Roman philosophy

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Bronze statue of emperor Marcus Aurelius, who wrote his famous Meditations in 180 AD

Roman philosophy was the philosophical thought in ancient Rome, from the Republic of Rome to the Roman Empire.


Romans were better at law than at philosophy. They were the creators of the majority of law institutions. Their philosophy was greatly influenced by the Greek philosophy.

Initially Roman philosophy was based on the epicureism (like in the De rerum natura of Lucretius) and the eclecticism of Cicero, but even on stoicism (like in Seneca' works). Later -with the spread of Christianity inside the Roman empire- the Christian philosophy of saint'Augustine was fundamental.

The Meditations of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius are still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.

Roman Stoicism was the philosophy of: Seneca · Cornutus · Musonius Rufus · Euphrates · Cleomedes · Epictetus · Hierocles · Sextus · Junius Rusticus · Marcus Aurelius

Roman epicureism was the philosophy of: Amafinius · Rabirius · Titus Albucius · Phaedrus · Philodemus · Lucretius · Patro · Catius ·Siro · Diogenes of Oenoanda

Early Roman and Christian philosophy[edit]

See also: Christian philosophy

Main Philosophers during Roman times[edit]



  1. ^ The main Sextians were: Sotion, a doxographer and biographer; Papirius Fabianus, a rhetorician and philosopher; Crassicius Pasicles, a grammarian, and Celsius Cornelius, a famous doctor


  • I. Lana, La Scuola dei Sestii, Roma 1992
  • A.Levi, Storia della filosofia romana, Firenze 1949

See also[edit]