Cicero himself afterward used as the groundwork of his own book de Officiis. Cic. de Off. I. 2. Philip Schaff. NPNF Ambrose: Selected Works and. Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the public and we . De officiis ministrorum libri III. cum Paulini libello de vita S. Ambrosii by: Ambrose, Johann Georg Krabinger. Publication date: Publisher.

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Consequently he undertook the following treatise, setting forth the duties of the clergy, and taking as a model the treatise of Cicero, De Officiis. The writer says. De Officiis Ministrorum. In three books, which are translated in this series. 2. De Virginibus. Three books concerning Virgins, addressed to his. On Faith, to Gratian Augustus (De fide ad Gratianum Augustum); On the Offices of Ministers (De Officiis Ministrorum); On the Holy Spirit (De.

Many scholars have remarked upon this phenomenon, so I need not re- hearse it here. I take as my text in this part the epistles of Pauli- nus of Nola.

For the latter, Paulinus uses above all the term caritas, but also such words as affectus and affectio, amor, and dilectio.

Eerdmans, , —69; cf.

White, Christian Friendship, , See White, ibid. Fabre, Saint Paulin de Nole, — For where is that consanguin- eous brotherhood now? Where that former friendship? Where that early comradeship?

I have died to all of them. Paulinus is here contrasting former friendship with the new relationship established in Christ. In Epistles Therefore in the truth in which we stand in Christ, receive my spirit as it is expressed to you in this letter, and do not measure our friendship by time.

For it is not as a secular friendship, which is often begotten more in hope than in faith, but rather that spiritual kind, which is produced by God as its source and is joined in a brotherhood of souls. Consequently, it does not de- velop toward love by daily familiarity nor does it depend on anticipation of proof but, as is worthy of a daughter of truth, it is born at once stable and great, because it arises out of fulness through Christ.

In this passage, Paulinus is self-consciously contrasting his vision of Chris- tian fellowship with the classical conception of friendship, which, unlike erotic love, was supposed to require time in which to mature and to de- mand proofs of loyalty see discussion in White pp.

Paulinus is deliberately rejecting or refashioning that view. Text in Guilelmus de Hartel, ed. Tempsky, Granted that Christian caritas is, according to Paulinus, different from secular friendship as it was understood in the classical tradition, we may still inquire whether there was some specific reason why Paulinus would choose to avoid the terminology associated with amicitia, when, after all, he is quite content to adapt amor, dilectio, and caritas itself, all perfectly respectable pagan terms, to his new conception of union in Christ.

In fact, I believe that there is such a motive, and we may approach it by examin- ing the passage Epistles Such ex- pressions of humility are not in the least unusual in the correspondence of Paulinus, who of all the holy men in the fourth century seems to have taken Christian meekness most to heart. If I should be yoked by love, I shall be bold to boast that in this way only am I a yoke-mate to you, My friendship in an eternal pact with you is sweet and fair because of the equal laws of ever loving in return.

Paulinus represents the rela- tionship as one between sinner and saint, at opposite ends of the spectrum of holiness.

Author:Aurelius Ambrosius

It is, then, just the quality of Christian humbleness that ren- ders friendship suspicious in regard to fellow believers. Equality was not incidental to the classical ideal of friendship. Aristo- tle and Cicero, for example, held that friendship at its best is based on virtue: reciprocal regard for the virtue of the other is what excites the am- icable feelings in each of the parties to friendship in its noblest form.

In describing himself and his wife as sinners, Paulinus has undercut the ba- sis of the only kind of friendship that classical writers deemed worthy of decent men.

And this, indeed, is exactly how Paulinus interprets or explains the love that those dearest to him feel in turn for him. We may return, at last, to the passage in Epistles 11 in which Paulinus refers to Severus as a friend. If you believe that this virtue has been bestowed on me, which you confess that you wish to but cannot achieve, namely that I am content with having food and clothing, and think of nothing beyond the day, why do you imagine that I must be overcome by the compulsion of my poverty so as to cease inviting you, whom I cannot help but miss, and why do you present yourself as so weak and lacking in confidence in Christ, that you fear to come to a friend of the sort you proclaim me to be.

