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Law as Implanted Logos: Cicero and the Stoics on Natural Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that the recurrence of the terminology is not, in fact, mere coincidence. The similar language found in these otherwise widely disparate works is to be explained in terms of their common dependence on the Stoic theory of law. In order to demonstrate this point, it will be necessary to delve somewhat deeply into this important, but surprisingly neglected, aspect of Stoic philosophy. Law was a subject to which the Stoic philosophers devoted a significant amount of attention. Treatises on the subject are associated with the most important names in the early movement: Zeno, Cleanthes and Chrysippus all wrote works entitled On Law or On Laws, as did Sphaerus and Diogenes of Babylon. In fact, Cicero's De Legibus is by far the most extensive treatment of natural law that has been preserved from antiquity.

Keywords: Chrysippus; Cicero; De Legibus; natural law; Stoic philosophy



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