De natura deorum

De natura deorum ( German: "From the nature of the gods ") is the title of a 45 BC, written in Latin work of the Roman statesman, writer and philosopher M. Tullius Cicero, in which within a philosophical conversation fundamental questions of faith from the overview of the three main schools of Greek and Roman antiquity ( Stoics, Epicureans, academics ) will be discussed.


Comprised of three books, dedicated to Brutus work is essentially a transcript of a philosophical conversation, which had about 30 years ago occurred ( 76 BC) in the house of the friend of Cicero Cotta. In the factory, the caller M. Tullius Cicero, Quintus Lucilius Balbus, Gaius Velleius and Gaius Aurelius Cotta succession chance to speak, with the then about 30 years old Cicero mainly acts as a listener. C. Velleius case represents the Epicurean school, Q. Balbus represents the Stoics, and C. Cotta speaks for the academic skeptics, to which Cicero also belonged. In the first book, following its introduction by Cicero as set out by Velleius the Epicurean view of the school, and Cotta's criticism of it. In the second book, the exposition and defense of the Stoic theory by Balbus closes and in the third book finally follows criticism Cotta on the Stoic view of Balbus.

Subsequent action

The work had strong especially in the 18th century influence on the thinkers of that time. From Voltaire states that De natura deorum he had called "perhaps the best book in the entire ancient world ." David Hume took in his " Dialogues on natural religion" formal bond of Cicero's work by a pupil of Cleanthes (head of the Stoa, in Hume representative of natural religion ) can act as a listener of the conversation and hides his opinion behind the skeptic Philo.

The fake fourth volume

In 1811, allegedly published an Italian Minoritenpater called Seraphinus the supposed fourth volume of de natura deorum, which this claims to have found on a Codex. In fact, the manuscript was published by Verlag JE Hitzig in Berlin, where the Protestant preacher Hermann Heimart Cludius good reasons to believe as the author.

Texts and Literature

  • Cicero: Philosophical writings / De natura deorum, Text ( Latin), ash Dorffs collection of Latin and Greek classics, 140 pages, paperback, ISBN 978-3-402-02043-2
  • Cicero, M. Tullius: De Natura Deorum. On the Nature of the Gods. Latin / German, translated and edited. v. Ursula Blank -song masterpiece, 480 S., Stuttgart: Reclam, 1995 ISBN 978-3-15-006881-6
  • Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods / De natura deorum, Latin - German, translated by Olof Gigon and Laila Straume -Zimmermann, 1st edition, 608 pp., Cicero, collection Tusculum, Akademie Verlag ISBN 978-3-05-005452-0
  • Bibliography Didactics of Latin: Cicero, de natura deorum