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Bill Thayer

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Cicero: de Officiis

There are at least ten copies online of this edition of the de Officiis, in English translation. I put this one up because those ten copies, all apparently taken from a single scanned source, are very bad. Not just the inevitable typo here and there, but some twenty instances of multiple lines missing, usually the last two to six of the printed page; and two instances where three-quarters of a page had been skipped. (For detailed comments and an example of the nonsense that resulted on these clone sites, see "Moral duty" at New at LacusCurtius and Livius.)

Since I'm not so interested in philosophy, reading the work once was enough for me, and I dispensed with retyping it from scratch. I lifted one of those abominable scans, then reformatted it, proofread it word for word against my own print copy of the book, keying in of course the missing passages; added the missing notes, corrected the chapter numbering, added the section numbers and pagination, cut it up into Web-manageable reader-friendly chunks, provided my usual local links down to the section level; added the editors' introduction and bibliography.

I'll probably also put the Latin onsite at some point, but not urgently: it's already online at Latin Library, and surely any typos there won't be as bad as those that made it my moral duty, as it were, to put the English onsite. Details on the technical aspects of the layout of my own site follow the Table of Contents.


Liber I

Book 1:

§§ 1‑19

§§ 20‑41

§§ 42‑60

§§ 61‑91

§§ 92‑151

§§ 152‑161

Liber II

Book 2:

§§ 1‑43

§§ 44‑89

Liber III

Book 3:

§§ 1‑34

§§ 35‑95

§§ 96‑121

Edition Used, Copyright

Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, vol. XXI, 1913; Latin text with facing English translation by Walter Miller. It is in the public domain. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)


The transcription has been minutely proofread. The table of contents above is therefore shown on blue backgrounds indicating that I believe the text of it to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. Should you spot an error, however . . . please do report it.

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links

Both chapters (large numbers) and sections (small numbers) mark local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage.

Wherever I have both the original text and the translation onsite: in the Latin text, each American flag [American flag] is a link to the corresponding section of the English translation, opening in another window; in the English text, each Vatican flag [Flag of the Vatican] is a link to the corresponding section of the Latin text, opening in another window.

Notes, Apparatus Criticus

The notes in the translation are included here; and although on the Latin side, the Loeb edition provides no comprehensive apparatus criticus, it occasionally marks a variant or a crux: I'll be including these as well.

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Site updated: 10 Jun 10