By calling himself a friend of Severus in this passage, Paulinus is in fact deprecating himself in respect to what he regards as the excessive vener- ation expressed by his comrade.

The only context in which Paulinus is willing to claim the equality inherent in the term amicus is one in which the title implicitly diminishes the excellence ascribed to him by another. Christian humility, then, disrupts the classical ideal of friendship based on a consciousness of virtue. Christians writing in this vein present them- selves to one another not as friends and equals, but as brothers united in the body of Christ, thanks to their common faith.

Although the topos of friendship with God enters the Christian exegetical tradition on the basis of certain biblical passages, and comes to be applied in particular to mar- tyrs for the faith, the very distance between mortals and the deity as con- ceived in Judaism and Christianity is so vast as to nullify any suggestion of equality in station or in excellence, whether proportional or otherwise.

Chitty, trans. For if we fail to love according to the commandment of the Lord, neither do we possess the character suitable to our position; and if we are filled with the conceit of empty pride and arrogance, then we are fall- en into the sin of the devil from which there is no escape. Members of the Church, I will never grow weary of reminding you, I want you to know that the love that is between me and you is no bodily love, but a spiritual, religious love.

For bodily friendship has no firmness or stability, being moved by strange winds. Truly, my children, the love that is between me and you is no bodily love, but a spiri- tual, religious love.

Epistles Translation by Roy J. Deferrari, ed. But see City of God McNamara, p. Thus, in Epistles 7 Gregory endorses instead the Stoic conception of the complete independence of happiness in respect to extrinsic circumstances Epistles Nothing here suggets that Christian humility involves a self-perception as sinner and remote from virtue. The use of the terms phi- los and philia in Gregory is thus complementary not just to his indebted- ness to pagan tradition in general, but specifically to the Aristotelian and Stoic notion of achievable human virtue and mutual respect as the basis of friendship.

That complete virtue also entails, for Gregory, commitment to the Christian faith is doubtless true, but it does not generally affect the tenor of his pronouncements on friendship. It depended rather on the felt association of the terminology of friendship with notions of virtue and equality that might be perceived by some Christians as alien to the values or sentiments they wished to ex- press. A rather more complex example of the relation between friendship and Text in Paul Gallay, ed.

Thus according to the stated opinion of elders, love will not be able to remain stable and unbroken unless it is among men of like virtue and conduct. Therefore the opinion of the wisest men is absolutely right, namely that true harmony and indivisible companionship cannot endure except among people with improved characters of like virtue and conduct.

This is true and unbroken affection, which grows through the twin perfection and virtue of the friends, and whose bond, once entered into, neither change- ability in desires nor fractious conflict of wills will break. This doctrine seems an explicit affirmation of the basis for friendship typ- ical of the classical thinkers. Text in Dom. Pichery, ed. Text in Migne, Pa- trologia Graeca, vol. In the case of Cassian, moreover, mentions of the word amicitia are few nine in all , and these are clustered in chapters at the beginning and end of the treatise chh.

Adele M. His reconciliation of the universality and particularity of cari- tas is therefore, although undeveloped, the same in principle as that of Augustine. I should like to suggest very tentatively that one consequence of the displacement of the language of amicitia by caritas in Christian texts was a willingness to exploit the ter- minology of love or amor in amicable contexts in a way quite foreign to classical us- age; the earliest examples with which I am familiar are to be found in the poetry of Venantius Fortunatus sixth century , particularly in connection with Radegund and Agnes e.

The issue is raised four times in the 15 paragraphs 3. Chapter 4. The same care must be taken that our speech proceed not from evil passions, but from good motives; for here it is that the devil is especially on the watch to catch us. If any one takes heed to this, he will be mild, gentle, modest.

