Cicero: One Law for All

DAILY DABBLE IN THE CLASSICS, CICERO

Cicero (106-43 BC)
Cicero (106-43 BC)

In the last years of the Roman Republic, Marcus Tullius Cicero, penned his dialogue De Legibus (On the Laws). Regarding the Nature of Man, of Justice, of Right, of True Law and of the Framer and Proposer of this Law, Cicero testified:

Of all these things respecting which learned men dispute there is none more important than clearly to understand that we are born for justice, and that right is founded not in opinion but in nature. There is indeed a true law (lex), right reason, agreeing with nature and diffused among all, unchanging, everlasting, which calls to duty by commanding, deters from wrong by forbidding… It is not allowable to alter this law nor to deviate from it. Nor can it be abrogated. Nor can we be released from this law either by the senate or by the people. Nor is any person required to explain or interpret it. Nor is it one law at Rome and another at Athens, one law today and another thereafter; but the same law, everlasting and unchangeable, will bind all nations and all times; and there will be one common Lord and Ruler of all, even God, the framer and proposer of this law.


Source: Cicero. De Legibus (On the Laws) 11, 4, 10.


Daily Dabble in the Classics is a project of Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal. Copyright © 2014 Steve Farrell.