Marcus Tullius Cicero: De Officiis [On Duties]

(3433 words)

I regard the De Officiis as one of the most perfect treatises on morals which the world possesses, whether for the truth of the lessons given, for their universality, or for the beauty and lightness of the language. It is on a subject generally heavy, but is treated with so much art and grace as to make it a delight to have read it, and an important part of education to know it. (Anthony Trollope, Life of Cicero)

Cicero’s De Officiis (usually translated as On Duties or On Moral Obligation) has been praised as “the most influential secular prose work ever written” (Douglas, 149) and as one that “perhaps exercised more influence on the thought and …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Brown, David. "De Officiis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 July 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16055, accessed 29 July 2014.]