Roman : Philosophy and Philosophers

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Roman Philosophy

Roman philosophy reached its peak in the classical period, commonly known as the Roman Golden Age. In the Roman intellectual tradition, there was an incorporation and development of classical Greek ideas into their own cultural and political context. Roman philosophical thought showed a deep interest in ethics, politics, and epistemology. One of the major figures in the history of Roman philosophy is Cicero, whose works cover a wide range of topics, from rhetoric to law. Roman political thought is also reflected in Seneca’s work, which highlights the concepts of justice and wisdom.

In addition, philosophers Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius represent the school of Stoicism, which emphasizes self-control, calm, and ethics as the keys to happiness. Roman philosophy also played an important role in forming the foundations of Christian thought, especially through the influence of Augustine of Hippo, who united elements of philosophy with theology. Thus, the legacy of Roman philosophy transcends the boundaries of antiquity and remains relevant in the development of human thought.

History of Roman Philosophical Thought

The history of Roman philosophical thought covers a wide period of time, but its peak can be found in the classical Roman Golden Age. In this period, the strong influence of classical Greek philosophy merged with the Roman cultural and political context, resulting in a distinctive philosophical tradition. Cicero, as one of the leading figures, played a central role in bringing Greek philosophical ideas into Roman discourse.

His works cover a wide range of aspects, from rhetoric to law, reflecting the diversity of intellectual interests of Roman society at that time. Meanwhile, Seneca enriched Roman philosophical thought with an emphasis on ethics and political wisdom. Stoicism, represented by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, also contributed by emphasizing self-control, inner calm, and ethics as the foundations of individual happiness. This thinking not only influenced Roman political structures but also played a role in forming the basis of Christian philosophy, especially through the contributions of Augustine of Hippo, who combined elements of philosophy with theology. Thus, the history of Roman philosophical thought not only reflects the cultural and intellectual complexity of the past but also provides a foundation for the development of human thought up to the present.

Roman Philosopher

Marcus Aurelius
St, Augustine of Hippo


Roman philosophy reflects the wealth of thought that influenced the development of society and culture in ancient times. Roman philosophy, primarily influenced by classical Greek thought, underwent significant evolution with the development of the Roman Republic and Empire. In the beginning, Roman philosophy was more practical and related to matters of everyday life, such as ethics and politics.

Cicero, a prominent orator and philosopher, played an important role in synthesizing Greek ideas with Roman values, creating a foundation for philosophical thought that considered the public interest and social stability. However, in the second century AD, the emergence of Neoplatonism from the thought of Plotinus brought a deeper spiritual dimension to Roman philosophy. The conclusion that can be drawn is that Roman philosophy is a harmonious mixture of Greek heritage and Roman uniqueness, reflecting a rich and complex intellectual journey. Although it did not produce a philosophical system as comprehensive as that found in the Greek tradition, the legacy of Roman philosophy remains relevant in understanding the foundations of ethics, politics, and spirituality in the historical context of ancient civilizations.


What differentiates Roman Philosophy from Greek Philosophy?

Roman philosophy has a strong influence from Greek philosophy, but has different nuances. While Greek Philosophy tends to be more theoretical and abstract, Roman Philosophy focuses more on practical applications in everyday life. For example, Cicero’s thought combined Greek principles with Roman life values to form a more contextual ethical and political foundation.

What was Cicero’s role in the development of Roman Philosophy?

Cicero, a prominent Roman orator and philosopher, played a central role in developing Roman Philosophy. He took Greek concepts, especially from Stoicism, and adapted them to the context of Roman life. Cicero emphasized the importance of ethics in political action and supported the idea that wisdom and justice should be the primary basis for political decision-making.

What was the contribution of Neoplatonism to Roman Philosophy?

Neoplatonism, which emerged in the second century AD through the thought of Plotinus, gave Roman Philosophy a deeper spiritual dimension. This thinking emphasizes the connection between the individual soul and the universe, as well as the desire to achieve unity with a higher reality. Despite its Greek origins, Neoplatonism permeated Roman thought and made important contributions in broadening the scope of their philosophy from the practical and political realm to the spiritual and metaphysical realm.


  • Arnold, E. V. (1911). Roman Stoicism: Being Lectures on the History of the Stoic Philosophy with Special Reference to its Development Within the Roman Empire.
  • Windelband, W. (1922). A History of Roman Philosophy.

Video Recommendations

Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Roman : Philosophy and Philosophers," Feelosofi, 16 November 2023,
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast