Academica eBook

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


Sec.Sec.1—­12.  Summary.  Lucullus, though an able and cultivated man, was absent from Rome on public service too long during his earlier years to attain to glory in the forum (1).  He unexpectedly proved a great general.  This was due to his untiring study and his marvellous memory (2).  He had to wait long for the reward of his merits as a commander and civil administrator, and was allowed no triumph till just before my consulship.  What I owed to him in those troublous times I cannot now tell (3).  He was not merely a general; he was also a philosopher, having learned much from Antiochus and read much for himself (4).  Those enemies of Greek culture who think a Roman noble ought not to know philosophy, must be referred to the examples of Cato and Africanus (5).  Others think that famous men should not be introduced into dialogues of the kind.  Are they then, when they meet, to be silent or to talk about trifles?  I, in applying myself to philosophy, have neglected no public duty, nor do I think the fame of illustrious citizens diminished, but enriched, by a reputation for philosophical knowledge (6).  Those who hold that the interlocutors in these dialogues had no such knowledge show that they can make their envy reach beyond the grave.  Some critics do not approve the particular philosophy which I follow—­the Academic.  This is natural, but they must know that Academicism puts no stop to inquiry (7).  My school is free from the fetters of dogma; other schools are enslaved to authority (8).  The dogmatists say they bow to the authority of the wise man.  How can they find out the wise man without hearing all opinions?  This subject was discussed by myself, Catulus, Lucullus, and Hortensius, the day after the discussion reported in the Catulus (9).  Catulus called on Lucullus to defend the doctrines of Antiochus.  This Lucullus believed himself able to do, although the doctrines had suffered in the discussion of the day before (10).  He spoke thus:  At Alexandria I heard discussions between Heraclitus Tyrius the pupil of Clitomachus and Philo, and Antiochus.  At that very time the books mentioned by Catulus yesterday came into the hands of Antiochus, who was so angry that he wrote a book against his old teacher (11 and 12).  I will now give the substance of the disputes between Heraclitus and Antiochus, omitting the remarks made by the latter against Philo (12).

Sec.1. Luculli:  see Introd. p. 58, and Dict.  Biog. Digna homini nobili:  a good deal of learning would have been considered unworthy of a man like Lucullus, see Introd. p. 30. Percepta:  “gained,” “won;” cf. percipere fruges, “to reap,” Cat.  Mai. 24. Caruit:  “was cut off from;” carere comes from a root skar meaning to divide, see Corss.  I. 403.  For the three nouns with a singular verb see Madv. Gram. 213 A, who confines the usage to nouns denoting things and impersonal ideas. 

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Academica from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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