For in guarding his mouth, and restraining his tongue, and in not speaking before examining, pondering, and weighing his words — as to whether this should be said, that should be answered, or whether it be a suitable time for this remark — he certainly is practising modesty, gentleness, patience. So he will not burst out into speech through displeasure or anger , nor give sign of any passion in his words, nor proclaim that the flames of lust are burning in his language, or that the incentives of wrath are present in what he says.

Let him act thus for fear that his words, which ought to grace his inner life, should at the last plainly show and prove that there is some vice in his morals.

For then especially does the enemy lay his plans, when he sees passions engendered in us; then he supplies tinder; then he lays snares. Wherefore the prophet says not without cause , as we heard read today: Surely He has delivered me from the snare of the hunter and from the hard word.

Symmachus said this means others the word that brings disquiet.

The snare of the enemy is our speech — but that itself is also just as much an enemy to us. Too often we say something that our foe takes hold of, and whereby he wounds us as though by our own sword.

How far better it is to perish by the sword of others than by our own! Accordingly the enemy tests our arms and clashes together his weapons. If he sees that I am disturbed, he implants the points of his darts, so as to raise a crop of quarrels. If I utter an unseemly word, he sets his snare. Then he puts before me the opportunity for revenge as a bait, so that in desiring to be revenged, I may put myself in the snare, and draw the death-knot tight for myself. If any one feels this enemy is near, he ought to give greater heed to his mouth, lest he make room for the enemy; but not many see him.

Chapter 5. We must guard also against a visible enemy when he incites us by silence; by the help of which alone we can escape from those greater than ourselves, and maintain that humility which we must display towards all.

But we must also guard against him who can be seen, and who provokes us, and spurs us on, and exasperates us, and supplies what will excite us to licentiousness or lust.

If, then, any one reviles us, irritates, stirs us up to violence , tries to make us quarrel; let us keep silence, let us not be ashamed to become dumb.

For he who irritates us and does us an injury is committing sin , and wishes us to become like himself. Certainly if you are silent, and hide your feelings, he is likely to say: Why are you silent? Speak if you dare; but you dare not, you are dumb, I have made you speechless. If you are silent, he is the more excited. He thinks himself beaten, laughed at, little thought of, and ridiculed.

If you answer, he thinks he has become the victor, because he has found one like himself. For if you are silent, men will say: That man has been abusive, but this one held him in contempt. If you return the abuse, they will say: Both have been abusive.

A Commentary on Cicero, De Officiis

Both will be condemned, neither will be acquitted. Therefore it is his object to irritate, so that I may speak and act as he does. But it is the duty of a just man to hide his feelings and say nothing, to preserve the fruit of a good conscience , to trust himself rather to the judgment of good men than to the insolence of a calumniator , and to be satisfied with the stability of his own character.

For that is: To keep silence even from good words; since one who has a good conscience ought not to be troubled by false words, nor ought he to make more of another's abuse than of the witness of his own heart. So, then, let a man guard also his humility. If, however, he is unwilling to appear too humble , he thinks as follows, and says within himself: Am I to allow this man to despise me, and say such things to my face against me, as though I could not open my mouth before him?

Why should I not also say something whereby I can grieve him? Am I to let him do me wrong, as though I were not a man , and as though I could not avenge myself? Is he to bring charges against me as though I could not bring together worse ones against him? Whoever speaks like this is not gentle and humble , nor is he without temptation. The tempter stirs him up, and himself puts such thoughts in his heart. Often and often, too, the evil spirit employs another person, and gets him to say such things to him; but do thou set your foot firm on the rock.

Although a slave should abuse, let the just man be silent, and if a weak man utter insults, let him be silent, and if a poor man should make accusations, let him not answer.

These are the weapons of the just man, so that he may conquer by giving way, as those skilled in throwing the javelin are wont to conquer by giving way, and in flight to wound their pursuers with severer blows. Chapter 6. In this matter we must imitate David's silence and humility, so as not even to seem deserving of harm.

