Marcus Tullius Cicero: De Fato [On Fate]

(2714 words)
  • Magnus Schallenberg (Independent Scholar - Europe)

In De fato (“On Fate”) Cicero is concerned with the compatibility of freedom and determinism. This topic had been widely and vehemently discussed during the Hellenistic period – and continues to be discussed with equal vehemence today. The positions taken in current debates have, in their essence, already been touched upon in Cicero’s work, which summarizes and engages with the theories of the Stoics Chrysippus (3rd cent. BCE) and Posidonius (1st cent. BCE), the dialectician Diodorus Cronus (Megarian school, 3rd cent. BCE), Epicurus (atomism, c. 341–271 BCE) and the sceptic Carneades (New Academy, 2nd cent. BCE).

The central problem of De fato can be outlined as …

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Schallenberg, Magnus. "De Fato". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 December 2010
[, accessed 27 May 2015.]