Cicero’s Theology and the Concept of Fate

Author: Begemann, Elisabeth
Title: Cicero’s Theology and the Concept of Fate
Review/Collection: Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 15, no 1
Year edition: 2014
Pages: 225–246
Keywords: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy, Religion - Religione - Religion
Description: This article examines Cicero’s discussion of theology in the context of providing Rome with philosophical writings. I argue that in his treatises de natura deorum, de divinatione and de fato, Cicero conceptualized a traditional, idealized version of Roman theology under the premise that religio and cultus deorum are indispensable for a moral society as it is outlined in de re publica and de legibus. In continually stressing active divine participation in the lives of men, Cicero underlines the importance of goodwill between the divine and human spheres which finds expression in cultus deorum. As concepts such as Stoic fate run counter to the belief that the gods can be ritually influenced by prayer or ritual, the gods can neither be identified with fate itself nor be subject to it. Cicero rather stresses free will in all contexts to uphold the moral society, both human and divine. [Author]
Author initials: Begemann 2014