Cicero: Military commands, phantom of glory and the ruin of one’s own country and personal downfall

For peace, against war: literary selections


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace


From Tusculan Disputations
Translated by J.E. King


The seeds of virtue are inborn in our dispositions and, if they were allowed to ripen, nature’s own hand would lead us on to happiness of life; as things are now, however, as soon as we come into the light of day and have been acknowledged, we at once find ourselves in a world of iniquity amid a medley of wrong beliefs…[T]hen obviously we are tainted by vicious beliefs, and our revolt from nature is so complete that we come to think that the clearest insightinto the meaning of nature has been gained by the men who have made up their minds that there is no higher ambition for a human being, nothing more desirable, nothing more excellent than civil office, military command and…

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