Roman Calendar

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thomas Jefferson on the Classical Philosophers

    From Carl J. Richard's The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome, and the American Enlightenment:

     "In 1803, Jefferson wrote regarding the classical philosophers: 'Their precepts related chiefly to ourselves, and the government of those passions which, unrestrained, would disturb our tranquility of mind. In this branch of philosophy they were really great. In developing our duties to others, they were short and defective.' In 1819 he declared: 'Epictetus and Epicurus give laws for governing ourselves, Jesus a supplement for the duties and charities we owe to others." (p. 187)