Monsters in Philosopher’s Garb: Cicero Sounds Some Alarms

Cicero, In Pisonem 72

“But the same chance struck that man ignorant  of what he used to say, that he was a philosopher, and smeared him with the gore and dirt of that most unclean and most immoderate monster.”

sed idem casus illum ignarum quid profiteretur, cum se philosophum esse diceret, istius impurissimae atque intemperantissimae pecudis caeno et sordibus inquinavit.

Cicero, Post Reditum in Senatu, 15

But how lusty, filthy, immoderate a man he is at home where his pleasures’ servants sneak in through a secret passage instead of the door. But when he began to lust after literature, when his huge beastliness began to philosophize with the little Greeks, he was an Epicurean—not deeply dedicated to that discipline, but seduced by the single word of pleasure. Moreover, he took as teachers not those boring ones who talk all day long about duty and virtue or who exhort their students to work, diligence, to undergo dangers for their country. No, he chose those who argue that no hour should be free of pleasure and that it is right to make sure that every part of the body is always pursuing some joy or delight.”

 Idem domi quam libidinosus, quam impurus, quam intemperans non ianua receptis, sed pseudothyro intromissis voluptatibus! Cum vero etiam litteris studere incipit et belua immanis cum Graeculis philosophari, tum est Epicureus, non penitus illi disciplinae quaecumque est deditus, sed captus uno verbo voluptatis. Habet autem magistros non ex istis ineptis, qui dies totos de officio ac de virtute disserunt, qui ad laborem, ad industriam, ad pericula pro patria subeunda adhortantur, sed eos, qui disputent horam nullam vacuam voluptate esse debere: in omni parte corporis semper oportere aliquod gaudium delectationemque versari.

 

Image result for Ancient Roman Monster

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