Cicero: Academica

In his 'Academica', written in 45 B.C., Cicero discussed problems of epistemology - the extent and reliability of knowledge. As in most of his philosophical works, he described the propositions of Greek philosophers, so that they could be understood by a Roman audience.

The state of the text of the 'Academica', as it has survived, is somewhat confusing. Soon after he had written it, Cicero thoroughly revised the text, and published a second edition. The first edition was divided into two books, dedicated to Catulus and Lucullus. The second edition was divided into four books, dedicated to Varro.   Book 1, as we have it, belongs to the second edition, and Book 2 belongs the first edition. One quarter of the argument (Book 2 of the second edition, describing the scepticism of Carneades) has been completely lost.   Book 1 is sometimes called 'Academica Posteriora' by modern scholars, and Book 2 is sometimes called 'Lucullus'.

The translation is by H. Rackham (1933). The Latin text, edited by O. Plasberg  (1922), can be found in Perseus under PhiloLogic.

Book 1 Latin text   1.1-46 English translation  
Book 2 Latin text   2.1-48 English translation  
2.49-98 English translation  
2.98-148 English translation  

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