the divinity of Julius Caesar was proclaimed. Gradually, it is forbidden to criticize the identity of the ruler, and it is part of the tradition to believe that the will of the emperor is the law. New political relations have caused passive dissatisfaction almost everywhere. In the conditions of a large number of bloody political experiments, serious moralism had to take a critical position in relation to the reality of life.
Thus, in the first century AD. the Romans were faced with the question of "how to behave in the face of a tyrant." First of all, this question worried those who were engaged in the development of questions of morality, and they were primarily Roman Stoics: Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius. The main occupation of many philosophical schools in this period is to compose courageous maxims in case of a conversation with a "tyrant". It is this social situation due to the type of Stoic philosophizing in the first century AD. For thinking people of the Greco-Roman world in this era, one thing is certainly most important: to rediscover the correct line of human behavior in the collapse of all ethical and social norms and values. It is the duty of philosophers to help humanity, which has become entangled in its mistakes. Philosophers and their audiences equally believe in this.
In all this, philosophy becomes highly specialized and mundane; neither the speculative dialectic, which reached its peak in the epoch of the polis classics, nor the empirical encyclopedism, which flourished under Hellenism, impress anyone. Interest in ethics in the era of the empire became dominant. Theology, which was part of physics, acquires a spiritual color. Philosophy itself itself to pure moralism, moreover – to a morality quite rigid, doctrinaire, imperative. At the cost of such a reduction in philosophy manages to increase their social life for some time. For the age of the first Caesars, the philosopher-moralist is the true "ruler of souls." Moralistic philosophy becomes the center of spiritual life and subordinates its rules and literature. In books, the reader of that era seeks primarily moral truths.
The conscience of Rome is the socio-cultural role of Stoicism. Why did Stoicism, having originated in Greece, become so ingrained in Rome and begin to play the role of national philosophy?
As mentioned earlier, Stoicism was transferred to Rome by Panetius, a representative of the Middle Stoes. And it was in Rome that Stoicism truly found its second homeland. Here he died and became immortal. Indeed, when we hear the word "Stoic" or "Stoicism", the image of Rome, the image of the same Seneca, Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius appears in our minds. from a philosophical point of view, valuable and original in Stoicism was developed by Greek philosophers, not Romans. What’s the matter then?
The fact is that the historical significance of the Roman Stoics is generally outside the scope of the question of novelty and innovation. Roman Stoics are first and foremost "teachers of life", "eternal companions" of mankind, more precisely, that part of it which in its worldview is close to the Stoics. To the Epicurean, the Stoics seem too strict, and to the skeptic, too fatalistic. But the main thing is that our souls must be tuned in unison with the Stoics, and then we will not need any arguments and evidence. We simply open the book of "reflections" of Marcus Aurelius and immediately understand – this is "ours", if not, then no arguments will help us.
These circumstances partly explain such a significant success of Roman-based Stoicism. The vast majority of Romans were a Stoic people. They were easily inferior in various spheres of life to other peoples, especially the Greeks. Except for one. A classic quote from Virgil better explains what a "sphere" it was:
“Others will be able to create living sculptures from bronze Or to repeat the face of husbands in marble better; Litigation is better to lead and the movements of the sky are more skillful. Calculate or name the rising stars – I do not argue: Roman! You learn to rule the people in a state – This is your art! – to impose the conditions of peace, to show mercy to the humble and to humble by the war of the Arrogant! ”(Aeneid, VI, 847 – 853; translated by S. Osherov)
The Romans – warriors, "men", "statesmen" and conquerors – were Stoics almost from birth. This view will expand the consideration of the foundations of the Roman "moral code", which included piety (pietas), fidelity (fides), seriousness (gravitas), firmness (constanta); they are all united in the concept of virtus (virtue). This code was formed in Roman society in ancient times and remained almost unchanged until the second century. B.C. In the first century. B.C.
Cicero says in the Senate: “No matter how high our opinion of ourselves, senator fathers, we have not surpassed the Spaniards in number, nor the Gauls in strength, nor the Greeks in arts, nor, finally, even Italians and Latins in inner and innate feelings of love for the homeland. , peculiar to our tribe and country; but by piety, the worship of gods, and the wise assurance that all are governed and governed by the will of the gods, we have surpassed all tribes and nations. "
Thus, the Romans were not interested in the question of "original or non-original" or one or another philosophy. They were worried about only one thing: how well this philosophy corresponded to their beliefs, whether it could help in their difficult life, permeated with the idea of the state and law. Stoicism perfectly suited this role.
