Cicero Scepticus: A Study of the Influence of the Academica by Charles B. Schmitt

By Charles B. Schmitt

As initially deliberate this quantity was once intended to hide a slightly wider scope than, in reality, it has became out to do. while, in rg68, I first and foremost conceived of getting ready it, it used to be proposed to accommodate a number of features of early glossy scepticism, as well as the fortuna of the Academica, and to put up a number of loosely comparable items lower than the identify of 'Studies within the background of Early smooth Scepticism. ' Thereby, I foresaw that i'd exhaust my wisdom of the topic and may then be capable to flip my recognition to different issues. In starting up my learn in this subject, although, I quickly discovered that there remained a far higher bulk of fabric to check than may very well be handled among the covers of the only modest quantity which I estimated. My proposed part on Cicero's Academica was once to hide among 50 and seventy five pages within the unique plan. It quickly grew to become obvious, besides the fact that, specially after Joannes Rosa's hitherto unstudied remark on Cicero's paintings used to be exposed, that this fabric must be taken care of at a miles better size than I had foreseen. the current quantity is the results of this increased research. The monograph which has come from this change in plans has, i feel, the virtues of continuity and cohesive­ ness and one hopes that those benefits offset some great benefits of a broader scope which have been sacrificed.

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Cambridge University Library ms. Dd. 2, dated 1444, is apparently a copy of an earlier ms. of various Ciceronian writings with marginal annotations by William. The Lucullus is contained in this ms. (fols. 88-106) and is accompanied by substantial marginal glosses. I have consulted a microfilm of this section of the manuscript, but the annotations seem to have little of philosophical interest. This whole manuscript, however, should be studied with more care and related to William's other interests and activities.

6 The Academica fits into Cicero's sort of 'philosophical encyclopedia' as the work on epistemology. Like most of his other philosophical writings, it is cast into dialogue form and in the course of the discussions therein the major current Greek philosophical positions are presented by different interlocutors. , shortly after the death of his daughter Tullia, along with several other philosophical works, including the Consolatio and the Hortensius. From evidence contained in Cicero's other works, especially the Epistolae ad Atticum, 7 we can follow the process of the composition of the work in some detail.

68 Such was the judgement of C. C. J. Webb in the Prolegomena to Ioannes Saresberiensis (1909) I, xxix. In my reading of the relevant sections of the Policraticus, I have found no reason to dispute Webb's conjecture. The only more or less direct reference to Cicero's work is at VII, 9 (ed. cit. II, 129, lines 4-5) which reads: 'Denique et ipse Tullius huic tale testimonium perhibet ut in libris Achademicis dicat ... ' But, as Webb points out in a footnote, this comes from Augustine's De civitate Dei VI, 2, g.

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