Sunday, November 22, 2015



Just as the soul fills the body, so God fills the world. Just as the soul bears the body, so God endures the world. Just as the soul sees but is not seen, so God sees but is not seen. Just as the soul feeds the body, so God gives food to the world.


~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (107-43 BC)

8 comments:

  1. Some tragic figures you've been quoting lately.

    JMJ

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    Replies
    1. "Life is a comedy to him who thinks, but a tragedy to him who feels."

      ~ Horace Walpole

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    2. I am in the process of quoting the largest possible range of figures who have distinguished themselves and, thus become memorable, Jersey.

      If we choose to focus on the ugliest most negative aspect of their lives –– or of any life –– and interpret that as their defining feature, we become guilty of ignoring the significance of their contributions and whatever good –– or evil –– they may have accomplished.

      All human life ends in death. We never know when or how death will, arrive to claim us, and we rarely have the luxury of knowing why.

      As a determined optimist, which is what I try to be, all that matters is what we choose to do with whatever time we are allotted. It doesn't matter if you're a king or a galley slave. Life is a difficult, challenging experience for every one of us.

      All we CAN do –– and all we SHOULD do –– is make every effort to be the best person we know how to be given whatever circumstances and limitations we must live within.

      How we compare with others is of no importance. Some are blest – or cursed –– with great gifts that imply great responsibility. Most have varying degrees of strength, modest intelligence and few talents. None of that matters as long as each is trying to do his best.

      What the world thinks of us –– or how it reacts to us –– doesn't matter either. In the final analysis the only person whose respect we must try to win is the Man in the Mirror.

      Very few people who have distinguished themselves have had an easy time of it.

      The endless pursuit of Frivolity –– i.e. Fun and Frolic –– as a Worthy Goal is a waste of Life's Greatest Opportunities.

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    3. "For tragedy and comedy are both composed of the same letters." - Aristotle

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  2. Marcus Tullius Cicero ... 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) ... 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.

    His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style.

    According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language."

    Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia) distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.

    Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture.

    According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity."

    The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial. His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic.

    Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process.

    During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government.

    Following Julius Caesar's death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum.

    ~ WIKIPEDIA

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  3. I for one salute you, sir. It's a noble endeavor to shed light in dark corners especially as it applies to our own culture of Western Civilization.

    I wonder if Cicero also had to endure sleazy underhanded attacks by The Dreadful Few as seems to be a consistent characteristic from the times of the Romans up to our current pathologically twisted times. And then to have his character assassinated post mortem by the money changers and tax collectors.

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  4. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

    The primary objective of the [Second] Triumvirate was to avenge Caesar's death and to make war upon his murderers. Before marching against Brutus and Cassius in the East, the Triumvirs decided to eliminate their enemies in Rome. To do so, they employed a legalized form of mass murder: proscription.

    [Proscription was] first used by the Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 82 BC, Sulla drew up a list of his political enemies to purge Rome of opposition to his rule. Any man whose name appeared on the list was stripped of his citizenship and excluded from all protection under the law. ...

    Like Sulla's proscription before it, the [Second] Triumvirate's proscription produced deadly results: one third of the Senate and two thousand Roman knights were killed.

    Among the most famous outlaws condemned was [Marcus Tullius] Cicero, who was executed on December 7.

    In addition to the political consequences of eliminating opposition, the proscription also restored the State Treasury, which had been depleted by Caesar's civil war the decade before. The fortune of a proscribed man would be confiscated by the state, giving the Triumvirate the funds they needed to pay for the coming war against Brutus and Cassius. When the proceeds from the sale of confiscated estates of the proscribed were insufficient to finance the war, the Triumvirs imposed new taxes, especially on the wealthy. By January 42 BC the proscription officially ended.

    Though only lasting two months ... , the episode traumatized Roman society. To avoid being killed, a number of outlaws fled to either Sextus Pompey in Sicily or to the Liberators in the East. In order to legitimize their own rule, all Senators who survived the proscription were allowed to keep their positions if they swore allegiance to the Triumvirate. ...

    ~ WIKIPEDIA on Mark Antony

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  5. I'm familiar with the subject. Remember, history major married to a history grad, Jesuit, classical.

    Anyway, just noting a pattern, that's all.

    JMJ

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