Marcus Tullius Cicero

M. Tulli Ciceronis Tusculanarum Disputationum

Liber III

1I. Quidnam esse, Brute, causae putem cur, cum constemus ex animo et corpore, corporis curandi tuendique causa quaesita sit ars atque eius utilitas deorum immortalium inventioni consecrata, animi autem medicina nec tam desiderata sit, ante quam inventa, nec tam culta, postea quam cognita est, nec tam multis grata et probata, pluribus etiam suspecta et invisa? An quod corporis gravitatem et dolorem animo iudicamus, animi morbum corpore non sentimus? Ita fit ut animus de se ipse tum iudicet, 2cum id ipsum, quo iudicatur, aegrotet. Quod si tales nos natura genuisset, ut eam ipsam intueri et perspicere eademque optima duce cursum vitae conficere possemus, haud erat sane quod quisquam rationem ac doctrinam requireret. Nunc parvulos nobis dedit igniculos, quos celeriter malis moribus


Disputations, III.

M. Tullius Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations

Book III

I. Seeing, Brutus, that we are made up of soul and body, what am I to think is the reason why for the care and maintenance of the body there has been devised an art which from its usefulness has had its discovery attributed to immortal gods,1 and is regarded as sacred, whilst on the other hand the need of an art of healing for the soul has not been felt so deeply before its discovery, nor has it been studied so closely after becoming known, nor welcomed with the approval of so many, and has even been regarded by a greater number with suspicion and hatred? Is it because with the soul we judge of bodily lassitude and pain, whilst with the body we cannot realize the sickness of the soul? The result is that the soul passes judgment upon its own condition at a moment when the actual instrument of judgment is sick. Now if at our birth nature had granted us the ability to discern her, as she truly is, with insight and knowledge,2 and under her excellent guidance to complete the course of life, there would certainly have been no occasion for anyone to need methodical instruction: as it is, she has given us some faint glimmering of insight which, under the corrupting influence of bad habits

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-tusculan_disputations.1927