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De officiis




De Officiis

Name of the Portuguese translation

 Livro dos Oficios de Marco Tullio Ciceram (pt.001)


Marcus Tullius Cicero (Marco Túlio Cícero)

(106 a.C. – 43 a.C.)




Last moral treatise written by Cicero, shortly before his death, in a very troubled time in the history of Rome (murder of Julius Caesar, Anthony’s government, end of the Republic). It is addressed to his son, Marcus Tullius Cicero, a philosophy student in Athens (in the Peripatetic school). Cicero might also have had in mind, Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus or the younger political generation, which could act differently than Antony. The treatise is written in an epistolary form and, in it, Cicero discusses the moral duty of the rulers. He was influenced (especially in the first two books) by the treaty 'Peri tou Kathekontos' of Panaetius of Rhodes, a Stoic philosopher.


44 a.C.


Probably Puteoli and Arpinum, according to the letters to Atticus (Testard 1974: 9-21).

Extant witnesses

There are hundreds of extant witnesses of the text:

- Direct Tradition: ancient manuscripts of the eighth, ninth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. These manuscripts are divided into two families, Z and X, from a lost manuscript (W). Winterbottom (1993: 215-242) listed about seven hundred versions, and raised the possibility there were more.

- Indirect Tradition: there are testimonies from Nonius and quotes from Christian writers.



FEDELI, P. (1974), Il ‘De officiis' di Cicerone. Problemi e atteggiamenti della critica moderna ANRW I.4, 357-427.

MILLER, Walter (1928) M. Tullius Cicero, De Officiis. London : William Heinemann Ltd, 3ª ed. Esta mesma obra existe também nos sites Perseus Digital Library, The Latin Library, Lacus Curtius e Constitution Society.

OLSEN, Birger Munk, L'etude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siecle, vol. 1, 2, 3, Paris: C.N.R.S., 1982/89.

PEABODY, Andrew P. (1887) Cicero De Officiis. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. (tradução inglesa).

TESTARD, Maurice (1974), Cicéron, Les Devoirs. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

WINTERBOTTOM, Michael (1994),  Cicero - De Officiis. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

WINTERBOTTOM, Michael (1993). The transmission of Cicero’s De Officiis. The Classical Quarterly 43, pp. 215-242.