The Hortensius was a ‘protreptic’ dialogue written by Cicero. The protreptic was a genre of ancient philosophical literature that aimed to exhort the reader to the. One of the most extensive resources on the internet for the study of early Christianity. “Augustine on how he was influenced by reading Cicero’s Hortensius”. Hortensius or On Philosophy is a lost dialogue written by Marcus Tullius Cicero in the year 45 BC. The work had followed the conventional form of a protreptic.

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Review of L’Hortensius De Ciceron: University of California Press, Salazar; Manfred Landfester; Francis G.

A Philosopher for Our Time ] in French. Augustine and the ‘Hortensius’ of Cicero”. The book was a protreptic; in other words, it was a treatise designed to inspire in the reader an enthusiasm for the discipline of philosophy.

In later describing that time of his life, Augustine said: After Hortensius argues that oratory is the greatest art, Cicero “appeal[s] as earnestly as [he can] for the study of philosophy”.

The Death of Caesar: In it, Plasberg provides a hypothesized order to the fragments, and supplies a Latin introduction and commentary. Political De Imperio Cn.

As Augustine later realised, the Hortensius taught him “to love wisdom itself, whatever it might be, and to search for it, pursue it, hold it, and embrace it firmly. InOtto Plasberg wrote a dissertation on the hortehsius. The classical Roman writer and politician, Cicero BCwas a twofold influence on the young Augustine. This was Cicerop. At the age of 19, [25] he read the Hortensius there.


However, Augustine stayed with his concubine and continued to be influenced by Manicheanism for the next nine years. The German philologist Jakob Bernays was the first scholar to suggest that the Protrepticus inspired Cicero. Out of the four, Augustine preserved the largest portion of text, although the work is still considered lost.

In addition, the work reorganizes the fragments and provides each one with a French translation and commentary.

Hortensius (Cicero)

Lucullus interjects and promotes attending lectures and studying history as better use of otium. Retrieved February 12, The cicego quickly becomes one about otium Latin for leisure. On reading Hortensius by Cicero, a strong desire for true wisdom was awakened in Augustine. He later wrote in Confessions that it left a lasting impression on him and moved him to embrace philosophy.

Rabinowitz, argue it simply meant that Cicero wrote in the general protreptic style. But that book filled me with the love of wisdom which is called philosophy in Greek. It altered my prayers, Lord, to be towards yourself. Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity Volumes.

Hortensius (Cicero)

Retrieved December 21, Conventionally, it is held that in order to spread the wealth of Greek philosophy among the leading citizens of Rome, Cicero adapted and expanded upon Aristotle’s Protrepticus. The Hortensius also counselled against the pursuit of sensual pleasure because it distracted a person from the discipline of thought. Michel Ruch hortesius even more conservative when he argues that only 94 fragments can be identified with certainty.


This, he contended, was additional proof that Cicero depended upon Aristotle. Rabinowitz argued that the Hortensius was not based strictly on the Protrepticus but was rather written in the general hortatory and protreptic style then, as the philosopher and historian Anton-Hermann Chroust puts it, “much in vogue.

Hortensius eventually delivers a speech defending oratory as the greatest of the arts. The work inspired its readers to appreciate a philosophical approach to life. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Personally, Cicero had completed his divorce with Terentia in 51 BC. Political De Imperio Cn. Since the writings of Cicero who had died centuries earlier in the year 43 BC made no mention of Christ whom Augustine had heard of as a boy, he decided to compare the wisdom of Cicero to the Christian Scriptures.

Augustine on Hortensius [37]. But later, through a love of wisdom in him that was inspired by Cicero, Augustine was attracted back to the Christian faith and to baptism by an inner calling that finally he could no longer resist.