QUASI QUIDAM ORNATUS VITAE. Il decorum nel de officiis di Cicerone

Rosa Rita Marchese


The theory of decorum in Cicero’s de officiis (44 BC) seems to suggest to the Romans not simply the fourth virtue of a general system of conduct, but a super-virtue able to act as a “shock absorber” in the exercise of social and political life, summarized in a principle that Cicero defines as verecundiae partes, that is non offendere homines.
Thus, while Romans citizens suffer the most radical crisis of their history, he indicates the decorum as the backbone of the complex architecture that constitutes the common good. In this paper I argue that Cicero’s contribution to the political and theoretical discussion on justice and respect may bring a very helpful tool for rethinking critically the contemporaries oppositions of social life.


Decorum; Justice; Restraint; Respect; Virtues; Common Good

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-4124/5165


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