De Officiis

Definition

De Officiis is a treatise written by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BCE), Roman statesman and orator, in the form of a letter to his son just after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. Strongly influenced by stoicism, De Officiis is divided into three books and reflects the author's view on how to live a good life. The first two books are based on the teachings of stoic philosopher Panaetius of Rhodes, with Book I analysing honour and its roots and Book II delving into utility and what is to one's advantage. Book III links honour with usefulness and explores which should prevail.

More about: De Officiis

Timeline

  • 106 BCE
    Roman statesman and orator Cicero is born.
  • 79 BCE
    Cicero leaves Rome for two years in order to improve his health and improve his learning.
  • 51 BCE - 50 BCE
    Cicero governs the province of Cilicia.
  • 44 BCE
    Cicero writes his De Officiis.
  • 43 BCE
    Roman statesman and orator Cicero dies.
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