Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, with Burnet's notes
11. The Vetusta Placita 13. Hippolytus

From Burnet's Note on the Sources

12. Cicero
So far as what he tells us of the earliest Greek philosophy goes, Cicero must be classed with the doxographers, and not with the philosophers; for he gives us nothing but extracts at second or third hand from the work of Theophrastos. Two passages in his writings fall to be considered under this head, namely, "Lucullus" (Acad. ii.), 118, and De natura deorum, i. 25-41.

(a) Doxography of the "Lucullus."—This contains a meagre and inaccurately rendered summary of the various opinions held by philosophers with regard to the ἀρχή (Dox. pp. 119 sqq.), and would be quite useless if it did not in one case enable us to verify the exact words of Theophrastos (Chap. I. p. 50, n. 4). The doxography has come through the hands of Kleitomachos, who succeeded Karneades in the headship of the Academy (129 B.C.).

(b) Doxography of the "De natura deorum."—A fresh light was thrown upon this important passage by the discovery at Herculaneum of a roll containing fragments of an Epicurean treatise, so like it as to be at once regarded as its original. This treatise was at first ascribed to Phaidros, on the ground of the reference in Epp. ad Att. xiii. 39. 2; but the real title, Φιλοδήμου περὶ εὐσεβείας, was afterwards restored (Dox. p. 530). Diels, however, has shown (Dox. pp. 122 sqq.) that there is much to be said for the view that Cicero did not copy Philodemos, but that both drew from a common source (no doubt Phaidros, Περὶ θεῶν) which itself went back to a Stoic epitome of Theophrastos. The passage of Cicero and the relevant fragments of Philodemos are edited in parallel columns by Diels (Dox. pp. 531 sqq.).








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