What need is there to be troubled when we hear abuse? Why do we not imitate him who says: I was dumb and humbled myself, and kept silence even from good words? Or did David only say this, and not act up to it? No, he also acted up to it. For when Shimei the son of Gera reviled him, David was silent; and although he was surrounded with armed men he did not return the abuse, nor sought revenge: nay, even when the son of Zeruiah spoke to him, because he wished to take vengeance on him, David did not permit it.

He went on as though dumb, and humbled; he went on in silence; nor was he disturbed, although called a bloody man, for he was conscious of his own gentleness.

He therefore was not disturbed by insults, for he had full knowledge of his own good works. He, then, who is quickly roused by wrong makes himself seem deserving of insult, even while he wishes to be shown not to deserve it. He who despises wrongs is better off than he who grieves over them. For he who despises them looks down on them, as though he feels them not; but he who grieves over them is tormented, just as though he actually felt them.

Chapter 7. How admirably Psalm xxxix. Incited thereto by this psalm the saint determines to write on duties. He does this with more reason even than Cicero, who wrote on this subject to his son.

How, further, this is so. Not without thought did I make use of the beginning of this psalm, in writing to you, my children. For this psalm which the Prophet David gave to Jeduthun to sing, I urge you to regard, being delighted myself with its depth of meaning and the excellency of its maxims.

For we have learned in those words we have just shortly touched upon, that both patience in keeping silence and the duty of awaiting a fit time for speaking are taught in this psalm, as well as contempt of riches in the following verses, which things are the chief groundwork of virtues.

Whilst, therefore, meditating on this psalm, it has come to my mind to write on the Duties. And as Cicero wrote for the instruction of his son, so I, too, write to teach you, my children. For I love you, whom I have begotten in the Gospel , no less than if you were my own true sons. For nature does not make us love more ardently than grace.

We certainly ought to love those who we think will be with us for evermore than those who will be with us in this world only. These often are born unworthy of their race, so as to bring disgrace on their father; but you we chose beforehand, to love. They are loved naturally, of necessity, which is not a sufficiently suitable and constant teacher to implant a lasting love.

But you are loved on the ground of our deliberate choice, whereby a great feeling of affection is combined with the strength of our love : thus one tests what one loves and loves what one has chosen. Chapter 8.

The word Duty has been often used both by philosophers and in the holy Scriptures; from whence it is derived. Since, therefore, the person concerned is one fit to write on the Duties, let us see whether the subject itself stands on the same ground, and whether this word is suitable only to the schools of the philosophers , or is also to be found in the sacred Scriptures.

Beautifully has the Holy Spirit , as it happens, brought before us a passage in reading the Gospel today, as though He would urge us to write; whereby we are confirmed in our view, that the word officium, duty, may also be used with us. For when Zacharias the priest was struck dumb in the temple, and could not speak, it is said: And it came to pass that as soon as the days of his duty [officii] were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

We read, therefore, that the word officium, duty, can be used by us.

And this is not inconsistent with reason, since we consider that the word officium duty is derived from efficere to effect , and is formed with the change of one letter for the sake of euphony; or at any rate that you should do those things which injure [officiant] no one, but benefit all. Chapter 9. A duty is to be chosen from what is virtuous, and from what is useful, and also from the comparison of the two, one with the other; but nothing is recognized by Christians as virtuous or useful which is not helpful to the future life.

This treatise on duty, therefore, will not be superfluous. The philosophers considered that duties were derived from what is virtuous and what is useful, and that from these two one should choose the better.

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Then, they say, it may happen that two virtuous or two useful things will clash together, and the question is, which is the more virtuous , and which the more useful? First, therefore, duty is divided into three sections: what is virtuous , what is useful, and what is the better of two. Then, again, these three are divided into five classes; that is, two that are virtuous , two that are useful, and, lastly, the right judgment as to the choice between them.

The first they say has to do with the moral dignity and integrity of life; the second with the con veniences of life, with wealth , resources, opportunities; while a right judgment must underlie the choice of any of them.

