Cicero’s dialogue On the Nature of the Gods is part of a coherent and well-planned series written between 45 and 43 BCE (De diuinatione 2, 1-4). It exercised a strong influence on philosophers and particularly on theologians, from the early Christian writers through to the 18th century English and French Enlightenments, from Minucius Felix through to Locke, Hume, Diderot and Voltaire, to name but a few. The reception accorded this rich and complex dialogue from such a variety of thinkers over the centuries is well deserved.
As Cicero himself pointed out in its preface, the dialogue aims at throwing some light on a very difficult question whose resolution could be profitable as much for our understanding of what we are – as human beings in our relation to some higher principle – as
Citation: Auvrey-Assayas, Clara. "De natura deorum". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13347, accessed 09 December 2023.]