|Author||Marcus Tullius Cicero|
|Publication Date||July 3, 2012|
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Zuczâz01z. vii was written at the age of sixty-two years and upwards, and was addressed to his friend A tticus, who was three years olcler. It belongs to the division of Ethics, which had for its subject-matter the nature of the szmznzzmz 60zuzz, and the conduct of life. Since the third century B.C. philosophy had lost the hope of substituting reason for violence in the management of affairs, and had aimed to find for the individual philosopher, in virtue or pleasure or elsewhere, a satisfaction to outweigh the inevitable ills of life. Every relation and incident of life was a subject of philosophical discussion, either from the pleasure it could aflbrd, or the pain it was vulgarly supposed to cause. In this treatise Cicero, imitating Aristo of Ceos, endeavors to show that old age, usually considered one of the ills of life, is to the wise man deprived of its terrors. In form it imitates the Socratic or Platonic dialogue, the slight part taken in it by the other speakers serving only to give an air of reality, and to mark the divisions of the subject, while the name of Cato gives dignity and weight to the arguinentsf The dialogue is put, apparently, in the last year of Catoâs long life, and represents the old man discoursing, calmly and cheerfully, with the younger Scipio (E milianus), brother-in-law of Catoâs elder son, and his friend Laelius, the same who gives his name to the dialogue on Friendship. Cicero himself was strongly attracted by some points of the old statesmanâs life and character, his plebeian birth, his political struggles, his intellectual eminence, and his genuine love of rural occupations. The incidents of his career he has studied carefully, and introduced into his discourse, with here and there a bit of his antique style, -czn!z gzÂzÂor sermo, Ad senem senex de senectute.-L ael. i. 5. Legendus mihi saepius est Caio Jllajor ad te missus.
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