On Duties

By Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Tullius Cicero

3.96 - ratings 2,054

De Officiis (On Duties) is Cicero's last theoretical work and contains his analysis, in a Greek theoretical framework, of the political and ethical values of the Roman governing class in the late Republic. It has often been treated merely as a key to the Greek philosophical works that Cicero used, but this volume aims to render De Officiis, which had a profound impact upon De Officiis (On Duties) is Cicero's last...

Book details

by Cambridge University Press

(first published -44)

Edition Language
English

Quotes From "On Duties"

"Law applied to its extreme is the greatest injustice"
"No power on earth, if it labours beneath the burden of fear, can possibly be strong enough to survive."
"In all matters, before beginning, a diligent preparation should be made."
"Il y a encore de certains devoirs à remplir envers même de qui nous avons reçu une injure; car la vengeance et la punition ont aussi leurs bornes. Je ne sais même si repentir de celui qui a fait l'injure ne suffirait pas et pour l'empêcher d'en faire une semblable à l'avenir et pour retenir les autres dans le devoir."
"Of this last kind of comparisons is that quoted from the elder Cato, who, when asked what was the most profitable thing to be done on an estate, replied, “To feed cattle well.” “What second best?” “To feed cattle moderately well.” “What third best?” “To feed cattle, though but poorly.” “What fourth best?” “To plough the land.” And when he who had made these inquiries asked, “What is to be said of making profit by usury?” Cato replied, “What is to be said of making profit by murder?"
"sed inter hominem et beluam ho maxime interest, quod haec tantum, quantum sensu movetur, ad id solum, quod adest quodque prasens est, se accommodat paulum admodum sentiens praeteritum aut futurum; homo autem, quod rationis est particeps, per quam consequentia cernit, causas rerum videt earumque praegressus et quasi antecessiones non ignorat, similitudines comparat rebusque praesentibus adjungit atque annectit futuras, facile totius vitae cursum videt ad eamque degendam praeparat res necessarias."
"Optime autem societas hominum conjunctioque servabitur, si, ut quisque erit conjunctissimus, ita in eum benignitatis plurimum conferetur. (...)

Homo, qui erranti comiter monstrat viam,
Quasi lumen de suo lumine accendat, facit
Nihilo minus ipsi lucet, cum illi accenderit."

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