Front Page Titles (by Subject) FRAGMENTS. - Treatise on the Commonwealth
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FRAGMENTS. - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Treatise on the Commonwealth [54 BC]
The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero: Comprising his Treatise on the Commonwealth; and his Treatise on the Laws. Translated from the original, with Dissertations and Notes in Two Volumes. By Francis Barham, Esq. (London: Edmund Spettigue, 1841-42). Vol. 1.
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There is in every man a certain passion (turbulentum), which exults in gratification, and is broken by care.—Nonius.
The Phœnicians were the first who, with their commerce and merchandize, imported into Greece avarice, luxury, and an inexhaustible passion for all kinds of pleasures.—Nonius.
No war can be undertaken by a just and wise state, unless for faith or self–defence. This self–defence of the state is enough to ensure its perpetuity, and this perpetuity is what all patriots desire. Those afflictions which even the hardiest spirits smart under—poverty, exile, prison, and torment—private individuals seek to escape from by an instantaneous death. But for states, the greatest calamity of all is that death, which to individuals appears a refuge. A state should be so constituted as to live for ever. For a commonwealth, there is no natural dissolution, as there is for a man, to whom death not only becomes necessary, but often desirable. And when a state once decays and falls, it is so utterly revolutionized, that if we may compare great things with small, it resembles the final wreck of the universe.
All wars, undertaken without a proper motive, are unjust. And no war can be reputed just, unless it be duly announced and proclaimed, and if it be not preceded by a rational demand for restitution.
Our Roman Commonwealth, by defending its allies, has got possession of the world.
end of the third book.
INTRODUCTION to the FOURTH BOOK OF CICERO’S COMMONWEALTH.
In this Fourth Book, Cicero treats of morals and education, and the use and abuse of stage entertainments. We retain nothing of this important book, save a few scattered fragments, the beauty of which fills us with the greater regret for the passages we have lost.