Introducing the Basics

Psychology Before Psychology

Did the Roman statesman Cicero have anything to add about the mind?

The Romans were better known for their practical accomplishments in the fields of law, engineering, and warfare than for their philosophical works but some contributions are worth noting. Cicero (106–42 B.C.E.), the famous Roman orator, gave a detailed description of the passions. He grouped the passions into four categories: discomfort, fear, pleasure or joy, and desire (libido in Latin). We can wonder whether Freud’s use of the term libido was influenced by Cicero.


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