|Author||Marcus Tullius Cicero|
|Publication Date||July 4, 2012|
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Ciceroâs time it had come to embrace all human knowledge, and to be the substance of all liberal education. It consisted of three divisions, -N atural Philosophy, Ethics, and Dialectics (including Logic and Rhetoric), of which the second was regarded as the most important. This learning was unknown to the Romans until 155 B.c., when Carneades the A cademician, Critolaus the Peripatetic, and Diogenes the Stoic, the most famous philosophers of their time, came on an embassy from A thens to Rome, and discoursed upon their respective doctrines. Their learning and eloquence captivated the young nobles, especially Scipio and Lmlius, who are introduced in the following treatise. From that time on, all young Romans of distinction were instructed in the new education. Cicero, born fifty years later, was carefully educated in these liberal arts, and always retained an interest in them, of which his orations contain many indications. He early formed the design of setting forth in Latin the whole body of philosophy, a design which he may be said to have in the main accomplished. The first division, Natural Philosophy, is covered, though not very fully, by De Natura Deorum, Y2ÂmÂeus, and Phasnomena, and discussions of natural questions are interspersed in the ethical works. To Dialectics, the second branch, belong the first nine works in the list, including Canonic, or the science of the test of truth. The remainder of the list, except the Letters, belong to Ethics. See the list in â? Select Orations,â p. xv.
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