Marcus Tullius CiceroISBN: 9781596057302;
[I]f the Gods have neither the power nor the inclination to help us; if they take no care of us, and pay no regard to our actions; and if there is no single advantage which can possibly accrue to the life of man; then what reason can we have to pay any adoration, or any honors, or to prefer any prayers to them? Piety, like the other virtues, cannot have any connection with vain show or dissimulation; and without piety, neither sanctity nor religion can be supported; the total subversion of which must be attended with great confusion and disturbance in life. -from The Nature of the Gods Roman orator and politician Cicero provides a vital firsthand viewpoint on the fall of the Roman Empire, and a grounding in his work is necessary for appreciating philosophers who came after him, including Saint Augustine, upon whom he exerted a profound influence. This edition, a replica of the 1877 translation by C. D. Yonge, offers highly readable versions of some of Cicero's most significant...