Some like philosophy because it makes their minds tingle. Others find answers to their questions. Still others like questions without answers. For Cicero, writing in the 1st century B.C. during the transition from Roman Republic to Roman Empire, the answer was much simpler: to be wise.

As he writes in On Duties,

“And wisdom, according to the definition offered by early philosophers, signifies the knowledge of all things, divine and human, and of the causes which lie behind them. If anyone is prepared to disparage so noble a study as that, I cannot imagine anything he would find himself able to approve of!”

Cicero elaborates further on the merits of philosophy and its application to life:

To acquire the wisdom necessary for pursuing a good and happy life… not a bad reason for studying philosophy!