A few “crumbs” from Tusculanæ Disputationes

Among the “philosophical writings” by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 b. C. – 43 b. C.), the work entitled Tusculanæ Disputationes deserves special mention. Cicero wrote this text between 45 and 44, in one of its villas in Tuscolo (ancient city of Lazio, located on the Alban Hills).

The work, which is presented in a dialogical form, is divided into five books: in the first book Cicero deals with the theme of death; in the second book, the author writes about the topic of pain; the third book talks about remedies for sadness; the fourth book shows how to lift the soul; finally, the fifth book focuses its attention on the thesis of virtue as a way to happiness.

The text, as can be easily seen from this very short presentation, addresses very important topics and therefore lends itself to be for the reader (even today) a “moral support”; and this above all for the author himself (see V, § 121).

Philosophy – according to Cicero –  guides man towards the long-awaited port of tranquility and peace. The hymn of the fifth book (§ 5) is just this: a passionate presentation of philosophy as a liberator of the fears that afflict human existence.

In this sense, philosophical research shows all its practical-sapiential value: «the effect of philosophy – Cicero says in fact – is this: it heals the soul, removes unnecessary worries, frees from desires, dispels fears» ( II, § 11).

A very important thing for man…even today.

Giovanni Covino


Versione italiana

La filosofia, “nocchiere in gran tempesta”. Qualche “briciola” dalle Tusculanæ Disputationes di Cicerone

Un pensiero su “A few “crumbs” from Tusculanæ Disputationes

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