Cicero’s Republic: Implanted in the Nature of Man ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In two of his last dialogues—On the Republic and On the Laws (most likely meant to be part of one larger work)—Cicero offered some of his most Stoically-influenced thoughts on the nature of man, the community, and the divine. Yet, as the names of each dialogue reveals, Cicero also took Plato as his exemplar, though his Roman republican conclusions differ considerably from Plato’s. The text of the former, fascinatingly enough, faded from western history from sometime in the seventh century until 1819! An early medieval monk erased a copy of it, recording St. Augustine’s commentary on the psalms atop of it. Thankfully, Angelo Mai recognized this two hundred years ago and recreated what he could of the palimpsest. During the missing eleven centuries, On the Republic only existed as a variety of quotes and commentary as written by St. Augustine in The City of God, and as a memory in the minds of a few other scholars who had had access to the manuscript before it got erased.
— Read on