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On the Republic and on the Laws
     

On the Republic and on the Laws

by Marcus Tullius Cicero, David Fott (Translator)
 

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Cicero's On the Republic and On the Laws are his major works of political philosophy. They offer his fullest treatment of fundamental political questions: Why should educated people have any concern for politics? Is the best form of government simple, or is it a combination of elements from such simple forms as monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy

Overview

Cicero's On the Republic and On the Laws are his major works of political philosophy. They offer his fullest treatment of fundamental political questions: Why should educated people have any concern for politics? Is the best form of government simple, or is it a combination of elements from such simple forms as monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy? Can politics be free of injustice? The two works also help us to think about natural law, which many people have considered since ancient times to provide a foundation of unchanging, universal principles of justice.

On the Republic features a defense of politics against those who advocated abstinence from public affairs. It defends a mixed constitution, the actual arrangement of offices in the Roman Republic, against simple forms of government. The Republic also supplies material for students of Roman history—as does On the Laws. The Laws, moreover, presents the results of Cicero's reflections as to how the republic needed to change in order not only to survive but also to promote justice

David Fott’s vigorous yet elegant English translation is faithful to the originals. It is the first to appear since publication of the latest critical edition of the Latin texts. This book contains an introduction that both places Cicero in his historical context and explicates the timeless philosophical issues that he treats. The volume also provides a chronology of Cicero’s life, outlines of the two works, and indexes of personal names and important terms.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"David Fott locates Cicero and his ideas within contemporary debates regarding the nature of republicanism and the nature of liberty—debates that are at the center of many of the theoretical, moral/intellectual, and political writings being produced today. This book is useful in the clarification of significant controversies regarding the nature of Cicero's thought, as well as its relation to its sources. Fott's clear style is both genial and felicitous, and his book's intellectual rigor, theoretical sophistication, and historical sensitivity are impressive."—Benedetto Fontana, Baruch College of CUNY, author of Hegemony and Power: On the Relation between Gramsci and Machiavelli

"This is an excellent book. David Fott's scrupulously accurate and smoothly readable translation makes Cicero’s precise use of terms available to the English reader. And of course these two works by Cicero are of the greatest value for our continuing inquiries into republican government."—James H. Nichols, Claremont McKenna College

Jonathan Zarecki
"Fott accomplishes what he has set out to do: provide an accessible translation that focuses more on the text than on the secondary scholarship. Fott's translation will prove a handy reference guide for anyone interested in either or both of these political works. It would be exceptionally well-suited for an undergraduate class on cicero, Roman philosophy, or the reception of Greek philosophy by the Romans, and I look forward to adopting it for my own students."—Polis, The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801478918
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2014
Series:
Agora Editions Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Cicero was a preeminent Roman statesman, orator, and philosopher who introduced philosophy into Rome, and through Rome, into Christendom and the modern world.

David Fott is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the author of John Dewey: America's Philosopher of Democracy.

David Fott is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the author of John Dewey: America's Philosopher of Democracy.

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