Cicero and Epicureanism
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Over the course of the last ten years of his life, Cicero devoted much effort to exploring and evaluating the three major philosophical schools prevalent at Rome: Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism. His critique of Epicureanism in De re publica, Cicero's earliest philosophical investigation, is especially clear because in this work Cicero explicitly criticizes the political views of that particular school. What is less clear, however, is how the ending of the work, the so-called Somnium Scipionis, can be understood as a response to Epicureanism. In this thesis, I shall consider how the Somnium Scipionis falls into line with Cicero's anti-Epicurean stance, and I will suggest that his treatment here sheds light on the way in which he treats Epicureanism in his later philosophical works.