The philosophy of "heroic pessimism" (this is how Stoicism can be described) was in tune with the worldview of the Roman people. Moreover, Stoicism came to Rome at a time when its historical age corresponded to the Greece of the Zeno era: the historical twilight was already thickening over him. Just as the captain had to leave the ship plunging into the element of water last, so the Stoic-Roman had the prospect of demonstrating "to the city and the world" his absolute endurance and proving his unshakable loyalty to the empire. He had no one to complain to, no hope of, he only needed to die in silence and with dignity. Of course, all this does not apply to all Romans, but only to the conscious bearers of the "Roman idea." Stoicism was a specific philosophy that was directed mainly at the aristocracy, not the masses, although the Stoics at the same time said that one should believe in what the people believed; but the people believe blindly, and they justify.
Rome, like the rest of the world, was full of its "blacks" – "blacks" in both the literal and metaphorical sense. But the Stoic must always know (and he knew it) that his every action will be met with a skeptical smile of a cynic and that the fruits of his labor will not benefit himself, but some "Epicurean" … These are the reasons why Stoic philosophy was for the Romans in literally "philosophy of life."
Perhaps the most prominent representative of this "philosophy of life" in the last days of the Republic was Mark Portius Cato, who can be called a Roman moralist.
During the Greek invasion of literature, philosophy, religion, science and art, the ancient Romans, adherents of mos maiorim (ancestral traditions), felt dissatisfaction and fear. They look for some support and eventually find it in the person of Cato, who proved to be a sincere defender of old traditions.
Cato, having passed all the stages of the cursus honore, received first the position of tribune, and then the censor; he was an excellent military leader and a fearless warrior, famous for his oratory. "He was a good husband, a good father of the family and a wonderful host," says Plutarch in Cato’s biography. But no matter how much Cato valued state activity, he still put the performance of the duty of a citizen, as he understood it, that is, a wonderful master and head of the family, above all else. He said he preferred the role of a fine man to a famous senator.
Cato’s way of life was very simple. No luxury expenses. He did not buy expensive slaves. There were no carpets or other luxuries in the house. Cato implemented his strict principles in politics. In his future as a censor, he took serious measures against the luxury and corruption of society. Yes, he expelled one of the senators only because he kissed his wife in public. write my lab report for me reviews With large taxes on luxuries, Cato tried to return the Romans to the old simplicity. Thus, with all his way of life, with all his principles, Cato imitates the truths of Stoicism.
The main representatives of Roman Stoicism (Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius) and their moralistic philosophy. Late Stoics, if we do not take into account lesser-known names, are Lucius Anne Seneca of Cordoba in Spain (c. 4 BC – 65 AD), Epictetus of Hierapolis in Phrygia (c. 55-135). AD) and Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 gg. AD), Roman emperor from 161 to 180 gg. This group of late Stoics continues the traditions of ancient Stoicism and at the same time is characterized if not historical and philosophical, then, at least, historical and cultural novelty.
Moralism remains at the forefront here. Although the old Stoic theory of the sage is softening, it still remains in the forefront of the late Stoics. In all respects it is very difficult to draw any noticeable difference between the Late Stoics, on the one hand, and the Middle and Early Stoics, on the other. All the Stoics of all ancient times despised foreign goods, did not seek wealth and even ordinary prosperity, along with the Cynics had the ideal of Hercules, who became famous for his hard work and obedience to his father Zeus, and Diogenes of Sinope, who lived in barrel and also became famous for his contempt for all things external and his desire to produce in himself absolute calm and serenity.
At the same time, the late Stoics made a certain innovation both in their Stoicism and in the history of ancient culture in general. It consisted in the fact that the human personality lost here not only the proud greatness with which it performed in the period of the classics, but also the majestic power of inner morality, when the inner life of man was considered the highest work of art.
The late Stoics of the first two centuries of our era simply amaze with the feeling of weakness of the human personality, its complete insignificance, its incredible obedience to fate. Thus, if we recall the decision of the Athenians about Zeno, it notes that he "and in his personal life was an example for all to follow the teachings he preached" and therefore his golden wreath for virtue on Ceramics at the expense of the people ”. Seneca, as we shall see, did not keep much of his own "commandments."