Cicero on Man as the likeness of God

I am reading Cicero’s De re publica (On the Republic) and De legibus (On the Laws) for a text seminar at the University of Dallas.

Today, I came across an interesting passage in De legibus which comes close to the doctrine of man being made in the image and likeness of God. It should be stated that Cicero’s doctrine of God is Stoic and approximates pantheism. Nevertheless, Cicero’s statement about the relationship between men and God is impressive:

“Virtue is nothing else than Nature perfected and developed to its highest point. Therefore there is a likeness between man and God” (Cicero, De legibus I, viii, 25).

The word Cicero uses is “similitudo”: est igitur homini cum deo similitudo.

Just prior to this passage, Cicero articulates the cosmological argument in favor for belief in God.

Keep in mind that Cicero wrote before Christ. His philosophical works are a testament as to what natural man can know. Cicero surely dwells in Limbo – to say the least.

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