Cicero's translations of the Stoic term συμπάϑεια into Latin

Title: Cicero's translations of the Stoic term συμπάϑεια into Latin
Author: Fraňo, Peter
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2020, vol. 25, iss. 2, pp. 87-97
Extent
87-97
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
Language
 

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Abstract(s)
The present study analyses Cicero's approaches to translating the Stoic term συμπάϑεια into Latin. In his treatise On Fate, the Roman author differentiates two types of situation in which Stoic sympathy functions. In the scientific sense, the word sympathy refers to mutual connections between physical phenomena, such as the connections between the phases of the moon and the alternating tides. In the divinatory sense, sympathy acts in the connection between a prophecy and its fulfilment, such as between the flight of birds and the start of a war. In Cicero's view, only the scientific sense of sympathy should be accepted. For this reason, in his treatise On Fate, he translates the Greek term συμπάϑεια using the Latin word contagio (Cic. Fat. 3, 5–6), since the verb tango means "to make or come into physical contact with". In contrast, he does not accept that sympathy acts in a divinatory sense, explaining the connection between a prophecy and its fulfilment as the result of chance.