjoyable prose even though in our age of disbelief the work's immediacy is uite lost; that is it is not exciting as it perhaps would've been centuries ago to read again and again But I really want to get at the nature of the gods now and so to gain insight into this myster The ties between theology and philosophy were once like that between astrology and astronomy; let us not dwell on these facts like Rousseau in the Essay on the Arts and Sciences Let us move on A new atheistic day dawns Tomorrow OK the next day C'mon Next week then Nevertheless the atheist Voltaire considered this the best work of antiuity


  7. says:

    The format of the book is that of a group discussion between the representatives of the three major religious philosophies of the day Each representative puts forward his viewpoint and there are uestion and answer sessions What I found most interesting was the lack of theological sophistication present in the debate The Epicurean for example goes as close to atheism as he dares while the State sanctioned commentary on the gods was merely empty pious talk It seems clear that by this time Ancient Rome had run out of ideas or accurately had borrowed all its thinking from the Greeks without managing to make the ideas of the Greeks fully their own A comparison between this exposition and say the Learned Ignorance treatise of Nicholas of Cusa goes to show just how shabby and second rate was the theology of Cicero's contemporaries The Ancient Romans were superb engineers military strategists and empire builders but theologians they were not


  8. says:

    Good to complement your understanding of stoicism😌


  9. says:

    Excellent resource to understand what the letters of Peter refer to by saying The Divine Nature and to understand the cosmology of the law in Roman Stoicism in particular This opened my eyes to understand how the Romans came to believe that the stars were living from their understanding of the solar system and movable objects I would recommend for anyone trying to understand the bible or the book of Enoch and how their natural philosophy came to be


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