Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about Academica.

2.  The word concinere occurs D.F. IV. 60, N.D. I. 16, in both which places it is used of the Stoics, who are said re concinere, verbis discrepare with the other schools.  This opinion of Antiochus Cic. had already mentioned 43, and probably repeated in this fragment.  Krische remarks that Augustine, Cont.  Acad. II. 14, 15, seems to have imitated that part of Cicero’s exposition to which this fragment belongs.  If so Cic. must have condemned the unwarrantable verbal innovations of Zeno in order to excuse the extreme scepticism of Arcesilas (Krische, p. 58).


3.  This fragm. clearly forms part of those anticipatory sceptical arguments which Cic. in the first edition had included in his answer to Hortensius, see Introd. p. 55.  The argument probably ran thus:  What seems so level as the sea?  Yet it is easy to prove that it is really not level.

4.  On this I have nothing to remark.

5.  There is nothing distinctive about this which might enable us to determine its connection with the dialogue.  Probably Zeno is the person who serius adamavit honores.

6.  The changing aspects of the same thing are pointed to here as invalidating the evidence of the senses.

7.  This passage has the same aim as the last and closely resembles Lucullus 105.

8.  The fact that the eye and hand need such guides shows how untrustworthy the senses are.  A similar argument occurs in Luc. 86. Perpendiculum is a plumb line, norma a mason’s square, the word being probably a corruption of the Greek [Greek:  gnomon] (Curt. Grundz p. 169, ed. 3), regula, a rule.

9.  The different colours which the same persons show in different conditions, when young and when old, when sick and when healthy, when sober and when drunken, are brought forward to prove how little of permanence there is even in the least fleeting of the objects of sense.

10. Urinari is to dive; for the derivation see Curt. Grundz p. 326.  A diver would be in exactly the position of the fish noticed in Luc. 81, which are unable to see that which lies immediately above them and so illustrate the narrow limits of the power of vision.

11.  Evidently an attempt to prove the sense of smell untrustworthy.  Different people pass different judgments on one and the same odour.  The student will observe that the above extracts formed part of an argument intended to show the deceptive character of the senses.  To these should probably be added fragm. 32.  Fr. 19 shows that the impossibility of distinguishing eggs one from another, which had been brought forward in the Catulus, was allowed to stand in the second edition, other difficulties of the kind, such as those connected with the bent oar, the pigeon’s neck, the twins, the impressions of seals (Luc. 19, 54), would also appear in both editions.  The result of these assaults on the senses must have been summed up in the phrase cuncta dubitanda esse which Augustine quotes from the Academica Posteriora (see fragm. 36).

Follow Us on Facebook