For well over a year now, I’ve been working steadily on the most ambitious literary project of my life. It has been an incredible and exhausting adventure, and has opened up vistas in my perception of the world that I never would have expected.
This book is a new annotated translation of Cicero’s On Duties.
What is On Duties? Simply put, this book represents the pinnacle of Western moral philosophy.
It is an entirely self-contained guide on conduct, obligations, human relationships, behavior, and what one should do in different situations.
Not only is On Duties an unmatched guide to conduct, but it also presents a profoundly ennobling vision of man.
It has been acknowledged as a moral authority for many centuries.
- Cicero himself considered it to be his masterpiece.
- The medieval Church venerated it.
- After the invention of the printing press, it was the second book to be printed, after the Gutenberg Bible.
- Erasmus and the Renaissance humanists thought students should memorize large portions of it.
- Frederick the Great commissioned his own personal translation.
- And Voltaire himself said of the book that “no one will ever write anything more wise.”
It has been a great privilege and a joy for me to go through every sentence of the Latin text, and reproduce the lucidity, majesty, and elegance of the original. At the same time, I am conscious of the responsibility I bear in handling this great classic.
And I believe it is one of my missions in life to bring this greatness to a new generation of readers.
The translation matters. It makes all the difference.
My translation is more complete, more readable, more accurate, and more explanatory than the other translations on the market today.
It contains these special features, which are not found in any other edition:
- A complete and unabridged translation in clear, modern, and inspired English.
- An innovative topical organization scheme that permits fast and easy location of subjects and terms, whether one has the Kindle edition or the paperback version.
- Detailed textual notes for unfamiliar terms and references.
- Detailed commentaries on the text, along with synopses of arguments, which aid in understanding.
- A complete subject and name index.
- Additional explanatory essays
My goal has been to produce an edition of this timeless classic that will become the definitive version in English for several generations.
And I hope I have succeeded.
I hope readers will join me on the great adventure of exploring the riches that are contained in this work.
I am also planning on conducting a series of audio and video lectures, either via YouTube or podcast, to discuss the themes and topics contained in the book.
I’ll keep readers posted of further developments as they happen in the months ahead.
Some books increase your knowledge. On Duties will make you a better man.
Without doubt, 2016 is going to be a big year. I’ll look forward to visiting with you again soon.
On Duties will be released through Fortress of the Mind Publishing.