258 'Domina et Regina Virtutum': Justice and Societas in De Officiis E.M. ATKINS 'This one virtue is the mistress and queen of all the virtues' (111.28). I want here to argue that in De Officiis justice is 'mistress and queen' in two ways: first, it is the most important of the four primary virtues; secondly, and consequently, it helps to define the other virtues, which must be limited by it. De Officiis contains the earliest theory of justice we possess that explicit- ly defines justice as that which builds up society; I hope then to show that the resulting conception of justice is very different from anything that we have seen before. Finally, I want to ask how Cicero came to articulate this view: is he merely transcribing a theory developed by someone else and appropriate to a different historical context? Or is he expounding views that his own life and thought have led him to adopt, to adapt, and to use? I: The Controlling Role of Iustitia in De Officiis At I.152ff. Cicero begins to deal with the problem of comparing the officia of different virtues one with another. He first argues that the officia that are
Phronesis – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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