Cicero’s meditations on moral choices may be the most practical element of his works for the casual reader. In this talk, Dr. Fleming examines Cicero’s major themes by identifying key virtues and vices and their influences. Cicero’s accomplishment lies in effectively transmitting and synthesizing the masters of the ancient world in order to educate his age all who came after. Through the ethical works of Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, and others, the great Roman’s legacy is largely built on his success in communicating the wisdom of moral choice into the future.
Cicero’s topics are of universal interest, and they all begin in the natural obligations men have to people, places, and their stations in life. These elements form a hierarchy that can be perceived with reason and the inherited wisdom of a tradition. Duties to one’s native land, family, and friends are a central mediation in Cicero’s thought. Also valuable are Cicero’s meditations on old age, which summarize aspects of a life well-lived and the enduring benefits of true friendship.5 Minute Free Preview