Monday, July 25, 2005

The Two Republicae of the Roman Stoics: Can a Cosmopolite be a Patriot?

By Lisa Hill

"Marcus Aurelius argued in the Meditations that ?since we are all rational
beings so the law which governs us must be universal ? we are all fellow
citizens and share a common citizenship ? the world is a single city? (Marcus
Aurelius, 1964). Epictetus recalls the famous story of Socrates who, when asked
to which country he belonged, refused to say ?I am an Athenian? or ?I am a
Corinthian? but replied: ?I am a citizen of the universe? (Epictetus, (1989). Our
species is by nature social and ?fellowship? is the end for which all ?rational?
creatures exist (Stanton, 1968, pp. 187?188). It is our duty, Cicero tells us, ?to
respect, defend, and maintain the common bonds of union and fellowship
subsisting between all members of the human race? (Cicero, 1990)."
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