The beginning of the birth of Roman philosophy is traditionallyit is customary to consider the II-I centuries. BC. e. If we talk about the ancient period as a whole, then in relation to Greek philosophy, many consider Roman philosophy secondary. Greek philosophical teachings began to spread among the Romans in the I century. BC. e. The most popular at that time was the teaching of Epicurus, the philosophical views of Stoics and skeptics, the theory of Plato. Hellenistic philosophy is the period that became the final in the development of the philosophy of ancient Greece and is characterized by an ethical orientation and adaptation of eastern religious trends.
One of the most famous schools of this era wasa school founded by followers of Cynicism. This teaching proclaimed neglect and negation of everything external - beginning with physical needs and ending with science. The Cynics were convinced that all the blessings come exclusively from within man and have no relation to the external, which not only does not contribute to the manifestation of these benefits in human life, but even represents an obstacle to the path to happiness.
Epicurus (341 - 270 BC.) and his followers advanced several other vital and philosophical principles, although in their teaching happiness is also one of the main philosophical categories. Epicurus' teaching has its own epistemology, ontology, physics, but its ethics became the most significant in the history of philosophy. At the heart of the ethics of Epicurus lies the principle that pleasure and pleasure are good, but Epicurus does not mean debauchery, he understands by pleasure, above all, "the absence of bodily suffering." The very notion of pleasure in the teachings of Epicurus was penetrated by some intellectual refinement, and one of the components of such pleasure Epicurus considered studying philosophy.
At the end of the VI. BC., a little later than the school of Epicurus, the Hellenistic period of ancient philosophy was marked by the formation of another famous philosophical school - the school of the Stoics. The founder of this school was Zeno. The fundamental principle of the Stoics was this: happiness is to follow nature in everything. It is worth noting that the ideas of stoicism have become quite popular in ancient Rome. Hellenistic-Roman philosophy is marked by the activity of the largest Roman Stoics: Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus. In the ideas of the thinkers of that period, interest in philosophical problems lying beyond the limits of ethics was almost completely lost. And as for ethics itself, the Roman Stoics proclaimed the idea of universal brotherhood of people, indulgence, love for their neighbors and even for enemies.
Another famous trend, which is famousHellenistic philosophy, is skepticism. The founder of skepticism is Pirron (360 - 280 BC). The idea of his teaching was that it was the philosopher who, according to Pyrrhon, was considered to be a person striving to achieve happiness. Happiness lies, first of all, in the absence of suffering and complete tranquility. In the opinion of skeptics, no way of knowing can be defined as false or true, the philosophical attitude toward things consists in abstaining from judgments about these things. Only our sensory impressions are valid, and judgments lead only to delusion.
The Hellenistic philosophy introduced somechanges in the ideological orientation of the teachings of the time, these changes were due, first of all, to political and socio-economic changes in the developing society. The thinkers of the Hellenistic period focused on the solution of the problems of human morality, problems of the behavior of the individual in society. Hellenistic philosophy was marked by revolutionary ideas for the time that slaves recognized their human dignity, some philosophers even expressed the idea that slaves can have higher moral qualities. As a result of the development of new philosophical views of the world and society as a whole, the two old schools, founded by Plato and Aristotle, gradually lost their authority, and fell into the background.