Cicero's essay On Friendship (Laelius de amicitia) is of interest as much for the light it sheds on Roman society as for its embodiment of ancient philosophical views on the subjects of friendship. The Dream of Scipio was excerpted in late antiquity from Cicero's De Republica, a dialogue in six books which now only survives in fragmentary form. In the excerpt, which probably formed the conclusion to the dialogue, Cicero describes his vision of the cosmos and the rewards of immortality that the good statesman can expect after death. This work is particularly important for its influence on later literature in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.Both dialogues are examples of the best Ciceronian prose. They are presented in this volume in the context of Cicero's philosophical writing. Their place in ancient thought and their literary characteristics are discussed fully in the introduction, while individual points of interpretation are dealt with in the commentary. The text of both works is new and will also be published in a forthcoming volume in the Oxford Classical Texts series. There is a separate appendix of notes on textual points.
J G F Powell is a Lecturer in classics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and has edited Cicero's Cato Maior de senectute for the Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries series.