Love, Friendship, and Expediency in Cicero’s letters

Author: Evangelou, Gabriel
Title: Love, Friendship, and Expediency in Cicero’s letters
Place edition: Newcastle upon Tyne
Editor: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Year edition: 2022
Pages: 250
Keywords: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: By attacking Epicurean philosophy repeatedly in his public writings, Cicero established himself as one of Epicurus’ most fervent critics. The remarks that he makes about Epicureanism in his letters further suggest a genuine conviction that such a philosophy had no place in Roman society. This consistency in Cicero’s statements has led most scholars to assume that Cicero could not have embraced any of the principles of the Epicurean school. This book challenges the conventional view of Cicero as someone who completely rejected Epicurean philosophy-even in his private life-because of its utilitarian character. It argues that his relationship with Pompey, Caesar, Atticus, Quintus, Terentia, and Tullia encompassed several aspects of Aristotle’s account of φιλία (love and friendship) but was, nonetheless, ultimately based on expediency, in accord with Epicurus’ conception of φιλία. While Cicero’s statements in his public speeches and his letters to men with an active public life have been scrutinised for his lack of candour or for his tendency to exaggerate his achievements, the claims found in his letters to Atticus and to his family have not been treated with equal caution, as they tend be taken at face value. The book highlights the large number of discrepancies in his remarks and argues that, despite his anti-Epicurean statements, personal benefit played a vital role in all of his relationships. [Editor]
Author initials: Evangelou 2022