By Lewis White Beck
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Extra resources for Essays on Kant and Hume
Much of the symbolic (and even some of the material) paraphernalia of the Roman paterfamilias will persist as long as Rome is ruled by Romans (and some of it persists in Western tradition still, not least in the Vatican), but in the late Republic various people who wanted new erotic patterns, and came upon them while other social patterns were breaking up, needed and found poets who would tell them that it's a very good thing to go crazy for a love that may destroy you but that will, in the process, transform your humdrum, vapid existence into a Life, into something so delicious and so profound and so expansive that any and every pain and humiliation it costs will seem a bargain once the fatal transaction is completed.
The citizens of the Roman Republic were no longer able to ignore the widening fissures at its base. Their matchless armies, once composed of the citizen-farmer-soldiers who had won the empire and built the roads which traversed it, were becoming increasingly professional even as they became increasingly more loyal to the generals who led them than they were to the Roman people and the magistrates who (theoretically) represented them. The magistrates themselves, and the rich, venerable families they came from, had gradually forgotten how to share the profits of empire effectively with each other, with 30 1.
Cicero is not talking about that ideal entity, he's talking about the psyche's erotic gyrations and disequilibriums. So he wants us to use some other word when we're trying to talk about the good kind of love. ) What is the cure for lechery, for what the world calls love (that's his formal question, but he is specially concerned with same-sexual obsessions)? You have to reveal to the patient how worthless what he craves really is. ), or that the desire for it can be utterly shut out from the brain.