By Geert Roskam

Plutarch's De latenter vivendo is the one extant paintings from antiquity during which Epicurus' recognized perfect of an "unnoticed existence" (lathe biosas) is characterised. furthermore, the quick rhetorical paintings presents a lot attention-grabbing information regarding Plutarch's polemical innovations and approximately his personal philosophical convictions within the domain names of ethics, politics, metaphysics, and eschatology.In this publication, Plutarch's anti-Epicurean polemic is known opposed to the history of the former philosophical culture. An exam of Epicurus' personal place is by means of a dialogue of Plutarch's polemical predecessors (Timocrates, Cicero, the early Stoics, and Seneca) and contemporaries (Epictetus), and by means of a systematical and targeted research of Plutarch's personal arguments. The observation bargains additional info and parallel passages (both from Plutarch's personal works and from different authors) that remove darkness from the textual content.

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Also rep. 1,14), an otium entirely oriented towards a political ideal (cf. rep. 1,8) and even acquires a political meaning24. That Cicero was himself forced to political inactivity was one of the greatest tragedies of his life. ) compelled him to bid farewell to his political ambitions. At that moment, he faced a difficult dilemma: a political understanding of his otium became problematic, but the Epicurean alternative was even under such circumstances no option to him25. , Sest. 139; rep. 3,6; 3,40 (vult plane virtus honorem, nec est virtutis ulla alia merces); 5,6; 5,9; 6,25; leg.

Cicero himself explicitly informs us that he wishes to remove all grounds for hesitation about participation in politics in order to take care that the following discussion on the state is not useless in advance (1,12). This is an intelligent and well-considered approach, which enables Cicero to thematise some of the fundamental presuppositions on which the rest of his work is based, and which thus lends additional importance to the incompletely preserved proem. And yet, Cicero does not offer a detailed and exhaustive status quaestionis.

It is probably true that Cicero’s polemical reaction was not rooted in feelings of rancour or personal enmity, but there was much more at stake for him than just a purely theoretical issue. Epicurus’ general tendency to avoid politics and public speaking17 was no doubt particularly offensive to Cicero, who lived for politics and loved to excel as an orator, and whose philosophical convictions were thoroughly impregnated with such a perspective18. Again and again, Cicero underlines that the good man should pursue honour and fame as a Cf.

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