Cicero

Cicero, was truly a man of the state. His writings also show us he was equally a man of philosophical temperament and affluence. Yet at times these two forces within Cicero clash and contradict with the early stoic teachings. Cicero gradually adopted the stoic lifestyle but not altogether entirely, and this is somewhat due to the fact of what it was like to be a roman of the time. The morals of everyday Rome conflicted with some of the stoic ideals that were set by early stoicism. Thus, Cicero changed the face of stoicism by romanizing it; redefining stoicism into the middle phase. Of Cicero it can be said he possessed a bias towards roman life and doctrine. For Cicero every answer lay within Rome itself, from the ideal governing body to the place of divination. Cicero does not offer any alternate answers to roman society, which robs him of being truly a unique and bold political philosopher. This is not to say however some of his doctrines are untrue, just that he is somewhat blinded by his roman beliefs and assumptions. The assumptions of Cicero can be noticed when one inspects his view of the ideal governing body, which he expresses through Scipio (in the commonwealth). Although Cicero presents very convincing arguments for a Composite government, clearly his view is possibly only due towards his belief in the roman structure of government.1 Cicero was limited to roman borders of experience, and this point was best illustrated by his disagreement with Aristotle\'s writings on the decay of states. Cicero was unable to think on the level of Aristotle\'s logic. He quite simply used roman history as a mapping of the paths of the decay of states. In contrast, Aristotle understood the underlying forces and influences that transpired when a state degraded. Cicero quite frankly could not understand the forces which Aristotle so eloquently denoted. For Cicero, history offered the only possible paths of outcomes; the forces and behaviors played little part on the resulting state.2 A further point of philosophical belief which Cicero contradicted the stoic lifestyle, is religion. Roman tradition conflicted greatly with stoic doctrine, and the two philosophies could never truly harmonize with one another. This point brought the distinction between the Greek learned world of intellect, and the traditional religious roman patronage. This observation literally draws a line between the two worlds, that of knowledge and reason opposing that of tradition and sentiment. This illustrated that roman was truly unable to fully accept a Greek philosophy based on knowledge and brotherhood, and a great Roman such as Cicero was similarly unable to accept the stoic doctrine as a whole.3 The philosophy of stoicism originated in Greece, and was based on the order of the universe. Nature to the stoics (universe) was a precisely ordered cosmos. Stoics taught that there was an order behind all the evident confusion of the universe. Mans purpose was to acquire order within the universe; harmonizing yourself with the universal order. Within this notion of harmonizing lies wisdom, sin resides with resisting the natural order (or nature). The stoics also tell of a rational plan in nature; our role was to live in accord with this plan. The natural order was filled with divinity, and all things possess a divine nature. This natural order was god, and thus the universe was god; the Greek and roman pathos were simply beliefs forged by superstition. The stoics also had a great indifference towards life, in the regard that the natural plan cannot be changed. This attitude made stoic\'s recluse from fame, and opposed to seeking it. One fundamental belief stoics held was in the universal community of mankind. They held that a political community is nothing more than its laws\' borders, since the natural laws are universal imposed; a universal political community existed in which all men share membership. This interpretation is generally regarded as the early stoic stage, which had yet to experience little roman influence. Upon roman adoption, stoicism went through a romanizing period; an altering of the philosophy to better integrate into roman mainstream. The ideal state of Cicero\'s; " For I hold it desirable, first, that there should be a dominant and royal element in the commonwealth; second, that some powers should be