This chapter introduces Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, which show evidence of careful structure in their broad outline like all Cicero's philosophical writings of the years 45–44 B.C. It focuses on Book II and V of the Tusculans that confronts the great ultimate of death and other ills. It also mentions pain as the subject of Book II, which mattered more than it has come to do since the arrival of anaesthetics. The chapter addresses questions of whether ills, pain, mental distress, and other emotional disturbances can destroy 'happiness' or whether the 'wise man' is always 'happy'. It also deals with the great question of Hellenistic thinking and debate of whether virtue is enough for the 'happy' life.
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