University of Pittsburgh

Academica Priora and Posteriora

Cicero treatises on education, of which only part of the second survives, also known as the Lucullus.

Fishburn and Hughes: "Otherwise known as the Lucullus, after its main speaker. The first draft of the Academica was in two books. It was later recast in four, of which we possess part of the first (Academica posteriora) and the Lucullus. In it Cicero examines the question of the certainty of knowledge, supplying Latin terminology for Greek philosophical ideas. He tends to favour the Stoics, blaming the Epicureans for many failings, not least 'their neglect of literary style'. CF 202: two passages in the Academica priora concern the possibility that people and eventsmay be repeated across the universe. In the first Lucullus opposes Catulus' theory that 'in this world there exists a second Catulus, or indeed in countless other worlds there exist countless copies of him' (ch. 17, para. 5). In the second passage alluded to in the story, Cicero mocks Lucullus' idea that 'just as we are at this moment close to Bauli ... so there are countless persons in exactly similar places with our names, our honours, our achievements, our minds, our shapes, our ages, discussing the same subject' (ch. 40, para. 125)." (2)

Borges Index: 
El tiempo circular, Historia de la eternidad, OC, 394. Los teólogos, El Aleph, OC, 551.