Cicero's De Re Publica, one of his most famous philosophical works, is written predominantly as a dialogue, which supposedly took place over three days in 129 BCE. The setting is the garden of Scipio Aemilianus (consul 147, 134) at the time of the Latin Festival (De Re Publica. 1.14), a few days before Aemilianus' death (Cicero, On Friendship 14). The principal speakers are Aemilianus and his great friend Gaius Laelius (consul 140), but there are other nobles present and these men contribute at various intervals (Keyes 1928: 3; Lintott 2008: 232).

The work, comprising six books, was begun in 54 and finished in 51 BCE (Keyes 1928: 2-3). Aemilianus and his friends discuss the ideal form of state and …

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Stevenson, Thomas Reginald. "De Re Publica". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2009
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]