Cicero, Tusculan Disputations

LCL 141: 424-425

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Marcus Tullius Cicero

M. Tulli Ciceronis Tusculanarum Disputationum

Liber V

1I. Quintus hic dies, Brute, finem faciet Tusculanarum disputationum, quo die est a nobis ea de re, quam tu ex omnibus maxime probas, disputatum: placere enim tibi admodum sensi et ex eo libro, quem ad me accuratissime scripsisti, et ex multis sermonibus tuis virtutem ad beate vivendum se ipsa esse contentam; quod etsi difficile est probatu propter tam varia et tam multa tormenta fortunae, tale tamen est, ut elaborandum sit quo facilius probetur; nihil est enim omnium, quae in philosophia tractantur, quod gravius magnificentiusque 2dicatur. Nam cum ea causa impulerit eos, qui primi se ad philosophiae studium contulerunt, ut omnibus rebus posthabitis totos se in optimo vitae statu exquirendo collocarent, profecto spe beate vivendi tantam in eo studio curam operamque posuerunt. Quod si ab iis inventa et perfecta virtus est et si praesidii ad beate vivendum in virtute satis est, quis est qui non praeclare et ab illis positam et


Disputations, V.

M. Tullius Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations

Book V

I. This fifth day, Brutus, will bring the Tusculan discussions to an end, and on that day we discussed the subject which of all subjects meets with your warmest approval: for from the book1 you have written with such sedulous care and dedicated to me, as well as from the numerous conversations I have had with you, I have realized the strength of your conviction that virtue is self-sufficient for a happy life.2 And though the agony3 fortune inflicts on me in so many different ways makes proof difficult, the attempt to make it easier is nevertheless one deserving our best energies; for of all the subjects with which philosophy deals there is none that calls for language more dignified and elevated. For since this gave the motive by which those who first devoted themselves to the study of philosophy were stimulated to put aside all other considerations and occupy themselves entirely in the quest for the best condition of life, assuredly it was in the hope of a happy life that they bestowed such a wealth of care and toil on its pursuit. Wherefore if virtue has been made known and the idea of it perfected by their efforts, and if an adequate support for happy life is found in virtue, who can fail to regard both their work in founding the study of philosophy and ours in

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-tusculan_disputations.1927