On The Good Life

Paperback | September 30, 1971

byMarcus Tullius CiceroTranslated byMichael GrantIntroduction byMichael Grant

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For the great Roman orator and statesman Cicero, 'the good life' was at once a life of contentment and one of moral virtue - and the two were inescapably intertwined. This volume brings together a wide range of his reflections upon the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness. In essays that are articulate, meditative and inspirational, Cicero presents his views upon the significance of friendship and duty to state and family, and outlines a clear system of practical ethics that is at once simple and universal. These works offer a timeless reflection upon the human condition, and a fascinating insight into the mind of one of the greatest thinkers of Ancient Rome.

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From Our Editors

  Renowned throughout the Roman Empire, Cicero remains synonymous with lucidity, charm and persuasiveness. With minimum dogma, he exerted a profound influence, extending as far as the Middle Ages where his perceptions of the afterlife, such as celestial harmony and the ‘nine enfolded spheres’ reverberated through the works of Milton, S...

From the Publisher

For the great Roman orator and statesman Cicero, 'the good life' was at once a life of contentment and one of moral virtue - and the two were inescapably intertwined. This volume brings together a wide range of his reflections upon the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness. In essays that are articulate, meditative ...

From the Jacket

This volume brings together his tentative and undogmatic reflections on the good life, in which he discusses duty, friendship, the training of a statesman, and the importance of moral integrity in the search for happiness.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) was born at Arpinium to a wealthy local family. By 70 BC he had established himself as the leading barrister in Rome, and begun his political career. His ambition was such that he was able to receive honours usually only given to members of the Roman aristocracy. Michael Grant has successively been ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 7.79 × 5.07 × 0.69 inPublished:September 30, 1971Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140442448

ISBN - 13:9780140442441

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Customer Reviews of On The Good Life

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Gateway to Ciceronian Thoughts The title of this book is misleading. Cicero had never written a book called On the Good Life. The book is in fact a collection of some of his most celebrated works (Note: some of them are selections only): 1. Discussions at Tusculum, Book V (Tusculan Disputation) 2. On Duties, Book II (De Officiis) 3. On Friendship (De Amicitia) 4. On the Orator, Book I (De Oratore) 5. Scipio's Dream 1, 3, and 4 are the highlights in this volume. For the other two works, I recommend On Obligation and The Republic The Laws by Oxford. Then you may ask, Why read this volume when the Loeb Classical Library has devoted a complete series to Cicero? There are 3 reasons to choose the Penguin edition. First, the introduction is extremely informative. It is good for those who know little about Cicero. Second, Michael Grant had done a great job in translating those works into lucid English. This volume is much easier to read than the Oxford and Loeb editions. Third, maps of the Ancient Rome and Italy are included, a feature not found in Oxford and Loeb. Cicero is simply one of the most capable writer in human history. In Discussions at Tusculum, he explored the concept of pleasures and pains, arguing that virtuous people are incapable of mental suffering even though they may be physically suffering. In On Friendship, Cicero discusses the meaning of friendship, and his idea on friendship different from that provided by the Bible. These two works are particularly interesting. I can find no reason to refuse reading them. This volume is the gateway to Ciceronian thoughts. Those who are interested in this book should also check out its companion, Selected Works, also published by Penguin Classics.
Date published: 2003-11-29

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction
List of Greek and Latin Terms

1. Discussions at Tusculum (V)
2. On Duties (II)
3. Laelius: On Friendship
4. On the Orator (I)
5. The Dream of Scipio

Appendices
I. The Philosophical Works of Cicero
II. The Rhetorical Works of Cicero
III. Principal Dates
IV. Some Books about Cicero
Genealogical Tables
Maps
Index

From Our Editors

  Renowned throughout the Roman Empire, Cicero remains synonymous with lucidity, charm and persuasiveness. With minimum dogma, he exerted a profound influence, extending as far as the Middle Ages where his perceptions of the afterlife, such as celestial harmony and the ‘nine enfolded spheres’ reverberated through the works of Milton, Shakespeare, and Spenser. On The Good Life brings together Cicero’s thoughts on duty, friendship, and statesmanship and includes The Dream of Scipio.