Cicero

Cicero’s Republic: The Duty to Make Whole That Which Is Broken

By |2019-06-27T22:35:02-05:00June 27th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Senior Contributors|

In “On Duties,” Cicero throws down the gauntlet, defining one of the most important aspects of Western civilization: There is no greater philosophy than the discovery of what our duties are to one another, to our communities, and to our God. A divorce, the death of a beloved daughter, the absence of his only [...]

Cicero: No Slave of Plato

By |2019-06-07T09:36:17-05:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Of all the writers who came at the end of the Roman Republic and at the beginning of the Empire, most make note of the loss of traditional morality. It was Cicero who advocated an adherence to nature and order by recognizing the proper meaning of a thing within and around the very existence [...]

True Law is Right Reason in Agreement With Nature

By |2019-06-06T10:13:21-05:00June 2nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Cicero’s “On the Republic” has influenced the West for centuries, calling to harmony the various aspects of government. In his call to harmony, Cicero portrays a republic in which a proper action demands the balance of the three faculties of man, as well as one in which true law is understood as coming not [...]

The Natural and the Foreign: Republics from Rome to America

By |2019-06-06T10:11:25-05:00May 31st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

According to Cicero, the Republic follows the paths of nature and god in all its activities. As such, the true statesman—like the gardener—knows when to plant, when to fertilize, when to water, when to weed, when to prune, and when to harvest. Yet there is still, to be certain, a season for everything. And, [...]

Cicero’s Republic: Three in One

By |2019-10-10T14:57:16-05:00May 20th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Government, Senior Contributors|

A republic, by its very essence, imitates the highest of creation: man endowed with understanding and free will. Yet, in this greatest of strengths also resides the deepest of weaknesses. When the people enjoy true liberty, they often fail to identify its source, admiring its effects rather than its causes. In particular, they misunderstand [...]

Cicero’s Republic: Implanted in the Nature of Man

By |2019-10-10T13:41:38-05:00May 17th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civil Society, Civilization, Senior Contributors|

The best society, Cicero argues, cultivates us as free individuals for the benefit of the community. Virtue exists in every being, but few realize it or cultivate it. Yet, it is what makes men, men, and allows them to be free. Usually remembered for his political triumphs and defeats as well as for his [...]

Virtue and the City

By |2019-02-18T02:41:53-05:00November 18th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Cicero, Featured, Great Books, Paul Krause, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Timeless Essays|

Virtue is what the good city aims to achieve as part of the common good. Since humans are social animals and creatures of actions, the call to cultivate virtue within civil society is a fundamental aspect of the good society and the good regime... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the [...]

Can the Liberal Arts Save Our Souls?

By |2019-05-07T14:29:08-05:00July 13th, 2018|Categories: Aristotle, Cicero, Civil Society, Government, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning|

If one cannot hope for an informed citizenry—and the evidence is overwhelming that such a hope is futile—one must hope for something else: a formed citizenry. For the remedy for thoughtlessness is not information; it is thought, thought about what man is, what the good man is, what the good society is, what virtues [...]

The Ciceronian Republic

By |2019-09-10T16:34:51-05:00November 9th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Culture, Socrates, Western Civilization, Western Odyssey Series|

Habits, mores, manners, and customs should prove more important in a republic than the law… “With Cicero fell the republic.”—Russell Kirk As one of my grand Hillsdale colleagues, Dr. Stephen Smith, once said to me, there has never been a serious reform or renaissance in Western Civilization since the fall of the Roman Republic [...]

Virtue and the City

By |2019-06-11T16:09:36-05:00October 26th, 2017|Categories: Cicero, Featured, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Virtue|

To attain virtue in solitude defeats the communitarian instincts of human nature. The avenue of politics is one of the mediums by which moral excellence can, and should, be practiced—for there are tremendous benefits wrought to the rest of society as a result… “We see that every city is some sort of community, and [...]

“The Author’s Outcry”

By |2017-08-27T11:36:24-05:00August 27th, 2017|Categories: Cicero, Poetry|

The Author’s outcry against Octavianus Caesar Augustus as he contemplated Schleissen’s marble effigy of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Extemporaneous poem. He was an ingrate, more a barbarian, Marcus, then even the lictor, when he left you beneath some lictor’s ignominious blow. Octavianus was almost more deadly […]

Rhetoric & the Art of Persuasion: Lessons from the Masters

By |2019-09-28T09:32:49-05:00May 5th, 2017|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Cicero, Education, Featured, Rhetoric|

The Roman teachers were acutely aware of the role of audience. In its classical sense, rhetoric means the use of language, whether in speech or tex, to persuade an audience… The word rhetoric is thrown about in mostly negative ways—accuse someone of employing rhetoric and you have implied a lack of sincerity or content [...]

The Utopia of Thomas More: A Contemporary Battleground

By |2017-06-22T08:37:43-05:00March 9th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Cicero, Literature, Philosophy, Plato, St. Augustine, Thomas More|

By thinking through the limits and possibilities of political life, as presented in Utopia, the careful reader imitates Cicero and Thomas More by preparing for politics through the careful study of great literature… “The struggle is not merely over an iso­lated work of genius but over a whole culture”—so says Stephen Greenblatt about Thomas [...]

An American Augustan Age of Literature

By |2016-12-08T10:56:00-05:00October 19th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Classics, Featured, Great Books, History, Virgil|

The Augustan Age refers to a time period broadly revolving around the restoration of order (if not necessarily liberty) at the end of the Roman republic and the beginning of the empire—roughly 50BC to 120AD. Many scholars label it the “Silver Age of Roman Literature.” Every one of the authors listed below held numerous [...]