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Document Details :
Title: Stoicism in the Stars
Subtitle: Cicero's Aratea in the De Natura Deorum
Author(s): ČULÍK-BAIRD, Hannah
Volume: 77 Issue: 3 Date: 2018
In the De Natura Deorum, the Stoic Balbus argues that the regular movement of the stars in the night sky demonstrates that the universe was designed by a divine ratio. In order to support his claim, he gives 44 discrete quotations (approximately 90 verses) of Cicero’s Aratea. This paper demonstrates that Balbus’ citational technique exemplifies a citational practice that is specific to the philosophical school of Stoicism. The mining of literature for evidence of Stoic doctrines can be documented from the early Stoics onwards. Aratus’ Phaenomena was written under the influence of Stoicism, and attracted a rich exegetical tradition in which Stoic philosophers participated. This article examines the Stoic readings in the extant scholia to Aratus, and demonstrates that Cicero used a commentary when he translated the Phaenomena into Latin. In the De Natura Deorum, Balbus quoted from the resulting Aratea, and the criteria for inclusion and omission of specific verses were guided by Stoic principles.