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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on topic of philosophy and spirituality, 8 Nov 2010
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Nature of the Gods (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
This is a great book on the topic of philosophy and spirituality, I had thought that perhaps this would be a description of polytheism or the state religion of rome but its much better than that.

The book has a Contents (Abbreviations; Introduction; Summary of Text; Note on the Text and Translation; Select Bibliography; The Nature of The Gods; Explanatory Notes; Index and Glossary of Names), end notes and index. The Summary of Text is a form of contents itself, describing the structure of the book with Introduction; The Epicurean case; Cotta's criticism; The Stoic case in four parts; Cotta's criticisms of the Stoic thesis; Conclusion of the debate.

The introduction to the book is great, contextualising Cicero's writing and providing some information about Cicero himself and the schools of thought he features in the book (the Epicureans, the stoics and the academic school). It was interesting to read about the problems of presenting philosophical investigations and philosophy-spiritual cross overs in a time when state, society, private and public life where interwoven with religious beliefs and norms. For me that calls to mind Voltaire's saying about if God did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.

The content of chapters or books deal with questions of do Gods exist? What are they like? What do they do? What is the nature of divinity? Questions about divination, prophecy, human reason and cosmic harmony.

The Epicureans professing a belief in Gods as perfect beings living apart from human kind and not interacting with it, to be revered for their perfection. The Stoics professing a more cosmic view of existence and humankind within it. The academic school providing a critical appraisal of each.

It is really interesting to see how the reasoned arguments are developed and countered alone, whether you consider any of the points made to be valid or not. Personally I found it interesting to read about spiritual-philosophical views from a time when belief rather than doubt was more natural.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 22 Oct 2013
By 
Jo Armani (London, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Nature of the Gods (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
in most cases in order to broaden one's horizons it helps to view the world from another perspective, and you can't hardly go any further out in space and time than classical history before the societies and religions of our day and age even began to take shape. This little book is brilliantly written, well translated, easy to read and understand and well worth the time.
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The Nature of the Gods (Oxford World's Classics)
The Nature of the Gods (Oxford World's Classics) by Cicero (Paperback - 12 Jun 2008)
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