This is what the philosophers say. But we measure nothing at all but that which is fitting and virtuous , and that by the rule of things future rather than of things present; and we state nothing to be useful but what will help us to the blessing of eternal life; certainly not that which will help us enjoy merely the present time.

Nor do we recognize any advantages in opportunities and in the wealth of earthly goods, but consider them as disadvantages if not put aside, and to be looked on as a burden, when we have them, rather than as a loss when expended.

This work of ours, therefore, is not superfluous, seeing that we and they regard duty in quite different ways.

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They reckon the advantages of this life among the good things, we reckon them among the evil things; for he who receives good things here, as the rich man in the parable , is tormented there; and Lazarus, who endured evil things here, there found comfort.

Chapter What is seemly is often found in the sacred writings long before it appears in the books of the philosophers. Pythagoras borrowed the law of his silence from David. David's rule, however, is the best, for our first duty is to have due measure in speaking. We are instructed and taught that what is seemly is put in our Scriptures in the first place.

And the Apostle says: Speak the things which become sound doctrine. Why, Pythagoras himself, who lived before the time of Socrates, followed the prophet David's steps and gave his disciples a law of silence.

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He went so far as to restrain his disciples from the use of speech for five years. David, on the other hand, gave his law, not with a view to impair the gift of nature, but to teach us to take heed to the words we utter. Pythagoras again made his rule, that he might teach men to speak by not speaking. But David made his, so that by speaking we might learn the more how to speak.

How can there be instruction without exercise, or advance without practice? A man wishing to undergo a warlike training daily exercises himself with his weapons.

As though ready for action he rehearses his part in the fight and stands forth just as if the enemy were in position before him. Or, with a view to acquiring skill and strength in throwing the javelin, he either puts his own arms to the proof , or avoids the blows of his foes, and escapes them by his watchful attention. The man that desires to navigate a ship on the sea, or to row, tries first on a river.

They who wish to acquire an agreeable style of singing and a beautiful voice begin by bringing out their voice gradually by singing. And they who seek to win the crown of victory by strength of body and in a regular wrestling match, harden their limbs by daily practice in the wrestling school, foster their endurance, and accustom themselves to hard work.

Several of his works build upon the precepts of De officiis. His enthusiasm for this moral treatise is expressed in many works.

Baldwin said that "in Shakespeare's day De Officiis was the pinnacle of moral philosophy". It was extensively discussed by Grotius and Pufendorf. Garve's project resulted in additional pages of commentary.

In , the city of Perugia was shaken by the theft of an illuminated manuscript of De Officiis from the city's Library Augusta. The chief librarian Adamo Rossi , a well-known scholar, was originally suspected but exonerated after a lengthy administrative and judicial investigation.

The culprit in the theft was never found. Suspicion fell on a janitor who a few years later became well-to-do enough to build for himself a fine house. The former janitor's house was nicknamed "Villa Cicero" by residents of Perugia.

De Officiis continues to be one of the most popular of Cicero's works because of its style, and because of its depiction of Roman political life under the Republic. Quotes[ edit ] Latin : fortis vero dolorem summum malum iudicans aut temperans voluptatem summum bonum statuens esse certe nullo modo potest I, 5 Not for us alone are we born; our country, our friends, have a share in us.For words uttered hastily are far worse than idle words.

Energetic and highly influential Archbishop of Milan, St. In the other passages adduced by Peterson, philos is associated with the dative form theois 3. Giefien, Latin : fortis vero dolorem summum malum iudicans aut temperans voluptatem summum bonum statuens esse certe nullo modo potest I, 5 Not for us alone are we born; our country, our friends, have a share in us.

For if you are silent, men will say: That man has been abusive, but this one held him in contempt. The Arians appealed to many high level leaders and clergy in both the Western and Eastern empires.

The same care must be taken that our speech proceed not from evil passions, but from good motives; for here it is that the devil is especially on the watch to catch us.

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