Opportunistic Stoicism: Philo's Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit and Cicero's Tusculan Disputations Book 2

In their critical notes to Philo’s Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit Cohn and Reiter include a few comparanda to Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations. Only one of these notes points to book 2 of the Tusculans. This seems insufficient upon close investigation of Tusculan Disputations 2 and Philo’s Omn. Prob. Lib. I demonstrate that the two texts exhibit sustained comparanda, especially historical and typical exempla, as well as closely aligned rhetorical and argumentative structure. I claim that both authors rely upon a text now lost to us and tentatively propose authorship for the lost text. I also argue that each author manipulates common source material toward different ends. Cicero reforms the shared material toward the goal of reinforcing normative Roman masculinity in the service of the state; Philo toward the goal of bolstering fidelity to the law. I show that for both authors, Stoic principles backed by historical exempla become tools for their respective projects rather than building blocks for further philosophical inquiry. Philo and Cicero, I argue, are opportunistic borrowers of their Stoic source material.