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which Cicero has given to the clumsy Greek of the ist century B.C. The argument has not always been understood; the connexion is often broken; sometimes different treatises will have been somewhat carelessly pieced together; scarcely ever do we find a rounded whole dominated by a single conception with all the parts in due subordination and harmony.

It remains still to ask what Cicero himself has contributed to philosophy, independently of translations and - paraphrases in which he has embalmed for us the thoughts of others. And the first thing to be said is, that he has not only given a new form, but he has breathed a new spirit into the dry bones of this later philosophy. The same wide experience of practical life which made him indifferent to subtle distinctions of thought, brought its compensation by enabling him to give life and reality to the bare abstractions of the schools. We feel that he is animated by a genuine enthusiasm when, amid the furious party-strife and the self-seeking lawlessness which marked the close of the Republic, he comes forward to preach of that supreme Law by which all Nature is governed, and which is written in the heart and conscience of each individual of our race, thus forming a common bond of brotherhood, which knits all mankind together and engages those who own that bond to love each other as they love themselves?. Whether he was actually the first to give prominence to this conception of an original revelation written on the heart of man, is not absolutely certain: he is at any rate the first writer in whom we find it distinctly expressed. Even Plato only spoke of our having beheld the ideas in a previous state of existence;

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Cicero supposes them to be implanted in us at our birth, and to grow with our growth, when they are not blighted by ungenial influences?. Another characteristic which adds a charm to the works of Cicero is his fondness for tracing in the ancient worthies of Rome the unconscious operation of those principles of generosity and fairness, which had been brought out into the distinct light of consciousness by Plato and the Stoics. Thus his moral treatises, even when they are most defective in logical arrangement, form a treasure-house in which the best sayings and doings of the best men of antiquity are set forth in the noblest language for the delight and instruction of posterity. However it may please some writers of our time to vaunt their ingratitude to Cicero, it cannot be denied that to none of those great writers and thinkers, who 'like runners in the torch-race have passed from hand to hand the light of civilisation,' is the world more indebted than it is to him; that it was he who first made the thoughts of the mighty masters of old the common property of mankind; that he, beyond all others, raised the general standard of sentiment and morality in his own age; and that his writings kept alive through the Dark Ages, to be rekindled with a fresh glow in the Humanists of the Renaissance, the recollection of a glorious past, and a tradition of sound thinking and judging unfettered by the terrors of church authority.

i See Fin. v. 59 (natura homini) dedit talem mentem, quiz omnem virtutem accipere posset, ingenuitque sine doctrina notitias parvas rerum maximarum, et quasi instituit docere et induxit in ea quae inerant tanquam elementa virtutis. Sed virtutem ipsam inchoavit, nihil amplius ; also Leg. I. 33, Tusc. III. 2 quoted by Zeller p. 659.

In phi

M. Terentius Varro, the most learned and most voluminous of Roman writers was born B.C. 116. He took an active part in public affairs and served under Pompeius in the Civil War. After the battle of Pharsalia he submitted to Cæsar, who employed him to superintend the collection and arrangement of books for a public library. He escaped from the proscription under the second triumvirate, and continued his literary labours without interruption till his death in B.C. 28. losophy he followed his master, Antiochus, with perhaps even a more decided leaning to Stoicism. Thus he holds that that which distinguishes the different schools is their view as to the Summum Bonum, on which he reckoned up 288 possible theories. He himself makes it consist in virtue combined with the prima naturae, which he identifies with the lower 'goods' (external and corporeal) of the Peripatetics. Probability is not sufficient for the guidance of life: a man cannot act resolutely unless he has full conviction. His religious opinions have been already referred to: the supreme God is the soul of the world, whose varied manifestations constitute the deities of the common worship, some belong to the higher spheres, others, such as the heroes and demigods, to the sublunary sphere: in man the Divine Spirit manifests himself as the genius or soul, which Varro identified with the warm breath which pervades and vivifies the body.

Another contemporary of Cicero is of interest to us as the first sign of a revival which was to be of increasing importance in the following age, I mean Nigidius Figulus, the restorer of the extinct philosophy of Pytha


goras. With him we may connect the short-lived school of the Sextii, in which Seneca received his philosophical training. The founder Q. Sextius was born B.C. 70. He combined certain Pythagorean elements with Stoicism. Thus he held that the soul was incorporeal, and urged on his pupils abstinence from meat, and the practice of daily self-examination. He spoke of man's life as a continuous struggle against folly, and said that constant vigilance is needed if we would contend victoriously against the foes by whom we are surrounded. A saying of his disciple Fabianus may be noted here as prophetic of the new spirit of the coming age: “Reason is not sufficient to overcome passion: we must take to us the power of a noble enthusiasm?'

So Cicero calls him in the introduction to his translation of the Timaeus, sic judico post illos nobiles Pythagoreos, quorum disciplina extincta est quodammodo, hunc exstitisse qui illam renovaret.

2 See passages cited in R. and P. SS 469—472, and Zeller p. 680 foll. The last quotation is from Seneca De Brevit. x. contra affectus impetu, non subtilitate pugnandum, nec minutis vulneribus, sed incursu avertendam aciem.


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We have thus reached the limit which I proposed for my sketch of Ancient Philosophy. We have watched the growth of philosophy from the small seed, possibly a single Homeric line', dropped in the fruitful soil of Miletus, to the mighty tree overshadowing the earth, whose branches we distinguish by such names as Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Zeno. We have seen it throwing out offshoots in the shape of the various sciences, arithmetic, geometry, mechanics, astronomy, grammar, rhetoric, logic, and even zoology and botany. We have seen it withdrawing more and more from those vague speculations on the nature and origin of the universe, which first attracted the dawning intelligence of Greece, and concentrating its energies on the nature, the duty and the destiny of man. We have seen how it revolutionized men's thoughts in regard to religion, how, as early as the 6th century B. c., it had risen to the conception of One eternal all-wise and all-righteous God, how it gradually came to see in Him the object, not of fear alone, but of reverence and trust and love; how sternly it denounced the follies and impurities of paganism, and taught men that the only acceptable worship was that

1 II. XIV. 201. 2 See above on Xenophanes, p. 14.

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