Skip to main content Accessibility help
Cicero on the Philosophy of Religion
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

During the months before and after he saw Julius Caesar assassinated on the Ides of March, 44 BC, Cicero wrote two philosophical dialogues about religion and theology: On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination. This book brings to life his portraits of Stoic and Epicurean theology, as well as the scepticism of the new Academy, his own school. We meet the Epicurean gods who live a life of pleasure and care nothing for us, the determinism and beauty of the Stoic universe, itself our benevolent creator, and the reply to both that traditional religion is better served by a lack of dogma. Cicero hoped that these reflections would renew the traditional religion at Rome, with its prayers and sacrifices, temples and statues, myths and poets, and all forms of divination. This volume is the first to fully investigate Cicero's dialogues as the work of a careful philosophical author.


'The burgeoning interest in Cicero's writings on philosophy takes a different turn in this pioneering treatment of his works on religion. J. P. F. Wynne provides a lucid, accessible, and attractively written introduction to Cicero's distinctive brand of sceptical dialogue in general, before turning to his markedly contrasting treatments of theology and of divination. His new book makes a powerful case for taking them to constitute a single extended and sophisticated project: 'moderating' religion, to secure it from the extremes of impiety and superstition.'

Malcolm Schofield - University of Cambridge

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


  • Chapter 1 - Cicero’s Project in On the Nature of the Gods and On Divination
    pp 50-82


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.