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enlarged and improved edition of that before published by Unger. I have found great assistance from his commentary, which leaves few difficulties unnoticed. The Introduction prefixed to this edition is substantially a translation of his Einleitung. However much the possession of these aids and appliances has diminished editorial work, the mere task of selection and compression of materials, easy as it may appear to those who have had no experience of it, is a constant strain upon the judgment which requires no inconsiderable expenditure of time and labour.

Wherever the actual words of the annotator have been quoted, I have given his name: where the derived notes have undergone a change of form, I have not made any special acknowledgment of the original source from which they are taken. In the text I have followed for the most part the recension of Orelli's Cicero by Baiter and Halm, which must at present be considered the standard edition. In some passages, where a different reading has commended itself to my judgment, I have given that of Baiter in the adnotatio critica, and in any variations of importance added the readings of the principal editors.


Jan. 28, 1869



HEN Brutus and Cassius failed in their attempts to 1 establish the Republic on its old foundations, though they had succeeded in taking the life of the Dictator, Cicero being debarred from taking part in public affairs by Antonius and feeling the insecurity of his own position left Rome towards the end of March A.U.C. 710, B.C. 44. He betook himself to his country houses, of which he possessed several in the West of Italy, and spent the summer first in one and then in another. During this period of compulsory leisure, full of anxiety, disappointed in the hopes which the death of Caesar had awakened in him and depressed by sorrow for the degradation of his country, Cicero sought and found distraction from politics and relief from gloom and disappointment in literary pursuits. He had been a student of philosophy from early youth and had improved himself in it partly by reading, partly by conversing with eminent philosophers'; even during Caesar's usurpation it had been his chief diversion, and his devotion to it was alike honourable to himself and profitable to his countrymen. The Tusculanae disputationes which he had already begun, and the books de natura deorum, were finished in the course of the summer of B.C. 44; during the same period he composed the essays de senectute, de amicitia, de divinatione,

1 See n. to I § 155 1. 18.

CIC. de Off.


de fato (which exists only in a mutilated form), the lost books 2 de gloria, and finally the de officiis. The first intimation of his being engaged in writing a treatise on Ethics occurs in a letter to his friend Atticus, written in June of that year: the work, however, was interrupted partly from his attempted journey to Greece, partly from his appearance in open antagor.ism to Antony on September 2d, when he delivered the first Philippic. In November he writes again to Atticus concerning the same treatise and we learn from his letter, that he had then completed the two first books and was engaged upon the third. The whole most probably appeared before the close of the year. This supposition is confirmed by the many allusions it contains to contemporary events. Thus he praises the murderers of Caesar3, laments that his power did not end with his death, and censures Antony for overawing the senate by the presence of a body of soldiers', which he did at the time when the second Philippic was delivered, towards the end of September.


The division of his essay into three Books was suggested by the subject itself. The work being professedly intended for the purposes of instruction, Cicero does not dwell upon the conflicting doctrines of rival sects but endeavours rather to indicate directly those views which he regarded as the most correct and, rejecting the form of dialogue, enunciates the different precepts with the authority of a teacher addressing his pupil. As regards the title of the work, Atticus had doubts whether de officiis would be an exact translation of the Greek

See n. to III § 121.

2 ad Att. XV 13, 6. 4 ad Att. XVI II, 4 Tà TEρÌ TоÛ KałŃKOVтOS, quatenus Panaetius, absolvi duobus: illius tres sunt; sed, quum initio divisisset ita, tria genera exquirendi officii esse, unum, quum deliberemus honestum an turpe sit, alterum utile an inutile, tertium, quum haec inter se pugnare videantur, quomodo iudicandum sit, qualis causa Reguli, redire honestum, manere utile; de duobus primis praeclare disseruit, de tertio pollicetur se deinceps, sed nihil scripsit. Eum locum Posidonius persecutus est, ego autem et eius librum arcessivi et ad Athenodorum Calvum scripsi, ut ad me тà кepáλaia mitteret-quae expecto, in eo est περὶ τοῦ κατὰ περίστασιν καθήκοντος.

5 111 § 19.


III § I.

11 § 23 1. 26.


περὶ τοῦ καθήκοντος, because καθῆκον signifies what is ‘suitable,’ 'becoming.' Cicero replies to him3: non dubito quin кaðîкov officium sit nisi quid tu aliud, sed inscriptio plenior de officiis: and in another letter' mihi non est dubium, quin, quod Graeci κaðîкov, nos officium; id autem quid dubitas quin etiam in remp. praeclare quadret? nonne dicimus consulum officium, senatus officium, imperatoris officium? praeclare convenit, aut da melius.

Cicero resolved to dedicate the work to his son Marcus1o. 4 Marcus Cicero was born A.U.C. 689, B.C. 65". His father watched over his education with the greatest care, had him taught by the best masters' and wrote for his especial instruction the de partitione oratoria dialogus. In the civil war Marcus, then a youth of seventeen, joined the army of Pompey, from whom he received the command of a squadron of cavalry, probably only nominally, but to the satisfaction of his general13. After the battle of Pharsalia (B.C. 45), he was desirous of proceeding to Spain and taking part in the service of Caesar against his former friends. He was, however, induced by his father to abandon this project", and sent to Athens to prosecute his studies along with several other young Romans of distinguished family. Here, although provided with a liberal allowance', he fell into extravagant habits, but soon reformed his mode of life and became diligent in his application to philosophy under Cratippus of Mitylene, who was at that time head of the Peripatetic School1. After the death of Caesar, he was raised to the rank of military tribune by Brutus, and did much good service in the course of the Macedonian campaign. The attainder pronounced upon his father was extended to him also, without the Triumvirs, however, being able to injure him. When his party was broken up by the rout at Philippi, he joined Sextus Pompeius in Sicily and taking advantage of the amnesty in favour of exiles,

8 ad Att. XVI II, 4. προσφωνοῦμεν Ciceroni. 12 ad Quint. fr. II 14, 2, 15 ad Att. XII 27, 32. 6, 17, 20, XVI 1, ad fam. XII 16.

XII 7.

9 ad Att. XVI 14.
qua de re enim potius pater filio?
III 3, 4.
13 de off. II § 45.

10 ad Att. XV 13,

6 11 ad Att. I 2. 14 ad Att.

16 ep. ad Att. XIV 16, XV 4,

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