The roman republic and empire roman vs. Greek values, beliefs

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Lucretius (96-55 b.c.): Believed fear of death drove all men, haunted them.

Attacked religion, since made men fearful, caused them to do bad things to appease gods, such as Agamemnon’s sacrifice of Iphigenia in order to sail and win vs. Troy.

Stoicism: Founded by Zeno, born on Cyprus, went to Athens about 320 or 315 b.c.

Stoa, “porch,” place where Zeno taught. Zeno influenced by “cynics,” a group of followers of Socrates who strove to be indifferent to all pain and pleasures, including poverty, pain, death not really bad to them then.

Empiricism: Sensationalism—form of object enters mind by the senses. Conceptualism: concepts only general mental abstractions about material objects. Only matter real—even called the soul, god, good and bad material.
Happiness gained by fulfilling, acting in accordance with own nature (analogous to Aristotle’s teleology, but a step further). Knowledge valuable for telling us what our nature and where we fit in the universe. The universe is deterministic, but still not mechanistic since can choose to react to it differently. “Logos,” “nature,” “Providence,” describe a complex but orderly universe.
Stoics built on Aristotle’s idea of nature, teleology. (Can anyone say what that is?) Happiness gained by acting in accordance with nature. Like evaluating oak trees deviating from average, can do with human behavior also.
Universal, natural law concept: Leads to brotherhood of man idea. Christianity also has. Cosmopolis—universal city. Roman Empire influenced and influences this idea.
Natural law concept: Acts immoral intrinsically, not just because God or men say they are wrong. Paul in Romans 2:14-15: “Indeed, when gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.”
Motives, not acts, primary to Stoics. Happpiness not from pleasing senses or overall development of human personality, but from gaining peace of mind [would Epicurus agree?] from accepting how the universe is and therefore becoming indifferent to the course of events.
Rejects emotions: not just channeling or controlling them, or whether they cause good or bad. Ascetic side, moderation no better than excess, since should be indifferent to both.
Romans try to purge Stoicism of exaggerations, still strongly altruistic, ascetic.
Cicero: “True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting, it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions.”
Reason as the source of morality. A state must have laws in accordance with the eternal law of nature.
Epictetus: Born in Phrygia in Asia Minor. Slave in Rome during Nero’s reign.

More religious version of Stocism—nature as the governor of the universe. Men, since rational, unlike animals, are to live differently from them, shouldn’t just do as the animals do.

Accept what God gives us. In community, individual loses identity. Sacrifice self for the whole (collective) if necessary. Foot/body analogy. Withdraw from world, from politics.
Marcus Aurelius (120-80 A.D., r. 160-180): Wanted peace, yet involved in many battles vs. barbarians.
Meditations: not intended for publication, but like a journal or diary. Like Heraclitus: All is changing, yet done in an orderly fashion. Universe is “one living being, possessed of a single . . . soul; . . . it does all things by a single impulse . . . and . . . all existing things are joint causes of all things that come into existence . . . how intertwined in the fabric is the thread and how closely woven the web.”
Emphasized duty, doing what is according to man’s nature. “Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.” World-city analogy: nature gives equal treatment under its laws, shouldn’t complain if removed later or sooner.
Stoicism influences law: Rome had two laws, one for citizens, one for all other nations/foreigners. Natural law idea encourages one law for all since all people rational beings that share in the divine reason that rules the universe. “Jus Naturale,” shift from verbal form to intent on validity of contracts.

Affects slaves: conditions under law improve in 2nd century A.D. Father couldn’t totally control family, no longer could kill children or own wife’s dowry.

Romans made Stoic ideal operative.

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