Ginnasio e atletica nella filosofia di Cicerone

Author: Morelli, Alfredo Mario
Title: Ginnasio e atletica nella filosofia di Cicerone
Review/Collection: "Trame di letteratura comparata", 4
Place edition: Cassino
Editor: Edizioni del Laboratorio di comparatistica
Year edition: 2021
Pages: 99-113
Keywords: Commentaires - Commenti - Commentaries, Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: [Morelli, Alfredo Mario] [Abstract] The philosophical question concerning gymnasium education and athletic culture in the Greek world (with the connected problem of nudity, characteristic of both areas) was unavoidable for Cicero, if he wanted to propose a moral and political philosophy modeled on social and ideological needs of the ruling classes of Rome. He looks with extreme suspicion at the gymnasium in Greece: in passages like Tusc. 4,70-71 (if analyzed in their context) the polemic against the Stoic doctrine of amor amicitiae turns into the condemnation of an educational project, indeed, of an entire civilization in its paideutic practices. In Cicero’s meaning, there is a radical foreignness between Greek and Roman culture on this point: the purpose is to exclude not only any idea of telos but also any ‘erotics of friendship’ from his philosophical discourse on amicitia; the body, its care, its beauty, its social effects simply disappear from this horizon. Many scholars mean that there is a less negative attitude to athletic competitions, but passages such as Tusc. 2.62 and Off.1.144 propose the paradigm of the athlete, of his virtue and resistance to pain and fatigue in the same way as it is done with gladiators or actors. It is a spectaculum virtutis, a ‘staging’ of moral values that can be easily deployed as an exemplum; all this, however, does not attenuate the attitude of haughtiness or even contempt for such forms of entertainment, which are exemplary only ex minore, if compared to the ‘true’, civil virtus.
Author initials: Morelli 2021