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Old 12-01-2013, 03:17 AM   #1
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Eliot, Charles W. (editor): Harvard Classics Volume 9 V2.0 31 Mar 2014

The Harvard Classics Volume 9 (Cicero, Pliny) Published 1909

Edited by Charles W Eliot LL D. (March 20, 1834 - August 22, 1926)

Letters and Treatises of Cicero and Pliny

Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

On Friendship describes the nature of true friendship, which is possible only between good men, who are virtuous and follow nature. This friendship is based on virtue, and while it offers material advantages it does not aim at them or even seek them. The dialogue goes on to describe the bonds of friendship among lesser men, which are stronger the more closely they are related but which exist even in more distant relationships. The conclusion is reached that all human beings are bonded together, along with the gods, in a community made up of the cosmos as a whole and based on shared reason.

On Old Age: In this dialogue, we learn that the sufferings of old age do not affect everyone equally but in fact are dependent on character; old men of good character continue to enjoy life, though in different ways than in their youth, while men of bad character have new miseries added to their previous ones. Nothing is more natural than to age and die, and if we are to live in accordance with nature (a Stoic teaching) we should face death calmly. If one has lived well, there are many pleasant memories to enjoy, as well as prestige and the intellectual pleasures that are highest of all.

The letters of Cicero are of a varied character. They range from the most informal communications with members of his family to serious and elaborate compositions which are practically treatises in epistolary form. A very large proportion of them were obviously written out of the mood of the moment, with no thought of the possibility of publication; and in these the style is comparatively relaxed and colloquial. Others, addressed to public characters, are practically of the same nature as his speeches, discussions of political questions intended to influence public opinion, and performing a function in the Roman life of the time closely analogous to that fulfilled at the present day by articles in the great reviews, or editorials in prominent journals.

Gaius Plinius Cæcilius Secundus born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – ca. 112), better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him. They were both witnesses to the eruption of Vesuvius on August 24, 79 AD.

The letters, on which today his fame mainly rests, were largely written with a view to publication, and were arranged by Pliny himself. They deal with a great variety of subjects including the description of a Roman villa, the charms of country life, his love for his young wife, ghost stories, floating islands and other topics. By far the best-known letters are those describing the great eruption of Vesuvius in which his uncle perished, a martyr to scientific curiosity, and the letter to Trajan on his attempts to suppress Christianity in Bithynia, with Trajan's reply approving his policy. Taken altogether, these letters give an absorbingly vivid picture of the days of the early empire, and of the interests of a cultivated Roman gentleman of wealth.

[Extracts from Wiki and other sources]

Edit 1 Dec: I changed the name of the epub to follow the same format as previous epub books in this series. The content is identical. Mea culpa.

Version 2.0: New Book Cover. Revised Table of Contents. Some format changes. (prev DLs 162)
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:25 AM   #2
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