Balbus (Middle period Stoic)

  • TEXT 30: Cicero On the Nature of the Gods 2.3-164 (selections)

    3. Then Balbus [the Stoic] said, "I shall indulge you, and deal with things as briefly as I can; indeed, once one has exposed the errors of Epicurus my speech is stripped of all [excuse for] length. Our school exhaustively divides this whole question about the immortal gods into four parts: first they teach that there are gods, then what they are like, then that the cosmos is governed by them, and finally that they take thought for the affairs of human beings."

    . The Stoics Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia (Hackett Classics)

  • Thank you for this post AaronSF. You are new here and I am not sure of your interests, but if you are knowledgeable about Stoicism or just interested in helping catalog characters such as Balbus I hope you will continue, because I think this kind of thing is very useful.

    One day I would like to see us construct sort of a "mind map" listing all these ancient characters so we can put them in perspective timewise and also where they stand philosophically.

    That's similar to a project I worked on years ago in mapping the characters in "A Few Days In Athens"

    A Map through A Few Days In Athens and the World of Epicurus
    A Mind Map about A Map through A Few Days In Athens and the World of Epicurus submitted by CassiusAmicus on Nov 18, 2013. Created with Xmind.

    It looks like Xmind has restricted what its free tier can do, and the mind map doesn't seem to allow embedding anymore, so I need to redo this map too at some point.

    While Epicurean philosophy can be relatively simple at the highest levels, I think it really helps to draw "mind maps" to see how the details connect, and I hope to work on more of these in the future both as to people and also to show how the ideas fit together.